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Math Playground

What it is:   As promised yesterday, today’s post is all about Math Playground.  This is a great site packed full of games, videos, and puzzles all centered around math for elementary and middle school students.  Math Playground features some great games touching on topics from money to graphing.  The games are interactive and a fun place for students to practice those math concepts they are learning.  The word problem sections are divided up by grade level, ensuring that your students are challenged at an appropriate level.  The logic puzzle section contains some awesome online traditional logic puzzles (I love these!).  The Math video section contains videos introducing students to math concepts (all I have used are very good).  The Math Videos are generated after students submit a math question to be answered.  Students can ask their own math question…who knows, their question may generate the next Math Video!   How to integrate Math Playground into the classroom:  The more I use Math Playground with my students, the more I am convinced that no math class should be without it!  Use the Math videos to help introduce or review concepts with your math class.  Use the games and word problems as a center or whole class practice.  The logic puzzles are fun to bookmark for year round problem solving and playing.  We use the logic puzzles often on snow days or when students are finished with work early.  Your students will enjoy the activities on Math Playground, my students often come to tell me the latest game or puzzle that they played at home.  Voluntary math practice, what a concept!   Tips:  Math Playground usually has one banner advertisement.  As I have mentioned before, I use advertisements on websites to teach students about how to spot an ad and why sites feature ads.     Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Math Playground in your classroom.

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NBC Learn: Science behind the news

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 08-05-2013

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What it is:
NBC Learn has some fantastic free resources for teachers and students.  One of these freebies is called Science Behind the News.  In partnership with the National Science Foundation, NBC explores the science, technology and engineering found in current events.  Here, you will find a collection of videos that introduce students to the science found in the world around them and current events.  Students can learn about everything from quantum computing, to predictive policing, to crowdsourcing and weather phenomenon.  Each video is around 5 minutes long and are well produced.

How to integrate NBC Learn into the classroom:  I am a HUGE fan of embedded learning.  Learning that is in context just makes sense.  The learning is richer because students are able to make real connections to the foundational understandings that they already have.  In addition, this type of learning gives them an idea of how the learning that happens in the classroom is connected to life.  With Science Behind the News, students are able to see connections to the world right now.  These clips encourage students to be curious about the world around them, and to dig into the bigger “why” of how things work.  I like the thinking that is encouraged here.  It is really modelling curiosity beyond just passively listening to a news story.

These clips are a wonderful way to kick off a new science unit, as a resource during inquiry, or for students and classes just to explore.  Students can use these clips as a starting point for further research, a “spark” for more learning.  Each student could choose a different video to watch and then conduct some research to learn more.  Where else is the science used?  How has our thinking about a topic changed over time as we have learned more about it?  What math is involved?  Help your students to see that subjects don’t happen in isolation in real life.  Science is connected with social studies, math, literacy, history, sports, art, economics, discovery, etc.  Can they find the overlaps in learning?

Tips:  NBC Learn has other outstanding resources including: science in golf, science in hockey, science in football, chemistry now, fishing the dream, sinking the titanic, science of the winter Olympics, science of the summer Olympics, writers speak to kids and science in innovation.  Check them all out!

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

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