Friday, November 23, 2012

Rhyme 'n Learn Integers Rap

Rhyme 'n Learn has just released a new educational rap video for your students' listen and viewing pleasure. The new video is all about integers. The rap video uses the Khan Academy style blackboard with a rap explanation of integers. I've embedded the video below. You can find the transcript as well as the audio for the video on the Rhyme 'n Learn website.

Folding Paper and Exponential Growth

I've shared my thoughts about TED-Ed and flipped classrooms in the past so I'll spare you the details (you can find them here and here if you like) and just say that I think that in the right situation TED-Ed and other video lessons can be helpful as introductory or review materials for students. This evening I spent a little time on TED-Ed after writing this post about NASA's moon phases animation. I started out looking for videos about the moon and ended up watching a video about exponential growth.

In How Folding Paper Can Get You to the Moon students are introduced to the concept of exponential growth. The context for the lesson is the question of how many times would you have to fold a piece of paper to reach the moon?

Moon Phases and The Inner Solar System

Earlier this week Danny Nicholson posted a neat video of the 2013 moon phases animated. That video uses the same graphics that were used in this video published on NASA's YouTube channel. NASA's video includes some annotations as the video plays. I've embedded NASA's channel below.

As I often do when I find one video that I like on YouTube, after watching the video above I got lost looking for other interesting NASA videos on YouTube. In my "YouTube wanderings" I found a short six part course titled the Exploring the Inner Solar System. The course contains six short lectures featuring Dr. Jim Garvin of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. I've embedded the playlist below.

Applications for Education
Exploring the Inner Solar System explores questions like why does space matter? Why is exploring the inner solar system so crucial? Where will humans and robots venture to next? All of the videos are ten minutes or less which makes them a good length for use as supplementary material to show in your classroom. If YouTube is blocked in your school NASA has made the series available for download here.

Geoboard & Number Rack - Good Elementary Math Apps

Geoboard and Number Rack are two simple iPad and web apps that elementary school teachers may find useful for mathematics lessons. On Geoboard students stretch virtual rubber bands over pegboards to create lines and shapes to learn about perimeter, area, and angles. The web app is available here and the free iPad app is available here.

Number Rack provides a set of virtual number beads that are grouped into sets of five red and five white beads. Number Rack on the iPad allows students to have up to 10 rows of beads. Number Rack on the web provides up to five rows of beads. You can obscure some of the beads to model subtraction and addition with the virtual beads. Number Rack for iPads is available here and it is available here for the web.

Living Lung - A 3D Interactive Model of the Lungs

Living Lung is a free iPad app from iSO-Form Medical. The app provides an interactive 3D model of human lungs. Users of the app can speed up or slow down the respiratory rate of the model. This free educational iPad app also allows users to add or remove labeled layers of the respiratory system. And as you might expect you can zoom in, zoom out, and rotate the model on your iPad.

Applications for Education
Living Lung could be a fantastic app for anatomy students to use to explore how human lungs work. It may be interesting to see how the model changes as you increase or decrease the number of breaths per minute the model takes.

Google Maps Indoor Floor Plans On Your Desktop

In September Google added 10,000 indoor maps to Google Maps for Android. This week Google added those same indoor maps to the Google Maps that you use on your desktop. To view the indoor maps select a building and zoom in until the floor plan appears.  Click here for the list of all of the places for which Google Maps has indoor floor plans.

Applications for Education
The Google Maps indoor maps are not Street View maps, but they could still be useful for some teachers and students. You could use the indoor maps for field trip planning. The indoor maps could also be useful if you have your students writing travel narratives about places that they haven't been to. For example, a few years back one of my colleagues and I had students write fictitious travel narratives about places that they had studied during our geography unit. Students had to research places in a city and write a short narrative about visiting those places. The indoor floor plans could provide students with some more details to add to those narratives.