To honor the inventor of the Ferris Wheel, George Washington Ferris, try this engineering lesson. Students will immerse themselves in a study of motion, lode, and construction of various wheels throughout history. Structural engineering and design investigations will also occur during their investigation of the "London Eye" to analyze wheel design challenges that Ferris and others who preceded him must have experienced.. Then the students will work in cooperative groups to build and problem solve as they will use pasta, glue, and tea bags to construct a big wheel.
February is Periodic Table Month, and this website is the perfect way to celebrate. The table can be color coded by orbitals, element types, electronegativity, melting points, boiling points, and percent of the Earth’s crust. You can also click on each element to learn even more.
Design and present animated infographics and video with versatile site
Pros: Seven different media creation tools; students can create content from templates or from scratch.
Cons: Frequent users will need to upgrade; loading videos can take a while.
Bottom Line: A great media creation tool that could be used all year long for everything from posters to videos, but teachers will need to make learning goals clear.
The first of February is Change Your Passwords Day. Find out more as Clicky raps about how to make a strong password. Why are they important? How do you create one? Watch and find out!
Well-structured lessons encourage deep analysis, thoughtful writing
Pros: High-interest texts can spark classroom discussions, and the CCSS-aligned critical reading framework provides helpful feedback tools for teachers.
Cons: Lessons/texts could be more timely. Further options for collaboration and discussion among students would make the platform more lively.
Bottom Line: This is a ready-to-go, research-backed resource that focuses intently on CCSS-aligned and AP-level critical reading and writing skills.
G'Day Mates! The 26th is Australia Day and it's a great time to explore the Australian culture through tourism, inspirational stories, inspirational poetry, and through amazing Australia facts.
Media museum's site offers timely resources mixing history and civics
Pros: Does a great job explaining the importance of trustworthy media; Today's Front Pages section offers daily content.
Cons: Missing ways for teachers to assign resources and track completion.
Bottom Line: Filled with primary sources, daily content, and lesson plans, this is a valuable site teaching news and media literacy, especially the value of a free and independent press.
Got a class full of inventors? Then you know it's important to understand HOW inventions are invented. Learn more about the process behind past inventions and how you can work your way to being a famous inventor too!
January is sure to be some hair raising days as we celebrate Static Electricity. Learn more and make sparks fly yourself with John Travoltage. Explore how charging Johnnie up and moving his hand changes how he gets shocked!
Powerful online audio production with built-in collaboration features
Pros: Collaborative creation and cross-platform access includes mobile devices.
Cons: EDU version's walled garden is pricey.
Bottom Line: Soundtrap is a uniquely collaborative music-production environment, but you'll want to evaluate the privacy issues and what the pricey EDU version offers.
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Valerie Bourbour is a certified educator and past Co-Director of The Academy of Ormond Beach. Ms. Bourbour has experience in online learning platforms and aims for student success.