TedEd: Why Shakespeare Loved Iambic Pentameter

Dive into prose that makes Shakespeare come alive today. Even though Shakespeare gets a bad rap in high schools for his complex plots and antiquated language, a quick peek into the rhythm of his words reveals a poet deeply rooted in the way people spoke in his time- and still speak today. Why do Shakespeare’s words have such staying power? David T. Freeman and Gregory Taylor use this Ted Ed talk to uncover the power of iambic pentameter. After the video, students can take an eight question quiz over the concepts in the talk, and then participate in a guided discussion about Shakespearean elements and poetry verse.

See more at http://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-shakespeare-loved-iambic-pentameter-david-t-freeman-and-gregory-taylor

Science360: The Study of Climate Change – How Ice Core Drill Work


How on Earth do climate scientists study climate data from long ago? They dig and extract ice cores from frozen environments. Here, engineers describe the operation of the Blue Ice Drill during its initial test. This video showcases a double barrel coring design with glimpses of its action, normally hidden beneath the ice’s surface. The U.S. Ice Drilling Program plans and coordinates for the ice drilling science and technology communities, and provides drilling technology and operational support that enables the community to advance the frontiers of climate and environmental science.

See more at https://science360.gov/obj/video/0d3f4de1-d72a-458a-993a-1e388deefb58/ice-core-drills-work

Your Dictionary: Scrabble Word Finder

The dictionary and Scrabble are perfect partners. In honor of National Dictionary Day on April 14, introduce your students to the game of Scrabble using resources on Your Dictionary. Your students can unleash their competitive juices by challenging each other to games of Scrabble. This site will allow the students to input tiles from their hand to find out the best possible words. If that is too easy, students can do other searches such as best 3 letter words, words ending in ING, crazy consonant words, vowel only words, and words with uncommon letters. The rules can be geared toward any grade level. Enjoy learning new words and beating your classmates in Scrabble!

See more at http:grammar.yourdictionary.com/games-puzzles-and-worksheets/scrabble-word-finder.html


Science360: Football Helmets – The Last Line of Defense?

Celebrate National Student Athlete Day this week! In this video you will learn all about how football helmets are designed and manufactured to keep athletes from injuring their heads and necks. Football is such an intense contact sport and all those tackles make everyone focused on safety. Learn about the old leather football helmets and the advanced chemistry behind the design of the modern football helmet.

See more at https://science360.gov/obj/video/c36cc355-7278-4dd2-bb47-4bd720a7d560/football-helmets-last-line-defense

Personalizing our National Anthem

Written by Francis Scott Key, the Star Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the United States of America.

The story behind the Star Spangled Banner is as moving as the anthem itself. During the War of 1812, Key was called upon to negotiate the release Dr. William Beane who was a prisoner on the British naval ship, Tonnant.

The Tonnant was anchored near Baltimore and Fort McHenry.  Key traveled there and  secured Beane’s release but since the British navy had begun attacking Baltimore, he had to wait at sea to return home.

The British navy soon abandoned Baltimore and turned their full attention on Fort McHenry on September 13, 1814. As the 190 pound shells began to shake the fort,  mother nature brought a storm of her own. Thunder, lightening and rain pelted the shore along with the bombs and shells.

At sea, Key watched the bombs bursting in air over the water and steadily pummeling Fort McHenry. It was surely a sight to behold. For 25 hours the star shaped fort manned by approximately 1,000 American soldiers endured over 1,500 cannon shots.

In the early morning of September 14th, the British were defeated. Major George Armistead ordered the oversized American flag raised in all its glory over Fort McHenry.

As Key awaited at sea for dawn to break and smoke to clear, imagine the inspiring sight in the silence of the morning to see his country’s flag fully unfurled against the breaking of the day and the fort standing strong.

Key was so moved by the experience he immediately began penning the lyrics to what is now our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”.


