Monday, August 5, 2013

What Is Fire? - A Short Explanation

Last year I featured a seven minute award-winning animated video explanation of flames. This afternoon I found another video on the topic. What Is Fire? is a short video from Minute Physics. It doesn't go into much detail which could actually be a good thing because it could spark your students' investigations into the topic to learn more.

Minute Physics has disabled embedding of the What Is Fire? video. I have embedded What Is a Flame? below.

What is a Flame from Ben Ames on Vimeo.

The Syrian Conflict Explained in Five Minutes

Social Studies teachers who are beginning the new school year by reviewing current events from around the world may be interested in this video about Syria. The Syrian Conflict in Five Minutes provides a quick overview of key events and people. The video is appropriate for use with high school students and possibly some middle school students. Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for sharing it a few weeks ago.

Two iPad Apps to Help Students Learn About a New School

The first few days at a new school can be an overwhelming for some students. From meeting new people to simply knowing their way around a new building there is a lot to take in all at once. If you have iPads in classroom, there are a couple of apps that could help you help your students get familiar with the people and places within your school.

TinyTap allows you to create simple iPad games based on the pictures that you take with your iPad. To create a game on TinyTap you upload pictures or take new pictures and arrange them into a set. Then select each image to create questions about it. To create your question press the record button and start talking. When you have finished talking select a portion of your picture to serve as the answer. You could use TinyTap to take pictures of hallways and rooms in your school then turn those pictures into identification games.

ThingLink's iPad app allows you to import pictures from your iPad's camera roll and or take new pictures to turn into interactive images. Use the app to take pictures of your important places in your school and put interactive labels on them through ThingLink. After creating your interactive images you can post them on your classroom blog and or share them directly to your students. (This activity can also be done by using instead of the iPad app).

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Smart Kit - School-Safe Games and Puzzles

Smart Kit offers a large collection of games, puzzles, and riddles for students of all ages. The content of the collection ranges from simple drilling-style games to challenging word puzzles. Smart Kit offers fifteen categories of games. The categories of most interest to educators are probably the math puzzles, physics games, and word puzzles categories.

Applications for Education
In addition to the online games, Smart Kit offers a selection of games and puzzles that can be printed for offline use. The printables collection could make Smart Kit a good resource for teachers whose students have limited access to the computers in their classrooms.

Combine These Strategies To Help Students Find Appropriate Reading Materials

On Google's advanced search page there is a tool for refining searches according to reading level. This tool on its own can be very helpful in helping students locate materials that are appropriate for their reading abilities. It can also be helpful to combine use of the reading level refinement tool with a domain level refinement. For example, if my students are studying the American Civil War they might search for materials hosted on a "" domain and refine that search according to reading level. See the screenshots below for examples.

Click to view full size.

Click to view full size.