Featured Post

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That

What it is: The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That is a new PBS TV series and website that ignites an excitement about science for primary students.  The series is based on the Beginner Book Collection “The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library”.  The goal of the series and online resources is to “cultivate positive views about science and scientists among the next generation-the children who will become tomorrow’s citizens and innovators-and help teachers and families build communities of science explorers.”  I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of building communities of explorers, science or otherwise!  In the TV series, The Cat in the Hat, Sally, and Nick set off on a science adventure.  In one episode, the trio flies with birds to discover why they migrate.  In another, they are taking a snowcat to the Arctic to explore freezing and melting.  As the Cat in the Hat guides them, the children solve problems by engaging in science inquiry.  Right now students can watch video clips on The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That website, play related games, find activities and coloring pages to print, and play games with snapshots from the program.  Right now adventures on the site include science concepts like bird migration, camouflage, and melting/freezing. How to integrate The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That into your curriculum: If you are a regular visitor of my blog, you know that I am a big Dr. Seuss fan (see pictures of Dr. Seuss inspired classroom theme here).  While this site isn’t strictly Seuss, it does a remarkable job of bringing The Cat in the Hat to life with a focus on scientific inquiry.  Use the videos on the site to introduce your students to new science concepts including migration, camouflage, and melting/freezing (my guess is more will be added as the series takes off).  Students can engage in the inquiry process along with Sally and Nick and then practice the newly acquired concept in the games section.  This would be a fun site to use as a science center that students visit on classroom computers during a coordinating unit.  Students can view videos prior to exploring the concept as background knowledge, or watch the videos after engaging in their own inquiry process on the topic and compare the journey of inquiry taken.  Did Sally and Nick come to the same conclusions? The printables on the site include fun mazes, coloring pages, matching vocabulary, and even bookmarks, stickers, and other paper crafts.  One of the print outs in the Paper Craft Sections is a Cat in the Hat frame that would be great for framing pictures of students engaging in their own scientific inquiry. Tips: Be sure to click on the teacher button to find an Explorer’s Guide where you can find tips for engaging young students in scientific inquiry.  You will also find tips for using the online video in your classroom, a list of Cat in the Hat science books, and find video enhanced activities. Please leave a comment and share how you are using The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That in your classroom! Beginning/Ending SoundsScarecrow Joe beginning sounds flipchart/game and ending sounds flipchart/game. Students drag words and their pictures to the matching beginning or ending. Pictures return to original location if incorrect. Students receive immediate feedback. Grade Level: kindergarten/firstPrice: $.99

Read More

Solar System Scope: See the solar system in 3D

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 20-04-2011

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3

What it is: Well, yesterday set me off on a space kick.  Today I spent time with the Solar System Scope site, talk about a COOL way to view the solar system!  Solar System Scope (SSS) is a 3D real-time look at celestial positions with planets and constellations in the night sky.  Students can adjust planet and moon settings, star and constellation settings, earth observatory settings and time settings.  View the solar system from a heliocentric, geocentric or panoramic view.

How to integrate Solar System Scope into the classroom: Who would have guessed the day would come when we could take our students on a realistic field trip through space?  That is exactly what the Solar System Scope makes possible.  For young students, it would be fun to plan a class space mission.  Prepare your students as astronauts, load into your classroom spaceship (which may just be chairs and desks specially configured for the day) and prepare for launch.  “Fly” through the universe and solar system using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  This is almost like having a planetarium right in your classroom. Pretty cool!

Of course after traveling through space as a class, students will want to explore more on their own.  They can do this at a classroom computer center or individually in a computer lab setting.

Older students can get more in-depth using the built-in distance meter to measure the distance between planets.  Each star reveals information about how many light years away it is from earth.  Students can adjust the settings to learn more about constellations.  Time and date can be adjusted to view the solar system on a given day. When students click the play button, they will see a 3D animation of the solar system based on the view they chose.  Very neat!

In addition to using Solar System Scope for science, use it as a launching point for a creative writing activity.  Students can write a fictional story about their travels through space, or even pretend to colonize a planet using factual information about the struggles they would have to overcome.

This site is a great one to use in connection with the NASA 50th Anniversary site I shared yesterday!

Tips: Solar System Scope isn’t finished yet, they are still working on some cool features.  Be sure to watch for a planetary journey for kids complete with an animated talking guide named Zyx, desktop clocks that show all planet positions at the moment, a space-flight simulator screen saver (perfect for the interactive whiteboard!) and a space forum.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Solar System Scope in your classroom!

 

Comments (3)

[...] Solar System Scope shares an interactive 3D view of our solar system. Select the view on the left tab of the screen and choose the telescope to view the stars. Kelly Tenkley shares more about this site on her blog iLearn Technology. [...]

[...] done and dusted, I decided to work on my planning for teaching the solar system. A post by Kelly Tenkley set me off in the right direction. The Nine Planets tour that I mentioned in a previous post shares [...]

Hi,
After the success of SolarSystemScope we have launched a new Watch & Play model

http://www.sunmoonscope.com/

focused on the Sun and the Moon as they appear from the given location of the Earth surface:
– current position of the Sun, its trajectory, time and azimuth of sunrise and sunset
– moon phases, current position and trajectory of the Moon
– seasons, solstices and equinoxes in chart

But the most interesting part is to drag the model in time and watch changes during a day or year.
(polar day and night, analemma and situations on the equator are our favourite)

Enjoy it :-)

Write a comment

*