Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Teaching of Evolution - Teacher Perspectives

In a two-part series that launched today, AAAS talks with middle and high school teachers across the country to find out what it’s like to be on the frontlines of two often-controversial science topics — evolution and climate change — and how they deal with the pushback. 

Part I focuses on the teaching of evolution.

There are some interesting and creative suggestions here. There are also links to helpful resources.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Math Freebies - Rolling for Fact Families

This week's freebie offers a fun way to practice fact families. Students roll two dice to generate the first two numbers in the family. Then they add to find the third. Once they have these three numbers, they write the addition and subtraction sentences that make up the family.  That's it! This one is simple and fun.
Download Rolling for Fact Families.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Measuring the Universe

Now that you've seen the poster and are pondering the size of the universe, I'll just bet you're wondering exactly HOW scientists measure these things. 

Here's a really terrific explanation.

Sizes of the Universe Poster

Really, I have no words beyond these--we live in an utterly amazing world.

Sizes of the Universe

Source: Number Sleuth

The Art of Science

The Guardian's Readers' Art series asks readers to share their art on specific subjects. The images from May 14th are all related to science. Here's my favorite.
Check out all the Readers' science pictures.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pinterest Page

Have you been to my Pinterest site lately? Here's a glimpse. There are 67 boards and more than 2200 pins! 
The bulk of these are related to math. Thanks to all the great teachers sharing their amazing materials. 

Sale on Math Games

If you are looking for math games for your classroom, Didax is having a sale through May 29th. All games are under $10. In many cases you can view sample pages or images of the materials.

Visit the Didax site for more information.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Some Apps for Elementary Math

I've been playing around a bit with my iPad in anticipation of my summer course. Here are a few FREE math apps you might like to try.

Counting and Number Sense
123 Numbers FREE - Working on numbers to 10 and counting skills, this app focuses on meaning of numbers, order and sequencing, even and odd numbers, and more.

Counting 123 - Learn to Count Challenge for Kids - Four different mini-games help kids practice counting skills to 10. Mini-games include catch and count the fish, spot the difference, and more.

Motion Math Zoom -  Zoom through the number line and learn about place value. This zoomable, stretchable number line is missing some numbers. Students must put  the numbers back where they belong. App uses concrete objects to represent abstract numbers, from dinosaurs in the thousands down to amoebas in the thousandths.

Time and Money
A Basic Time App -  This app shows an analog clock and explains how to tell time to the hour, half hour, quarter hour, and more. Contains more than 180 practice questions for students to answer.

Counting Bills & Coins - With five different activities in this app, students can count, match, and make change with coins up to quarters and bills up to $20.

Counting Money - With two modes (practice or quiz) and two levels (beginner or normal), students can practice adding a collection of coins.

Tell Time - Little Matchups Game - Learn to tell time by matching analog and digital clocks.

Operations and Math Facts
Arithmetic Invaders Express: Grade K-2 Math Facts - Save the world from alien invasion while practicing facts in addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

Math with Springbird - SpringBird’s friends have been captured! Students help SpringBird free his friends by making their way up branches of math questions. Allows for practice with addition, subtraction, number sets, shapes and coin counting!

Motion Math: Hungry Fish - What do you feed a hungry fish? Why numbers, of course! Instead of supplying answers to basic facts, players must find the many different ways to create sums.

Multiplying Acorns - Tasty Math Facts - In this app, students select two digits to multiply and select the answer. Conceptual understanding of multiplication is supported by the pictorial representation of the problem with acorns. Covers facts from 1x1 to 9x9.

Math Ninja - How do you defend your treehouse against a hungry tomato and his robotic army? You use your ninja-like math skills! Great practice for a range of math skills.

Speedo Math - Fun and simple app where students can practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. Contains multiple levels and an instant results chart.

What FREE math apps do you like? Please share your ideas and I'll add your recommendations to this list.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Big and Little - Books in Which Size Matters

I love books that look at size and try to make the measurements concrete and understandable for kids (and adults). Here are a few of my favorites for looking at how large (or small) something really is.

I am CRAZY about the work done by Steve Jenkins. His size books are marvels, as are his comparative books. I can't say enough good things about them, so do check out these fantastic titles.

Actual Size, written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins - Do you want to go face-to-face (literally) with a Siberian tiger? How about an anteater's tongue? Would seeing a spider the size of a dinner plate frighten you? In this volume, Steve Jenkins turns his skills with paper toward illustrating entire animals or large features of others. Readers can not only place their hands against a gorilla's palm to see how it fits, but also compare themselves to a variety of other animals. The illustrated back matter depicts each animal (in full) and is accompanied by a description of the creature.

Prehistoric Actual Size, written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins - Following on the heels of Actual Size, this book features interesting aspects of prehistoric figures.

Big and Little, written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins - This book offers pairs of animals that are related but vastly different in size. 

How Big Is It?: A BIG Book All About BIGness, written by Ben Hillman - How big is a polar bear? You can read all about how heavy and how big the world's largest carnivore is, but until you see it standing on its hind legs towering over an NBA regulation basket, it's hard to really understand. The beauty of this book is that in answering the question "How big is it?", Hillman shows readers by juxtaposing the thing under consideration with an object more familiar. Comparisons include the Quetzalcoatlus (extinct flying reptile) with an F-18 Hornet fighter jet, the Arecibo Radio Telescope with the Eiffel Tower stretched across its diameter, California redwoods against the Brooklyn skyline, and more. (You can view some excerpts at Hillman's web site.)

Is It Larger? Is It Smaller? by Tana Hoban - No math collection is complete without the fabulous wordless books of Tana Hoban. Using stunning photographs, this book introduces young children to examples of big and small in the world around them.

Robert Wells has written and illustrated two wonderful books about size comparisons.

Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?, written and illustrated by Robert Wells - If you thought a blue whale was big, think again. Just the flukes of this creature are bigger than most other creatures on Earth. But how does the blue whale compare to other "big" things." How does it compare to Mount Everest? How does Mount Everest compare to the Earth? How does the Earth compare to the sun? Wells' illustrations show readers just how big some things in are universe really are.

What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew?, written and illustrated by Robert Wells - While a pygmy shrew can fit in your hand, there are still much smaller things in this world. Moving in the opposite direction of Is a Blue What the Biggest Thing There Is?, Wells introduces readers to increasingly smaller and smaller objects. After the shrew we see a ladybug, protozoa, molecules, atoms, and more.

A Pig is Big, written and illustrated by Douglas Florian - "What's big?" That's the question that opens this book. The pig on the cover asks the question and then compares himself to cows, cars, trucks, streets, the neighborhood, the city, the earth, and the universe. This text provides a nice study on relative size.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Math Freebie - How Many Spots?

This week's Monday Math Freebie is coming a day late and a dollar short, but it's here!

This week's freebie is a counting activity. First print and laminate the set of 8 giraffes. Each one has different numbers and colors of spots. Using the recording sheet, students count the spots and write them as tally marks and the number. 

The file includes directions, a recording sheet, and a set of printable giraffes.

Download How Many Spots?.

Please note that these materials were developed and adapted from an idea seen at Mrs. Lee’s Kindergarten. Thank you Mrs. Lee!