Neighborhood MapMachine

Posted by on December 9, 2013 4:06 pm
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Categories: Column 3

Neighborhood MapMachineThis great software is a favorite of students and helps them build essential skills. They use NMM to make and navigate maps of their own neighborhoods, and other real or imaginary communities. There are 25 activities aligned with standards in social studies, language arts and math. They will be able to solve map mysteries while using a compass for navigation. Many map symbols are included, as well as graphic tools to paint the maps. The program switches easily between English and Spanish, and can be used individually or with an entire class. It works well on a SMART Board, like the ones we use at Cedar Lane Elementary.

Neighborhood MapMachine will help students locate places using the four cardinal directions, and reinforce scale to determine map distances. Boys and girls will use written language to communicate directions, and will calculate and compare measurements. This software was developed for Tom Snyder Productions by Peggy Healy Stearns, Ph. D. (She also developed The Graph Club software, another title used in the Appoquinimink School District.) She has degrees from Harvard and other prominent universities. We have contacted her several times via social media with questions or comments about the software.

One mark of great software is that students will come back to the program over and over again to use it in different ways. Neighborhood MapMachine is that kind of great software, and students have used it for a good number of years here at Cedar Lane Elementary. Sometimes they map out the center of Middletown, Delaware, or just focus on their own neighborhood or development. We have used it to see the differences between rural, suburban, and urban communities as well. Students will learn challenging concepts such as location, grid coordinates, scale, and compass navigation. Check it out the next time you are here at CLE or another Appoquinimink elementary school, and have fun!

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