Lecture Vs. Discovery: An easy choice for students.
An Internet Browser is all that is required
Subject and Grade Level:
These examples are from 7th and 8th grade classes, but they can be used at any level.
Intergrated Subject Areas Also Covered:
Science (for Twisters)
- LA 8.1.1
- LA 8.1.8
- LA 8.2.5
- M 8.5.1
- SS 12.4.4
- Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry: I don’t understand history, help me!
- Night of the Twisters
On the trackstar web site, not only can you create your own trackstar, but you can also use the creations of other teachers. Use the search feature to find out what others have created. None of us have the extra time to recreate the wheel. The teachers would not have posted their trackstars if they didn’t want you to use them. (By the way, you can also use one of the tracks created and modify it to make it more your own. Merge two tracks… etc.)
No materials are really needed other than an internet connection and a little time. The teacher might need to take some time to create their Trackstar, and the students may take a little extra time the first time they do a trackstar, but it gets faster on the second time it is done.
Students are directed to the trackstar web sites. Sometimes it is easier to have the students search by the teacher’s name to find the track than it is to try to type the web site address. (The addresses can get very complicated.) I also like to put a link from my own web site to the trackstars for them since my address is easier to type in, and the students usually have it bookmarked already so it is easy for them to get to the link.
Once the students are at the track site, they need some time to READ the sites attached to the track and to figure out the answers to the questions connected to each piece. I like to have my middle school students multitask with a window for a Word document to type the answers and copy and paste addresses into, and one window for the actual trackstar.
How to Make a Trackstar:
1. Use the following web page: http://trackstar.4teachers.org
2. Using previously created Trackstars
a. Let your students use a track created completely by someone else – as is.
b. Customize a track someone else has made to fit your needs and your questions. (This will prompt you to put in your user ID (e-mail address) and password. If you don’t know this information, because you are new or forgot you will have to follow the next few steps before moving on.)
3. Registering with Trackstar to use their site to either edit someone else’s work or to create your own trackstars:
a. If you have never used Trackstar before, you will need to click in the left section of screen (in the white section) and click the “Create an Account and Start Making Tracks” link. This will set a password and user ID.
b. If you have used Trackstar before, then you will continue to use the same user ID and password each time you work within the program. You don’t have to have new information for each track you create.
4. Creating your own Trackstar.
a. Click in the center section of screen (in the white section) and choose Log in to Make a track or edit a track. This again, will ask for your user ID and password.
b. Fill in the initial information form and then choose either Trackmaker Lite or Trackmaker Frames.
5. Show the difference between Trackmaker Lite and Trackmaker Frames
a. Trackmaker Lite: simplified boxes for annotations, web sites and titles.
b. Trackmaker Frames: All links are listed on the right side, and the boxes for editing of annotations, web sites and titles on the right side.