Site of the Day

Today’s site of the day is not incredibly interactive, but it is a great site for children nonetheless. Math word problems are always the bane of any students school experience. However, the Aunty Math site helps make the experience a little more interesting, relevant to students and less “text-booky”.

LogoEvery second week, “Aunt Math” sends a math word problem in the form of a letter to students recounting math experiences she has had with her neices and nephews. These stories are usually seasonal or center around another theme. The stories are easy to read, in large print and entertaining. At the end of each story, Aunt Math poses a math problem for students to figure out. Within the site are also tips for solving math problems, information on how these problems are related to math curriculum for parents and teachers and Aunt Math also provides solutions to each problem. The site also provides easier math problems for younger students or students who are having difficulty with the math concepts creating a nice scaffold for the various levels of students in your class. As the easier problems share the same storyline, students don’t have to feel that they are doing something different because they are “dumb”.

Unfortunately, the thing that really made the site neat and interactive has been discontinued. When students were done with their solutions, they could write in to Aunt Math and explain to her their solution and how they figured it out. The responses from all the students would be listed on a seperate page like comments on a blog. Aunt Math would write back giving them tips or encouragement. My students really enjoyed that aspect and would take the email home to show their parents. As I checked back prior to writing this, I discovered that that is no longer being done. Citing a “commitment to promoting responsible use of the Internet for children,” the site has stopped responding to individual e-mails. Now, I am not sure how this is promoting a responsible use of the internet as it seems to me that they are just advocating that students should not be using the internet as a communication tool at all instead of teaching how to use it safely. Also, if you were advocating a safe and responsible use of the internet wouldn’t you just set guidelines as to how comments were placed on the site along with a way to filter comments instead of going completely to one end of the spectrum and banning any communication at all? I think the site is just taking the easy way out.

Having said that though, the site is still useful and I enjoy the stories and challenges. It makes word problems that are more interesting and relevant for students.

Poetry Tuesday!

A winter theme for today!

WinterStopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Lee Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village, though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it’s queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there’s some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Friday Fun!

ChildFor todays reflective piece, here is something I found on the wordpress themes page.

Be A Kid Again

  1. Do a cartwheel.
  2. Sing into your hairbrush.
  3. Walk barefoot in wet grass.
  4. Play a song you like really loud, over and over.
  5. Dot all your “i”’s with smiley faces.
  6. Read the funnies. Throw the rest of the paper away.
  7. Dunk your cookies.
  8. Play a game where you make up the rules as you go along.
  9. Step carefully over sidewalk cracks.
  10. Change into some play clothes.
  11. Try to get someone to trade you a better sandwich.
  12. Eat ice cream for breakfast.
  13. Kiss a frog, just in case.
  14. Blow the wrapper off a straw.
  15. Have someone read you a story.
  16. Find some pretty stones and save them.
  17. Wear your favorite shirt with you favorite pants even if they don’t match.
  18. Take a running jump over a big puddle.
  19. Get someone to buy you something you really don’t need.
  20. Hide your vegetables under your napkin.
  21. Stay up past your bedtime.
  22. Eat dessert first.
  23. Fuss a little, then take a nap.
  24. Wear red gym shoes.
  25. Put way too much sugar on your cereal.
  26. Make cool screeching noises every time you turn a corner.
  27. Giggle a lot for no reason.
  28. Give yourself a gold star for everything you do today.

Wednesday’s Resource of the Day!

Late . . . but here it is.

mathToday’s site is a great one that can be used for a wide range of ages. It is a Math Dictionary which not only gives great explanations for mathematical terms but is also interactive in that it allows the users to see the term in action. I have used it in my class not only as a demonstration term but also as a way for students to explore concepts being taught in class as an intro or a fun extension.

The site is A Maths Dictionary For Kids .

The creator also has some great tools for writing linked from the site as well as a maths site for older students.

Poetry Tuesday!

In our ongoing series of poems, here is another one that I really enjoy and one I use in my classroom during my poetry unit!

