Finds of the Week: May 3-7

This week, we focus on some content-specific resources for the four core areas: English, Math, Science, and Social Studies.

Vaughan Memorial Library Tutorials - Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada has created a collection of tutorials for helping students learn about proper research, how to evaluate websites, how to harness the internet for searches, how to find sources, and how to avoid plagiarism.  For each tutorial, it begins stating why the information being presented is so important for our students to know, followed by what will be covered, and how long it should take to get through the tutorial (each are listed at 10 minutes).

These tutorials can be great resources for teachers to share with students as they progress through the research and writing process for research papers. Students are able to self-direct themselves through the tutorials as they work through the situations that are presented. These could also be great conversation starters for a classroom discussion on the issues. Just keep in mind that a few of the tips presented in the tutorials deal with the Vaughan Memorial Library and how to access materials there, as the tutorials were created for the library.

Shodor Interactivate - One of the best ways to get students to comprehend mathematics is to allow them to discover some of the ideas and patterns in a hands-on manner. This can often be a difficult thing to do with some concepts, and that is where Shodor.org comes in.

There are many different ways to navigate through the interactives, as this guide shows. They are organized in groups by content areas: Numbers and Operations, Algebra, Probability, Statistics, Modeling, Discrete, and Other.

When you choose an individual interactive, you will see four tabs: Learner, Activity, Help, and Instructor. For Learner, it gives an overview of what the interactive is and ways it can be used in activities and discussions. The Activity tab is where you try things out. Help, well, gives you a little help, explaining how the interactive works and what each part represents. The instructor tab gives some links to help connect to some state and NCTM standards, as well as a few textbooks.

PhET from University of Colorado at Boulder - Math isn't the only subject that benefits from having virtual interactives to work with. There are many areas in science where they can be helpful, too, and that's where PhET comes in! PhET provides a collection of simulations that run through Java on your computer and include simulations for Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Earth Science (and math, too). If intereted in working with these interactives, you can design your own lessons or work from lesson ideas on the site.

Social Studies
Wanderlust - There once was a time where much of the world was disconnected and unknown. It was a great time for exploration and wonder, adn Wanderlust helps today's students explore these ideas. From Magellan's circumnavigation to Amelia Earhart's unfinished flight, even fictional travels such as Around the World in Eighty Days, students can explore the facets of the voyages and explorations.

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