Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) is an NSF supported project that began in 1999 to develop a library of uniquely interactive, web-based virtual manipulatives or concept tutorials, mostly in the form of Java applets, for mathematics instruction (K-12 emphasis). The project includes dissemination and extensive internal and external evaluation.

Click here to go to the NLVM

Online Geoboard Activity

Click here for online interactive geoboard activities from the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives one of my favorite math sites.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Solar System Resources

Our next science unit will be on the solar system.

Click here for a list of good power point presentations you can download and view to study.

Our new standards for this unit will be:


All students will compare and contrast our planet and sun to together planets and star systems.
1. Compare the earth to other planets and moons in terms of supporting life.

Key concepts: Surface conditions- gravity, atmospheres, and temperature. Relative distances relative sizes. Sun produces the light and heat for each planet. Molecules necessary to support life – water, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon,

Real-World contexts: examples of local and extreme conditions on earth vs. conditions on other planets, exploration of planets and their satellites.

All students will describe and explain how objects in the solar system move.
2. Describe, compare, and explain the motions of solar systems objects.

Key concepts: orbit, rotations (spin), axis, gravity, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, seasons. Tilt of the earth on its axis, direct/indirect rays

Real-World contexts; observations of comet motion over days and weeks, length of day and year on planets, changes in length of daylight and height of sun in sky; changes in daily temperature patterns; summer and winter solstices, spring and fall equinoxes

3. Describe and explain common observations of the night skies.

Key concepts: Perceived and actual movement of the moon and planets across the sky, moon phases, eclipses, stars and constellations, planets, Milky Way, comets, comet tails, meteors. Sun is light source for all solar system objects (except meteors; friction with atmosphere) emitted light, reflected lights

Real-World Contexts: Outdoor observing of the skies, using telescopes and binoculars, when available as well as “naked-eye” viewing; viewing with robotic telescopes via the world wide web; telescopic and spacecraft-based photos of planets, moons, and comets; news reporters of planetary and lunar exploration