Pirates, Myths, Legends, Treasures and Activities

Ahoy, Matey! It’s “Talk Like a Pirate” Day! What a great opportunity to learn more about pirates with this fun and interactive website. Learn all about Barbary and Caribbean pirates by clicking several island and coastal links on interactive maps of the Caribbean and the Mediterranean Sea. Learn about different pirate flags and read biographies of famous pirates including Sir Henry Morgan, Anne Bonny, Blackbeard, and more. Learn some vocabulary words and then click thorough an interactive pirate exhibit to learn about pirate ships and more. Information about explorers and some fun pirate math games are also available to make it a day ye arrrr bound to enjoy!

See more at http://mrnussbaum.com/pirates/.

Celebrating Computing

On the eve of Computer Science Education Week (December 4-10, 2017) your friends here at Knovation have had a chance to reflect on what has been contributed to this effort and what else we could be doing. The White House has issued a call to action, asking organizations and schools across the country to step up and do more in the area of computer education.

Computer Science Education

Last year the “Hour of Code” was a popular choice to introduce the concepts of computer programming, but Computer Science consists of so much more than just coding.  A Computer Science education program will typically cover things like:

Human Computer Interaction
****** helping students understand the impact that computing has had on our society and the many different ways where technology is used

Problem Solving and Computational Thinking
****** students begin to evolve to computational thinking, where they create solutions to many different types and complexities of problems

Web Design and Usability
****** giving students a chance to start designing and coding their own pages and check for the user-friendliness of their designs

Computing and Data Analysis
****** learners will understand all the ways computing has impacted the management and interpretation of data and how data can be used to support ideas or innovation

Programming
****** students are introduced to programming in a basic language and design a computational solution to a problem

Robotics
****** learners will see how robots enable innovation by automating processes that are problematic for humans and the design and creation of robotic solutions

Although computer science education seems like it would only involve technology, there are plenty of other domains where the thinking processes and approaches in computational literacy come into play.  Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts and many other subjects benefit from students who can think the way a computer scientist thinks.

What is Computational Thinking?

  • Taking complex problems and breaking them down into smaller problems that are easier to solve
  • Working out steps or rules for getting things done
  • Understanding the complexity of the task that needs to be managed and the ability to focus on the key details
  • Incorporating the experiences of previous problems or projects to help accomplish the current one
computationalthinkingthumbnailWhat are computational ways of thinking?

As you celebrate Computer Science Education Week, think about new learning opportunities and ways that you can incorporate computational thinking into your curriculum….

….when students write stories, encourage them to plan first, identify the main events and characters

….in art, music or design, have students think about what they are going to create in terms of what sequential steps they need to take in the process of creating

….of course, in Math, students need to get the key information from a problem before they start the process of solving it

Check out some of these great computer science related resources from Knovation’s award winning digital content library for more ideas:

  • Hour of Code Combat: This computer programming game allows students to learn how to write code. Learners write code in real programming languages.
  • Lightbot: An introduction to the hour of code with Lightbot. Program the virtual robot to light up all of the blue squares!
  • Computational Thinking Unplugged Activity: This teacher tutorial provides educators an overview of a lesson in computational thinking without any use of computers. Clicking on the link leads to the full lesson plan. [1 min, 35 sec]
  • Code Conquest – What is Coding?  Don’t know the first thing about coding? Here is a beginner’s tutorial which will give learners all the background information for coding.
  • Code Monster: An instructional program that shows students how to code using Javascript. The Code Monster and his speech bubble are at the top of the screen where kids read straightforward explanations, commands, and questions. Code Monster is simple but most effective as a self-led journey of programming discovery.
  • Java Programs: See some examples made for beginning programmers to understand how to use java to write simple Java programs. These codes demonstrate how to get input from user, working with loops, strings and arrays.
  • Programming Nature Simulations: Learn how to use JavaScript, ProcessingJS, and mathematical concepts to simulate nature in your programs.
  •  Java for Complete Beginners: Learn to program in the Java programming language. This course assumes no prior programming knowledge, just a desire to learn to program.

Patriot Day 2017: Commemorating 911

It is important to commemorate Patriot Day, however, this somber day can be hard for young students to understand. How do you explain the importance of that day in our history to 3rd-5th graders without some of the horrific details? The 9/11 Memorial Museum has a series of grade-level appropriate lessons to help teachers and students commemorate this day. This specific lesson focuses on the heroes of that day, specifically Welles Crowther. They will learn about his courage from the book “The Man in the Red Bandana”. Materials and a detailed lesson plan are included.

See more at https://www.911memorial.org/sites/default/files/Anniversary%20Lesson_ES.pdf.

How Scientific Teams Develop New Anti-Cancer Drugs

Stand Up to Cancer Day 9/8/17

Did you know that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes? Are you interested in becoming a scientist working to discover effective treatments in the fight against this deadly disease? In this video lesson (3rd in a series by MIT and Harvard), students see how teams of doctors, biologists, and chemists work together to discover and develop new drugs to fight cancer. They will see the various steps of drug discovery using the example of a type of leukemia called CML, caused by a translocation that leads to production of the fusion protein Bcr-Abl, a mutant protein. It will show how a famous drug is effective in treating this disease. Students will be assigned careers and work in groups to analyze data obtained during the steps in the drug discovery process, including: identifying rearrangements in chromosomes of cancer cells, identifying potential drugs from photos of cancer cells treated with various chemicals, and determining the most effective inhibitors of cancer cell growth. While doing these activities, students learn about the careers involved fight against cancer.

