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Kids Interactive-Whales

What it is: The stories in our 3rd grade reading curriculum are all about whales this week.  I found this great interactive about Whales put together by the Australian Government Department of the Environment for the students to explore.  In the Kids Interactive-Whales, students board the Discovery where they can explore 5 different rooms including the science lab, the research center, the office, the library, and the bridge.  Each room has an “expert” that will help the students as they explore the room.  As students explore each room, they can take notes by saving text to a clipboard.  In the research center, students learn about whale migration, the effects of whale hunting, watch video footage of whales, take an up close view of whale pictures, learn about whale sounds, and even report a whale sighting.  On the bridge, students will learn about the rules for viewing whales from land, listen to sounds that different whales make, learn about sonar, steer the boat, learn about the whales that live in Australian waters, learn the rules about watching whales from a boat, and learn the best time to go whale watching.  In the underwater library, students will use the database to look up facts about whales (they can take notes on their clipboard), use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar terms, learn about the history of whaling, see how whale populations have suffered, and see pictures of whales that can be used in a research project.  In the office, students can watch whales through a portal, read about Australian whale preservation, read a brochure, and view a timeline of how whaling activities have changed throughout the years.  The science lab is the last room on the Discovery.  Here, students can learn about what whales eat, take a closer look at the anatomy of whales, play a game to practice identifying whales, find out how whales are important to the ecosystem, learn about the difference between whales and dolphins, learn about the research that scientists do, and take a closer look at whale statistics. How to integrate Kids Interactive- Whales into the classroom: Our 3rd grade students study whales every year in both reading and science.  This is an excellent interactive to send kids through to help them build background knowledge about whales for future reading or study.  This is also a great place for students to begin a research project about whales.  Students can save notes to a virtual clipboard as they learn and explore each room.  The clipboard can be printed out and used as research notes.  The interactive is packed full of good information and activities.  Set up your room so that as students file into the room, they feel like they are boarding the Discovery ship.  Choose students to act as tour guides for each of the 5 rooms.  Using a projector or interactive whiteboard, have the tour guides lead the class through each room.  Students who are at their seats can take notes about whales and ask the tour guides questions.  If you have access to a computer lab setting, students can explore the site individually.  Create a guide of things to search for as they complete their tour, make it a scavenger hunt for information.  Tips: As an extension activity, encourage students to learn about whaling practices and preservation in their own country. Leave a comment and share how you are using Kids Interactive-Whales  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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