Monday, November 1, 2010

Teaching Tips of the Week (November 1-7)


  1. Many students own and an have an interest in cell phones.  This interactive science activity from applies engineering principles by challenging them to design their own cell phone.  The site presents a problem for students:  senior citizens are dissatisfied by many popular cell phone designs, and your student must come up with a design that addresses the particular needs of that demographic.  The site allows students to research, design, and test their model before it is put on the market for consumers.   The teacher's page for this activity also has tips and extensions, such as designing a cell phone for business people and middle school students.
  2. Owl, a great kid's magazine, is having a Story Writing Contest for Canadian students between the ages of 8-14.  Owl supplied the first and last lines of the story, and your students may write any type of story they would like to fill in the substance.  This is a great creative writing project.  Here is the entry form.  The deadline is November 30, 2010.
  3. A Maths Dictionary for Kids has definitions for math terms, visual examples, AND plenty of practice problems for students to get a full understanding of concepts.  Students can practice everything here from equivalent fractions to complex geometric skills.  Highly recommended.
  4. The Library of Congress' America's Story website provides a ton of information about American history and historical figures.  It's a great resource for students to use for research projects.
  5. Here is an interesting video I recently found.  This is from Mrs. Jessica White's classroom blog, where she uses a camera to film a math lesson.  The class is engaged in a cooperative learning activity in which they take "boring school supplies" and make multiplication problems out of them, creating a small book in the process.  It's a good lesson, especially when students need practice with their multiplication, and you have tons of unopened school supplies stored in the room.  What I also noticed was that, while the class did a lot of talking, they were focused on their work and talked in a productive way.  They also switched groups with relative ease and got right to work.  Kudos to Mrs. White's lesson and her classroom management!

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