January 2015: Help Every Student Prepare for Spring Assessments

Targeted Resources and Support Tools to Help EVERY Student Succeed

Welcome to January! With the excitement of a new calendar year comes carefully planned preparation for the 2015 testing season. Many of us at Knovation are former educators, and we understand the challenges of implementing test preparation strategies based on your students’ individual needs within your daily lessons. To save time and ease your lesson planning frustration, use icurio’s refinement options and built-in literacy support tools to easily target resources to the areas where your students need the most help—reducing the stress of test preparation for everyone!

Use these tips to find the right resources to meet each student’s learning needs!

Narrow Results to Target Resources

icurio gives you the ability to personalize your web content by narrowing your results to find specific types of content. The Show and Personalize menu on the left side of your icurio content results page gives you choices to narrow your results by choosing any of the available options. Do you need learning games to give your students extra practice with fractions? What about a video in Spanish to help your ELL student understand the concepts?

The Narrow Results options make it easy to find the exact resources you need to meet the wide range of learning needs in your classroom.

Provide Literacy Support Tools

Support all students in increasing comprehension and building vocabulary with icurio’s Read Aloud and Dictionary/Translation functions. Students can access resources at their reading level or be challenged by higher complexity levels–an especially important feature for struggling readers, English language learners and students in need of intervention.

  • Read Aloud – Provides text-to-speech functions for all information on icurio pages, for text on web resources accessed from any Content Result, and for definitions accessed by using the Dictionary/Translation key. Simply highlight a passage of text using a mouse to hear the text read aloud through their computer speakers.
  • Dictionary/Translation – Simply click on a word on any web resource to read the definition or translate the word into other languages.

Save Resources in My Content for Specific Groups of Students

Do you have individual students or groups of students who need extra practice in particular areas as they are preparing for upcoming tests? You can easily create folders in My Content where you can save and organize extra practice resources for those students to use at school or home.

Explore the icurio Help section on My Content for more details about saving, organizing and sharing resources with students.

As test time approaches, help your students feel extra-prepared and confident with help from the hundreds of resources icurio offers on test preparation. Try a simple keyword search for test preparation.

January 2015: Welcome to an Exciting New Season…of Test Preparation!

Targeted Resources and Support Tools to Help EVERY Student Succeed

Welcome to January! With the excitement of a new calendar year comes carefully planned preparation for the 2015 testing season. Many of us at Knovation are former educators, and we understand the challenges of implementing test preparation strategies based on your students’ individual needs within your daily lessons. To save time and ease your lesson planning frustration, use netTrekker’s refine search options and built-in literacy support tools to easily target resources to the areas where your students need the most help—reducing the stress of test preparation for everyone!

Use these tips to find the right resources to meet each student’s learning needs!

Use Refine Search to Target Resources

netTrekker provides a refine search button at the top of any Search Result page. This takes you to a menu of choices which make it possible for you to narrow your results by choosing any of the available options. Do you need learning games to give your students extra practice with fractions? What about a video in Spanish to help your ELL student understand the concepts?

The Refine Search menus make it easy to find the exact resources you need to meet the wide range of learning needs in your classroom.

Provide Literacy Support Tools

Support all students in increasing comprehension and building vocabulary with netTrekker’s TextHelp functions. Students can access resources at their reading level or be challenged by higher complexity levels–an especially important feature for struggling readers, English language learners and students in need of intervention.
  • Read Aloud – Provides text-to-speech functions for all information on netTrekker pages, for text on web resources accessed from any Search Result, and for definitions accessed by using the Dictionary/Translation key. Simply highlight a passage of text using a mouse to hear the text read aloud through their computer speakers.
  • Dictionary/Translation – Simply click on a word on any web resource to read the definition or translate the word into other languages.

Save Resources in My Portfolio for Specific Groups of Students

Do you have individual students or groups of students who need extra practice in particular areas as they are preparing for upcoming tests? You can easily create folders in My Portfolio where you can save and organize extra practice resources for those students to use at school or home.

As test time approaches, help your students feel extra-prepared and confident with help from the hundreds of resources netTrekker offers on test preparation. Try a simple keyword search for test preparation.

