Thursday, October 20, 2022

You Should Write About Rainbows!

Today is my youngest daughter's 5th birthday! When I told her that I needed to do some writing this morning she said, "you should write about rainbows!" So that's what this post is all about (for the record, the writing that I had planned to do this morning was about some cool resources for Geography Awareness Week coming up in November). 

How to Make a Rainbow is a SciShow Kids video that I featured when it was released about six years ago. The video gives directions for a little activity in which kids can make rainbows appear on white paper by properly positioning a glass of water in front of ray of sunlight. The video then goes on to explain what makes rainbows appear outside. 



How Rainbows Form is a Physics Girl video that goes a bit beyond the basics that the SciShow Kids video covered. How Rainbows Form explains dispersion and refraction of light. The video also explains what causes the colors of the rainbow to appear in the order we see them. Finally, at the end of the video viewers learn what causes the appearance of a double rainbow.



How Rainbows Form and What Shape They Really Are is a short video from ABC Australia. The video explains how rainbows are made, but also explains why we only see part of rainbow and not the full circle of a rainbow. (By the way, I'm not related to the presenter any more than I'm related to lead singer of Talking Heads). 

Now You Can Import PDFs Into Book Creator

Earlier this fall Book Creator added some helpful new features in the form of audio, video, and text commenting. This week the folks at Book Creator rolled-out another new and helpful feature. That feature is the ability to import PDFs to use in your Book Creator multimedia books. Here's a thirty second demo of the new import PDF option in Book Creator (I've caught a cold and lost my voice otherwise I'd make a longer and more detailed demo video). 




Applications for Education
The new import PDF option in Book Creator will let you take your existing PDFs and turn them into multimedia, interactive pages that you can share with your students. Likewise, students can import PDF designs they've made with tools like Adobe Express or Canva to enhance their own multimedia books in Book Creator. And don't forget that you can export Google Slides, PowerPoint, and Keynote presentations as PDFs that you could then import into Book Creator to develop a multimedia book to share online.

Another Good Place to Find Free Drawings for Classroom Projects

Earlier this year I published a list of good places to find free images and drawings to use in your classroom projects. Thanks to something that Troy Patterson Tweeted earlier this week I have another good resource to add to that list. 

CocoMaterial is an online library of nearly 2,500 drawings that you can download and re-use for free. Unlike some similar sites, CocoMaterial doesn't offer anything but drawings and doesn't litter the search results page with advertisements for other images that you have to purchase. Watch this short video for an overview of CocoMaterial. 



Applications for Education
The drawings that are available on CocoMaterial are clean, simple, and easy to see. They could be great for use in classroom projects like simple web design, infographic design, or to just brighten-up the newsletters that you send home to parents.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Halloween-themed Physical Education Lesson Plans

Halloween is less than two weeks away. I don't know about your students and children, but mine are very excited about it! That's why I was excited to get an email from OPEN Phys Ed earlier this week that linked to more than a dozen Halloween-themed lesson plans for physical education classes. The collection is titled Pumpkin Patch Games and you can access all of them as PDFs and or Word files. 

Like all of the OPEN Phys Ed resources that I've reviewed over the last few years, the Pumpkin Patch Games are designed to be as inclusive as possible. The games aren't your "traditional" ball-sports type of games that make some kids loathe physical education classes. A few of the games students might enjoy include Silly Spooky Storytime (my older daughter would love that one), Monster Mash, and Pickles in the Pumpkin Patch

In addition to directions for each of the dozen+ games in Pumpkin Patch Games, OPEN provides music playlists that you might want to use while kids are playing the various games in your gym. 

For even more OPEN Phys Ed resources take a look at the following links:

How to Play GeoGeek AR

Last week I wrote a brief overview of a fun geography app called GeoGeek AR. The "AR" in the app's name stands for augmented reality. The use of AR makes it possible to put a digital globe right into your classroom or anywhere else that your students are standing when holding an iPad or Android tablet. Yesterday, a reader emailed me for an explanation of how to use the app. Like most things, it's easier to show it in a screencast than it is to write out directions. So I made this short demo video. Watch it to the end for a special guest appearance by one of my dogs. 



Applications for Education
As I wrote last week, GeoGeek AR doesn't require you to register in order to play. That can make it a good option for use on shared classroom iPads. Overall, it's a fun little game for practicing place identification.