Wednesday, August 14, 2013

In Case You Also Missed The Teen Choice Awards

If you're like me, you probably weren't even aware that the Teen Choice Awards show happened over the weekend. I only know this now because Vicki Davis shared a video from the awards show. In the video below Ashton Kutcher gives four minutes of excellent advice to the teen audience. My favorite part of his speech is this line, "opportunity looks a lot like work."

Applications for Education
This is the kind of video that I am a fan of sharing and discussing with students in homeroom or advisory blocks. Kutcher's message about hard work is a good one for the start of the new school year.

CNN Student News Is Back for 2013-2014

The new school year has started for some and will be starting again soon for everyone else. With the start of a new school comes a new season of CNN Student News. CNN Student News started releasing new episodes this week. The format is the same as it has been for years. The roughly ten minute episodes feature US stories, a world news stories,  "shout out" to a class, and a quick quiz. Transcripts for each show are available for download as are suggested viewing questions to cover with your students. Today's commercial-free episode is embedded below.

U.S. Military History Animated

History Animated is a great resource for US History teachers and students. History Animated provides animations of the American Revolution, the US Civil War, WWII in Europe, and the US Pacific Campaign in WWII. In each of the sets 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.

Applications for Education
History Animated is a fantastic resource for teachers of US History. The animations will make great supplements to classroom instruction. The animations are a significant improvement over drawing or pointing to places on a map.

Three Ways You Could Get Free Stuff for Your Classroom

As the new school year starts many teachers will look around their classrooms and compile lists of things that they need or would like to have. Many teachers will end up cracking into their personal bank accounts to get those things. Before you run off to Walmart, do a little research and you just mind find that you can get some of the things you need without spending your own money. Here are three online resources you can try to get supplies for your classroom this year.

Donors Choose is a non-profit organization with a mission of helping under-funded schools. Donors Choose uses the term "citizen philanthropy" to describe its program. Donors Choose essentially solicits funding from private citizens (and some corporations) which get to choose the projects they wish to fund. Donors can donate as much as they like to one or more projects. Donors Choose provides potential donors with information about the projects that need funding and the financial situation of the schools submitting requests. (Donations made through Donors Choose are tax deductible, but as always, check with your tax professional).

Giving Getting is a website whose goal is to help people exchange free material gifts. The process for using Giving Getting seems straight-forward. If you're in need of something, register and request it. Giving Getting will then try to match you with a donor that has that item to give.

Classwish is a service through which teachers can find people willing to help purchase supplies for their classrooms. Classwish operates in a very similar manner to Donors Choose. On Classwish, teachers can create a wish list of supplies that they need for classrooms that aren't provided in their school budgets. People looking to help teachers can purchase products on a teacher's list and receive a tax deduction for their purchase.

eGlossary - A Math Glossary for Middle & High School Students

Back when I was struggling through my high school mathematics courses, I always needed a glossary of mathematics terms. I used to tell my teachers that I needed a "mathematics to English" translation. Today, there are quite a few good "mathematics to English" glossaries online for students like me. One such resource is McGraw Hill's eGlossary.

The McGraw Hill Mathematics eGlossary provides written and verbal definitions and explanations of mathematics terms. The glossary is divided by grade level. Select your grade level then the first letter of the term for which you need an explanation. The explanation is offered in text form as well as verbal (click the speaker icon to listen). The eGlossary is also available in other languages including Spanish, Russian, and Chinese.

Applications for Education
McGraw Hill's Mathematics eGlossary could be an excellent resource for students who need additional or alternate explanations of mathematics terms. For mathematics teachers, eGlossary could be worth linking to your classroom website or blog. eGlossary could be particularly valuable if you have mathematics students whose first language is not English.