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Mystery of the Poison Dart Frog

What it is: The Mystery of the Poison Dart Frog comes from the North Carolina Museum of Art.  Students are introduced to three characters in an online picture book.  Zoey and Zeke are visiting their cousin Camilla who works as a curator at an art museum in Costa Rica.  Soon students are swept away in a mystery and adventure as they must use clues and match up the Costa Rica art pieces with the notecards that were written by the donors of the art.  Along the way students learn to read for information, and learn about art, science, history, and culture of Costa Rica.   How to integrate the Mystery of the Poison Dart Frog into the classroom: The Mystery of the Poison Dart Frog is a fun way for students to practice reading for information and practicing the inferring reading strategy.  As students work through the mystery, they will also be learning about art, science, history, and the culture of Costa Rica. This is a great activity for students to complete independently in a computer lab or 1-to-1 setting, it is a little long to be completed as a center activity.  If you teach younger students, or students who may not be able to read the story independently, read the story as a class or small group using a projector connected computer or interactive whiteboard.  Students can work together to solve the mystery using the available clues in the story.  Before students begin reading the story, they can build background knowledge by using the built in research guide.  Students can learn more about Costa Rica with an interactive map, learn about the works of art they will see in the story, and the different animals represented in the works of art. The story can be read in either English or Spanish.  For older students learning Spanish as a foreign language, the activity could be completed in Spanish.  This would be a fun activity to test their skills of reading for understanding in the Spanish language. Tips: For more great related links, click on the “more” drop down from the home page.  Happy solving! Please leave a comment and share how you are using Mystery of the Poison Dart Frog in your classroom.

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Dance, Factors Dance: Animated Factorization Diagrams #mathchat

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 15-11-2012

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What it is:  Dance, Factors Dance is a fantastic site to visualize factorization diagrams.  The first “tango” is inspired by the digital clock, with a separate diagram for each of the hours, minutes and seconds.  The Factor Conga is a “promenade of primes, composites, and their constituents, arranged with an aesthetically-tuned variation of Yorgey’s rules, one per second.”  I love the way these math factorization dances help students visualize numbers and Prime numbers.  Brilliant!

How to integrate Dance, Factors Dance into the classroom: Dance, Factor Dance is a stupendous way for students to visualize and think about numbers.  I Love the way that the prime numbers are depicted…so easy to see why it is a prime number!  Ask your students to explore this site and identify the patterns they notice in the dance of numbers.  What happens when a number is prime?  When a number is odd?  Even?

Dance, Factors Dance is a fun way to learn more about numbers, it is also a wonderful inspiration for finding the art in math.  How can students use the site as inspiration to create their own math dance?  Could they use stop motion animation and manipulatives to do something similar?  What patterns in math do they notice?  How can they use color and design to help them better understand math?

This site is a great one to explore as a class, as a center on classroom computers, or individually on student devices.  Students can pause the dance, rewind, and fast forward as they explore.

Tips: Be sure to watch (or fast forward) to the three digit numbers…this is where things get really impressive!  As a side note, I learned something today from a fellow teacher.  When looking at numbers in grid form, you know if a number is prime if it can only make one rectangle.  This understanding would have been helpful in math class! Better late than never :)

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Dance, Factors Dance in your classroom.

Comments (1)

We have already taught this concept, but this is a perfect way to reinforce it! Thanks!

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