15 of our favorite brain breaks for students
"If you're not familiar with them, brain breaks are short activities that offer students a reprieve from routine learning activities," writes ASCD EDge community member Ryan Thomas. In a recent blog post, Thomas shares 15 simple and fun strategies to refocus students’ energy and get them back on track
I wanted to let everyone know that we have just completed Whaleopedia
(www.whaleopedia.org), a complete definitive guide to all species of
whales, dolphins, and porpoises, with hundreds of photographs, videos,
accurate artwork and audio recordings, plus natural history
information. The site is free. Check it out.
Global Biodiversity Information Portal
The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is an international open data infrastructure, funded by governments. It allows anyone, anywhere to access data about all types of life on Earth, shared across national boundaries via the Internet.
How Climate Change Affects People
Check out the Great American Adaptation Road Trip at:
Kirstin and Allie have done a great job of uncovering stories of
people and places using their wits and resources to adapt to the
impacts of climate change.
From Plants to Drugs
This slide show from the University of Arizona explains how most of our drugs are developed from plants. It explains the importance of maintaining plant diversity because new compounds useful in medicine are still being found.
Science, Speed, and Safety: Rev Up Your Knowledge
This educators’ resource guide accompanies the film NASCAR: The IMAX Experience, which gives students a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the world of NASCAR racing. The guide offers standards-based lessons for grades 4–9, as well as extension activities, background information, and a recommended reading list. The lessons for grades 4–6 emphasize math skills, the history and development of car safety measures, and the importance of working as a team. The lessons for grades 7–9 involve physics concepts, such as calculating a vehicle’s speed, velocity, and acceleration; investigating the role of friction as a vehicle turns; and the effect of air on moving vehicles, such as drag, resistance, and flow.
Project NEURON (Novel Education for Understanding Research on Neuroscience)
Project NEURON unites scientists, teachers, and students to develop and disseminate curriculum materials that connect frontier science with national and state science education standards. The focus is to produce science curricula linking modern advances in neuroscience with middle and high school level concepts. The project materials have been classroom-tested and revised. Unit titles ask questions like these: Do You See What I See? What Can I Learn From Worms? What Makes Me Tick…Tock? Why Dread a Bump On the Head?
Science of Innovation Video Series
Whether it happens among students in a classroom or engineers in a laboratory, innovation is a process—a series of steps that begins with imagination and results in the creation of something of value for society. That process is emphasized in the Science of Innovations video series for middle and high school students from NSF and NBC Learn. The series describes the development and benefits of a different innovation in each episode; students will hear about biotic limbs, biofuels, 3D printing, electronic tattoos, fuel cell efficiency, “smart” concrete, synthetic diamonds, and self-driving cars.
The Great Diseases
This curriculum, created collaboratively by Tufts University scientists and Boston Public School teachers, engages high school students in real-world science through learning modules based on “the great diseases.” Each module—Infectious Disease, Neurologic Disorders, Metabolic Disease, and Cancer—contains five units; each unit has five, 45-minute lessons, corresponding to a week’s worth of lessons. Modules include background information for teachers and a final project requiring students to synthesize the information they learn into a document, such as a presentation or a brochure.
Teaching with Games
Have you tried to create games for the classroom but been stymied by the amount of time and effort required? If so, the EdGames website from the University of North Carolina Wilmington is for you. The site contains downloadable games, templates, and utilities that K–12 teachers can use to enhance any lesson. Click on a game type (PowerPoint, Excel, Word, etc.) to read abstracts of available games and whether they are best suited for a single student or the whole class.
Lakes in an Ocean
We know the Earth isn't flat – in any sense of the word. We see
mountains – valleys – hills – and holes. And the seafloor is just as
diverse a landscape. But did you know that in certain places on the
seafloor, like in the Gulf of Mexico, there are even underwater lakes
The Sitka Sound Science Center in Alaska produced these short marine
debris videos to promote individual responsibility. They are meant to
make an overwhelming topic easier to swallow. Let us know what you
think and you are welcome to post them anywhere you like. We'd love to
know if you use them and where.