Spotty Blue Banana

Helping kids learn

Archive for September 2009

Evidence: how do we know what we know?

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I’ve mentioned the Exploratorium (R) before, but not the full site in detail. I’ll be returning to it again in the future. And tying in with my Evolution of Life post, I came across Evidence: How do we know what we know?


This site uses the origins of humans as a case study to demonstrate scientific process and investigation. There are several high quality videos supplementing the content, section being:

  • Observing behaviour
  • Collecting clues
  • Investigating relationships
  • Finding patterns
  • considering possibilities
  • How science works
  • Can you believe it?
  • Map your knowledge

In the Podcasts and more section there is a little template that you can print out and cut/fold into a useful booklet about fundamentals of scientific process.

Then there is a section called myEvidence, where you can see evidence on a range of subjects other people have ‘mapped’ and you can login and map your own evidence.

The site is Flash driven, so you’ll need to have a Flash player installed and reasonable bandwidth, although there is a low-bandwidth printer friendly version of the site available.

This is a site well worth spending plenty of time investigating.


Math Apprentice – real world maths examples to try

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Math Apprentice is an interesting concept, behind which lies the an attempt to answer the question often asked in school, “Why do I need to learn this maths thing? I’ll never need to use it in the real world“.


You can find out more about the project by clicking ‘About the Project’ link.

The front end of this site I don’t find the most intuitive. There’s an image with 17 or so professions on. Initially one might presume that you could click on any of these to take you onto the next part of the site, possibly looking into the use of maths in that profession.

However, you need to scroll down and then click on the Explore the Math link.

You need to choose a character to use on your trip around the professions, skateboarding passed the buildings using the left and right arrow keys. Clicking on a building will take you in and you’ll be provided with a brief introduction, and then a task to solve using mathematics.


One drawback is the use of feet in distance measurements, rather than the SI units of metres.

Artcyclopedia – fine art search engine

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Artcyclopedia is a site that allows you to search through thousands of artists to find links to museums, image archives, books, etc. to find out more about the artists, to view images of their works, etc.


Written by markuos

September 19, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Zoopz – logic games

leave a comment » has some interesting logic based maze games for elementary level children.


Written by markuos

September 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm


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Sometimes teenage boys can show a reluctance to read. Well there is some help from to engage them more in reading. I thought the assignments were very useful.


This video succinctly explains what the site authors are attempting.

Written by markuos

September 18, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Evolution of life

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This site has a set of aminations to explain aspects of evolution of life.


Mutation – selection: the bacteria resistance‘ explains how over use of antibiotics has caused, which in turn meant bacterial mutations led to antibiotic resistance.


Darwin on the evolution trail‘ follows Charles Darwin as he embarks on is scientific investigations into diversity and eventual publication of On the Origin of Species.


O as Origin‘ follows a water molecule on an asteroid as the planets are created and the first cells evolve.


Dr Mike’s Math Games

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Dr Mike’s site has lots and lots of printable mathematics sheets for a range of ages. The philosophy is get the kids playing with maths and they’ll enjoy maths.


Written by markuos

September 17, 2009 at 3:02 pm