Muddling through the blogosphere

August 22, 2009
by blogwalker

Favorite Links for the Week – Science

This week, I’m looking across the curriculum for great resources for teachers and/or students, starting with science.

  • Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears (K-5) – Expand your background and resources on the polar regions. This online magazine has tons of amazing images, lesson plans, and even podcasts with scientists.
  • Habitat Adventure: The Panda Challenge (K-5) – Invite your students to try their hand at designing a new giant panda habitat for Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. The challenge is to balance the needs of the pandas, visitors, and staff.
  • We Choose the Moon (4-8) – Celebrate the 40-year anniversary of the Apollo 11 voyage.   Pretty impressive  graphics  combined with archival footage, audio and photos to recreate each of the eleven stages of the mission.
  • NASA’s Find Teaching Materials Search Engine (K-12) – You can easily search the database by selecting grade level, type of resource (lesson, poster, etc.), and subject.
  • PBS Quest (7-12) – Wish you had more video clips at your fingertips to jazz up your science lessons?  Checkout their great selection of lessons and videos, such as their introduction to sea slugs:
  • OK, coming up next…Favorite Social Studies Links!

    April 6, 2009
    by blogwalker

    Web 2.0 Tools for Learning about Earthquakes

    A post from Larry Ferlazzo on The Best Sites to Learn about the Earthquake in Italy got me thinking about resources to provide students with background on earthquakes in general – and a handout CSUSM Professor Kathy Hayden recently gave me (during the Robert Marzano session at CUE):

    To the above resources, I’d like to add a tip and link for promoting active listening to science videos (or any video that has students sitting for more than five minutes): Today’s Meeting – a tool that can be used for  incorporating interactive backchanneling into movie watching. (What is backchanneling, you ask?) I discovered Today’s Meeting via a Tweet from Jackie Gerstein, which led to a  post by Chris Webb explaining innovative use of  the tool by middle school history teacher Pat Gerding.

    Once again, I stand back in awe of the power of Web 2.0 and its ability to build PLNs not possible only a few years back.

    November 1, 2008
    by blogwalker

    Math and Science Resources for a Web 2.0 World

    If you are a fan of “open source, collaborative, and web-based compilation” models, then you’re going to like what CK-12 is putting online. This non-profit organization is dedicated to the idea that every K-12 student in the United States and worldwide deserves “access to the highest quality and lowest cost textbooks and course materials.”

    A main goal of the CK-12 organization is to offer excellent and freely accessible textbooks to supplement (replace?) expensive textbooks, which often are filled with “eye candy” to the point of being visually distracting to students. With the CK12’s FlexBooks, teachers can customize content and chapters to meet individual needs of their students.

    In a nutshell CK-12 is a Wikipedia approach to textbooks, drawing on reviewers and experts in specific math and science fields, who understand the value of putting teachers in charge of enhancing, changing, and customizing a “flexible output.”

    The site has been up for about a year and already offers an impressive amount of content. I just took a side trip into one of the geometry texts and explored an informative chapter on The Geometry of Art and am planning on spending this rainy afternoon wondering through more of the texts.

    I am impressed and heartened by CK-12’s commitment that the “content generated by CK-12 and the CK-12 community will serve both as source material for a student’s learning and provide an adaptive environment that scaffolds the learner’s journey as he or she masters a standards-based body of knowledge, while allowing for passion-based learning.”

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