Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Register Your Class for Scholastic's Summer Reading Challenge

For the fifth year in a row Scholastic is holding a summer reading challenge for students. By joining the summer reading challenge students are entered into sweepstakes for book prizes. Students can also participate in weekly reading challenges.

To encourage participation in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge teachers can register their students in bulk. Scholastic provides teachers with tools to track students' progress over the summer and communicate the goals of the summer reading challenge to parents. Scholastic also provides teachers with summer reading lists to send out to parents. Teachers registering their classes will be entered into a drawing for a classroom library and a $250 gift certificate to the Scholastic Teacher Store.

Month in Review - May's Most Popular Posts

Greetings from Maine where the weather has finally turned for the better.  The picture to the left will attest to that. That's the head of the Free Technology for Teachers health and wellness program that you see in the picture. I hope the weather is just as nice wherever you're reading this from.

Here are the most popular posts from the month of May, 2011:
1. Interesting Ways to Use an iPad in the Classroom
2. Edmodo - The Total Classroom Solution
3. Google Search Tips Posters
4. Five Free Scientific Calculators
5. How to Create a Movie Using JayCut
6. EasyBib Comes to the iPad and iPhone
7. Put the Directions to the Side, Make the Learning Central
8. Navigate the Moon on Your iPad or iPhone
9. Compare & Contrast Map - A Writing Template
10. Spider Scribe - Mind Mapping with Images, Maps, and More

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Monday, May 30, 2011

The Science of Hitting a Baseball or a Softball

Sport Science on ESPN.com has couple of videos that are relevant as school winds-down and kids turn their attention to Little League baseball and softball. In MLB Vision Sport Science evaluates how quickly a player has to respond to a baseball thrown ninety miles per hour. Then to answer the question, can you really keep your eyes on the ball? Sport Science attaches an eye tracking device to Nomar Garciapara.

Watch Sport Science MLB Vision below.


In Hitting a Softball Sport Science explains the scientific and mathematical differences between hitting a baseball and hitting a softball.


Applications for Education
Throughout these videos we're dealing in hundredths of a second. These videos could be used to provide some "real world" context for a lesson on decimals and or fractions.

Snag Learning Film of the Week - The Kartal

This week's Snag Learning Film of the Week is The Kartal. The Kartal, produced by Explore.org, is a short video featuring the traditional Indian instrument of the same name. The kartal (or khartal) is a small instrument created from two blocks of wood with small metal jingles attached and played with a clapping motion. Watch the video below and learn more about it here.

Watch more free documentaries

To learn more about traditional Indian music watch Explore.org's video India's Song.

What Else Should I Read This Summer?

Yesterday, I met my mother and step-father in Portland for lunch (I had meatloaf, it was delicious). Since I was in the big city, I took some time after lunch to go to Border's and browse for a new book. Like a lot of teachers, I don't have a whole lot of time to read during the school year so the summer is when I do the bulk of my book reading. Anyway this morning I spent some time thinking about what I want to read this summer and what follows is what I've come up with. I'd love to have some suggestions to add to the list. If you have any must-reads for my list, please leave a comment.

Education Books
And What Do You Mean by Learning?
Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas
(Yes, I realize that Mindstorms is "old" but I've never read it and I find Papert's work intriguing to say the least).
Teach Like a Champion
(This is a book that we've been fed excerpts of at my school this year. I want to have the whole context of the work).

History Books
Colonel Roosevelt
American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy

Just for Fun Books
Crossing The Gates Of Alaska
A Walk Across America
No Shortage of Good Days

Considering that the books on Roosevelt and Jackson each approach 800 pages, if get through all nine of these books I'll be pretty happy with myself.

What are you reading this summer? Leave a comment and let us all know.