Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Problem Attic Expands Again - Quickly Create Practice Assessments

Problem Attic is a service that I reviewed when it launched last year. Since then it has continually expanded to the point that you can now quickly create practice assessments and flashcards for social studies, language arts, mathematics, and science from a collection of more than 85,000 questions from past state assessments given in New York, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

To create your practice tests on Problem Attic you simply create a new document then browse through questions and pin them to your document. After you have pinned all of the questions that you want in your document you can arrange the order in which they appear in your document. Finally, before printing your document you choose and set the page formatting.

Applications for Education
Years ago one of my colleagues used old exam questions as review activities with his students. Problem Attic takes that concept and makes it easy for any teacher to build review activities based on problems from actual tests that students have taken. Students can also use Problem Attic to find a big collection of questions that they can use to help them prepare for tests in mathematics, social studies, language arts, and science.

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.