Sunday, November 2, 2014

Block Posters - Use Standard Printers to Print Posters

If you have ever come across an infographic that you thought would make a good classroom poster, you should take a look at Block PostersBlock Posters is a web-based tool to which you can upload a high quality graphic then divide it into letter-sized chunks for printing. Print out each section and put them together on a poster board to make your own poster.

Applications for Education
Most teachers and students don't have ready access to printers that can handle poster-sized paper, but they do have access to standard letter-size printers. When you find a great infographic that you want to display in your classroom, Block Posters is a good tool to use to print it out. Want to create a giant jigsaw puzzle? Block Posters could be useful for that too.

Three Short Lessons on Snow

Here in Maine we received our first snow of the 2014-2015 winter season. There was enough natural snow combined with man-made snow that the ski resort near my house is opening tomorrow. Seeing the snow prompted me to look through my archives for lessons about the science of snow.

Scholastic's Interactive Weather Maker is an online activity in which students adjust temperatures and humidity levels to create rain and snow storms. Students simply move the temperature and humidity sliders until rain or snow begins to show up in the scene on their screens. Adjusting the settings in the Interactive Weather Maker could be a good way for students to see the correlation between humidity and temperature as it relates to creating rain and snow storms.

The episode of Bytesize Science embedded below explains how snowflakes are created.

In the winter when we have fresh snow combined with a full moon I don't have to wear a headlamp to see my dogs in the yard at night. In the following Minute Physics video we learn why the full moon appears brighter in the winter.

A Crash Course on the Effects of Railroad Development

The latest installment to Crash Course World History is all about the effects of the development of railroads during the industrial revolution. The Railroad Journey and the Industrial Revolution isn't about the building of railroads. In the video John Green covers how rail travel led to changes in where people lived, where they vacationed, and how they interacted with each other. A short lesson on the origin of Greenwich Mean Time is included too.

To bring the lesson into a current context, Green also does a nice job of making comparisons between the effects of the development of railroads and the effects of the development of the Internet.

For more resources on railroads, check out Living With Railroads.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from Maine where we will soon be skiing and enjoying the best of what winter has to offer. I spent some time this evening to get my skis ready for the new season. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you have time for something fun too.

The new month is here and I am happy to announce that later this month I'll be offering another section of my Practical Ed Tech webinar series Getting Ready for GAFE. This webinar series has a graduate credit option, click here to learn more about it.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. By Request - Five Good Math Sites and Apps for Elementary School Students
2. A Handy Sheet of Google Search Modifiers
3. Access More Than 1,000 Socrative Quizzes Sorted by Subject
4. By Request - 5 Good Sites and Apps for Elementary School Language Arts Lessons
5. Novels on Location - Read Your Way Around the World
6. How Do Things Fly? - A Fun and Interactive STEM Activity
7. Wideo, WeVideo, and Magisto - Three Good Tools for Creating Videos Online

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference? Click here to learn about my keynote and workshop offerings. 

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
IXL offers a huge assortment of mathematics lesson activities.
Typing Club offers free typing lessons for students.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is offers professional development workshops in Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta.
StoryBoard That is a great tool for creating comics and more.
BoomWriter and WordWriter are fantastic tools that help students develop their writing skills.

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Candy Crime Scene - A Science Lesson

Now that Halloween has come and gone there's a good chance that you have some candy lying around your house or classroom.  Use some of that candy in this neat lesson plan from the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.

Analyze Candy Using Chromatography is an activity in which you set up a "candy crime scene" for your students. In the activity you smudge the coating of a candy onto a small pieces of paper. Students have to determine which kind of candy was smudged. The students try to make their determinations based on comparisons with other candy smudges.

Applications for Education
Analyze Candy Using Chromatography is a fairly basic activity, but elementary school and middle school students will probably enjoy it. The activity could be a fun way for students to practice their reasoning skills.