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Site of the Day

Explore all of the past Site of the Day posts for a quick look at some of the hundreds of thousands of great resources curated by the Knovation content team!

Illuminations: Pan Balance—Shapes

Feb. 20

Play this great interactive that inspires algebraic thinking even in young students.  Experiment with balancing weights by moving different shapes of unknown weights to the balance pans to achieve equilibrium.  There are six pre-set sets of weights of the four shapes presented that can be manipulated on the pans or removed from them if you need to figure out a different arrangement of shapes. Reset the balance, reset the table showing the shapes you’ve used, and guess the weights of each shape. There are related resources on the Illuminations site that  offer lesson plans that use this interactive for instruction. …

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Neuroscience for Kids: Touch Experiments

Feb. 19

Here are a dozen and a half of experiments involving the sense of touch that students can conduct on their own or together as a class.  One includes a lesson plan for teachers to use. The activities are rated for grade-appropriate use from K-12 and use just common, everyday objects to set up the experiments.  One interesting exercise involves a two-point discrimination test and a “homunculus maker.”   Make a maze from glue and try to navigate through it with your eyes closed. Compile a group of touch boards that have different textures that you can differentiate.  The experiments are …

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Math Fun Facts: Football Field

Feb. 18

How can you learn anything about the Pythagorean Theorem on the football field?  This problem from Harvey Mudd College’s Department of Mathematics is one of many of its math fun facts.  You’ll need a long, long rope and a football field in order to calculate the answer.  Or you can just visualize the rope and football field if you don’t have a long enough rope.  A question is posed and multiple answers are given for you to choose.  Don’t just randomly opt for any answer.  You’ll need to justify it.  That’s where the Pythagorean theorem comes in.  After you figure …

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National Park Service: A Boy’s Life as a Powder Monkey

Feb. 17

Explore the USS Constitution while you learn what life would be like as a powder monkey during the War of 1812.  The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship that is still afloat in the world.  Learning your job as a powder monkey on this ship is a real privilege. Follow the instructions of your guide as he takes you around the ship to learn about the many areas you’ll need to know. Do a few activities in preparation for the final one where you’ll have to make your way through the ship carrying powder for one of the ship’s …

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UpDate: No Fear of Friday the 13th for Triskaidekaphobia Expert

Feb. 13

Are you a triskaidekaphobe?  If so, this is definitely not your favorite day.  And there will be an unusual two more Fridays like this during the year.  Triskaidekaphobia comes from four Greek words: tris=three; kai=and; deka=ten; and phobia=fear.  That works out to be a fear of the number thirteen.  This article by a scientist from the Mathematics and Science Education Resource Center explains the power of the number 13 in superstition and history.  Woodrow Wilson, the president during World War I, considered thirteen his lucky number.  On the other hand, Franklin D. Roosevelt adjusted his travel schedule so he wouldn’t …

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TeacherVision: Presidents’ Day Teacher Resources

Feb. 12

Although the date for Presidents’ Day is usually closer to Washington’s birthday, this year it falls just four days after Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.  The day was originally chosen to celebrate both of these Titans of American history.  Find dozens of resources to use to honor these two presidents, as well as many others.  You can find videos, lesson plans, and presidential biographies.  In addition there are resources that tie Presidents’ Day to cross-curricular activities.  One of the math print-outs combines learning about proportions with drawing and social studies.  Most of the information is geared to elementary- and middle school age …

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America’s Story: Valentine’s Day, February 14

Feb. 11

America’s Story, which focuses on many different aspects of American history and is geared to younger students, is part of the very large Library of Congress site.  On this particular site you can learn about the origins of Valentine’s Day, so you’ll be all ready to celebrate come Saturday.  Many of our celebrations have roots in early Roman times, and Valentine’s Day is no exception.  You can watch a short video called “The Kiss” that Thomas Edison produced in 1900.  There is also a picture of a display window at a candy store in 1948 showing the same types of …

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The Learning Zone: The Living Animal

Feb. 10

Mnemonics are helpful in lots of situations.  On this site Mrs. Nerg helps you remember the seven life processes that show that animals are alive.  These processes are Movement, Reproduction, Sensitivity, Nutrition, Excretion, Respiration, and Growth—MRS NERG.  Clicking on each process takes you to lots of information.  Learn about how identifying an animal’s teeth often shows you what they eat.  Find the chemical reaction that results in respiration.   Examine each structure of a cell to see what its role is. See the difference in growth between animals with internal and external skeletons.  After you finish examining each process, you …

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National Music Museum: Virtual Tours

Feb. 9

The National Music Museum is located on the campus of the University of South Dakota.  Its collection of musical instruments from throughout the world is renowned, and some instruments can be found nowhere else. Taking a virtual tour of the museum will take hours if you examine everything that’s offered.  Where else can you find a photograph of a trumpet marine, see a drawing of how it was played, and find out why it was such an important instrument in the 15th and 16th centuries.  One gallery features instruments from Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.  Another is dedicated to …

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Try Engineering: Working with Wind Energy

Feb. 6

Developing renewable energy sources is certainly a hot topic right now.  Wind energy is on the forefront of research and development.  Here’s a lesson plan to teach students about wind energy and how research affects issues current in society.   The resources include a comprehensive lesson plan, student worksheets, extensive links to additional information, and a Power Point presentation that can be used for the lesson.   Students examine where using wind energy might be feasible, and design their own windmill out of common objects.  They learn how large wind turbines work and look at the pros and cons of …

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