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Flake Pad: Create geometric, symmetrical shapes

What it is:  Flake Pad is a very simple little website that lets students create geometric snowflakes using basic shapes and a grid.  To make their flake, students choose a shape and click a spot on the grid.  Students can add as many or as few shapes as they would like to their flake. When they are done the flake can be viewed off of the grid for a screen shot that can be included in other projects or it can be printed off.  I like Flake Pad because it gives students space to be creative and can be used to teach and practice symmetry. How to integrate Flake Pad into the classroom:  Flake Pad is a great little site to help students understand symmetry.  Any time students click a space on the grid, the shape is added to multiple points on the grid.  Use Flake Pad on an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer where students can identify lines of symmetry on the flake that the whole class can see. With the pointer tool on Flake Pad, students can drag the shapes they have created to different points.  Have students in the audience describe what happens to the flake as the shapes are moved.  Do the lines of symmetry change? Flake Pad can be used on classroom computers as a center activity.  Students can create their own flake, print the flake out and draw the various lines of symmetry with a ruler. Use Flake Pad during a unit on weather.  Students can experiment with creating their own snow flake, print the flake out and use the print out to list characteristics of snow, or snow related vocabulary along any straight lines on their flake. Tips: Flake Pad works from the Safari browser on an iPad….mostly. The line shape doesn’t work.  Students could still create their own flakes, print and add lines with a pencil…further practicing their understanding of symmetry! Please leave a comment and share how you are using Flake Pad in  your classroom!

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NASA @ Home and City space is everywhere you look

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 27-04-2011

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What it is: NASA has such cool exploratory websites for kids. NASA @ Home and City is no exception.  On this site, students get to explore 3D environments where they discover common household and city items that have roots in space exploration.  Students can click on various objects in the house or city to learn more about how space travel impacted the items creation or use.  Each item has a brief description and a short video included.  If students are particularly interested in an item, they can click to learn more about it on NASA’s Spinoff database site.  Students can take part in a Spinoff challenge where they explore technologies and answer questions; when all have been answered, students will unlock special downloads.

How to integrate NASA @ Home and City into the classroom: NASA @ Home and City is a great place for students to learn more about space as well as how the science and discoveries made in space impact their daily lives.  I love the way this site encourages students to discover and uncover learning.   NASA @ Home and City would be a great website for students to visit in partners or small groups on classroom computers.  Each student can take a turn exploring for the group and acting as guide.

If you don’t have access to classroom computers, explore the site as a class using an interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer.  There is enough content for each student to have a turn directing the exploration.  The  3D feel of the house and city would be fun on the big screen!

I like that this site is appropriate for a wide range of age and developmental levels.  Young students will enjoy exploring and viewing the videos for information, while older students can really dig deeper with the Spinoff challenge and additional information links.

Tips: Make sure to rotate around the home and city, there is more to explore!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  NASA @ Home and City in your classroom!

 

Comments (3)

Thank you for locating such great resources. I really appreciate your suggestions for how one might use them in the classroom.
I plan to direct small groups of students to this site, have them do some guided exploration and reading, then complete response tasks. Response tasks will be matched to the abilities of the groups.

Kelly, here is the NASA’syoutube video that goes along with the NASA @ Home and City site: http://youtu.be/S2QyMybXioc.

This video explains in a little more detail many of the space technologies from the @ Home and City website. I use the parts of video as both an introduction to the lesson, and as an extension for those students who want to know more.

Thank you Ryan, outstanding!

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