science

Brain Pop Jr. is a great online tool for teaching!

                             images from google

If you have never used brain pop jr. or brain pop…you have to try it! Educators and parents can use brainpop jr. It is appropriate for younger students (I would say up to first grade). However, brainpop ,is for older kids. There is a cute little robot named Moby that guides the lessons and his friend does all the talking and explaining. It has such great content and depth, but is at the children’s level. One of my favorite lessons is about story characters. Moby gets dressed up with a Goldilocks wig and re-enacts the story. Hearing my students laugh and learn, at the same time, is such a wonderful thing to see! Some of my other favorite topics on brainpopjr. are: recycling, animal habitats, space, rocks & minerals, holidays, bike safety, family and so much more! Their website is: http://www.brainpopjr.com

Here is a link at the educator’s section that shows how a teacher uses brain pop in her classroom and in the computer lab: http://www.brainpop.com/video_tutorials/brainpop_jr_in_the_classroom/

So, there is a catch. Daily video’s are free. To view everything, you must subscribe. I never had to pay a dime because our PTO paid for it. You may even could write a grant to cover the costs. It is worth every penny, though. If my school ever stopped paying, I would do it myself. I cannot imagine teaching Science or Social Studies without brainpop jr.!

Learning about wind power

Making a small parachute from a coffee filter and a used paper/ plastic cup, is the first step in teaching young minds about wind power. I was inspired by this activity at the children’s museum and I plan to use it in my classroom. (I have pictures to add, taken from my iPhone, but I am trying to figure out how to do so with my wordpress app). After giving my children some “think time” in the car ride home from the museum, they decided that we could build our own wind tunnel at home with either glass (yikes) or poster board. So, after payday, we plan to build a wind tunnel from poster board the has been rolled and taped into a tall cylinder. Then, our plan is to place a fan (whichever we can find) under the tunnel and drop our special made coffee filter parachutes into it. It should also be fun to experiment with fan speeds, location and parachute design to evaluate the power of the “wind.” I am getting excited as I write this! Is this something your children at home or school would enjoy? Please share!