Monday, February 8, 2016

PBS Election Central Helps Students Understand US Election Process

PBS Election Central is a collection of educational resources related to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The collection includes interactive maps, virtual field trips, and videos. Within the PBS Election Central collection there are resources appropriate for elementary school, middle school, and high students.

The central feature of PBS Election Central is an interactive map of candidates on the campaign trail. The map displays important and interesting facts about each state and each candidate. The map will show students where a candidate was most recently seen campaigning. Students can also use the map to find quotes from candidates about hot-button campaign topics like immigration, defense spending, and climate change.

The interactive PBS Election Central map is appropriate for middle school and high school students. For elementary school students you will want to explore PBS Kids: The Democracy Project. There you will find resources to help students understand how voting is conducting and why voting is important.

Complete This Free Course and Become a Power Google Searcher

Power Searching With Google is a MOOC that Google initially offered nearly four years ago. The course is facilitated by Dr. Daniel Russell whose work I've featured many times over the years. The latest version of Power Searching With Google opens today and runs for two weeks.

I went through Power Searching With Google the first time it was offered. The course gave me lots of ideas for teaching search strategies.

Advanced Power Searching With Google is a self-paced course that takes you beyond what is offered in Power Searching With Google.

How do Solar Panels Work? - A TED-Ed Lesson

One of the ways that my local school district has tried to reduce oil dependence is to use burning wood chips to heat some school buildings. We do this because solar panels aren't a great option where we live. That begs the question, how do solar panels work? The following TED-Ed lesson answers that question and more. The lesson also explains some of the political and social barriers to using solar panels in more places.

Applications for Education
One way to continue this lesson is to ask students to develop presentations in which they must persuade people to use solar panels to power their businesses or homes.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Develop Mathematics Skills With Sushi Monster

Sushi Monster is a free iPad game from Scholastic that helps kids practice their addition and multiplication skills. This is the premise of Sushi Monster; students feed their Sushi Monsters by correctly choosing two numbers that when added or multiplied result in the number that the monster wants to eat. When the monster has been fully fed students move on to feeding a new monster. The video below provides a good demonstration of Sushi Monster in action.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a free iPad app that your elementary school students can use to practice their addition and multiplication skills, Sushi Monster is definitely an app to add to list.

Two Educational Activities to Capitalize on Super Bowl Enthusiasm

I'm currently watching the Super Bowl and thinking about students who will be talking about it when they see their friends at school tomorrow. Try one of the following resources to turn your students' enthusiasm for the Super Bowl into a fun lesson.

NBC's Science of Football is a series of ten videos from NBC Learn explaining and demonstrating math and science concepts as they relate to football. The list of topics covered in the Science of NFL Football includes Torque & Center of Mass, Pythagorean Theorem, Geometric Shapes, Projectile Motion & Parabolas, Vectors, Kinematics, Nutrition, and Newton's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Laws of Motion.

Practical Money Skills hosts a series of eight online games designed to teach students some money management skills. One of the games that is timely considering that the Super Bowl is just a few days away is Financial Football. Financial Football has students answer questions about budgets, savings, and spending to move their football teams down the field against another team. The games use real NFL team logos. Financial Football takes at least twenty minutes to play.