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World Math Day 2010

What it is: Hooray!! It is World Math Day time!   This year World Math Day will be held on March 3, 2010.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with World Math Day, it is a day when students from around the world compete in an online environment in live games of mental arithmetic.  Each game lasts for 60 seconds and students can play as many as 500 games, earning points for every correct answer.  The students who answer the most questions show up in the Hall of Fame. This is an absolutely free event to take part in.  Students can train for World Math Day every day leading up to March 3rd by participating in arithmetic competition. For those of you home school readers, World Math Day is also open and free to you!  The competition is designed for students 5-18 years old.  This year has a little bit of a new format (the change is fantastic!) with multi-levels for all groups.  Teachers, parents and media are also invited to participate for the first time.  Last year 2 million students from 204 countries participated and correctly answered more than 4 million questions!! How to integrate World Math Day into the classroom: World Math Day is a fun competition to involve your students in.  It helps build mental arithmetic and numeracy.  Students from around the world compete in this competition to find out which country has the top mathematicians.   Students have a great time working to get their country to the top (nothing like a little National pride!).  My students beg to be involved in World Math Day each year.  We spend extra time in the computer lab and on classroom computers preparing for the day.  Students answer mental math questions appropriate to their age level. This is a phenomenal way to get some fact practice in! We make a big deal out of World Math Day and let students have an extended math period to compete on March 3rd.  You could use World Math Day as a Math Olympics for your class and have and opening and closing ceremony for your class, school, or representing your country. Tie World Math Day into your social studies curriculum.  As students compete against other students from around the world, the other student is represented by a flag.  My students are always very curious to learn more about the other countries and cultures represented. It would also be fun to start a map in Google Earth where you put place markers on the countries that students have competed with. The platform is open, register your students and start training today! Tips: If you would like to find out more about past World Math Day competitions check out my posts 2009 here and 2008 here.  There are rumors of a World Math Day iPod App coming soon, check back with the official site for more information. Please leave a comment and share how you are using World Math Day in your classroom.

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NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature-best website ever!

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 19-04-2011

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Have I mentioned lately that I have the most AWESOME readers?  No?  Well it is true, you all are awesome and you keep me going even when I am running on low.  Thank you for that!  I’m currently working on starting a school (actually 3) in the next 2 years.  This is proving to be an exciting and, oh yeah, exhausting task.  Then I get encouraging emails and site suggestions from you all and it puts some major pep back in my step.  Thank you!  This website is one such recommendation.  You know you are a true geek when getting a cool website in your inbox revives you :)  Thank you Ryan!

What it is: NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash feature is a website that is absolutely not to be missed.  Seriously, it won’t even hurt my feelings if you skip reading my post and just head right on over to dig in and check it out yourselves!  This interactive timeline highlights each decade in our space program from 1950 to 2000.  Until we get time travel sorted out, this is a pretty good substitute! The site encourages exploration and discovery as students move decade by decade through the site.  I love that this site goes so far beyond just space exploration.  While students explore, they will hear music representing each decade, see animations, listen to virtual radio broadcasts of actual news headlines (including NASA news and other news from the decade), original video, listen to speeches of the decade and even launch rockets.  I can’t tell you how happy it made me to hear Johnny Cash mixed in as I was playing on this site (in the upper left corner of the site you will be able to change songs on the jukebox, record, tape, CD or mp3 player).  First thing I heard when I clicked on the 80’s “Tonight on Dallas find out who shot J.R.”. *LOVE THIS SITE!*  This blog post took me about 2 hours because I got sucked right into exploring and playing.  The site reminds me of Epcot’s Tomorrow Land, complete with robot guide.  This is what online learning should look like, when I close my eyes and dream, this is the experience I imagine for kids.  Can you imagine if there was a site like this for history? How cool would that be?!

How to integrate NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature into the classroom: This is one of those sites that you could let kids loose on just for exploration.  Without any guidance from you they will learn plenty!  Ideally kids would explore this site in partners or on their own in a one to one computer lab setting.  If each student has a computer, headphones will be a necessity.  If individual exploration just isn’t in the cards, visit the site as a class with an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computers.  Invite students up to the computer (whiteboard) to take turns guiding the class.  The site has plenty of interactive content to give each student a chance at the computer (whiteboard).  Unless you have a good chunk of time dedicated to the site, this is one that I would stretch out over a week.  Each day students can explore a new decade.

The space exploration component of this site is amazing and could keep everyone plenty busy with learning.  With older students, discuss what the music of the decade reveals about that time in history.  What does the music tell them about people, community, values, events of the day?  Take it one step further and ask students to dig into other historical events in each decade, discussing their impact on space exploration, culture and where we are today.  One thing that I missed out on in history was all of the stories that make it so rich.  For me, history was reduced to names, dates and places.  Give your students the opportunity to put themselves into history and learn about how the events influenced each other.

NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature would be a great one to use in connection with We Choose the Moon.  If your students are like mine, they can’t get enough of this stuff!  Obviously I can’t get enough of it either.  Full disclosure, I have always loved space exploration.  When I was a kid I spent many summers at Black Rock Desert at LDRS (Large Dangerous Rockets) with my dad.  My dad built wooden model rockets- first wooden rocket on record to break sound barrier!  In answer to your next question: yes, I have always been a complete and total nerd. :P

Tips: What? Your still here? Go on, visit the site! (channeling my inner Ferris Bueller today).

Please leave a comment and share how you are using NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature thesauruses in your classroom!

Comments (3)

[...] site is a great one to use in connection with the NASA 50th Anniversary site I shared [...]

[...] launch.  Using a projector-connected computer or an interactive whiteboard, launch one of the shuttles here.  When you “land” on the moon, let students explore the surface together by [...]

[...] 8. NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature- Best. Website. Ever. An incredible interactive timeline that highlights each decade in the United States space program from 1950 to 2000. [...]

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