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  What it is:   TutPup is an outstanding, free math and spelling practice website.  At TutPup students can compete in fun, educational games against kids from all over the world live.  The site reminds me a lot of the World Math Day competition.  Students are matched up with other students from around the world where they play fact games and compete in real time to see who best knows their stuff.  I love that TutPup is available to students all year long (unlike the World Math Day site), it doesn’t collect personal information about students, and there are several games to choose from each with multiple levels.  TutPup helps students build math skills in the areas of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, algebra, and a mixture of those skills.  TutPup also helps students build spelling skills with a spelling game, students listen to a word and have to spell it before their opponent.  The site is highly motivating, takes into account different learning levels, and builds a variety of skills. How to integrate TutPup into the classroom: My students absolutely love this website.  Any time they can take part in a little friendly competition they are ready to compete.  The great thing about TutPup is that it can be differentiated for your different levels of learners.  Each student can play games at their own ability level.  This keeps the lower math students engaged and feeling successful and the higher level students challenged enough to hold their interest.  These types of sites have my students asking, “can I play this game at home too?”   When have you ever had a student ask if they could practice math or spelling facts at home?!  They truly love the competition of this site and get the added benefit of increasing their math fact recall skills.  Use TutPup as a math center in the classroom where students can practice math facts, or a practice center in the literacy block for additional spelling practice.  This is also a fun whole class activity with an interactive whiteboard or projector, students can call out the answers to the questions as a class for the teacher to enter.  You won’t have to assign this site for homework, students will ask to play from home.  Tell parents about this site as an alternative to flash card math fact practice.     Tips:  TutPup offers teacher accounts and student accounts for free.  However, right now their are no available login ID’s.  I contacted TutPup about this dilemma and they are working on a solution.  In the mean time, students can access all the games as a guest player.  I’ll update this post when TutPup has solved the registration issues.    Leave a comment and tell us how you are using TutPup in your classroom. window.google_rend

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Moon Zoo: Contributing to science with lunar mapping

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 03-05-2011

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What it is: The Endeavour Shuttle launch has been delayed but don’t let that keep your students from exploring space, there are some incredible interactive sites that will make your students feel like they get to suit up as astronauts.  Moon Zoo gives students the chance to study the lunar surface while contributing to real science.  Students can get an up close and personal view of the moon viewing images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.  Moon Zoo’s mission is to provide detailed crater counts for as much of the moon’s surface as possible.  Your students can take part in actually helping to count and map out craters and features of the lunar surface.  Students can identify craters with boulders around the rim to help map the regolith across the surface of the moon.  To take part in Moon Zoo, students are shown an image of the lunar surface, the first task is identifying craters in the surface.  Students can click on the “Crater” button and click the center of each crater they see.  Next, students adjust the ellipse to stretch and move their marks so that they are the same size as the crater.  Students search for boulders around the craters, if there are any boulders students can note that by selecting “blocky crater” and marking the most appropriate description.  When finished, students can submit their work to the Moon Zoo database.

How to integrate Moon Zoo into the classroom: I love that Moon Zoo actually lets your students take part in science.  They are contributing to actual lunar research in real and meaningful ways while learning about the moon.  Moon Zoo would be a great activity to complete as a whole class in the elementary classroom.  Tell your students that they are going to be astronauts and complete a “launch” to the moon.  If you have time, students can create official astronaut badges to wear for the big 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 hunting for craters in Moon Zoo.  Help students mark craters, look for boulders and map the lunar surface.  Each student should have a chance to make a discovery.  While students wait for their turn, they can track the crater/boulder count on a table to create a graph.  Categories can be small, medium, and large craters found and number of boulders.

Older students can sign up for their own Moon Zoo account, each studying and identifying craters on their own images.  Older students can dig into the science behind mapping craters and learn about how craters can be used to date the moon.

Want to involve your students in more contributing science?  Check out Galaxy Zoo (the hunt for supernovas), Galaxy Zoo Hubble, Planet Hunters, or the Milky Way Project.  This is such a neat way for students to contribute to the scientific community while learning more about space and the universe.

Tips: Registration for Moon Zoo does require an email address.  If your students don’t have an email address of their own, they can use a mailinator or tempinbox address.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Moon Zoo in your classroom!

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