Saturday, June 13, 2009

Literature Map - Find Authors You Might Like

Finding books that kids will like can be a difficult task. Literature Map is a tool that might make that process easier. Literature Map provides a web of authors you might like based on authors that you already enjoy reading. To use Literature Map just type an author's name into the search box and webbed list of authors will be displayed. The authors' names closest to the author whose name you entered are the authors whose work you're most likely to enjoy.

Applications for Education
Literature Map could be useful for students who have read all their favorite author's books and are looking for other good books to read.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
The Travels of Odysseus in Google Earth
Google Lit Trips

A Great Professional Development Opportunity is offering a great professional learning opportunity this summer. is hosting an all-expenses paid Teacher Innovator Summer Camp in Portland, Oregon. In addition to having all expenses paid, will also give you a $2000 stipend. Twenty educators will be chosen for this opportunity. To qualify for this opportunity you must be a K-8 classroom teacher. Applications for this opportunity are due by June 24, 2009. Apply here and good luck. (I'm jealous, I teach grades 9-12 so I'm not eligible).

For those of you that are attending NECC later this month, is hosting a breakfast presentation on Tuesday, June 30th. At the breakfast Scott McLeod will be hosting a discussion about technology, school change, and the challenges of informal leadership. I have registered to attend and I hope to see many of you there too. You can register for the breakfast here.

Sound Around You

Sound Around You is an interesting project designed to study how soundscapes affect a person's mood and productivity. A soundscape is the acoustic environment around you. You can participate in the Sound Around You project by visiting the website and uploading sounds from your local environment. Sound Around You was created by some folks at the University of Salford with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Applications for Education
Your students could conduct their own "Sound Around You" project for a science fair or as a experiment in a psychology or human behavior course. Your students could do this by having participants take a simple math quiz with music playing and then have participants try the same quiz without music playing. Students then analyze the results to see if the soundscape makes a difference. The number of sound variables that your students can test is almot limitless.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Science Projects and Posters for Elementary Schools
Lesson Plans from the Department of Energy