Sunday, December 4, 2016

Expii Solve - Fun and Challenging Mathematics Exercises

Thanks to my friend Rushton Hurley, this evening I learned about a great new-to-me resource for mathematics teachers. Expii Solve is a series of more than fifty sets of mathematics word problems. Within each set there are five problems aligned to a theme. For example, there was recently a set of Thanksgiving themed problems.

The problems within each set on Expii Solve vary in difficulty so that you can pick the one(s) that best suit your students. Or you can let your students register on the site and self-select the problems that they want to tackle. In fact, that is how the site is intended to be used. Students can get instant feedback on their answers to the problems that they try to solve. Students who need a bit of help solving a problem can avail themselves of tutorials linked at the bottom of each problem page.

Applications for Education
Expii Solve could be a good resource for teachers who are looking for some fun and challenging mathematics exercises for their students. Many of the problems have a "real world" connection that students can understand. For example, the set of problems labeled Bargains includes a problem about the long-term cost of using a store credit card to purchase a laptop.

Two Good Sets of Animated Maps for U.S. History Students

Creating my earlier post about resources for learning about Pearl Harbor prompted me to revisit a couple of animated maps of U.S. History.

History Animated is a resource that I first started using with students in 2009. History Animated provides animations of battles of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the US Civil War, and US Campaign in Europe in WWII,  US Pacific Campaign in WWII. In each of the three series of animations you will see the animated movement of armies displayed on a map. Each animation is accompanied by captions describing the strategies of the armies as well as the results and consequences of each battle. The animations will make great supplements to classroom instruction. The animations are a significant improvement over drawing or pointing to places on a map.

The Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond hosts the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States. This atlas contains more than 700 historical maps of the United States. The maps within the atlas are arranged into eighteen sections. Many of the maps within the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States can be animated to show changes over time. For example, in the section on States, Territories, and Cities you can view individual maps for each decade from 1790 to 1930 or you can click the "animate" button to see the maps put together in a time lapse animation. All of the historical maps in the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States are displayed on top of a contemporary outline of the United States.

Resources for Teaching and Learning About Pearl Harbor

This coming Wednesday marks 75 years since the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. That attack drew the United States into World War II. Here are some resources for teaching and learning about Pearl Harbor.

Five Things You Don't Know About Pearl Harbor, produced by, offers five interesting facts about and related to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The National Parks Service offers lesson plans about Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona.

History Animated has a number of animations of military movements in the Pacific during WWII.

My Story: Pearl Harbor is an hour-by-hour account of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The account is told from the perspective of Dale and Johnie Gano who were stationed at Pearl Harbor.

Remembering Pearl Harbor is a CBS Sunday Morning segment that aired this morning. The segment features interviews with Pearl Harbor attack survivors.

The Smithsonian Channel offers audio of the only live news report from Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Images have been added to the audio to create the following video.

One of my favorite online history teachers, Keith Hughes, offers this seven minute lesson about Pearl Harbor.

And as always, Larry Ferlazzo has updated his list of Pearl Harbor resources that I recommend reviewing.

5 Blog Posts Your Students' Parents Will Appreciate

Posting useful, practical tips is one of the best ways to get your students' parents to frequently read your classroom blog. Coming up with those tips to write as blog posts can be challenging at times. Therefore, I'm offering you these five blog post topics that parents will appreciate.

Consider turning any or all of these blog posts into documents that you can print and send home to parents who don't visit your blog or those who might have missed your post the first time around.

1. How to supervise your child's web use at home.

2. Privacy settings on school-provided laptops/ Chromebooks/ iPads/ tablets. Consider adding screenshots or a screencast video illustrating those settings. and Nimbus Screenshot are great tools for making screencast videos.

3. Tasty and healthy snacks to send to school with your child (Pinterest is a great source for ideas, just make sure you give proper attribution).

4. How to talk to kids about bullying. You might consider linking to some of these resources from Common Sense Media.

5. A glossary of Tween/ teen slang vocabulary. Consider posting this as a Google Doc that automatically updates as you update it throughout the school year (we all know how quickly Tween/teen slang evolves).

This topic and many more are covered in-depth in Blogs & Social Media for Teachers & School Leaders. Graduate credit is available for completing the course. 

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