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Inauguration Speech Generator

What it is: With President Obama’s Inauguration speech looming on the horizon, this site is worth a look.  Inauguration Speech Generator is like a mad lib, fill in the blank that generates a speech for President Obama to say.    Students enter words in the blanks according to the part of...

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Timelapse: 3 decades of photo imagery of the world

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, History, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Understand (describe, explain), video, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 20-01-2014

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Timelapse: a satellite veiw of the earth (iLearn Technology)

What it is:  Timelapse is an incredible visual satellite timeline powered by Google.  Timelapse is about as close as you can get to a time machine, if that time machine hovered above the earth and gave you a bird’s eye view of development and change. Students can choose from some highlighted Timelapse views including: Las Vegas, Dubai, Shanghai, Oil Sands, Mendenhall Glacier, Wyoming Coal, Columbia Glacier, and Lake Urmia.  Alternatively, students can use the search box to view a satellite timelapse of any place in the world. Students can change the speed of the timelapse, pause the satellite imagery, and zoom in or zoom out.  The imagery begins in 1984 and goes through 2012.

How to use Timelapse in your classroom: Timelapse would be a fantastic way to begin an inquiry unit. The site itself sparks lots of questions.  Depending on the location, students may inquire into climate change, history, development, expansion, human impact on land, satellites, etc. Timelapse could also be used in science classes and history classes. This is a great tool for students to use to analyze and evaluate visual data.

Timelapse would be a neat way to explore history of the world from a completely different perspective.  Students could use Timelapse as a creative writing prompt to imagine the world from a new perspective. What changes when you aren’t down in the midst of life on earth? Do problems appear different? Does success get measured differently?

Tips: Below the Timelapse map, students can read about how satellites are used to capture the imagery they are exploring. Well worth the read!  It is also separated into “Chapters” that each tell a larger story about the featured Timelapses.

 

Degree Story Teacher Contest

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Geography, Inquiry, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 17-12-2012

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What it is: Today Anastasis students were lucky enough to visit the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.  It was a truly fantastic experience (if you ever find yourself in Colorado, it is worth a visit! Open free everyday!).  The center has some fantastic interactive exhibits, much like what you find at Exploratorium in California.  In addition to the physical location, the National Center for Atmospheric Research has some wonderful online games, activities and resources for the classroom.

In the Interactives and Simulations for weather, climate and atmospheric science section you will find:

  • A virtual laboratory for creating a weather balloon.
  • A simple virtual climate model.
  • The build a tree dendrochronology activity where students can explore past climates.
  • Compare IPCC scenarios interactive where students forecast carbon dioxide levels.
  • The climate sensitivity calculator.
  • The Earth’s Energy balance virtual lab.
  • Compare solar eclipse photos activity.
  • Solar eclipse memory
  • Sun-earth connections memory
  •  Clouds memory
  • Atmospheric chemistry memory
 In the classroom activities section, you will find:
  • Paleoclimates and Pollen where students can study pollen.
  • Model a moving glacier where students make a model of a glacier and create an experiment to study movement.
  • Glaciers then and now where students study pictures of glaciers taken in the 1900′s and compare them to pictures of the glaciers today.
  • The systems game where students observe a system.
  • Looking into surface Albedo where students inquire into how color affects the way that the sun interacts with Earth’s surface.
  • Feeling the heat where students investigate which parts of their school yard have a higher temperature.
  • CO2 How much do you spew where students analyze energy consumption.
  • The nitrogen cycle game where students play the role of nitrogen atoms traveling through the nitrogen cycle.
  • The water cycle 0-18 and ice cores where students look at proxy data to determine past climate.
In addition to the fantastic activities on the site, students can learn more about the sun and space weather, weather, atmosphere and climate on the NCAR website.

