Sunday, March 1, 2009

Websites I found interesting (weekly)

• Math is Fun starts with the concept of squares. "To square a number, just multiply it by itself." Then introduces square roots, perfect squares, and the radical sign. " This is the special symbol that means ‘square root', it is sort of like a tick, and actually started hundreds of years ago as a dot with a flick upwards. It is called the radical, and always makes math look important!" The lesson includes lots of examples and illustrations, and concludes by explaining the guess, divide and average method of solving square roots without a calculator.

• 3 stars

"Finding the square root of a number is the inverse operation of squaring that number. Remember, the square of a number is that number times itself." In four pages (called steps one through four) Math.com introduces perfect squares and how to use estimation to calculate the square root for numbers that are not perfect squares. The last step is an interactive quiz which worked for me in Internet Explorer, but not Firefox or Safari.

• Eureka! We've found the mother lode of printable square root problem sheets with this worksheet generator from Homeschool Math. When creating your worksheet and answer key, make choices such as only perfect squares, the number of decimals to round the answers to, the range of radicands, and the number of problems on the page. When you've found the combination you like, you can simply reload your worksheet to generate another one with the same specs. To make it even easier, six sample worksheets are provided.

• 4 stars

Dr. Math explains two methods fo finding a square root by hand. The first includes three steps: guess, divide and average. Of course depending on your guess in step one, steps two and three might need repeating. Dr. Math demonstrates by showings all the steps involved in finding the square root of twelve assuming your first guess was two. The second method uses the Binomial Theorem and infinite series, and is probably not for most middle school students.

• Aplusmath.com: Square Root Flashcards

5 stars

Because math practice is so vital to learning, this online flashcard game is a sure hit. Each quiz offers ten perfect square roots to solve, randomly choosing radicands (the number under the square root symbol) from 1 to 144. Because the problems are randomized, you can play this game as many times as you like. For more math games, look in both the Flashcards and Games sections.

• Protected Glogster environment for schools

• Free site

• Feb. 23
- Light and the Reflectance Spectrometer - The Reflectance Spectrometer is a hand-held device that measures the light reflected off a surface. It’s easy to use, and students can use data gleaned from it to construct specific line graphs of leaves, colored paper, grass, or the like. It’s a “remote-sensing” light meter....student friendly! Lausanne - Dr. John Frassinelli (jfrassinelli@lausanneschool.com )

Feb. 24
- Google Earth Goodies - Captivate your students' attention while teaching content with Google Earth. Standard program features and creating custom files will be discussed. Gain ideas for lessons with this powerful software for multiple subject areas K-12. St. George’s Memphis - Gail Braddock (lgbraddock@gmail.com)

Feb. 25
- Flip Videos - Smaller than most cell phones, Flip Video cameras fit into a pocket and can capture student stories wherever they happen - in the classroom, on field trips, even on the playground. These modestly priced, yet powerful camcorders allow you to simply plug into any computer for immediate video editing and sharing. MUS - Terry Balton (terry.balton@musowls.org )

Feb. 26
- Show and Tell: The Digital Way - Bring Your Photos to Life with PhotoStory 3 - Photo Story 3 is a program you can use to create media presentations from your digital photos. With a single clic, you can tough-up, crop, or rotate pictures. Add special effects, music, and your own voice narration to your photo stories. Small file sizes make it easy to sent your photo stories in an email. All this and it is FREE! Hutchison - Whitney Miller (wmiller@hutchisonschool.org)

March 3
- Doc It! Google Docs Can Simplify Your Teaching Life - This session will demonstrate how to create a Google account and the process of creating and using Google Docs. We will also share ideas of how to use this to get organized and save time. A fourth grade teacher will demonstrate how she uses Google Docs with her fourth grade team for planning purposes. Jennifer Stover (jstover@hutchisonschoo

• Posted: 19 Feb 2009 04:01 PM PST
Finding kid safe videos on YouTube can be a time consuming process. Kideo Player makes it easier to locate videos appropriate for students in pre-K through second grade. Kideo Player plays a continuous stream of videos for pre-K through second grade students. When a video you like is playing, click on the the YouTube icon and you will be taken to the original YouTube source where you can find out more about each video and grab the embed code. Clicking your keyboard's space bar allows you to skip ahead in the video clips.

Applications for Education
As mentioned above, Kideo Player is a good resource for pre-K through second grade videos. Some of the videos have educational value like the "ABC's" video while other videos are more of a children's entertai

• The Forward Thinking Museum is a virtual art museum containing more than 100 exhibitions and videos. Visitors can view image exhibitions or watch video exhibitions. The content ranges from subjects such as wildlife to architecture to people at work. The Forward Thinking Museum could keep you occupied for hours as you explore all of the exhibits. Visitors navigate through the Forward Thinking Museum by using their mouse or keyboard arrow keys.

Applications for Education
The Forward Thinking Museum could be a great resource for art teachers and art students. The museum could be used as an introduction to photography and videography styles. The Forward Thinking Museum could also be used as the centerpiece of a pairing and sharing activity.

• This site was created by a voter registration organization who
wanted to keep the young people they registered involved and engaged.
To do this, they provided them with free online tools and raw
materials through “America Now” and “America Then” playlists. Remix
America encourages students to draw parallels between the present and
the past. They hope that viewing seminal speeches and events from
American History will inspire young people to express themselves and
take action on the issues that matter to them.

Teachers around America have stumbled upon the software and
incorporated into their classroom. One teacher asked her students to
take a quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and apply it to the 2008
election. Another asked her students to create PSAs on the issues that
matter most to them – censorship, war, civil rights. You can browse
through “Favorite Remixes” section to see some of these great remixes!

• NASA has done something similar to engage students in science,
technology, engineering and mathematics. The NASA's Do-It-Yourself
Podcast activity provides students with audio clips, video, and photos
related to space. Students can use the NASA materials produce their
own audio or video productions.

• PrimaryAccess is a web-based tool that offers teachers and
to construct movies using tools provided by the web site.

Althought many of the primary source materials are photograph and
still images, the tools provided on the website allows students to add
motions to create a movie effect. I fist learned about Primary Access
while listening to Glen Bull's presentation during the 2008 K-12
online conference.

• rg

This project is slightly different in that it not only provides
the raw materials for students to produce a video, but also complete
an advocacy event. The project requires schools to register and the
topic is more focused. According to the project web site “Each year,
Take 2 shoots 2-3 months of high definition footage in a different
conflict region and creates extensive supporting and background
documentation then licenses the package free of charge to qualified
educational institutions. Participating schools will complete one
small task to help grow Take 2’s infrastructure and undertake at least
one advocacy event upon completion of their projects

• This website is not yet populated with lots of materials, but
has promise in offering students free, educational, copyright-friendly
media resources. According to the project website “Students and
teachers around the world can access pre-made collections, or "kits,"
of various digital assets - still images, background music,
narratives, video and text. Each kit is built around a common theme,
or curricular topic. For students, this becomes the construction paper
of the 21st century --allowing them to create reports and projects
filled with rich, immersive media for communicating their vision of
whatever subjects they chose. AS they master the technology, they will
progress from building projects with supplied materials to projects
where they find or create their own resources -- a strategy that
results in truly authentic assessment as measured by the projects
produced."

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.