Monday, November 3, 2008

Lesson Plans From the Department of Energy

The US Department of Energy has a good collection of resources for teachers and students. The lesson plans found on the education page range from simple one page, ten minute activities to lesson plans that will take a day or more to complete.

Applications for Education
In addition to lesson plans, visitors to the US Department of Energy's education page will find science fair project ideas. The US Department of Energy also links out to other science websites on which visitors will more educational activities.

Catch YouTube - View YouTube Offline

One of the most popular posts I've written in the last couple of months is "Can't Use YouTube? Try This." In that post I shared four different tools that teachers can use to convert and download files from YouTube that can then be played directly from your computer instead of from the web.

Catch YouTube is another free resource for converting and downloading YouTube videos. Catch YouTube offers eight formats for video conversion. The one video that I converted today took only a couple of minutes to complete.

Applications for Education
Catch YouTube and similar services are useful for teachers working in schools that block YouTube. If there is a YouTube video that you want to use in the classroom, convert it and download to a laptop or flash drive at home then bring it in to school.

If you've ever wondered if there is anything of educational value on YouTube you may want to check out one of these videos.

Economics for Elementary School through High School

Jeffery Hill who writes The English Blog shared a good resource that elementary and middle school teachers might find useful when introducing basic economic concepts. On the Scholastic website is a Kid's Economic Glossary that explains some basic banking and investing concepts in terms that upper elementary and middle school students can understand.

Another good glossary of economic terms and concepts can be found on the Biz Ed website. Also on the Biz Ed website teachers will find virtual tours and simulations. You can read my original review of Biz Ed here.

In addition to the Biz Ed website, another resource I rely on for teaching economics is the Buck Institute for Education's problem based learning activities. The activities and lesson plans are available for free as PDF files or you can purchase a bound copy of the lessons with an accompanying video.

Math Animations

Mathematics was the most difficult subject for me to learn when I was in high school (although statistics came surprisingly easy to me in college). Probably as a result of those struggles, I am jealous of all the great mathematics tutorials and visuals available online to students today. (Seriously, where was this stuff in 1994?!)

On the super blog Talking SMART Boards, I found the New Zealand Maths Numeracy Project. One part of the Numeracy Project provides animations of mathematical functions. These animations are designed to be used by teachers with students.

Applications for Education
The Numeracy Project provides more than just the visual aids for teachers to use. On the Numeracy Project website Teachers will find exemplar curricula for Alegbra, Geometry, Statistics, and more.