Author: DiScoro

Amazing maps

The website FarandWide offers blogs maps on a wide variety of topics. Although the website is targeting US citizens who wish to travel, there are interesting topics that may be used by curious person. Particularly interesting are the many sets of maps available: geographical, social, political, historic, current social issues etc.

100 Amazing World Maps

Maps that changed the world

Recently a set of 75 maps were published with data on European countries that may be of interest when travelling. Most maps show when the data were gathered, though with some maps this information is missing. Though this can be a good exercise for students to look at data and information on the web critically.

Maps that show Europe in a new light

Wrong Historical Maps

Two examples of Maps that made us laugh and could be inspiration for students to search for or make their own maps.

See our other blogs on Maps for example: Critical on Maps and Maps of the World

Actionbound – Scavenger Hunt

Actionbound is software that makes it easy to create Scavenger Hunts for your students. The students use an App on their telephone to use the ‘bound’ you have created. Actionbound is based on maps and uses GPS. You can create missions which are tasks and quizzes that require an answer. As a teacher creating a ‘bound’ you can upload audio, video, and pictures. You decide how students can send in their results on missions. Different formats can be chosen: sound, video, picture, text. You can also define how students should respond on quiz questions: in text, numbers, with a slider etc.  


[Actionbound is availbale in English and in German. Both missions, which are open tasks, as well as  quizzes offer good options to design for inquiry skills. It is very easy to see implementation of interdisciplinary bounds. Any combination is possible: mathematics, physics, biology, language teaching, history, geography, arts etc. Outdoor learning and kinesthetics are incorporated in the use of Actionbound. Actionbound can be a good alternative for learning in class during the corona pandemic. The App can be used from grade 4 onwards.
The developer software can be tested for free. When you start using the program in your school you need a license to publish your ‘bounds’ and to monitor the results. The App for students is free.

Spin the wheel

Wheel of Names and Spin the Wheel – are two similar programs that enable you to make your own wheel of fortune. When students get the task to make their own wheel within certain boundaries, they can explore what type of words should be used to generate in a specific context.

This can vary from extending vocabulary (adjectives, adverbs, interjections …) that can thereafter be applied in text writing, a rap, a poem etc., to creating several wheels with a group of students, whereby the words on the wheels should result in phrases that make sense or are (grammatically) correct. It can be an interesting inquiry and discussion what words make correct sentences and what does ‘correct’ mean to different students?

The programs could also be used as a pilot test before students create physical cardboard wheels.

  Purchase  Gratis
 Requirements Wheel Decide – BrowserSpin the Wheel- Browser & iPhone, iPad (iOS 9.0 or later), Google Play/Android

Make paper boxes using Origami

Right now many people spend much more time at home. A good time to sit and make some nice boxes for gifts, small items such as jewelry, or for cookies you have made.

There are many examples on YouTube of slightly different techniques and results. Here just one example.

 

Link to a little more complicated closed box.

You do not have to think about school work when making such boxes, but for those who wish to see the mathematics there are many concepts that are being used and applied (division, fractions, angles, proportions, measurement, square etc.)

If you wish to make it a real challenge. Try to make a box out of one piece of paper where three ping-pong balls, or three golf balls, fit snugly. (It does not have to be a rectangular shape).

 

 

Filming Movement – Hudl Technique

Hudl technique iconFilm and analyze your technique and movement in sports with the App Hudl Technique. This App is a low level, user friendly application that can be used by students themselves on their smart phone or tablet. The idea is that you make a video of someone performing an exercise or movement and Improve in Slow Motion. Of  course you can also film animals and their movements. For analyzing movement from a physics perspective you will need a different App.

The App has several functionalities of which the most useful is possibly to play the video in slow motion at different speeds: 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8. In addition, you can add comments, draw or highlight something in the video, invite team members, share, compare techniques on two videos, and trim the video.

Great App to involve students in analyzing, comparing and reflecting on their performance in physical education or to give them visual feedback as a teacher.

 Purchase  Free (basic version on IOS devices)
 Hardware  iPhone, iPad (PC)
 Requirements  IOS 10

Springs simulation

DiScoro writes about inquiry-based learning, digital resources, and ways to encourage higher-order thinking. We focus on STEM education and the use of technology.

PHET has an interesting new simulation for primary school Masses and Springs. An easy to use simulation where pupils can investigate weights (mass) using springs. The program has three levels: Stretch, Bounce and Lab.

Stretch
The first challenge is to find out what ‘Spring strength’ actually means. The next task is to use it to find out the mass of the unknown weights. Pay attention to the availability of a ruler.
Instruct pupils check out all the options/buttons that are available on the screen. Many oversee some of them that come in handy in the next level.

Bounce
Some additional tools have been added. Lines for ‘resting position’ and ‘movable line’ and a stopwatch (chronometer). Estimate the mass of the three unknown weights again. How can you find this out using the chronometer? How does mass influence the bouncing of a spring? How does the spring strenghts influence the bouncing of the spring?

Lab
The last level is more suitable for secondary school students. Terms like ‘velocity’, ‘acceleration’ and ‘period trace’ are quite complex.  To explain how different values are related and to describe cause and effect using these concepts is quite a challenge.

More PHET simulations. See also Chemistry: pH scales and acidity Balancing Act, The moving man, Energy skate park, and Density and Buoyancy.

 Purchase  Free
 Hardware  PC; iPad
 Requirements  browser (HTML5 is used)

Padlet

Padlet an App for collaboration. I am going to try this out in class. The most interesting feature for me as a teacher is most likely the KWL chart. The KWL chart represents three columns
(1) What we Want to Know
(2) What I Wonder
(3) What I Learned.
You can add more columns if needed. You can enter text and pictures.

Will we get really interesting questions that probe for inquiry, investigation, exploration and creativity? The example given on ‘giraffes’ is very much oriented on facts, yet what interesting and creative questions could come up?  For example:
How do giraffes give birth so that their offspring does not die immediately when falling from such a height?
How and why did giraffes get their long necks?

My first KWL Padlet is a discussion on Inquiry-based learning aimed at first years teacher training students.

Padlet can be used as an App or in your browser. The latter gives you a much better overview. You can join this KWL and contribute.

 Purchase  Free for the first three padlets.
PRO version US$ 12.99
 Hardware  iPhone, iPad, Google Play/Android, PC
 Requirements  iOS 9.0 or later, Android 5.0 or higher, browser