Sunday, October 16, 2016

Magic Gopher - A Math Game

Magic Gopher is a fun little game in which students select a two digit number, add the digits together, subtract the new number from the original, then look up a symbol associated with the final number. The Magic Gopher the correctly "guesses" the final number symbol. Of course it's not actually magic, but young students will think it is.

Applications for Education
Magic Gopher could be a fun little way to get students thinking about the "magic" of mathematics. Allow them to struggle with the challenge of figuring out how the gopher gets it right every time then explain it.

The National Archives' Today's Document Offers Good Lesson Ideas

The US National Archives is a great resource for history teachers to keep in their books. I've written about some of their services in the past (here and here) and today I'd like to remind you of the National Archives Today's Document feed. On a daily basis Today's Document features a new image or document from the United States' National archives. The documents are usually accompanied by some additional research links and lesson plan resources.

One of the documents that I have used from the Today's Document feed was a petition to the US Government signed by Hopi (Moqui) Chiefs. One of the interesting things about this document is the way that the document was signed with the symbol of each family in the tribe.

Applications for Education
This document could be used with a wide range of grade levels. At the middle school or high school level the petition could be part of a lesson on the way the US Government redistributed land to Native Americans following the Dawes Act. The symbol-signature aspect of the document could be used in an elementary school lesson about cultural differences between European-Americans and Native Americans.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

How to Create Twitter Moments

A few weeks ago Twitter started to allow anyone to create what Twitter calls Moments. Moments are collections of Tweets organized around a hashtag, an event, or a theme. When you create a Moment you can share it on Twitter account for others to see the Tweets that you've included in the Moment. In the following video I provide directions for creating Twitter Moments. Below the video I explain how you might use Twitter Moments in school.

Applications for Education
Creating Twitter Moments could be a good way to organize a collection of Tweets about an event at your school. Another way to use Twitter Moments is to create a collection of Tweets about a current events topic that your students are studying.

Credo Reference - Research Starters for Students

Credo Reference is a good reference site for students that I recently learned about from David Kapuler. Credo Reference provides students with reference articles from more than 4,000 reference books. In that regard Credo Reference is a search engine for encyclopedia entries.

There are a few features of Credo Reference that teachers will appreciates. First, all articles returned in a search provide students with an option to hear the text read aloud. Second, every article is accompanied by a list of related terms and links to those related articles. Finally, every article has a pre-formatted citation listed at the bottom. Students can copy and paste that citation to use in their works cited pages.

The basic Credo Reference search and the functions highlighted above are available to anyone visiting the website. Libraries that subscribe to the Credo service can unlock additional tools for students.

Applications for Education
Credo Reference could be a good tool for students to use at the start of a research project. The reference articles can provide students with a quick overview of a topic that they can reference as they dive deeper into their research. The list of related topics provided with each Credo Reference article could help some students choose a sub-topic or focus area for their research on a broad topic.

The Week in Review - Last-Minute Projects

Good morning from Maine where we have frost on the ground outside of the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters (AKA my house). The frost is a visual reminder that I have some outdoor projects that I need to finish before the snow flies. As soon as those chores are done I'm going for a walk in the woods with my dogs. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you make time to balance work with something fun too.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. My Favorite Tools for Creating Screencast Videos - Updated
2. Draw and Tell: Create Animated Screencasts with Elementary Students
3. Electoral Decoder Shows Students the Math of Presidential Elections
4. GameOn World - A Fun Geography Game
5. MySimpleShow Adds a Convenient New Way to Create Flipped Video Lessons
6. CS First - Lesson Plans for Teaching Computer Science
7. Four Social Studies Lessons You Can Update With Comics

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