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National Geographic Forces of Nature

What it is: Our fifth graders are going to be reading stories about extreme nature next week.  To build background knowledge about extreme nature, I was on a hunt for some sites that would teach them about different natural occurrences and include an interactive where they could explore the occurrence first hand.  National Geographic has a great collection called Forces of Nature. Here students can explore a natural forces lab where they learn about the extreme nature. Students can learn about tornadoes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes.  Students learn what the force of nature is, what causes them, their characteristics, the damage that they do, how they are forecasted, and then have the opportunity to actually create the force of nature virtually.  Students can also view an interactive map that shows hot sites where the forces of nature occur, and read case studies of actual events. How to integrate National Geographic Forces of Nature into the classroom: Set up a science or reading center where students can read and learn about each force of nature.  Allow students to interact with the activities to control their own tornadoes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes.  Choose a “weather forecaster” for the class.  Using an interactive whiteboard or projector have the forecaster change the elements that lead to the force of nature.  Ask students at their seats predict what will happen with the force of nature.  Are conditions right for a tornado/hurricane/earthquake/eruption?  The forecaster will test out conditions to find out what happens.  Ask students to explain the occurrence and why their predictions were correct or incorrect.  If you don’t have access to an interactive whiteboard or projector, students could complete this activity in partners on the classroom computers.  This is an excellent visual aid for the science classroom, it is like an interactive text book. Tips: National Geographic has a great Forces of Nature photo gallery (found below the interactive) where students can see high quality photos of tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, and earthquakes.  The earthquake interactive is a timely addition to the classroom with the recent earthquake in Haiti.  This is a great way for kids to understand exactly how the earthquake occurred. Leave a comment and share how you are using National Geographic Forces of Nature  in your classroom.

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Media 4 Math: Math in the News

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Math, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Video Tutorials, Websites | Posted on 10-12-2012

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What it is: Media 4 Math: Math in the News helps students view current events through the “prism of mathematics.”  Every week features a new story that makes headlines and the underlying mathematical story gets extracted.  The Math in the News site is a little bit confusing to navigate at first (it isn’t really clear where to find each issue of Math in the News).  Scroll down to see an archive of stories.  Each entry has a Slideshare version of the presentation, a YouTube version or the Math in the News app version.  These presentations are full lessons with embedded background knowledge articles and videos, data  sets, current event explanations and a walk through of how to solve.

In addition to Math in the News, Media 4 Math also has Math Tutorials, Promethean Flipcharts, Powerpoint slideshows, Math Labs, Print Resources, a Video Gallery, Math Solvers and more.  I really like the Math Solvers, students can choose a problem type, input their own data and see a breakdown of how to solve the problem.  The Math Labs include PDF worksheets and YouTube Videos that lead them through real-math problem sets.

How to integrate Media 4 Math: Math in the News into the classroom: Media 4 Math: Math in the News is a fantastic way to help your students make the connection between the upper-level math they are learning and life. I’m fairly certain that every math teacher in history has heard “what are we ever going to use this for?”  This site helps students not only see that math is everywhere, but also walks them through how to think mathematically.  There are plenty of resources that walk students through common mathematical functions.  This site is a great supplement to any math curriculum!

With new content weekly, your curriculum will be fresh and relevant!  Share Math in the News using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer, as a math center on classroom computers, individually with laptops or iPads, etc.   Flip your math class and have students explore a Math Tutorial to prepare them for the next day of learning.  Then they can test a few scenarios in Math Solvers and come up with their own explanation of the concept.  In class, students can work with you to solidify and practice the learning.

Tips: Sign up for the free weekly newsletter to have Math in the News delivered right to your inbox.  Do you have a classroom iPad?  Math in the News now has an app!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Math in the News in your classroom.

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