How to integrate the National Center for Atmospheric Research into the classroom: If you are studying weather, climate or atmospheric research with your students this is a must stop site.  It is FULL of great activities, virtual labs and easy-to read and understand information.  Really, take a few minutes to dig in.  Today, when we visited we got to explore some of these virtual labs and games first hand.  Our students watched a short video introducing them to NCAR and what scientists do there.  Next we entered into a classroom where the fun began!

Today we learned about the North and South Poles.  The fine people at NCAR had made globe paddles that had the north pole on one side and the south pole on the other (glued to giant tongue depressors).  They gave the students different facts about the north and south pole and students had to hold up their paddles with the correct answers.  Next, students learned about how polar bears were equipped for the COLD temperatures.  There were tubs of ice water on the table.  Students were asked to place their hands inside the ice water.  We timed how long they lasted in the cold water.  Next, students put their hands in a “blubber” paw and tried the experiment again.  The hand inside the layer of blubber could stay in the cold for a long time with no discomfort.  These blubber paws were actually made with 2 ziplock baggies with Crisco in between the layers and duct-tape at the top of the baggies so that they were sealed together around openings where the two baggies came together.  This left a Crisco pocket that formed the paw.  Students also learned about penguins and how they find their mate in hundreds and hundreds of penguins.  Penguins have particular sounds that help alert their mate.  The penguins can distinguish between the particular sounds that each penguin makes to find their mate.  Students simulated this by each taking a film canister with an object/objects in it.  The students had to shake their canister and find their match using the sound alone.  They had a ball with this!  They also practiced transferring a styrofoam egg from one pair of feet to another without using their hands the way that the penguin does.  Our students also did the glacier matching project (listed above) where they worked in teams to match the original pictures to the new pictures.  Some of these were really challenging as the second picture had NO glacier to be seen!  The kids learned that every glacier in the world is shrinking with the exception of two glaciers in Norway.  Fascinating!

Our classroom today…can’t beat the view!

 

Touching clouds!

 

Our students got to follow the activities above with an exploration of weather, climate, and atmosphere science exhibits.  You could easily recreate the activities above and follow up with virtual simulations, videos and games.  These could be set up as centers for students to explore (the virtual centers on classroom computers).  There is SO much here that exploration of all that the NCAR site has to offer could take days.  The simulations and games would also be appropriate on an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer where students can explore and interact as a whole class.  Allow students to take turns playing scientist.

Tips: While we were at NCAR, our guide, Tim, told us that NCAR was originally established in the 1960s to learn how to control the weather.  This brought up a great discussion about what could happen if humans could control the weather, and what unintended consequences might come along with that.  This would make for a great creative writing exercise or comic strip.  Our students came up with some insightful thoughts on this topic!

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

Eco Kids: Build a Food Chain

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 09-06-2010

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Screen shot 2010-06-09 at 4.11.20 PM

What it is: Eco Kids is a website with a great collection of ecologically focused games and activities.  Students can complete interactives on wildlife, climate change, energy, the North, water, waste, land use, and more.  I was hunting down a good interactive for students to learn and practice the food chain.  Build a Food Chain has students order the elements of a food chain.  Along the way, students learn why each animal within a food chain is so important.  In addition to learning the basics of a food chain, students will learn about bioaccumulation.  

How to integrate Eco Kids: Build a Food Chain into the classroom: Build a Food Chain is a fun way for students to learn about and practice building a food chain in an interactive environment.  First students are led through the process of a food chain.  The interactive helps students to understand the job of each animal or element in the chain.  Students can then put their understanding to the test by putting together a food chain of their own and testing it.  Students receive immediate feedback on the chain.  If the food chain is broken or won’t work, students are given an additional clue and opportunity to try again.   Build a Food Chain could be used as a whole class with a projector connected computer or interactive whiteboard.  Choose students to be guides at the board as they navigate through the parts of a food chain.  Then, call up a student to put the first element or animal of the food chain in place and pass on play to another student until a working food chain has been constructed.  Build a Food Chain can also be used as an independent learning activity on classroom computers as a center or in a lab setting.  Because the site provides students with feedback as they construct the food chain, students can navigate the activity easily on their own.

