Tag Archives: Holiday

HD_Links: Halloween

Click for source.

Halloween is almost here, but we’re ahead of the curve at NT&L and have your resources for the scariest of American holidays…

The first link is an older post from Science Education on the Edge, but the Halloween ideas within are perfect. Imagine Physics teachers and students designing ways to dispose of all the pumpkins we’re left with after Halloween. Now, think of all the scientific properties that would be discovered in building a trebuchet or simply blowing up a few pumpkins. Sounds like a good way to study Physics and a lot of fun.

Is your school jumping on the iPad bandwagon this fall? Teacher Reboot Camp has a great list of apps for iPads, iPhones, and iPods. Most of the apps are Halloween games, but a good teacher can find some great classroom applications or just give the students a brain break now and again.

Edgalaxy has a couple of useful posts for Halloween. Try having students create a choose your own adventure story using a PowerPoint template. Or check out these five fun classroom ideas for Halloween.

For those who maybe want to research Halloween or practice reading infographics, Daily Infographic has several interesting infographics. There’s the Costume for Every Era graphic that demonstrates how students can create costumes based on historical eras. For students who are older and ready for the Dark Side of Halloween, there’s an infographic available. An economics lesson can stem from this “Candynomics” graphic. Check out the graphic below for another example and keep an eye out for whatever DI comes up with next.

The Learning Network blog at the New York Times is prepared for Halloween. In one post, they ask students what they are afraid of. Look to see some of the student responses and have your own students participate. It might be the opening for a new topic in your class.

In another post, a picture slideshow is used to spur on a research project on Halloween. Questions, procedures, and even resources are provided. Even if you don’t use the lesson, some of the linked resources can be helpful.

Of course, if you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, there is always Larry Ferlazzo. His post on “The Best Websites for Learning About Halloween” contains a huge number of resources to get you started with some Halloween-related studies in your classroom.

Also (H/T Jennifer Foster, eIS):

What are your plans for Halloween in regards to your students? What are some Halloween resources we may have missed? Of course, what are you planning to be this Halloween?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. He does not currently have a costume, but his three-year-old plans to dress up as Rosie the Riveter.

Friday 4ALL: Labor Day

Labor Day New York 1882
Labor Day New York 1882 - Click for source.
Monday is Labor Day and it’s important to remind our students that it is more than just a day off at the beginning of the school year. Labor unions have accomplished a great many things throughout our country’s history and it’s important to remember that. Depending on your political stance, you may or may not support modern labor unions. However, Monday’s holiday is an important reminder of what labor has done for the American people.

Many governmental policies and laws were enacted with the help of labor unions. Social Security, the Wagner Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act among other legislation were accomplished with labor’s support. Labor’s ability to mobilize large numbers of citizens helped impart the will of the people on our federal government.

In more practical terms, labor has helped better American lives in many ways. Our students might be interested that organized labor helped end child labor and create the weekend. Now, workers are able to collectively bargain, giving them near-equal standing ground as their corporate bosses. Family sick leave and paid vacation time is available to insure a healthy lifestyle among workers. Workers of every racial and ethnic background have equal opportunities thanks to labor’s efforts. The effects of their work is far-reaching.

For more information on the history of labor and Labor Day, check the following links…

What are your plans for teaching about Labor Day with your students? How do your students view Labor Day? What kinds of celebrations for Labor Day happen at your school?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

HD Links: Shadow Cast by MLK

“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

“]Each year on the third Monday in January, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is observed as a US federal holiday. This year it falls on January 17th. None of our students were even born during Martin Luther King’s lifetime, nor were most of their parents, so what do they really know about this man other than what they’ve been told? Why should anyone acknowledge him other than being grateful for a day off once a year in recognition of his January 15 birth date? How might the shadow cast by his words and actions almost fifty years ago affect what we see in our world today?

Fortunately, there is a wealth of primary resources available on Martin Luther King, Jr. so that you and your students can learn for yourselves who this man was and what he stood for.  Students can formulate their own ideas about the shadow he might still cast today and what might be the reasons this man deserves an annual federal holiday.

On History and Politics Out Loud, listen to speeches given by Martin Luther King, Jr. in his own voice. You can hear and watch his “I Have a Dream” speech on this YouTube video.  Is it still applicable today? What was his dream? Has it come true in whole or in part? How do you know?

PBS also provides multiple primary resources on their American Experience “Citizen King” pages. Watch videos from three perspectives of that time period provided in 1963 by Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Baldwin.