December 2014: Understand and Celebrate Winter Across the Curriculum

Winter-Related Resources in the Core Subject Areas

The word “winter” creates different images for each of us. Some think of sledding, hot chocolate, and navigating snowy roads. Others remember gray skies, reading by the fire, or just being cold. Whether you love winter or really dislike everything about it, there are many opportunities to use icurio’s resources to help your students understand and celebrate the season with winter-related resources in the core subject areas.

Elementary – Exploring Seasons

  • Get Ready for Winter – This non-fiction reading passage and question set from ReadWorks introduces the topic of hibernation and explains what animals do to survive the winter. The resource includes a question set and answer key.
  • Math is Fun: The Seasons – Help your students discover the reason it gets cold in a resource about the seasons. The explanation includes a wonderful animation of the Earth’s tilt and rotation around the sun and how that affects the weather.
  • The Ice and Snow Book – Students will enjoy reading this eBook about fun activities that they can do in the winter. Audio is available so students can listen as they read along.

Middle – Solstice, Symmetry and a Snowy Evening, Oh My!

  • CK-12: Seasons – What is an Equinox? What is a Solstice? Students will extend their knowledge about the reason for the change in seasons by using an in-depth resource from CK-12.
  • Khan Academy: Snowflakes, Starflakes, and Swirlflakes – How about using paper snowflakes when discussing symmetry? This video from Khan Academy will help students understand the concept even better.
  • HistoryLink.org: Wellington Avalanche – Sometimes winter can turn deadly. Students can read historical accounts of the worst avalanche in the history of the United States during the winter of 1910.
  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – This became one of the most beloved poems of American poet Robert Frost. Find information about the poet, student questions. And visit this PBS resource for a reading of the poem by Frost himself.

High – Winter Across the Subjects

  • Smithsonian Institute: Lakota Winter Counts – Have you or your students ever read about the Lakota Sioux winter counts? Learn what the winter counts contain and how different winter counts document the same events in this resource guide.
  • PBS Freedom: A History of US – Extreme winter conditions? It would be harder to get more extreme than the conditions faced by the patriots at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-1778. Use these resources to help students understand the extreme challenges that were faced by the people who were fighting for our independence.
  • How is Artificial Snow Made – Sometimes warm weather prevents snow from occurring where it needs to be. Enter the creation of artificial snow. The following chemistry video shows students how it’s done.
  • Science of the Winter Olympics – Ever wonder what kind of calculations go into the making of an Olympic athlete? This video resource will explain how math is used to help athletes in the winter Olympics get their gold!

Find these winter resources and more in icurio with the keyword search: December Newsletter.

December 2014: Resources to Bring the Wonders of Winter into Your Lessons

Winter’s Wonders

What kinds of memories do you have of last year’s winter season? Do you live in an area that experienced so many Snow Days that you had to make days up to fulfill your state’s requirements? Or do you live in the West where you spent the winter wondering if it would ever rain again? Last year brought extreme conditions across the country, but this year might be just the kind of winter you are hoping for (whatever that may be). No matter what the next three months bring, though, it’s a sure bet that winter will slip into your classroom one way or another.

In netTrekker, you can find engaging resources to bring the wonders of winter into your lessons.

Early Elementary – Exploring Jan Brett’s The Mitten

The Mitten, by Jan Brett

Jan Brett’s delightful interpretation of the Ukrainian folk tale, The Mitten, offers a wide range of opportunities to explore the role of literature in transmitting both culture and universal themes, as well as the relationship between illustrations and text.

Elementary – Learn about Snow Crystals from the Snowflake Man

Snowflake Man Video

Have you and your students read Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin? Then you’ll enjoy sharing these sites about his work:

Middle – Understanding Extreme Weather

Blizzards & Winter Weather

Severe weather is always big news, whether it involves hurricanes, floods, blizzards, or drought. What will this winter bring your area? More importantly, what causes these severe weather events? Can your students learn to predict the weather by learning these causes?

