Monday, September 19, 2011

Grants for Pets in the Classroom

Because of student allergies my school like a lot of others no longer allows pets in the classroom. But if you are fortunate enough to work in a school that does allow pets, Pets in the Classroom could be a great resource for you.

Pets in the Classroom provides classroom grants to teachers who would like to have mammal or fish pets in their classrooms. In addition to the grant program, Pets in the Classroom offers some good suggestions about creating pet-centered lessons for elementary school students. Even if you do not have a classroom pet you can still utilize some of the lesson ideas in your classroom.

Desmos Improves Their Browser-based Graphing Calculator

Desmos, a free online graphing calculator that I reviewed in June, recently added a handful of new options that should be appealing to mathematics instructors and students. The new features enable better handling of strict inequalities, polar inequalities, internalization, slider bars, and graph tracing. The video below provides an overview of the Desmos graphing calculator.

Applications for Education
Desmos could be the replacement for those expensive TI calculators that sometimes disappear from schools. I like that you can share your work via shortened links. I could see teachers modeling with Desmos and sharing. I could also see students sharing to do collaborative problem solving.

Make Beliefs Comix Daily Comics Diary

Make Beliefs Comix, a multilingual comic strip creation service that I've featured in the past including in this list of comic creation tools, recently released some new materials to encourage daily creative writing. The Daily Comix Diary offers a plethora of suggestions for student comic strip creation activities. In addition to the Daily Comix Diary, Make Beliefs Comix offers a list of 21 ways to use comics in the classroom.

Applications for Education
Creating comics could be a good way to get reluctant writers to take a new look at creative writing.
On a classroom management note, if you don't have enough computers in your classroom for every student to be online at once or you have to go to a computer lab Make Beliefs Comix offers more than 100 printable templates that your students can use to plan before going online.