Category Archives: Middle Grades

This category of recommendations would work well with students from the fourth to ninth grades.

Using LEGO to Build Math Concepts

legoEdmonton teacher, Leslie Friesen, passed on this interesting article from Scholastic. The author makes a good case for using the different pieces of the popular Lego sets to illustrate fractions in different ways. There are some printables to help students use the manipulatives. I thought it was good advice given to pre-pack the pieces you need in a bag rather than give the set out.

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Anti-Bullying Week

rickmercerThanks to my pal, Shelley Boan, who shared with our staff this Rick Mercer Rant about bullying in school. If you’re not familiar with him, Rick Mercer is a CBC personality who often hits the nail on the head with social commentary. This might be a good way to start conversations about National Anti-Bullying Week, which begins next week. Probably best for high-school audiences or preview the clip yourself to determine if your group will benefit.

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Adobe Slate for Browsers

adobeslateLast year, Adobe created an iPad app called Slate. It is an engaging and simple-to-construct storytelling engine. The problem (for me, anyhow) is that it was only available as an iPad app. This week, Adobe released a browser version, making this much more widely available. There is no cost to use it however students (or a lead-teacher) need to use an Adobe I.D. (13+ yrs). It’s simple to learn and the results are stunningly professional. My Photo students will be diving into this tool in a few minutes…

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CameraSim – Rule of Thirds

camsimAbout four years ago, I recommended CameraSim to help students practice their digital slr camera skills online. I’m going to be using this simpler version today to introduce composition with the Rule of Thirds. It’s a great way to get started before we break out the cameras for the class period!

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Culture Unplugged

Edmonton teacher, Corey Lee, suggested this site quite some time ago and it got lost in the shuffle. is a grassroots collection of new media stories told by global citizens. From the site: “In brief, Culture Unplugged, by and for global community of conscious storytellers, culture explorers and world citizens to reflect on issues and life experiences in contemporary world – a new media studio focused on producing as well as promoting socially & spiritually sensitive stories/films that does not merely express but pulsate to energize, enchant, enlighten, engage or embrace the humanity in us all.”

Given the content of socially conscious storytelling and film, please take the time to preview any content that you plan to use in your classrooms.

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