Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Start Me - A Clean Start Page to Replace iGoogle

If you have been searching for a service to replace iGoogle (it will be shut down on November 1), you might not have to look any farther than Start Me. Start Me is a free start page / home page service that puts all of your most-used bookmarks and most-read RSS feeds on one clean page. Start Me even offers an option to import all of your bookmarks and RSS feeds from iGoogle. Click here for the directions on how to migrate from iGoogle to Start Me.

Applications for Education
I was never a frequent user of iGoogle, but I have met many elementary school and middle school teachers that had their students using it as the launching point for many of the online activities that they had students complete on a daily basis. Start Me could be used in the same manner.

5 Warm-Up Exercises for Brainstorming

Before your next brainstorming session with students or colleagues try one of the warm-up activities suggested in this slideshow from Ethos 3. Explanations of each activity are available in this corresponding Ethos 3 blog post.

After doing the warm-up exercises your students can use one of these ten tools to organize their thoughts as they brainstorm together.

The Halloween Tooth and Other Halloween-themed Resources from Scholastic

The chill in the air and the shorter days means that autumn is here and before too long kids will be thinking about Halloween costumes. Scholastic recently published a set of thirteen Halloween-themed writing and mathematics activities. I tried three of them this morning.

The Halloween Tooth: Max's Math Adventure is a math activity for K-2 students. In the activity students read and listen to a poem about Halloween candy then complete a set of activities in which they make patterns and count candy.

Halloween Web Hunt is a simple web quest for students in grades three through five. The activity has students visit a virtual museum and online libraries to answer questions about mummies, bats, and Halloween history.

Writing Mysteries provides a template and walks elementary school students through the process of writing mystery stories.

Click here for a list of other Halloween resources that I've reviewed. 

Videos - What If You Stopped Sleeping or Going Outside?

AsapScience recently released a couple of short videos that could fit well in middle school and high school health courses. What If You Stopped Sleeping? explains the effects of sleep deprivation as well as the effects of sleeping too much. What If You Stopped Going Outsides? explains why humans need to spend time in sunlight and the effects of not getting outside often enough. Both videos are embedded below. AsapScience includes links to the references used in the production of the videos. Those links are included below the videos.

Research regarding the effects of nature on the brain.

Sleep Duration, Sleep Deprivation, Sleep Purpose.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Constitute - Search, Read, and Compare Constitutions

Google and the Comparative Constitution Project have launched a new site called Constitute. The site hosts the constitutions of 160 countries. You can search the site according to country and or constitutional theme. Searching by constitutional theme is the best aspect of the site. More than 300 themes are outlined on the site. Select a theme then a country and the element of that country's constitute addressing your chosen theme will be highlighted. You can pin parts of the constitutions to compare them to each other.

Applications for Education
Constitute could be a fantastic resource for lessons in comparative government. You could have students work in groups to compare and evaluate a set of constitutions thematically. To go a little deeper the students can look at the history of a country and the events that influenced the formation of its constitution.