Isle of Tune

Before you click on this link, make sure you have a lot of time on your hands.  I have it on good authority from several people, including my eight-year old, that this site is addictive.  To be honest, I had a hard time tearing myself away from the screen once I got started.  What I love about this site is that it requires a combination of creativity, problem-solving, and musical talent.  Basically, it allows you to compose music by building roads, adding cars to the roads, and placing various types of waypoints to create the notes.  But you won’t understand the full potential of Isle of Tune until you visit it yourself.  And, while you’re there, be sure to visit the isles that have already been created.  You will be amazed at the ingenuity used to recreate popular songs and to invent new compositions.  Even more exciting news – they are planning to launch their iPad app this week.

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The Power of Words

To conclude our week of video posts I’ve chosen a video that apparently everyone had seen but me a couple of weeks ago.  And, maybe your students have seen it too.  But have they discussed it?  Have they talked about apathy and homelessness as well as the impact of powerful language?  There are many lessons in this short story.

Interactive Sink and Float Video

O.K.  It’s Sesame Street.  But you would be surprised how engaged kids of all ages can be by this series of linked videos that allow the viewer to make choices that determine the next video that will be watched.  An experiment showing whether or not different objects float is the purpose of the video.  However, it could also be used as a general lesson that demonstrates the Scientific Process.  If you enjoy this interactive video experience, and would like to learn how to make your own set of videos that link together, you can find some very simple instructions here.

Nature By Numbers

This is the week of video posts, so here is your third one – an absolutely stunning video that visually relates how nature and math are absolutely connected.  This video was brought to my attention by a fellow teacher, Shari M., who knew that my gifted students would enjoy it as much as I would.

Nature by Numbers from Cristóbal Vila on Vimeo.

You could: pause this movie after the number pattern to see if your students can identify the pattern, have them research Fibonacci, challenge them to list all of the natural objects represented, ask them to find other items in nature that have connections to this pattern.

The creator of this video has an amazing website that explains the math, shows stills of his work in progress, and more.

TOI Lead India “Tree”

I keep thinking of videos that I would like to share, so I thought I would make that my theme this week.  This particular one could lead to great conversation in the classroom, despite the fact that many of us do not understand the language in it.  Some possible topics for discussion:  apathy, being the change we wish to see in the world, working together.  Every time I watch this video, I am motivated to make a difference.

Ira Glass on Storytelling

Ira Glass, the radio host of This American Life on NPR, gives his opinion of how to become great at your art.  Although he is speaking of writing, this could be a great motivational tool for anyone who has ambition in a particular field. David Shiyang Liu created the typography to go along with Ira’s words.

Bubble Ball

Bubble Ball is one of my favorite iDevice apps.  It is a free download, and has 48 levels.  You can purchase more after you finish the 48  for  99 cents.  The purpose of this game is to use the various materials that appear on the screen in each level to direct a ball to roll toward a flag.  I don’t usually like to recommend game apps for the classroom, because students seem to get enough of those at home.  But this Physics challenge encourages problem solving and creative thinking.  Many of the levels have more than one solution.  This could be a fun center in which the students could take screen shots of their solutions and explain them using the free Screen Chomp app or other methods.  It would be interesting to compare the different solutions groups develop, and have them explain their thought processes.  Of course, I highly recommend that you play around with the app yourself – just to get familiar with the levels, of course 😉

Great Minds Don't Think Alike!

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