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Here is Today: a web app to put time in perspective

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Character Education, Evaluate, History, Inquiry, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 10-07-2013

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Here is today iLearn Technology

Here is today iLearn Technology

Here is today iLearn Technology

What it is:  Here is today is an interesting little web app that helps students visualize time in a new way.  Students start out by seeing a square and a title that says “here is today” with the current date.  When students click “okay” at the bottom, they are taken to a visual of the next step in.  Students can see where the day is falling within the month, the year, the century, the millennium, the epoch, the period, the era, the eon, the earth, life, oxidation, fish, insects, reptiles, mammals, birds, humans, and the universe.  Each stage of the graphic has an arrow pointing out how today (whatever day that happens to be) compares in the grander scheme of things.  Pretty cool!

How to integrate Here is Today into the classroom:  Here is Today is an outstanding way to help students understand where they are in place in time.  They can see where they are and then compare it to the larger history of the world and universe.  Obviously, this is a natural fit into a history or biology class.  Here is Today would also make a great object lesson in math and be great for studying comparison and scale.  It would also make for a great philosophical discussion as we realize just how minute the moment we are living in really is.

Here is Today is a great site for students to explore and inquire about independently.  What questions arise as they explore the site?  After students have investigated and come up with their own lines of inquiry, gather back as a classroom community and discuss those lines of inquiry and the thinking that led to them.  If you happen to follow the IB Primary Years Program, this fits in great to “Where are we in place and time” inquiry.

Here is Today would also be a useful visual on an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer where a class can observe and explore together during discussion.  The way that the site compares time is seriously smart.

Here is Today could launch an interesting creative writing assignment.  Invite each student to explore the site and to choose a view.  The story should be written based on the point of view and time that they chose.  This could be a new way to explore setting, time and theme.

Tips:  Here is Today reminds me a little bit of the Scale of Life site that I wrote about here.  Using these sites together could be pretty epic.  Talk about a great sense of our place in the universe!

Are you using Here is Today in your classroom?  Share your experience in the comments below!

The Scale of Life

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Interactive Whiteboard, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 19-04-2012

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What it is:  The Scale of Life is a neat website that I learned about from a parent in @michellek107‘s class today.  The Scale of Life is flash based, and shows the size of objects relative to other objects.  Along the bottom of the site is a slider that lets students zoom in or out in size to see things relative to each other. Students can get as small as 0.0000000001 yoctometers to as large as size of the known universe.

How to integrate The Scale of Life into the classroom:  The Scale of Life is a neat way for students to explore size, science and math.  Students can examine the scale of objects compared to other objects and make observations about size and purpose of the object in the universe.  This would be a fun site to explore as a class using a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard.  As a class, students could adjust the scale and discuss size and purpose of the objects.  Split students into teams to choose a different scale to learn about. Students can learn more about the items that are in the size range to share back with the class.

The Scale of Life could be a fantastic site for students learning about exponents and scientific notation.  Visual students will appreciate that they can see what these big (and small) numbers are representing.

Tips: @michellek107 is digging the music on the site…she has it going in the background of her classroom right now ;).  If you aren’t loving it, there is a music note in the upper right corner where you can turn it off.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using The Scale of Life in  your classroom!

Captain Coordinate

Posted by admin | Posted in Geography, Interactive Whiteboard, Math, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 19-05-2010

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What it is: Captain Coordinate is a fun, fully narrated, interactive game that teaches students about geography and scale.  The game is one of the “Freebes” from Sherston.  Students can choose from three difficulty levels to help Captain Coordinate put up wanted posters in several locations.  They are given the scale of the map and can see the coordinates of the map.  Students determine how far East, West, North, or South they must go based on the scale to put up the posters.

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How to integrate Captain Coordinate into the classroom: Captain Coordinate is a fun way for your students to practice geography, map, and math skills all in one activity.  The entire game is narrated making it nice for a center activity or independent computer activity.  This is a great little practice site that responds to student input and has built in progress monitoring and immediate feedback for students.

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Tips: Sherston has a variety of software for the classroom for purchase, but there are also a lot of free activities to take advantage of online.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Captain Coordinate in your classroom.

Math Snacks

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, iPod, Math, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, video, Websites | Posted on 05-01-2010

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math snacks logo

What it is: Math Snacks is my new favorite teaching resource for math!  Math Snacks are animated videos and games that help students understand math concepts.  Each “snack” offers a math concept that students can learn, review, and practice.  The snacks are available online or can be accessed for free on a mobile device like the iPhone or iPod.  The snacks focus on math concepts that are appropriate for 5th-8th grade.  Print materials are available that can be used to help students in applying their conceptual understanding to math problems.  Concepts on Math Snacks include ratios, proportions, scale, number line properties, equality and order on the number line, tables, graphs, measurement, and equations.


How to integrate Math Snacks into the classroom: Math Snacks is a fun way for students to visualize difficult to understand math concepts.  There are short humorous videos that demonstrate the math concept in action.  These videos can be viewed as an introduction to a new concept or as practice and review of learning.  The videos can be paused for class discussion about the concept and for solving of problems.  All videos are available for viewing online and can be downloaded to an iPod.  Some of the iPod downloads also include subtitles.  Each video also comes with a learner and teacher guide.  Print these guides to direct you in discussion throughout the video and activities.


Tips: A huge THANK YOU to @summersj who introduced me to Math Snacks via Twitter!


Leave a comment and share how you are using Math Snacks in your classroom.

iboard: Balancing Animals

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Math, Primary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 16-12-2009

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What it is: Balancing Animals is another fun activity for your interactive whiteboard that lets students use animals as ‘non-standard’ units to weigh others.  Students can drag an animal (or animals) up to the scale, other students try to balance the scale by choosing animals that would cause the scale to be balanced.


How to integrate Balancing Animals into the classroom: Balancing Animals is a nice visual for students to use to learn about weight.  Choose an animal to weigh and drag it to the scale.  Encourage students to whisper a guess of how many animals it would take to balance the scale to their elbow buddy (the student next to them).  Groups of students can come to the board and test out their guesses.  This game could be completed on an interactive whiteboard or on classroom computers as a math center.


Tips: iboard has a variety of activities for the interactive whiteboard that can be purchased.  Balancing Animals is one of their freebie samples.


Leave a comment and share how you are using iboard: Balancing Animals in your classroom.

Zoom into Maps

Posted by admin | Posted in Geography, History, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 04-12-2007

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What it is: Zoom into Maps is an extensive collection of online maps. Maps range from 1500 AD to today. Maps include United States hometown geography, exploration and discovery, migration and settlement, travel and transportation, environmental history, military maps, pictoral maps, maps of today, and unusual maps. Each map is accompanied by a series of questions and tips on interpretation of orientation, legend, and scale.

How to integrate Zoom into Maps into the classroom: Use Zoom into Maps for history lessons, geography, and even literature lessons. These maps are very high quality and are a great way to teach students how to read a map. Create an activity where students can explore maps on their own in a center type activity or in a computer lab setting. These maps would also be perfect for displaying on a projector for whole class instruction. Print out the Graphic Organizer included on the site. Students can use this graphic organizer as they explore the maps on the site.

Tips: The maps on Zoom into Maps are zoomable and available for offline viewing as well.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Zoom into Maps in your classroom.