Category Archives: 6-12

Curiosity.com

Curiosity.com is a website from the Discovery Channel.  It is visually appealing, and has many topics that you might be, well, curious about.  For example, you can see the 30 strangest landmarks in America or view an image gallery of geniuses.

Curiosity.com is not “vetted” for educational purposes, but there is a link to Curiosity in the Classroom, which is.  Curiosity in the Classroom offers resources for parents, students, and teachers including lesson plans and downloadable activities.  It also gives information on careers and fun quizzes for students to take.  This portion of the site is aimed at students in 6th-12th grades.

If you have secondary students who are working on independent projects, but cannot seem to narrow down a topic, Curiosity.com might be the place to send them.

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Pocket Law Firm

Pocket Law Firm is an iDevice app that is free.  It comes to us from Sandra Day O’Connor’s iCivics program, which has a wonderful website that I have featured on this site.  Pocket Law Firm is a game designed to teach about the Constitution.  In the game, the user is in charge of a law firm, and must “match” the clients to the lawyers who can best fight for their rights.  By earning points, the user can hire more lawyers, and buy ads and furniture for the firm.  As lawyers win trials, they develop more experience, and can help with additional constitutional rights.

If you have a student who is interested in the law, or wants to learn more about our Constitution, this simulation will satisfy his or her quest for knowledge.

What is a Flame?

http://flamechallenge.org/

As part of the World Science Festival going on in New York this weekend, The Flame Challenge (presented by Alan Alda) asked adults to come up with a way to explain what a flame is to an 11-year old.  The finalists will be judged by a panel of, well, 11-year olds, fittingly enough.  This particular animated video, “What is a Flame?” caught my eye, and my ear, with its graphics, comedy, and music.  But, does it meet the challenge?  We will find out on 6/2/2012.  You can see the other finalists on this page, and judge for yourself who should be the winner.

Estimation vs. Calculation

Estimation vs. Calculation is one of many interactive math bulletin board ideas made available by Kutztown University.  Each of the bulletin boards is designed by a college student studying to become a teacher, has accompanying pictures, directions on how to replicate the board, and worksheets.  Most of them are for secondary school, but  I noticed a few, such as the Estimation one, that would be appropriate for upper elementary.  I especially liked the warning that appeared at the end of the instructions for Estimation vs. Calculation.  The creator, Sara Karahoca, states, “WARNING!!!!!! A bulletin board with candy is very enticing. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR USE WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS (as they will eat all your candy). NOT RECOMMENDED IN HIGH TRAFFIC/UNSUPERVISED AREAS (as students, hungry professional staff, and/or wild animals may also eat all your candy and steal your smiley faces.)”  A sense of humor always helps!

The History of English in Ten Minutes

The History of English in Ten Minutes is a series of short animated videos from Open University.  They are humorous and quick – so quick that you may need to replay them a few times in order for them to sink in.  They are slightly irreverent, and aimed at the 12 and up crowd, so please preview them before showing them to a class. I like the Shakespeare one since my daughter has been recently studying the famous playwright:

Open University also offers 7 videos in their series 60-Second Adventures in Thought, which includes interesting philosophical topics such as The Grandfather Paradox.

What Teachers Make

Taylor Mali, author of "What Teachers Make"

I’ve seen versions of this floating around the web from time to time, but KB Connected just posted one that I hadn’t seen yet.  It’s a very powerful poem by Taylor Mali, and the video incorporates text and photos in a way that really “packs a punch”, so to speak.  It will inspire and motivate you if you are a teacher.  I can also see certain contexts in which it would be valuable to show to students.  Be aware that there is a word that, though changed in the text, can still be easily inferred from the audio, so this would not be a video to show young children.
Vodpod videos no longer available.