Spotty Blue Banana

Helping kids learn

Archive for October 2009

Maths Dictionary

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Jenny Eather has created a rather useful site for kids to learn and understand about different basic terms in maths. It’s called A Maths Dictionary for Kids.

MATHD

Such a colourful, visually engaging site, with a clickable alphabet on the left leading to the different maths terms beginning with that letter. Upon choosing a term from the dictionary you’ll see a definition and some sums to do allowing you to test and develop your understanding.

Written by markuos

October 20, 2009 at 11:40 am

MathTV

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The site MathTV.com is brilliant on a number of levels. Firstly, if you’re a student and you want some area of maths explained via a simple, understandable video instruction then look no further. Areas covered are broken down into the topics Calculus, Trig, Algebra and Basic Maths, and then broken down further into multiple sub-topics. With many of the problems there are videos available by different presenters, come in languages other than English, including Spanish. To access these videos you don’t even need to register and log in. What could be simpler?

MATHTV

Additional to all that, if you are a maths tutor and you are wanting to set up a programme of maths to help with your students’ studies, you can create what is called a ‘Playlist’. You do need to register to access this facility, but the registration and login processes are simple and quick; as is the setting up of a playlist. Once your playlist is created, you are provided with a URL to access it, which you can pass on to your students.

Daniel Kopsas has created a screencast tutorial explaining how to set up a MathTV playlist.

Physics explained by cartoons

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Marvin and Milo are a couple of cartoon characters on the physics.org website that explain how to do some experiments to display physics principles. The cartoons will engage the kids and draw them into the science. The instructions below are clear and simple to follow. There is a dropdown menu to access all the other experiments in the set.

CARTPHYS

I really like the look of this site and I’ll be returning to other parts of the physics.org website in the future.

Written by markuos

October 15, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Numbernuts – maths site

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Rader’s Numbernut has such a visual draw to it that it makes the learning of maths fun and appealing. Just look at how striking it is.

NUMBER

Now for me you can’t beat simple and these icons are so nice, and they indicate exactly what area of maths they link to. And they link to some great activities that quickly engage children, along with explanations of what the maths terms mean. The activities are set up in such a simple format; but that’s not to say the maths is simple. I’d suggest giving this one a try.

Written by markuos

October 5, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Create Comicstrips online

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I came across a video today that got me interested in creating comics online, and how it can be used to interest children in literacy.

I’ll mention a couple of sites that provide the facility, though there are several others.

I’ve picked on Bitstrips

COMIC1

and Pixton (click below to view video)

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1186727&dest=-1]

because they have on open version, but also a (pay for) secure school version that can be used within classrooms; Bitstrips for Schools

COMIC2

and Pixton fo Schools.

COMIC4

Both are quite intuitive to get started with, if after a bit of playing around. There’s lots of control over the characters, both body and facial expressions, and you can design your own.

In addition there’s a collaborative element to many of these services, where for example you are able to mix and remix the comics.

Pixton has a very nice Safety Tips section, helping to ensure that the site is safe for children’s uses, with parent supervision.

And here is the video of how Bitstrips is used in class and what children think about its use:

Written by markuos

October 1, 2009 at 8:38 pm