Tips: Before you begin the game, you will notice a box labeled “More About This Topic”, here you will find additional resources, printables, and games that are related to food chains.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Eco Kids: Build a Food Chain in your classroom.

ESA Kids

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 02-04-2010

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What it is: The European Space Agency (ESA) has a great website for kids.  ESA Kids has fabulous, kid friendly information about the Universe (the story of the Universe, the sun, the planets and moons, the galaxies, comets and meteors), Life in Space (astronauts, space stations, life in space, exploration, are we alone?), Lift Off (launchers, orbits, mission control, spacecraft, new ways to space), Useful Space (TV and phone, know where you are, space spin-offs, weather, health), and Earth (climate change, natural disasters, protecting nature, water world).  This site is absolutely packed full of information and awesome images.  Students can “work in a lab” where they can build papercraft globes and spacecraft, try reading space maps, and learn fun space facts.  Students will also enjoy the space themed games and puzzles, online coloring book, quizzes, and downloads.  Each month, a new story about space is added to the News section, keeping students up to date about what is happening in space exploration.  

How to integrate ESA Kids into the classroom: When I am hunting for space related websites, I usually begin with NASA.  ESA Kids is being added to my must visit places for all things space.  The site is organized well, very kid friendly, and has fun activities that students can take part in.  Use ESA Kids for space research, when learning about the weather, climate change, and natural disasters.  After students have some background knowledge about space and space exploration, have them visit the Lab and choose a papercraft spacecraft to print and build.  Students can write a story about their spacecraft, including facts that they learned on the ESA Kids website.  They may even write a fictional story about their visit to space that includes factual elements that they learned in the Life in Space section.    Be sure to visit the Useful Space tab, I think students will be surprised at how many common items are linked to space and space exploration.

Tips: Be sure to visit this site often, the news is updated every month with current space events.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using ESA Kids in your classroom.

National Geographic Image Collection

Posted by admin | Posted in Geography, History, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 11-12-2009

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What it is: National Geographic is known for their poignant images.  Now, those images can be viewed online in the National Geographic Image Collection.  There are more than 11 million images that chronicle the world from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century.  Students can also view the history of photography from daguerreotypes to digital through an interactive time line. The image collection includes images related to exploration, wild life, people and cultures, and science and climate change.


How to integrate National Geographic Image Collection into the classroom: The National Geographic Image Collection is an impressive set of images from around the world.  The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” proves to be true.  These images are indeed worth a thousand words or more.  Use these images to help you tell the story of our world as you teach students about history, science, wild life, and world culture.  These images will help to connect your students with learning in ways that a textbook can’t.  Use the Image Collection for creative writing prompts.  Allow your students to choose an image from the collection to tell a story about.  The interactive time line can be used to  teach students about the history of photography.


Tips: I learned about this site from a Tweet by @McTeach a few weeks ago on Twitter, thanks Karen!


Leave a comment and share how you are using National Geographic Image Collection in your classroom.

The Prince’s Rainforest Project for Schools

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Websites | Posted on 09-08-2009

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What it is: The Prince’s Rainforest Project for Schools is part of a campaign to help combat climate change by addressing rainforest destruction.  Schools can take part by signing up and learning more about rainforests.  The site features lesson plans, videos, fact sheets, a live webcam of the rainforest, photos, sounds, games, and assembly ideas.  The idea is to spread awareness about rainforest destruction.

How to integrate The Prince’s Rainforest Project for Schools into the classroom: Support the rainforest by signing up your school and taking part in the Prince’s Rainforest Project for Schools.  If you are teaching about the rainforest, make this site part of your teaching.  The sounds, videos, and photos are excellent.  Students can play games and complete activities that will help them learn more about animals in the rainforest.  As students complete activities they can earn awards at each level.

Tips: There are great free resources on this site, be sure to check them out!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Prince’s Rainforest Project for Schools in your classroom.