More Rich Math Tasks

Math No Comments »

I have just spent time looking through the  Rich Maths Task resources on the East Midlands Maths Network, and have found some great tasks to incorporate.  They are organized by strand, and some of the tasks are taken from the nRich site, which I have also spent many hours perusing.

Thanks to @ColleenYoung for this sharing this resource with me.  This site is listed on her blog under Diigo Rich Tasks List, and the site is labelled Rich Maths Task. There are many other sites to visit on her list, and if they are all as helpful as this one, then I know I will spend many hours exploring.

The NEED Project

General Science, Grade 6 Science No Comments »

I came across this website quite a long time ago, but I still love it. It is the site for the National Energy Education Development Project, or NEED. The project began over 30 years ago in order to enhance energy education in schools in the United States.

Click on the Educators tab and you will find a variety of curriculum guides with lesson plans on energy education, organized by title, subject, or grade level. There are also activity suggestions, games, and more. In the Students tab you will find ‘Infobooks’ with fact sheets on a many topics, organized by curriculum level, as well as ideas for science fair projects. The Multimedia tab has a selection of presentations, complete with colourful images, on different energy sources. The Links tab speaks for itself, providing many alternate websites for exploring energy education.

It is a great resource for energy education, and worth checking out.
Have a great week.

Blogging with Students

General Science, Using Tech No Comments »

I took part in a great #scichat tonight about student blogging. I say it was great because there were many ideas shared by both new and experienced educators, all eager to discuss ways to enhance their students’ learning. It was also great because it opened my eyes to ways to blog with students.

Currently, in my school we use private wikis and class homework websites. I have posted some student work on my class website, but have not yet begun letting the students take ownership for a blog of their own. I think I am ready to change that, and I have my twitter PLN to thank.

From tonight’s #scichat I came up with a useful list of ways to blog with students:

  • end of unit summarization of learning
  • reflections from labs
  • sharing of digital work
  • writing from the perspective of scientists being studied
  • recap of the day’s learning (a different student each day)
  • microblogging – for my use I can see incorporation of twitter streams into the class blog
  • post pictures from field trips
  • discussion starter before diving into a new unit to share current beliefs and understandings

And a few of my own additions:

  • real-world applications of labs and classroom learning
  • highlighting current events in the science world (through student-written articles or videos)
  • student-created science cartoons based on current classroom topics
  • post videos of students presenting design-build projects

In the #scichat discussion there was also mention of using blogging as an opportunity to enhance written skills. Students should learn to make their posts concise, thoughtful and enriching and they also need to learn about responsible and respectful commenting. Perhaps this is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with language teachers.

I am not sure how many teachers give their students free reign, but I agree with @whiteley in that I, too, would have to be the “gatekeeper to their comments going public”.

 A lot of great ideas – now the hard part….putting them into action.

Play some games

General Science, Using Tech No Comments »

A while back I came across –  a collection of physics-based games. The downfall? You need to watch a short commercial clip before accessing the game, which may be enough to turn away some people. My favourite on this site is Fantastic Contraption, which I have used in the classroom for a few years, and my students love it.

I have not explored all of the games, but I have played quite a few of them. Given the chance, I could probably play Colour World for a few hours (whether that is good or bad, I am not quite sure….).  I seemed very ineffective as a truck driver transporting animals in Zoo Transport, but I feel that I need to improve, as I have done harm to too many monkeys and turtles in this game.  I also enjoy testing my abilities in the Magic Pen game, and I think I will introduce this one to my students this year. 

If you have some good links for fun games such as these, I would love to hear about them.
Have a great week.

Rich Performance Tasks

General Education, General Science, Grade 6 Science, Grade 8 Science No Comments »

The London (that’s London, Ontario folks) District Catholic School Board has a website called Rich Performance Tasks, or RPT’s for short. The website is no longer updated, but the tasks are still there for others to access. They are real-life tasks that bridge different subjects.  There are tasks for all grade levels and most subject areas within the Ontario curriculum. Each task has both a student and a teacher page. If you click on the teacher page, then you have access to pre-task activities, exemplars, and curriculum tie-ins.

If you click on the science tasks link, then you are brought to divisional science projects. There are tasks designed for primary, junior, and intermediate grades, and it appears that the goal was for students to work together across grade levels.

If you are only looking for science-based tasks, then I have some of my projects posted for all to use.  Enjoy.

Note – This website is no longer accessible to the public…..sigh…..

Sunshine Math

Math No Comments »

A friend of mine told me about Sunshine Math. It is a resource that can be found on the website for Saint Mark Catholic School in Florida. When you click on a grade, it opens a zip file with about 20 different math problem sets. Each problem set has 10 questions, and the questions are marked with stars. The more stars beside the question, the harder it is. The problem sets are not “pretty”  – they look as if they were scanned.

I mention this site because I am always looking for good bell ringer questions. These question sets are already labelled with difficulty levels, allowing students some choice as to how much of a challenge they want to tackle. And if you really hate how they look, then you can retype them before use (as I probably will).

Have a great week.

**Sunshine Math worksheets are no longer available on the above link…go here instead.

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