Thursday, January 26, 2012

Plate Tectonics

Science is by no means my area of expertise, but I am helping to tutor students in the subject. I think being a novice in a subject works as an advantage sometimes, because it is easier to see it from a fresh perspective. This week we worked on plate tectonics.

Like always, I found a videos to start with. (Our district has an account with, so I showed that one first. If your district doesn't have an account, they need to get one, or you need to write a grant! They have bunches of videos, mostly aimed at the secondary level and are quick and a little funny.) The other video didn't have much of a lesson with it, but the kids were entertained:

The art teacher at my school was nice enough to lend some supplies to me execute my idea. I borrowed clay and we built boundaries. I love my kinesthetic learners!
They had so much fun with the clay!
...and each one had their own way to illustrate their understanding.
~Mrs. Scott

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Surface Area

We recently learned about surface area. For some reason, this is always a hard concept for students, and then add in some funky formulas on the formula chart and it totally throws them for another loop. I prefer just to teach them how to find the area of each side and add them together.

I like to start lessons with a brainpop video or youtube video/song. Sometimes you get some good ones, other times they are a little cheesy, but still memorable, like this one:

I thought it might be fun to do something different than just drawing a picture of the sides. We pulled out some paint and 3-dimensional shapes and stamped the sides instead!

When the posters dried (we used a hair dryer borrowed from the nurse), we started measuring and calculating!
~Mrs. Scott

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wii in the Classroom

My husband and I bought this game some time around my first year of teaching 8th grade math: As soon as we started playing I realized some of the games had objectives that I had been teaching in class!

Ordering Numbers:
I had the bright idea to unplug my Wii and take it to school! I think it was the most engaged my class of 35 students had been all year! Since then, I make a point to have "Wii day" a couple of times a year and the kids could not be more excited!

I have looked on Amazon and found a couple of other educational Wii games, but haven't bought any yet. Maybe future grant?

ThinkSMART appears to have games best for high school:
Science Papa lets you explore chemistry, biology, physics, and paleontology through science experiments.
Reader Rabbit has a couple of games for early elementary grades (I think I saw Pre-K through 3rd grade).
My Word Coach looks like it would be great for GT and high school classes, but may be a fun warm-up for a typical middle school classes too.

Jump Start advertises being great for ages 5-9.As if you haven't seen this show! Upper elementary classes would love this:
We recently bought an XBox Kinect for our son and may have to start checking out games for that too! If you know any other games, please share!

~Mrs. Scott