Sing the Star Spangled Banner.  Support students in their understanding of the words and meaning of the anthem using Knovation’s Texthelp feature.  With icurio, I used a resource called Our National Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner with the words from the song.  After turning on Texthelp in the upper right-hand corner of the page, I can:

  • select a passage to have read out loud in English so students know how to pronounce certain phrases like”O’er the ramparts we watched”
  • select a single word to get a definition, for example, what exactly is a “rampart”?
  • select a single word to get a picture definition, so that “by the dawn’s early light” becomes clear showing that “dawn’s” is the rising of the sun
  • select a passage and have it translated, for example, to Spanish – now my ELL students can understand more clearly the passage “and the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there”
  • have that passage then read aloud in Spanish to hear the anthem spoken in a familiar language to enhance the comprehension and connection to the words

National Anthem with Texthelp

It ‘s a very powerful song, let’s help all of our students understand it and be able to sing it proudly.  Oh, Say Can You See all the classrooms in schools all over the country celebrating our national anthem and being moved by the words just like when they were first heard in 1814?

DonorsChoose: Fire the Neurons

At Knovation, we’re committed to helping educators and learners. What better way to do that than to select one of the many worthy causes on DonorsChoose and contribute to a teacher, student, classroom, school or district?  We’re doing something good for kids, every day, just like the educators who post requests on DonorsChoose. This is our first selection of 2017 with more to follow!

‘Fire the Neurons!’ This catchy little headline caught our attention, introducing us to a DonorsChoose request from Mrs. Hicks, Health and Life Science teacher at Hancock High School in Kiln, Mississippi. Go Hawks!

Mrs. Hicks’ request consists of three Fire Tablets with 7-inch screens, Wi-Fi, and 8 gigabytes of storage. She’s also asking for three Incipio Clarion Folio Fire Cases to protect the tablets. These tools will engage students in online learning activities, such as demonstrations, special projects, and self-evaluations.

Knovation DonorsChoose Project  Knovation DonorsChoose Project

Mrs. Hicks strives to make each lesson come alive in the classroom! Using game-based learning platforms like Kahoot and Quizlet Live, Mrs. Hicks is able to present online competitive review games and transform ordinary worksheets into activities that generate excitement for assignments where computers can be used as a resource.

Hancock High School is committed to providing opportunities for students through the theme, “Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow.” With enrollment of nearly 1,300 students, they are ranked 8th out of 249 high schools in the state of Mississippi, recognized by ACT National Corporation as a high-performing school and have produced six National Merit finalists over the past four years.

Hancock Performing Arts Center, celebrated its grand opening in February 2016 and supports students in their zest for drama, music, dance, writing and film. Designed for student performances or hosting private events, HPAC is generating enthusiasm for the arts throughout the entire Gulf Coast community.

Hancock’s Athletics host programs for boys’, girls’ and coed teams in the more traditional sports such as football, soccer and volleyball. They also offer archery, debate, cheer and powerlifting to name a few. The 2016 Lady Hawks Volleyball team won a state title. Of course, one of the most famous Hawks: NFL Hall of Famer, Brett Favre.

Students strive for a well-rounded education and practice PRIDE: Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Discipline and Excellence. They find themselves at graduation, “fully prepared to spread our wings and soar to new heights.”

Mrs. Hicks’ DonorsChoose request will reach at least 75 students. If you’d like to help her achieve her goal, contribute here.

Knovation salutes Mrs. Hicks. She’s doing something good for kids, every day!  Teach on, Mrs. Hicks!

Knovation is committed to curating, contextualizing, tagging, aligning and maintaining OER for learning through our applications, netTrekker and icurio. Through strategic partnerships with other organizations in the K-12 space, we also integrate our Content Collection with learning management systems, assessment solutions, and learning object repositories. Together we’re meeting the diverse needs of students and teachers around the globe.

Learn more about Knovation, follow us on Facebook , TwitterYouTube  and, coming soon, tune in to our podcast, EdMovers, hosted by CEO, Randy Wilhelm

Awesome Stories: Suffragists, Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement

This month is Women’s History Month. Check out this story about those who led the rebellion that finally resulted in the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on January 6, 1920 that earned women the right to vote. Read about early pioneers like Abigail Adams who reminded her husband, as he helped finalize the Declaration of Independence, to “remember the ladies” and many others.

See more at https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Suffragists-Heroes-of-the-Civil-Rights-Movement