  • Begin with an overall view of extreme weather conditions and what causes them with this National Geographic site about Extreme Weather On Our Planet.
  • Use the Drought Monitor to track where the lack of rain is hitting our country the hardest this winter.
  • Learn about an extreme opposite of drought with Blizzards and Winter Weather. Then use the link at the bottom of the page to Predict the Weather so students can practice using what they have learned.

High – The Science of Winter Sports

Slapshot Physics

Even though it is not a Winter Olympics year, students in cold climates still participate in cold weather activities and competitions. Combine the science of physics with their love of sports by using some of the National Science Foundation videos on the Science of the Winter Olympics:

  • Slapshot Physics, about ice hockey
  • Science of Snowboarding, about (what else?) snowboarding
  • Science Friction, about curling
  • To see additional videos in this series, use the Browse tab on the netTrekker Home Page, and drill down through Science to Physics > Newtonian > Science of Sports.

Find these winter resources and more in netTrekker with the keyword search: December Newsletter.

November 2014: Introducing New Science Simulations from our Partner CK-12

New Resources from CK-12

Are you in need of a visual teaching strategy to teach the Doppler Effect? Maybe you need an applicable illustration demonstrating sound waves? Our friends at CK-12 have introduced 71 new interactive simulations, which aim to explain core concepts of physics to middle and high school students through daily real world experiences of the world around them.

These new resources are now available through icurio, adding to the collection of more than 3,000+ math and science resources from CK-12 already accessible through icurio.

What is CK-12?

CK-12 resources approach science and math concepts with multiple modalities for all learning types. These modalities include text, videos, images, reading, simulations, real world applications, activities, flashcards, study guides, assessments and more.

One of our subscribers shared these thoughts after using the new CK-12 simulations:

“[The CK-12 simulations are] engaging, interactive activities where students can carry out virtual experiments and collect data in the area of physical science. Each simulation is easy to reset and repeat, so crucial in the data-gathering process for students.”

How Can You Use the CK-12 Resources in Teaching and Learning?

Providing real-life examples, the simulations can be used in many cross-curricular experiences.

The Physics of Swimming

This example features an illustration of the actual physics behind the swimming stroke, the butterfly. This simulation can be used in a science setting and also in a physical education classroom. Providing the science behind a physical activity will offer the student the relevance of executing the stroke correctly. Click here to see the resource.

Sound Waves

The study of sound waves is not only for the science classroom. The instrumental music classroom can act as a scientific lab also. Providing the science behind producing sound waves can provide a technical, and visual, application to assist young performers to produce a rich tone. This simulation will actually slow down the sound wave vibrations so the student can observe music in motion. Click here to see the resource.

November 2014: Introducing New Science Simulations from Our Partner CK-12

New Resources from CK-12

Are you in need of a visual teaching strategy to teach the Doppler Effect? Maybe you need an applicable illustration demonstrating sound waves? Our friends at CK-12 have introduced 71 new interactive simulations, which aim to explain core concepts of physics to middle and high school students through daily real world experiences of the world around them.

These new resources are now available through netTrekker, adding to the collection of more than 3,000+ math and science resources from CK-12 already accessible through netTrekker.

What is CK-12?

CK-12 resources approach science and math concepts with multiple modalities for all learning types. These modalities include text, videos, images, reading, simulations, real world applications, activities, flashcards, study guides, assessments and more.

One of our subscribers shared these thoughts after using the new CK-12 simulations:

“[The CK-12 simulations are] engaging, interactive activities where students can carry out virtual experiments and collect data in the area of physical science. Each simulation is easy to reset and repeat, so crucial in the data-gathering process for students.”

How Can You Use the CK-12 Resources in Teaching and Learning?

Providing real-life examples, the simulations can be used in many cross-curricular experiences. Here are two easy ways to locate the simulations and all the CK-12 resources in netTrekker:

Keyword search for CK-12. Then drill down by subject. Keyword search for the topic of your choice, then use the Refine Search option and select CK-12 under the Featured Content

* Note that a simple sign in is required to access the CK-12 resources.

Cross-Curricular Examples

The Physics of Swimming
The Physics of Swimming

This example features an illustration of the actual physics behind the swimming stroke, the butterfly. This simulation can be used in a science setting and also in a physical education classroom. Providing the science behind a physical activity will offer the student the relevance of executing the stroke correctly. Click here to see the resource.