I Can’t Write a PoemPen

Forget it.
You must be kidding.
I’m still half asleep.
My eyes keep closing.
My brain isn’t working.
I don’t have a pencil.
I don’t have any paper.
My desk is wobbly.
I don’t know what to write about.
And besides, I don’t even know how to write a poem.
I’ve got a headache. I need to see the nurse.
Time’s up? Uh oh!
All I have is this dumb list of excuses.
You like it? Really? No kidding.
Thanks a lot. Would you like to see another one?

-Bruce Lansky

Wednesday’s Site of the Day!

Hello!

GraphToday I am going to provide you with another resource that I use time and time again. Whenever I need graph paper, I always you this resource to print out paper for my students to use. The resource is a series of graph paper with the intersecting lines at various sizes. You choose which type of graph paper to use depending on the size of the squares you want to have. I don’t remember where I obtained the resource but it is one I use over and over again. They come as one .pdf file.

linedgrids.pdf

What TED said!

I’ve been spending my weekend watching TED online. I don’t know if you know TED but it is the online fixture of the conference which is explained as “standing for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds.” Through the website, the conference organizers are striving to share the ideas and thoughts of several prominent thinkers. Now, if you are anything like me, you love to spend time on the computer but your wife’s not so crazy about the lack of quality cuddling time. Here is where this site gets full marks: these are videos you can share with your wife! Though you are still spending time on the computer, your wife won’t mind because the videos themselves are relevant, interesting and entertaining. She’ll want to watch them with you!!!! Now you can do both of the things you love to do, all at the same time and, as a bonus, you’re learning lots of great things!

Just as a teaser, here is one of the videos on education which is very relevant to where our education system needs to go.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/iG9CE55wbtY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Wednesday’s Site of the Day!

The site today is not the fanciest site but it has some great resources on it for poetry. The initial view is quite deceptive and doesn’t give the impression that there is much happening. And there isn’t. It hasn’t changed since I first saw it two years ago. The resource on it are really good though.

This site has downloads for a “March Madness Poetry” contest. It is set to coincide with the NBA tournament but really could be used anytime. You can download the information in separate portions or download the whole thing in one download. Teh downloads include the directions, an information thing on how to effectively read poems, a set of 64 poems (which I use all the time and includes the great spiderman poem), a tournament bracket layout page and other things. I highly recommend these resources and I have used them for my own Grade 3 poetry unit every year.

While the poetry information takes most of the page, there are also other resources that may be useful including a mystery unit literature study, To Kill A Mockingbird resources, a package on Costa’s questioning and some literature circle information. All in all a handy site though I wish they would continue to add to it.

To get to the site, click here.

Poetry Tuesday!

Why I Read by Richard Peck

I read because one life isn’t enough,
and in the pages of a book I can be anybody;
I read because the words that build the story
become mine, to build my life;
I read not for happy endings but for new beginnings,
I’m just beginning myself and I woudn’t mind a map;
I read because I have friends who don’t, and young though they are,
they are beginning to run out of material;
I read because every journey begins at the library,
and it’s time for me to start packing
I read because one of these days I may want to leave this town,
and I’m going to go everywhere and meet everybody,
and I want to be READY !

Wednesday’s Site of the Day!

Well, so much for me getting these done on time. It’s been a busy week but here it is. Better late than never (as one of my students said. It wasn’t an excuse then so I guess it isn’t an excuse now!). Anyway . . . .

FunderstandingToday’s site is a very informative one and one I especially used while working on my Master’s. The site is called Funderstanding. As you can see from the image on the side, it has great information and explanations of all the different learning theories from multiple intelligences to constructivism. Clicking on the theory takes you to a detailed definition and description of that theory of learning. Clicking on the other areas takes you to information on emotional intelligence, instruction and assessment amongst other things. Great site and lots of great information. I like how the information is simply and explicitly given so you do not have to wade through jargon. This can also serve as a good starting point for further explanations, giving a good overview of theories before encountering further resources that may be more indepth and technical.