Friday, August 10, 2012

Illustrative Mathematics

Illustrative Mathematics is a free resource for K-12 mathematics teachers. On Illustrative Mathematics teachers can find lesson activities aligned to standards for every grade level. When it is appropriate the activities include drawings and diagrams.

Anyone can access the activities posted on Illustrative Mathematics. You can rate activities and share your own activities if you register for an Illustrative Mathematics account.

Applications for Education
Sites like Illustrative Mathematics can be helpful for new teachers who are looking for lesson ideas. Likewise, Illustrative Mathematics could be helpful for experienced teachers exploring new ideas for teaching what they have taught for years.

Story Map - An Interactive Story Planner

Story Map is a free interactive story planning tool from Read Write Think. Story Maps provides four templates for outlining stories. To use the templates students title their stories then choose one of four templates to outline their stories. The four template choices are conflict, setting, character, and resolution. Students can print their completed templates.

Applications for Education
Story Map could help students get their stories organized before moving onto doing the actual writing of their creative stories. Read Write Think has many suggested lesson plans based on Story Map. There are suggested lesson plans for all grade levels.

H/T to Ana Cristina Pratas

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hands-on Science Activities for K-12

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has a great selection of hands-on activities that teachers can use offline in their classrooms. There are activities for twelve topics. Activities for every grade level from pre-K through high school and beyond can be found on the website. To find an activity for your classroom select your grade level then select the topic(s) you want your students to learn about through hands-on activities.

Applications for Education
A couple of the activities that I liked when I was browsing the catalog were making and flying helicopters and making recycled paper. All of the activities on the site include the standards addressed, the materials needed, and directions for carrying out the activity for the first time.

Enter to Win IdeaPaint and Evernote Premium

I don't often pass along contest information, but in this case the contest I'm sharing awards two products that I really believe in. IdeaPaint and Evernote have teamed up to offer a nice little prize package of 250 Evernote premium accounts and 300 square feet of IdeaPaint paint along with markers and erasers. To enter all you need to do is complete the form on this page by August 20th. A promo video for the contest is embedded below.

Applications for Education
I've written about using Evernote in schools a couple of times in the past. My most recent posts about using Evernote can be found here and here. As the video above points out, Evernote can be use to take and store pictures of handwritten notes and drawings. If you have sketches, diagrams, or equations written on paper that you want to store online, give Evernote a try. Perhaps you have students who complete their mathematics homework assignments on paper. Instead of collecting and keeping track of those papers, try capturing images of them and organizing them online in Evernote.

VIDquik Offers Quick Video Calling

VIDquik is a new video calling system that does not require you to install any special software (you will need to make sure that Flash is up to date on your computer). To make a video call with VIDquik just click "video conf" on the homepage, enter your email address, and enter the email address of the person you wish to video call. VIDquik connect you as soon as the other person receives the email. VIDquik does give you the option to text chat while video calling.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a free and easy-to-use alternative to Skype, give VIDquik a try. You could use the service to connect your classroom with their e-penpals in another part of the world.