See more at https://blossoms.mit.edu/videos/lessons/how_scientific_teams_develop_new_anti_cancer_drugs.

ARKive: Whale Shark

Image of a whale shark swimming

Did you know that not all sharks are dangerous? Help in the effort in putting an end to urban legends about the threat from all sharks on humans. Aid your students in recognizing International Whale Shark Day on August 30th and and with discovering the docile nature of the whale shark species.Through numerous videos, a slideshow, photo collections, and an immense collection of researched content, students will learn the true peaceful nature of the endangered whale sharks. Students will transform their understanding so that they may want to swim with the whale sharks, possibly pet them on future vacations, and embark in an effort to preserve this peaceful animal.

See more at http://www.arkive.org/whale-shark/rhincodon-typus/video-00.html.

9 Tongue Twisters in 9 Different Languages

Cartoon about Tongue Twisters Challenge

August 26th is International Tongue Twister Day. Sometimes studying language can be a bore, but bring on Babbel’s bucketful of boistrous tongue twisters to tempt teachers to torment their students success with figurative language. Learners lament loudly when led to learn languages, especially when they are tongue twisters in a variety of languages! Go beyond the popular “Sally sells seashells” or “Peter Piper picked a peck” with these worldly twisters to tangle the tongues.

See more at https://www.babbel.com/en/magazine/tongue-twister-challenge.

Back to School 2017 with netTrekker

Welcome back from summer break!

As we start the 2017-2018 school year, know that Knovation’s teachers have worked over the summer to ensure that the the Knovation Content Collection and the netTrekker application are “back to school” ready.

Content Updates

On a  quarterly basis, Knovation publishes Content Matters, a report summarizing recent updates to our Content Collection including types of content and highlighting certain publishers. Following are recent reports:

Watch for the Back to School 2017 issue in early October:

netTrekker Integrations

As we work with Districts, one big challenge their teachers and students face today when using technology is the fatigue caused by jumping between applications (passwords, usability, practicality). Search no more as netTrekker integrates with Google Classroom, and today’s leading learning management systems, Canvas and Schoology ensuring that teacher-curated, quality content is easily accessible for lesson planning, teaching and learning.

For more information about netTrekker, check out the video below, or reach out to us at contact@knovationlearning.com.

Energy in a Roller Coaster Ride

Picture of the engergy forces in a roller coaster ride

Take a trip on a virtual roller coaster for National Roller Coaster Day (8/16) while learning the science behind the highlight of major amusement parks. Students will learn about gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy through a virtual interactive roller coaster. Students will enjoy supplementary videos that will help students travel on on a virtual roller coaster as they experience centripetal force and other physical science topics. Investigate the importance of forces on their lives as while students enjoy this summer at the amusement park.

See more at https://cet.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/hew06.sci.phys.maf.rollercoaster/energy-in-a-roller-coaster-ride/#.WTM3VWjytPY.

Back to School 2017 with icurio

Welcome back to school!

Between trips to the pool, fireworks,  and a few backyard barbecues, we’ve been gearing up for a productive new school year with exciting improvements to icurio.

We’re happy to announce that the icurio integration in Schoology and Canvas now helps you easily find teacher recommended resources for the standards that you use most. If you don’t use icurio in Schoology and Canvas, you’ll still have access to the same teacher recommended resources for your standards.

Just like the websites that we bookmark and use on a daily basis,  you probably have standards or skills that you use frequently, and rarely change during the course of the school year.  We’ve made improvements to icurio that will help you store your preferred standards so that it’s effortless to find the standard you’re teaching, and see the best aligned resources.

After you confirm your school in icurio, you’ll select the grades and subjects that you teach. These preferences will narrow your focus, and will let icurio know which standards you care about most.

The icurio integration now includes quick paths to begin browsing through these standards. By typing the text from the standard number, or a concept included in its description, icurio will quickly present you with your standard.

Once you select the standard that you’re teaching, icurio will return a teacher recommended set of resources that you can embed in your course. We’re now offering teacher recommended resources for most Math and English Language Arts (ELA) standards, and will soon offer these resources for more standards, including broader coverage for Math and ELA, and also Science.

icurio also continues to offer powerful search refinements that help you narrow resources down according to how you want to deliver content in your course. In addition to academic level, readability level, language, and learning resource type, icurio now offers a broader selection of publishers for refinement. icurio has replaced the static list of 20 or so collections for refinement with the thousands of publishers that are included in the icurio collection. We’ve included a few of them here.

If you’re not using the Canvas or Schoology integration, you can still use resources that teachers have recommended for your standards. Once you select your standard, you’ll see the teacher recommended icon below each resource’s title.

We also know that standards can often include a number of different topics, concepts, or skills, so use the subject menu along the left side of the page to narrow your results to the topics or skills that matter most to you.

For more information about these exciting updates, check out the video below, or reach out to us at contact@knovationlearning.com.

The Elephant Sanctuary

A picture of an elephant

August 12 is World Elephant Day! These massive mammals are endangered. Hunters seek them in their natural habitats. In Tennessee conservationists, environmentalists, and lovers of elephants can visit the world accredited Elephant Sanctuary. This sanctuary houses many elephants, both Asian and African. The Elephant Sanctuary replicates the natural habitats of these creatures making it easier for them to stay safe and healthy as well as their being guaranteed the opportunity to be kept in herds with other elephants. Since the numbers are dwindling of these animals, facilities like this make an impact on their survival. Check out all about elephants on their special day!

See more at https://www.elephants.com.