Friday, October 30, 2020

Learn About Exploration and Compasses by Making Your Own

Today, many of us just use an app on our smart phones when we need to get directions and navigate from point A to point B. Most of our students have never experienced getting directions in any other way. So they may be surprised to learn that we used to use maps and compasses to find our way from point A to point B. How compasses work and how you can make your own is the topic of a SciShow Kids episode released earlier this week

Make Your Own Compass explains to kids what a compass is, how it works, and how they can make their own with common household products. 



Applications for Education
Making a compass could be a great little project for kids to do at home with their parents. After making the compass students and parents can test it out with a backyard or neighborhood "expedition."

Building a compass could also be a fun project to incorporate into an in-class lesson about explorers and explorations like those of early polar explorers Amundsen and Peary. 

How to Create QR Codes to Share Google Forms

Back in September I wrote about and made a video about how I'm using Google Forms as a sign-in/sign-out sheet for my classroom. Some of my colleagues are doing the same thing. One of my colleagues, Erin, had the good idea to create QRs code for the forms that students use the most and post them on the classroom wall. That way students students don't have to filter through Google Classroom to find the sign-out form or lunch form when they need it. Of course, this only helps if your students are allowed to use their mobile phones in school as mine are. 

There are a lot of free tools for making QR codes. Some have more features than others but they all do essentially the same things. The tool that I use for making QR codes is QRCode Monkey. QRCode Monkey lets you adjust the resolution of your QR codes before downloading and printing them. QR Code Monkey also lets you change the QR code's color and shape. In the following short video I demonstrate how to use QRCode Monkey to create a QR code for a Google Form.