Sound Waves
Sound Waves

The study of sound waves is not only for the science classroom. The instrumental music classroom can act as a scientific lab also. Providing the science behind producing sound waves can provide a technical, and visual, application to assist young performers to produce a rich tone. This simulation will actually slow down the sound wave vibrations so the student can observe music in motion. Click here to see the resource.

October 2014: Getting Girls Excited About STEM

Develop a Lesson that Gets Girls Excited About STEM Careers

If we’re going to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, we’ve got to open doors for everyone. We need all hands on deck, and that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

First Lady Michelle Obama,  September 26, 2011

Across the nation school districts are placing an emphasis on encouraging young women to study STEM-related subjects.  Knovation takes this responsibility seriously by supporting young women in seeking role models in STEM-related fields of study.

We’ve pulled together these icurio resources that you can mix and match depending on grade level. Create an engaging lesson on Women in STEM that will encourage the young ladies in your classrooms to become more interested in learning about science, technology, engineering and math. These resources provide everything you’ll need from an introduction to core instructional content to resources to support extended research on STEM careers.

Lesson Introduction Resources

The White House: Girls in STEM: A new Generation of Women in Science – Appropriate for: Elementary, Middle, High

This resource features young women scientists and engineers who wowed the President and the nation at the White House Science Fair. This short video shines a spotlight on these extraordinary young role models and their exciting projects. Go to The White House: Girls in STEM: A New Generation of Women in Science

Teaching Channel: STEM Education for Girls (Deeper Learning) – Appropriate for: Elementary, Middle, High

Witness a female student transform from a shy 9th grader to a confident senior, all the while embracing STEM education. This resource is a perfect opening activity to inspire and ignite passion for science. Go to Teaching Channel: STEM Education for Girls

Instructional Resources

Engineer Girl: Why Be an Engineer – Appropriate for: Elementary, Middle, High

The National Academy of Engineering promotes engineering as a career, especially to women and girls. This resource answers questions one may have about becoming an engineer. This interactive resource provides a platform for students to conduct research about the many engineering fields of study as well as provide real-life profiles of amazing engineers in the current work force. Go to Engineer Girl: Why Be an Engineer

Women in Science – Appropriate for: Middle, High

Women in Science, is a new interactive tool which presents the latest available data for countries at all stages of development. This resource allows you to explore and visualize gender gaps in the pipeline leading to a research career, from the decision to get a doctorate degree to the fields of research women pursue and the sectors in which they work. This resource is perfect for exploring the different facets of science career opportunities. Go to Women in Science

Resources for Extended Research

PBS Kids: SciGirls – Appropriate for: Elementary

This PBS resource provides a venue where girls can share information about science projects they have created. These projects are organized by science discipline and feature photos and descriptions about what the girls learned. This resource is geared towards elementary and middle school students. The site can easily be used as a catalyst to spark interest in the science fields. Go to PBS Kids: SciGirls

STEM Connector: 100 Women in STEM – Appropriate for: Middle, High

In celebration of women role models in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), STEMconnector™ unveils, in hard copy and online, its inaugural 100 Women Leaders in STEM publication. This resource includes 100 Women Leaders in STEM who share stories about their commitment to serving as mentors and sponsors of those who are next in the STEM jobs pipeline. This resource is an absolute must for researching current women leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Go to STEM Connector: 100 Women in STEM

Looking for More STEM Resources?

To find even more STEM resources to engage both the girls and boys in your classrooms, login to icurio and do a keyword search for STEM education or STEM resources.

October 2014: Resources for Encouraging Girls in STEM

Encouraging Girls in STEM

If we’re going to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, we’ve got to open doors for everyone. We need all hands on deck, and that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
First Lady Michelle Obama, September 26, 2011

Across the nation school districts are placing an emphasis on encouraging young women to study STEM-related subjects. As First-Lady Michelle Obama states, providing a hurdle-free learning environment for women and girls should be a shared mission. Knovation takes this responsibility seriously by supporting young women in seeking role models in STEM–related fields of study.

