Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Science Challenge Week #2

I watched Ali's, Cassy's, and Megan's.

I really liked it when people integrated technology with other resources, like using two examples of technology, or like combining the use of technology with keeping a chart or reading a book. A lot of these projects seem like they wouldn't be too difficult to prepare and carry out in the classroom, but I think that it's important to be prepared for some troubleshooting or to explain the technology so that kids aren't frustrated by the technology. If we aren't well-prepared to use the technology it could actually hinder students' learning. But all in all I think technology is a very useful tool that can make learning more fun and meaningful.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Science Challenge Week #1

My science activity is the seasons activity found in Kidspiration. There are four boxes, one for each of the seasons, and students have to find images that correspond to each season and put them in their corresponding boxes. As a class you could use the writing view to write why you chose certain images for certain seasons (optional--most kids this age can't read or write yet anyway).

Kindergarten Standard 3
Students will develop an understanding of their environment.

Objective 1
Investigate changes in the seasons.
  1. Identify the seasons and represent each with pictures and songs.
  2. Observe and describe typical weather for each of the seasons.
Classifying images into categories (seasons). This is good for kindergarteners, who, for the most part, can't read. But they know how to read symbols and pictures. So classifying pictures into categories is great. The categories are even color coded: blue for winter, green for spring, yellow for summer, and orange for fall.

Kidspiration>Science Activities>Seasons. This is good to use because it is already set up in the program for the teacher, each students' page can be saved so that the teacher can check over them, and it's a very simple program so students won't get confused. Plus, kids love to use computers.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Google Earth--Seven Natural Wonders of the World

This is the link to my Google Earth tour on my wiki.

I watched Ali's, Rebecca's, and Victoria's Google Earth tours.

I don't know how often I'll actually use Google Earth tours in my classroom. It took a lot of time to create that tour, and I feel like I could prepare a more informative lesson in less time. Also, I felt like sometimes Google Earth ran really slowly, or every now and then wouldn't let me click on things. This could get really annoying, especially when I can't control the quality of the internet connection I use. However, I may use Google Earth during a lesson (without a pre-made tour) so that students can better see where places are and how they relate to other subjects. It would be nice to be able to have a projector and use Google Earth during a geography lesson or something. I think kids would love to see the Earth spin and zoom in and out.

Monday, October 5, 2009

PLE Week 5

Geography for Life Standards

Standard 3
Students will understand how physical processes shape the earth's surface.
Objective 1: Examine the physical processes that shape the earth's surface.

I'm going to do a virtual tour of the seven natural wonders of the world. I think that Google Earth will be a great tool for this because students would be able to see where on the Earth these landmarks are. Also, there will be pictures and activities for the students at each place.


Activity Description

Google Earth Content

1. Grand Canyon

The Colorado River has been eroding the walls of the Grand Canyon for thousands of years. Did you know if you drove from one side of the Grand Canyon around to the other side that you would have to drive over 200 miles? Measure the width of the Grand Canyon and compare that to the distance you'd have to drive to get around it!

--Picture of Grand Canyon and Colorado River

2. Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef was formed as Australia has moved northward with the tectonic plate. Hundreds of species of animals live in the Great Barrier Reef, which can be seen from space. Name four animals that live in coral reefs.

--Pictures of reef-dwelling creatures

3. Harbor of Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro means "The River of January." This body of water is not actually a river, however. Can you tell what kind of body of water this is?

--Picture of the harbor

4. Mt. Everest

This is the tallest mountain in the world and was formed by two tectonic plates crashing into each other. Can you measure how tall it is?

--Picture of the summit

5. Auroras

These are often called the Northern and Southern Lights because they are usually only visible in the far north or south. What continents do you think you could see the lights from?

--Picture of the aurora borealis

6. ParĂ­cutin

This volcano is called a cinder cone. It began as a crack in a corn field and reached five stories high in just one week. It covered an entire city in ash and lava. Do you know of any other cities that have been covered by volcanic ash?

--Picture of eruption

7. Victoria Falls

These waterfalls are located in Africa. All around the waterfalls are flat plateaus, which are usually not ideal for waterfall formation. The falls were formed because the Zambezi river eroded large cracks in the sandstone of the plateau. Can you name another natural landmark that was eroded by a river? How is that place different than Victoria Falls?

--Picture of plateau and falls