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.

The URL: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2013/12/using-lego-build-math-concepts

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.

The URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1Y7qpiu2RQ

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…

The URL: http://slate.adobe.com/

Splattershmup

splattershmupWhat happens when you combine classic arcade game movements with painting action? This summer, I had the pleasure of meeting Andy Phelps. Among other titles, he is the founder and director of the RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC). Andy asked this question and had the skills and resources to explore the answers, resulting in Splattershmup. Splattershmup is a game that allows players to “reflect on their in-game actions and strategy through visual reflection, and to approach the creation of art as an arena of action.” The art that is created in the game can then be shared and discussed. It’s a really cool concept and perfect for a Friday recommendation.

The URL: http://splattershmup.rit.edu/

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!

The URL: http://camerasim.com/apps/focus-frame-shoot/