Sunday, March 8, 2009

Physics Games for Your Blog or Website

Physics is, as the name implies, a website of games based on simple physics concepts. Physic Games offers 54 different games, each one can be played directly on the Physics Games website or embedded into your blog or website. The one downfall of the site is that before each game starts there is a short commercial. I checked out a few different games and I did not see any advertising that would be unacceptable in a public school classroom.

Applications for Education
The games on Physics are based on simple physics concepts and are best suited for elementary or middle school use. Being able to embed a game into your class blog is a good way to make sure that students are on task and is also a good way to keep students interested in the classroom blog.

Here are five other educational game websites you might be interested in:
Who Wants to Be a Science Millionaire?
Eats, Shoots, and Leaves Punctuation Game
Free Rice and Free Poverty
Find Country
Ghost Blasters, Math Blasters

Top Marks - Educational Search Engine

Top Marks is a search engine for educational resources. I learned about Top Marks through Paul Hamilton's excellent blog. Top Marks is designed for busy teachers in need of a quick way to find classroom activities. You can search for resources by subject area and grade level. Top Marks is based in the UK so you do need to have a basic familiarity with Key Stage levels in order to find age appropriate resources. Those teachers who have an interactive whiteboard will want to explore the section dedicated to interactive whiteboard activities.

Teaching With TED Talks

Last Friday, I posted on Twitter a comment and link about Siftables which were introduced to the world through a TED talk. In response to my mention of a TED talk, Twitter user Jackie Gerstein shared a link to a great wiki that she has started about building lessons around TED Talks. The wiki is called Teaching With Ted. The pages of Teaching With Ted are organized to feature a TED Talk(s) followed by links to related resources and ideas for teaching the concepts/ideas discussed in the TED Talk video. For example, there is a wiki page featuring Jill Bolte's talk about brain science and strokes. Following the video is a link to a page of activities about neuroscience.

Applications for Education
Teaching With TED is a good place to find thought provoking videos and discussion questions for use in your classroom. Teaching With TED is a wiki so if you have ideas about teaching with TED Talks submit your suggestions to Teaching With TED.

Certification Map - State by State Requirements

Certification Map is a good resource for US pre-service teachers and or teachers looking to teach in a different state. Certification Map is a product of the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Certification Map provides state by state teacher certification requirements. I checked the information provided by Certification Map regarding Maine's (where I teach) requirements against the state of Maine's Department of Education's requirements and found that Certification Map was accurate.

Applications for Education
In addition to teacher certification requirements, Certification Map provides a listing of average teacher salaries by state. This information may be of interest to college students currently enrolled in a teacher training program and considering where they would like to teach upon graduation.

Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

The Periodic Table of Visualization Methods is a great chart that displays ideas for creating visualization charts. The Periodic Table of Visualization Methods is divided into six categories of visualization types; data, strategy, information, metaphor, concept, and compound visualization. If you're not sure which type of visualization chart to create, explanations of each are provided by

Thanks to my Twitter network for the link to this chart. I can't remember who I saw post it, if it was you please leave a comment and take credit.

Applications for Education
The Periodic Table of Visualization Methods could be a great reference when you're trying to create graphic organizers appropriate for your content and students. This is also a great reference for students trying to find the best way to present and share their knowledge and or research findings.

Explaining Daylight Saving Time

Today, we moved the clocks forward for Daylight Saving Time. Why do we do this? Where did the idea for Daylight Saving time come from? These are questions your students might ask. The CBS Fast Draw team answers these questions in the three minute video embedded below.

Applications for Education
This video provides a succinct explanation of the rationale for Daylight Saving Time. If you don't plan to show the video to your students, it's still worth watching as a refresher for yourself.