You can take an online field trip with a Virtual Tour of Martin Luther King’s childhood home. This site also provides multiple K-8 Lesson Plans/Teacher Guides as well as a Problem-Solution Project for grades 4-8.

Will you utilize these resources in January to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King? Will they be more useful in February during Black History Month? Or will we see more clearly by examining the lessons learned from shadows cast in these resources by embedding them throughout the school year as habits of mind?

Whenever you might use them, remember HOW you use them is equally important. As Martin Luther King said, ” The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically… Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

Debbie Perkins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Taking the Week Off

Networked Teaching & Learning is taking the week off. Be sure to check in again next week for more great posts providing all you need to reach 21st Century learners!

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

In the meantime, check out the following opportunities:

Online registration for the 2011 eMINTS Winter Conference is open, now through January 28, 2011 – or until sessions are filled.
Conference dates – Feb. 23-25, 2011
Location – Columbia, MO

More in 2011

  • More sessions, more presentations
  • More pre-conference, hands-on workshops
  • More inspiration from nationally-recognized keynote speakers, Jamie McKenzie and Bernie Dodge

New for 2011

  • New tools and ideas to enhance your teaching and learning
  • New location at Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia, MO

Find details and register online now

The following are grant opportunities for educators:

ING Unsung Heroes Award

Each year, one hundred educators are selected to receive $2,000 each to help fund their innovative class projects. Three recipients are then selected to receive additional top awards of $5,000, $10,000, and $25,000. Visit: http://ing.us/about-ing/citizenship/childrens-education/ing-unsung-heroes

Middle and High School Science Teachers

The National Science Teachers Association, the largest professional organization in the world working to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning, and Shell Oil Company have launched a new competition for middle and high school teachers that will bring laboratory resources to school districts across the United States. Through the NSTA Shell Science Lab Challenge, schools will compete for up to $93,000 in total prizes, including AQUARIUS – best-horoscope.com : Aquarius may possibly put Gemini under his supervision. a grand-prize school science lab makeover valued at $20,000: http://www.nsta.org/shellsciencelab/

Seven Fund offers Fellowships to K-12 Teachers to Study Solutions to Poverty in Rwanda

The objective of the fellowship is to introduce the concepts of business solutions to poverty within a K-12 curriculum. Winners will be invited to spend two weeks in Rwanda, where they will meet with leaders in the private, public, and education sectors. Individual meetings and trips also will be arranged according to the interests of the winning teachers. For example, a biology teacher might spend time with scientists working in Rwanda”s emerging biotech cluster; an art teacher might travel around the country to study artisan cooperatives specializing in different handicrafts; a journalism teacher might shadow the editor of a major Rwandan publication: http://www.sevenfund.org/teaching-fellowship/

Music Education for Low-Income Students

The NAMM organization has announced the availability of grants through its Wanna Play Fund to provide instruments to schools and community organizations that are expanding or reinstating music education programs as part of a core curriculum and/or that employ quality music teachers.

Eligible applicants are public schools serving low-income students (percentage of free and reduced lunch data required); community organizations serving low-income students and students with special needs (community demographic information required); and schools and community programs that have made a commitment to hiring and retaining high-quality music teachers and providing standards-based, sequential learning in music: http://www.nammfoundation.org/grant-information/apply-grant-and-scholarship

What Really Happened At Thanksgiving?

Looking for a lesson or activity exploring the different perspectives of the first Thanksgiving? Look no further than What Really Happened At Thanksgiving? for an investigation that will engage students and cause them to think critically.

There will be no need for turkeys made from the outlines of our hands or paper pilgrim hats. What Really Happened At Thanksgiving? is a great way to engage students in authentic learning around a holiday event based on historical events. From the Plimoth Plantation, this interactive website takes students through the process of investigating Thanksgiving as historians. Your historians will participate in activities that separate fact from myth, identify and analyze primary resources, make educational guesses using cultural clues, and consider multiple points of view.

Including in this interactive website is a teacher’s guide. The guide provides classroom activities that coincide with online activities. Also included are national social studies standards and other resources. Either use the site for a last minute fill in for those days leading up to Thanksgiving or plan out a more elaborate unit on Native Americans and European colonization of the Americas. This resource is really adaptive to your needs. The ideal grade levels for this resource are 3rd-5th.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center. He currently manages Networked Teaching & Learning while neglecting his own blogs, particularly Suppl_eMINTS.