The netTrekker resources below highlight famous women in STEM-related fields. It is our hope that you can use these resources with the young ladies in your classrooms to spark curiosity and an enduring passion for learning about science, technology, engineering and math.

You can access all of these featured resources within netTrekker by doing a simple keyword search for October 2014 Newsletter.

Elementary Resource

Youngzine: Sally’s Ride to Space

Introduce your class to Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space. Besides being an inspiration to a generation of women, she has left an enduring legacy behind, even in her death. This resource is an easy group read with a short video. Go to Resource

Middle School Resource

4000 Years of Women in Science

This site features the place of women in scientific research throughout history. Perfect for research, this website offers biographies, photographs, and references. Go to Resource

High School Resource

STEMConnector Resource Example

netTrekker currently includes over 100 STEMConnector resources featuring  profiles of women leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. To locate the STEMConnector collection simply keyword search STEM and Women. Go to Resource

Looking for More STEM Resources?

Find more STEM resources in neTrekker by Browsing under Science, then STEM Education.

Use the Browse tab, choose Science, then choose STEM Education.

Missed a Newsletter?

Did you miss one of our monthly newsletters? Here is an archive of all the great tips and resources from previous issues. Be sure to visit often and check out all of the other new ideas! Go to Newsletter Archive

September 2014: Remembering How 9/11 Shaped American History

Remembering How 9/11 Shaped American History

 

September 11, 2001 … the day that changed America forever.  Few events have changed our country in the way that the horrific timeline of that September morning did.  Because this topic can be difficult for students to study, teachers need quality resources to help them build meaningful lessons regarding this chapter in America’s history. The following resources from icurio can help teachers approach this task appropriately.

Introduction for a lesson on 9/11:

Associated Press:  September 11:  Ten Years Later: A Lasting Impact (Middle/High)

  • The first resource from this site, a video titled Video: Sept. 11, 2001 shows a timeline of events from 9/11 and the number of people who lost their lives. The video length is 1 minute 45 seconds, and it provides a great starting point for a lesson on 9/11.
  • The 14th resource, a video titled Video:  9/11 Generation, includes students explaining their thoughts about being called the “9/11 Generation”.  The length of the video is 1 minute 35 seconds, and it shows the emotion of other students related to this topic.

Core instructional piece for a lesson on 9/11:

  • 9/11 Memorial:  Teach + Learn (Elem/Middle/High). Teachers can use the variety of materials on this site to develop lessons or share with students.  The site includes a timeline for students, and information on rescue and recovery efforts that took place following 9/11. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum are also highlighted on this site.
  • One notable lesson involves an oral history project involving middle school students who interview friends and family about their memories of 9/11.

Academic practice for a lesson on 9/11:

  • Readworks:  Always Remember (Elem/Middle). This non-fiction reading comprehension passage discusses the events of September 11, 2001, and contains questions and a teacher’s guide. The resource could be used by teachers as the basis for classroom discussion or individually by students. Free registration is required to access the passage and question set.
  • Awesome Stories:  America Attacked:  9/11 (Middle/High). This learning module focuses on the events of September 11, 2001 within 12 chapters. This resource contains 12 brief digital chapters, along with photos and videos, and it could be used as part of a whole class lesson, divided up for small group work or used individually by students.  Free registration may be required to access some features of the site.

 

September 2014: Remembering How 9/11 Shaped American History

Remembering How 9/11 Shaped American History

For your students, 9/11 is part of history, not a current event. The world your students live in today continues to be affected by the events of that day and its aftermath. netTrekker can help you with resources that are appropriate to your particular teaching situation.

Early Elementary

The events of September 11 may not be part of your social studies lessons, but students might ask questions about it, after hearing older siblings or adults talking about it.

Middle School

Students will probably have some knowledge of the events and aftermath of 9/11.

High School

Students will likely know quite a lot about the events of 9/11 from studying it in earlier years. Now you can extend that knowledge by encouraging the use of both primary resources and critical thinking skills as they analyze and compare news coverage from around the world on 9/11 and the week that followed.