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Class Tools

What it is: Class Tools is possibly the most impressive, easy to use tool that I have reviewed to date! This allows teachers (even those who aren’t incredibly tech savvy) to create interactive Flash diagrams and games for learning and revising material. It is FREE! All diagrams created can be saved as data files or web pages to host on your school website or intranet. Quiz creators allow you to input up to 25 questions and answers an then choose a game to test student knowledge. Games include Matching Pairs, Manic Miner, WordShoot, and Cannon Ball Fun. Learning templates that teach and support chronological awareness include Time Line and Living Graph. Categorization tools include Post it, and a Target diagram. Linkage tools include Venn diagrams, and The Learning Puzzle. Priortization tools include Diamond Nine and a Priority Chart. Sourcework Skills tools include Lights Out and Source Analyzer. Essay skills tools include Fishbone and Hamburger diagrams. WOW!! How to integrate Class Tools into the classroom: Class Tools may be one of the most versatile tools you can use in the classroom. Teachers and students can create learning diagrams together and upload to the school website for later study. Teachers, you can create games for your students to play focused on any specific curriculum. The sky is the limit for Class Tools in the classroom. Tips: Print out a copy of the Class Tools Flyer, having a description of the tools handy is a must! Please leave a comment and share how you are using Class Tools in your classroom.

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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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