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The Adjective Detective

What it is: The Adjective Detective is a fun way for your students to learn more about adjectives, superlative adjectives, and comparative adjectives.  This interactive learning module, game, and quiz comes from the Children’s University of Manchester site (I have written about it before here).  Last week I was searching high and low for some good adjective interactives for my students and was pleasantly surprised to rediscover this one.  I knew if the activity had fallen off of my radar, chances were that others had forgotten it, too.  The Adjective Detecive offers students a in-depth, interactive mini lesson on adjectives, superlative adjectives, and comparative adjectives.  After students work their way through the lessons, they can play an adjective game as a detective.  They must hunt down adjectives in the sentence by clicking on it with their magnifying glass.  Students recieve immediate feedback on their answer.  When they are finished playing the game, students can answer multiple choice questions about adjectives in an online quiz. How to integrate Adjective Detective into the classroom: Use the Adjective Detective mini-lessons to teach your whole class about adjectives.  Put the site up on your interactive whiteboard or projector and discuss the different kinds of adjectives with your students.  The site could also be used for self guided learning (I am personally a big advocate of this!) as a computer center in the classroom or individually in the lab setting.  After students complete the mini lessons, encourage them to play the adjective detective game.  In my classroom I want students to enter the spirit of play and have a few detective hats, magnifying glasses, and mini notebooks.  Students can play “detective”, hunting down adjectives in sentences.  On the interactive whiteboard, the student at the board can find an adjective that the rest of the class writes down as an adjective clue in their notebooks.  Then we pass the detective job onto the next student, until all of the adjectives in the game have been discovered.  You could alternatively send students to the classroom computers as a grammar center where the students become “detectives” and jot down their adjective clues while they are at the center.  The multiple choice quiz lends itself nicely to assessing understanding with clickers (student response systems).  The quiz can also be taken individually on the classroom computers.  I like learning sites, like this, that allow students to work through learning at their own pace and offer immediate feedback so that students can monitor their own understanding. Tips: Check out the rest of the Children’s University of Manchester website for other good interative lessons. Please leave a comment and share how you are using The Adjective Detective in your classroom.

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Numberphile: a series of numberly videos

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Create, Evaluate, Inquiry, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Video Tutorials, Websites | Posted on 28-01-2013

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What it is: Numberphile is a series of “numberly” videos by Brady Haran.  This is the same guy behind some other great projects including periodicvideos and sixtysymbols.  These videos reveal some of the mystery behind numbers and math in fun, short snippets!  I could give a long, drawn out explanation about the site…but really, you should go have a look and play a few videos. Or, try out the video below:

How to integrate Numberphile into the classroom: Numberphile can make a math geek out of anyone, myself included!  I don’t tend to geek out very much about numbers or math, but show me pattern and reveal some of the mystery that numbers hold and I am in.  This is what Numberphile does beautifully!  Numberphile would make a fantastic opening for math class.  Start each math class with these short videos to get your brain’s math muscles working.  I’ve watched 3 videos in a row and I am seriously geeking.

Ask students to each choose a different video to watch.  Students can learn a new math “trick” or pattern in math to teach their classmates.  The goal: creatively teach the concept!  They could create their own video, stop motion animation, infographic, story, illustration, etc.  Hold a math day  (3/14 would be fun…pi day) where students get to spend the day teaching one another.

You may assume that these videos are best for older students, not so!  At Anastasis, our 2nd and 3rd graders had a ball learning about Fibonacci and will happily explain it to any who enter their classroom.  Find an area of interest and share the passion!

Tips: All of the videos on Numberphile are YouTube videos.  If you don’t have access to YouTube in your building, try one of these methods for accessing the videos:

  • YouTube for Schools- This is a YouTube that has been created just for schools.  Network administrators must be involved so that they can add this option for YouTube into your filtering system.  This is a completely customizable option that lets teachers and administrators add videos to a playlist that you have predetermined you want students to watch.  Teachers can find videos by Common Core Standard, subject or grade.  Students can watch videos that teachers and administrators have approved or any YouTube Edu video (think Kahn Academy, PBS, TED, Stanford, etc.).
  • SafeShare TV- This site lets students watch YouTube videos without ads, links, comments and related videos.  You also have the option to crop videos and share videos with a unique URL.
  • YouTubeXL- This is a service that YouTube provides that lets you watch videos on large screens without the ads and comments. Neat tip: if you time “quiet” before the YouTube url, it takes you to a safe page where you can watch a YouTube video.  WAY cool and easy to do on the fly!
  • Clean VideoSearch- This site lets students search through YouTube videos without the comments, ads and busy sidebar.  It has additional features like the ability to choose how many videos you want to see on each page in your search.
  • Clea.nr- This service (a browser plugin) deletes all of the obnoxious extras that hang around videos (ads, comments, related videos). You can also search YouTube without all of the extras showing up.
  • ViewPure- This site cleans out all the clutter and gives you just a video.  Bonus: There is a quick button that you can add to your browser so that you can go to a video, click on “Pure” in your bookmark bar and instantly have a clean video.
  • Dragontape- This service lets you drag videos into a timeline and share them easily with students.  This is great for mashing up several videos, or cropping multiple videos into one.
  • Movavi- This is a video conversion service. Wonderful for teachers who can’t or don’t want to access a video directly from YouTube.  Copy/paste the url you want to convert, choose a file type, done!
  • Zamzar- This is another great video conversion service.  Works quickly and easily!
  • SaveYouTube- This site used to be called KickYouTube.  Here you can enter the url and download it to your computer to play offline.

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

Comments (2)

I do have YouTube in my schools, but was troubled by the fact that the final paragraph says, “…try one of these methods for accessing the videos,” and then doesn’t give any methods! Yikes! Help those whose districts haven’t opened the YouTube channel by including your tips!

Did I forget the link?! Thanks for letting me know.

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