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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Challenging Minds and Imaginations to the Bittersweet End!

It’s that time of year – a time when our children’s minds are most likely outside the great classroom doors.  Why not capitalize on that feeling and help them take a visual trip out into the world. Both you and your students could easily get lost exploring these great sites:

Want to get kids thinking and wondering?  
Try these sites to find all kinds of interesting videos that can launch a lesson or great discussion
 “The Kids Should See This – Smart videos for curious minds of all ages!” – Great videos “not made for kids, but perfect for kids” curated by Rion Nakaya and her children! 
Wonderopolis – What are you wondering? Explore a huge bank of questions posed by children or have your kids pose their own?  I searched for skin and found answers to Why do we have skin?  Why does your skin wrinkle in water?  Why do people have freckles?  Why do snakes shed their skin? And more! Have your students check out the wonder of the day or post their own wonders! Sign up and Ian Byrd sends you a “weekly dose of curiosities and puzzlements.”  This month’s links included:
1. Embroidery On Rackets- Love it! An embroidery project using tennis rackets in place of fabric.
2. 3 Earths! - Astronomers detected three Earth-sized planets orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years away. They may be habitable, and are targets for follow-up surveys.
3. Largest Dive Coaster - From Cedar Point, it’s Valravn, the roller coaster with the largest straight drop. From the safety of my kitchen table, that drop is pretty thrilling!
4. Building On Sand?-Reinforce loose dirt with some stiff material and it can hold a carform a freeway on-ramp, or be the wall of a building! Great engineering video.
5. Photos From Up High-Amazing photography of normal scenes from up high. Love the shipping containers!

Google takes you there
Thanks to Rich Kiker who shared all kinds of great
Google driven or related free adventures at the Garden State Summit - amazing for any age.
Tour a museum without leaving your room at the Google Cultural Institute

Do you remember playing where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?  Try this modern version called GeoGuesser game that incorporates Google maps with a game to guess the locations.

Google Cardboard – Got Google Cardboard?  The gizmo designed out of cardboard to work like the viewmasters of old! (I actually just ordered my viewer for free from a box of Frosted Flakes)  Download an app on your phone insert it into your cardboard and away you go on 3D adventures.  Check out these apps - New York Times VR and amazing expeditions!

Speaking of locations
You have got to check out these Google Street View Treks:
Petra – Explore the city carved out of stone.
Abbey Road Studios- Did you know the Harry Potter movies were made here?
Gombe, Tanzania – Explore the area where Jane Goodall’s research on apes is based.

While you’re at it, take a look at these apps.  Simply amazing!
Elements 4D – Part toy, part chemistry experiment….app
Anatomy 4D (note, must be 17 to download)

Take your mind on a visual vacation!  Let your kids follow their passions!  Explore all the coolness the web has to offer and keep them thinking!