Sunday, September 20, 2015

Resources for Teaching and Learning About the Sights and Sounds of Autumn

The air is getting cooler, the leaves are starting to change color, and the days are getting shorter. In just a few days the autumnal equinox will be here in the northern hemisphere. Here are some resources for teaching and learning about the sights and sounds of autumn.

Sixty Symbols offers an eleven minute video about equinoxes and solstices. It's not a video that most kids will find engaging, but I'm including it because in it you can see a demonstration of how you can use the free Stellarium software in your lessons.

To help students understand why the leaves change colors in the fall, the Maine Forest Service has an animated video explaining why leaves change colors. The video is titled Maine's Autumn Magic and you can watch it here. To help students understand some of the terms in the video, the Maine Forest Service has a glossary of tree terms.

Although they're not as informative as the two resources above, National Geographic has a couple of nice photo galleries of fall foliage. Click here for a small gallery of images from Acadia National Park. Click here for a gallery of images from the Adirondack Park.

Untamed Science offers a good, partially animated, explanation of why leaves change colors, what produces the colors, and why bright and sunny days are best for viewing red leaves. The video is embedded below.

Autumnal Colors is a short video produced by Thomas Rasel. The two minute video highlights the sights and sounds of autumn. A bugling elk and a squirrel preparing for winter are a couple of the sights and sounds included in the video.

Autumn from Thomas Rasel on Vimeo.

Autumn Stars and Planets is a short PBS video that explains why the stars and planets that we see from Earth change with the seasons. The video is embedded below.

Reactions, a great YouTube channel from the American Chemical Society, offers a nice video about the chemistry involved in the process of leaves changing color. The videos explains how chlorophyll and the glucose stored inside trees help reveal the reds, yellows and, browns of fall foliage.

How to Create Video Entries on Blogger

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about using Blogger's webcam recording option to create video entries on your classroom blog. Over the weekend someone asked if I could clarify that process a bit more. The easiest way to clarify is to create a short how-to video so that's what I did this evening. The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
One of the things that I always mention in my workshops on classroom blogging is the idea that blog posts don't have to be limited to text. In fact, they don't need to have text at all if you are having students make video blog entries. Posting video blog entries can be a great way to have students share reflections on things they have learned and experience in your classroom during a week.

Marketing Your Teaching Materials - Webinar Recording Registration

Tomorrow night's Marketing Your Teaching Materials webinar that Steve Hargadon, TES, and I have been promoting is now completely full. Due to the limitations of the webinar software we're using, we cannot add more people to the live session. If you would like to receive a recording of the webinar, please complete the form embedded below.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Why Do We Only See One Side of the Moon?

Minute Earth is one of my favorite YouTube channels to which I subscribe. The channel offers lots of short, interesting lessons. One of the lessons that I bookmarked a while back is Why Do We Only See One Side of the Moon? It wasn't a question that I had thought about until I saw the video, but once I saw it I was curious as to the answer. The answer is explained in the short video embedded below.

Applications for Education
I would use this video as part of a follow-up to a fun homework assignment for students. Ask them to look at the moon with their parents and try to come up with an explanation for why they only see one side of the moon. Then in my classroom I would use the video as part of larger lesson in which the answer is explained.

The Week in Review - Are You Kind?

Good morning from Maine where the sun is shining and I'm listening to birds chirp while I drink coffee on my deck. Speaking of my deck, as I was staining it yesterday I was listening to the Grateful Dead. There's a line in the song Uncle John's Band that goes, "all I want to know is are you kind." That line stuck with me as I was reflecting on Morrison's life (he passed away last weekend). At the end of the day, all that dogs and most people really want to know about others is whether or not you're kind. I think that if we can understand that about each other, we can understand a lot more about each other.

A huge thank you to everyone who emailed me, messaged me on Twitter or Facebook, called, or texted this week to express their condolences about Morrison's passing. I have been overwhelmed by support. I am slowly replying to all of the emails that I was sent.

Now on to happier things...over the next six weeks I'll be speaking at a number of conferences. The first one is next week in Ponoka, Alberta. If you see me there or at any other conference, please say hello.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 10 Good Tools to Help Students Learn New Vocabulary Words
2. 4 Ways Visual Literacy is Being Taught in Classrooms to Empower Learning
3. Help Students Get Organized with My Study Life
4. Great Google Drive Add-ons for Teachers - A PDF Handout
5. Walk With Elephants in Google Street View
6. 15 Topics for Your School/ Classroom Blog
7. Great Google Search Strategies Every Student Can Use - Infographic

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference?
Click here to learn about my professional development services. 

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Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
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EdTechTeacher is hosting host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
SeeSaw is a great iPad app for creating digital portfolios.
Lesley University offers online education programs for teachers.
HelpTeaching offers online tests and printable resources for teachers.  
King University offers online M.Ed programs.