Sunday, November 28, 2021

Germ Science Investigation - A Game About Stopping the Spread of COVID-19

Germ Science Investigation is a free online game that is designed to help students understand how to stop the transmission of COVID-19. The game has four "missions" for students to complete. Students complete the missions by answering a series of scenario-based questions. Students are given instant feedback after answering each question. If they answer a question incorrectly, the correct answer and a fact about COVID-19 is displayed. 

Registration is not required in order to play Germ Science Investigation. In fact, I didn't even seen an option for creating an account. Therefore, students have to play the game in one sitting or lose all of their progress. Completing the game shouldn't take more than about fifteen to twenty minutes. The game is available in seventeen languages. 

Applications for Education
Germ Science Investigation is a game that you might have students play to review information about how they can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in their schools. The game provides good reminders for high school students who might feel like they know everything they should do to prevent spreading COVID-19. For other students, the game might be an introduction to some of the science behind COVID-19 mitigation policies in their schools.

A Good Collection of Resources for Teaching the Five Themes of Geography

C-SPAN Classroom is known for offering great resources for teaching civics and government lessons. What you might not know is that C-SPAN Classroom also offers a good collection of resources for teaching geography lessons. 

C-SPAN Classroom hosts a collection of bell ringers and lesson plans aligned to the five themes of geography. Bell ringers are short video clips designed to spark classroom discussion and inquiry. They're typically accompanied by a handful of discussion questions. C-SPAN Classroom lesson plans also incorporate video clips but go into more depth on any given topic. 

For AP Human Geography C-SPAN hosts an entire course of study that you can guide your students through. The course includes seven units. Those units are listed below.

  • Thinking Geographically
  • Population and Migration Patterns and Processes
  • Cultural Patterns and Processes
  • Political Patterns and Processes
  • Agriculture and Rural Land-Use Patterns and Processes
  • Cities and Urban Land-Use Patterns and Processes
  • Industrial and Economic Development Patterns and Processes

For more resources for teaching geography, take a look at my big list of resources for Geography Awareness Week

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Turkey, Docs, and Teams - The Week in Review

Good morning from Maine where a little dusting of snow and a temperature of 23F makes it feel like winter has arrived. I hope that all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving this week had an enjoyable and restful holiday. 

All of the leaves have finally fallen off the trees in my yard and I've cleaned them all up. But there's not enough snow to play in it, yet. In short, it's probably not a great day for bike rides like last weekend. So I have a hunch that today will be a day of indoor craft projects with my daughters. I hope that you also have something fun planned for your day. 

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Three Updated Google Docs Features
2. Five Helpful PowerPoint Features You Might Be Overlooking
3. Hands-on Activities for Learning About Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
4. How to Blur Faces in Videos With Screencastify
5. Scribble Maps - Draw on Google Maps and More Without an Account
6. Ten Updated Microsoft Teams Features for Teachers to Note
7. A Tip for Finding and Reading Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes

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This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and WayBetterSite. Featured image captured by Richard Byrne.

What's Snoring? - Another Question from my Daughters

For nearly twenty years I've gone to an ice fishing camp every winter with the same group of guys (except for last winter). Some of them are rather loud snorers. In fact, the loud snorers have their own bunk room in the lodge. I was talking about this the other day when my daughter asked, "what's snoring?" My best explanation for my four-year-old was "it's a noise that some people make when they're sleeping." A better explanation is found in a TED-Ed lesson titled Why Do Some People Snore So Loudly? 

Why Do Some People Snore So Loudly? explains what sleep apnea is, what causes it, why it causes snoring, and some ways to treat sleep apnea. Watch the full video lesson here and find the accompanying discussion questions here

Friday, November 26, 2021

NBA Math Hoops - An App for Practicing Math Facts

NBA Math Hoops is a free iPad and Android app for practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills. The app can be used by students who don't have email addresses. There is also an option to create an account to save games in progress. 

NBA Math Hoops pits players against NBA and WNBA players in a contest of math skills. Players score points by correctly answering a series of arithmetic questions. Incorrect answers result in a turnover and the other team getting the ball. The ball is also turned over to the other team if questions aren't answered before the shot clock expires. Players can try to steal the ball by identifying the incorrect answer to a question.

Applications for Education

NBA Math Hoops could be a fun way for elementary school students to practice their math skills while competing against their favorite NBA and WNBA players. This is the kind of app that I'd install on classroom iPads or Android tablets for students to use for independent practice when they have a little unscheduled time in class. 

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