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Branches of Government Interactive

What it is: The Branches of Government and their roles can be tricky to learn.  Branches of Government interactive is a good way for students to familiarize themselves with the branches of government.  The activity is a simple one, students are given a leaf and must decide which branch of government it best describes.  Students receive immediate feedback about their answer.  If students dragged the leaf to the correct branch, it will stick.  If not, the leaf returns to its original location at the base of the tree.   How to integrate Branches of Government Interactive into the classroom: The Branches of Government Interactive is a great one for interactive whiteboards.  As your students are learning about the different branches of government, they can practice what they are learning with this interactive.  I like to make everything into a game, students are more engaged in the activity and must work together to solve problems.  Split your students into 3 teams (one for each branch of the government).  When a new leaf comes up, teams discuss if they believe that the leaf is describing their branch of government.  If they believe it is, the team sends one team member to the board if they are correct, the team earns a point.  If teams send up a member incorrectly, they lose a point.  The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. Branches of Government Interactive could also be set up for students to play as a center activity on classroom computers.  The activity is self directed and provides students with enough feedback to navigate it quickly and independently. Tips: This would be a good way for students to study for a test on the branches of government. Be sure to send a link home with students, parents always appreciate help in the studying/homework department! Please leave a comment and share how you are using Branches of Government in your classroom.

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Physics Central: Nikola Tesla and the Electric Fair

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Download, Evaluate, Interactive book, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 09-01-2013

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What it is: Physics Central is a fantastic website full of…you guessed it, physics! There are fantastic sections for students to explore science, activity books, experiments and activities.  Students can learn more about physics in action (physics as found in the world around us), meet physicists, and learn about physics research.  Physics Central will ignite a students curiosity in: sound, electricity and magnetism, force and motion, light and optics, material science, quantum mechanics, space and the universe, and thermodynamics and heat.  My favorite find on Physics Central so far (I’m sure there will be many more favorites the longer I explore) is the Nikola Tesla and the Electric Fair section.  Here, students will find a downloadable kit that includes a manual, comic book, and four related activities.

How to integrate Physics Central into the classroom: Physics has always been among my favorite sciences.  There is something about it that is fascinating to me. Physics Central is packed full of great resources to enrich your classroom.  The comics are a fun way to learn about famous scientists, inventors and events in science history.  The complementing activities bring the comics to life and invite students along on the journey of discovery.

Work with your students on a “PhysicsQuest” like Nikola Tesla and the Electric Fair and see what they come up with. Compare their results with the actual solutions (posted on the site).  Join the current PhysicsQuest with your students to help students recognize the fun and relevance of science.  You can register now for the Spectra: Turbulent Times quest.

Tips: Start a PhysicsQuest with your students, as an after school club, or as a home extension investigation.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Physics Central in your classroom.

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