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31 October 2011

Math in real life

Can you figure out what they're doing wrong?



Thanks, Eriks, for showing me this video!

Keyboarding race

In case ISOCS students are bored in the next two days, while the teachers are learning about Math, I bring you this challenge:



You notice that he never looks down at his hands.

Now that you're inspired, go to our ICT Netvibes Keyboarding page and choose a typing exercise.

This video shows him typing even faster! (Or rather, shows him using a web page called TypeRacer, and reaching 212 words per minute (WPM)

30 October 2011

Finding out about Friction

These videos are for the ISOCS Middle Primary Class, which has been wondering about force and motion, and investigating friction.





And in case you forgot about Newton's laws of motion over the holiday, here's a refresher:

23 October 2011

I'm a scientist

This video from The Guardian is for the Middle Primary Class, who are investigation Force and Motion right now, and have just had a hard look at the IB Learner Profile.



Stephen Curry, who made the film, says
"... I have made a film by interviewing six different scientists, to give them a chance to share their stories. They talk openly about how they got into science, why they like doing it, what they think it takes to be a good scientist and speculate on some of the big questions that still need to be tackled."


Go to The Guardian page and read the whole story.

Are you a scientist?

22 October 2011

Odd Girl Out

This afternoon I listened to an National Public Radio Podcast, "All Tech Considered".  Part of the episode was a conversation with author Rachel Simmons  about her updated book, Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls. You can listen to the story in the player below, or at the show page (where you will also find a transcript of the program), and read an expert from the book here.



Click here to read more about the book
"You can't really talk about girls anymore without talking about the role of social media in their lives," Simmons tells All Things Considered co-host Michele Norris. "For many girls, technology is not just what connects them, but it's part of their relationships. So many girls will say, 'I don't exist if I'm not on Facebook.' It's a huge part of how they navigate their lives."


Listen to the segment, especially if you live with teenagers (or anyone over the age of 8!)

19 October 2011

Play Again

I found a link to this video on the PYP Library Facebook page.


text from the YouTube page:

Uploaded by  on May 10, 2011
"PLAY AGAIN is a new, award-winning documentary about the consequences of a childhood removed from nature. At a time when children play more behind screens than outside, PLAY AGAIN explores the changing balance between the virtual and natural worlds. Is our connection to nature disappearing down the digital rabbit hole? To find out more, please visit us at www.playagainfilm.com or www.facebook.com/playagainfilm."

Watch this interview with the Producer:

text from the YouTube page:

Uploaded by  on Jun 27, 2011
"Interview with PLAY AGAIN producer, Meg Merrill, at the Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington D.C."


You can read about the film at its webpage http://playagainfilm.com/film-synopsis/
"One generation from now most people in the U.S. will have spent more time in the virtual world than in nature. New media technologies have improved our lives in countless ways. Information now appears with a click. Overseas friends are part of our daily lives. And even grandma loves Wii.
But what are we missing when we are behind screens? And how will this impact our children, our society, and eventually, our planet?"

15 October 2011

The KQED television station in San Francisco and NPR have a show page from their Mind/Shirft program which asks "How Young is Too Young for Kids to Start Social Networking?"  The story discusses the statistics about under-age users on Facebook:
"What’s the appropriate age to start logging onto social networking sites? According to the Terms of Service for Facebook, at least, the answer is 13.

But that doesn’t stop thousands of younger children from signing up. According to Facebook’s chief privacy adviser Mozelle Thompson, Facebook removes about 20,000 users a day who are underage."

Screen shot from http://mindshift.kqed.org/

It mentions sites aimed at younger children, like imbee, Club Penguin, and Togetherville as alternatives. It asks "(W)ill kids be interested in Togetherville or Club Penguin when their friends and family are on Facebook? Should parents be complicit in signing up their under-13 kids on Facebook?"

Do you thinks kids are interested in being on Facebook because it's Facebook, and "everyone" is there, or is it a desire for a media social existence...in which case, is Club Penguin as good?

Mind/Shift has published two pages on this topic since the one mentioned above :
Should Parents Have the Backdoor Key to Their Kids’ Facebook Accounts??
The Pitfalls and Promises of Social Media and Kids

You might also be interested in
8 Social Media Sites Just for Kids

09 October 2011

Flu Season

Open Culture reminded us a few days ago that the flu season is just around the corner for us here in the Northern Hemisphere, i.e., here in Zug.


Text from the YouTube page:

Uploaded by  on Oct 23, 2009
"When you get the flu, viruses turn your cells into tiny factories that help spread the disease. In this animation, NPR's Robert Krulwich and medical animator David Bolinsky explain how a flu virus can trick a single cell into making a million more viruses."
See and hear the rest of the story on NPR.org:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114075029

This made me curious about other web sites with information about the flu.  I found this video which is not so imaginative, but offers some practical advice:

What is ‘flu? - Explania

These web pages offer good advice, too:

KidsHealth  ("TeensHealth is part of the KidsHealth family of websites. These sites, run by the nonprofit Nemours Center for Children's Health Media, provide accurate, up-to-date health information that's free of "doctor speak.")


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention - a page about handwashing
"Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. "
and a page about "Cover your Cough"
"Stop the spread of germs that can make you and others sick!
Influenza (flu) and other serious respiratory illnesses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands."

Flu and Cold Prevention Tips for keeping your family healthy.

  • Washing hands is the best way to prevent illness.
  • Baby wipes are not strong enough to kill germs.
  • Teach your child to cough or sneeze into her sleeve.
  • Don’t send your child to school with a fever, stomach flu or if she is feeling ill.
  • Everyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot.
When you search the internet for information about a topic like "flu" -  a very generic term, a popular topic, and one about which people want information and want to publicize their own opinions, it's difficult to sort the fact from the folklore.  I searched for what is the flu, using the advanced search tools to limit results to a "basic reading level" and pages posted within the last year. Even with those limitations, there were still 60,900,000 results! By putting what is the flu in quotation marks ("what is the flu"), the results were limited to 486. This list was much easier to sort through!

I decided to try the same search on some of the search engines linked to our Online Library page, to see if it would be easier, or there would be more reliable results, on the search engines created with young children in mind.
This is what I found on Ask Jeeves for Kids, Duck Duck Go, and Kid Rex (clik on the image to open it full size):
Screen shot of  results on Ask Jeeves for Kids 
Screen shot from results at  KidRex
Screen shot of results from DuckDuckGo


All the sites returned reliable information, but my vote for favorite goes to Duck Duck Go, because of the refined search options ("Search Ideas") listed on the right of the screen.

This last video is for the Middle Primary Class, which often begins a unit of inquiry on Sesame Street. Their videos offer a precise, easy to understand presentation of the Big Idea behind many of the concepts we're interested in.

01 October 2011

Caves, art and children

This video is for the Middle Primary Class, who investigated early people in the Zug region last year in our "Structures" unit of inquiry.


Text from the YouTube page:

Uploaded by  on Sep 29, 2011
Archaeological research reveals that 13,000 years before CBeebies hunter-gatherer children as young as three were creating art in deep, dark caves alongside their parents.

The History of Switzerland describes early people in Switzerland: "A few traces of early hunters (weapons and tools made from stone splinters, bones of prey animals and human skeletons) dating back to a relatively warm period about 150,000 years ago have been found in several natural caves in eastern and western Switzerland at an altitude of some 1,000 to 1,500 m (3000 to 4,500 ft) above sea level. These people belonged to the species homo neanderthalensis that disappeared later in history. They hunted mainly big animals."  That's about 145,000 years earlier than the Lake Dwellers we were thinking about last year.

Are any of these caves around our area in Cham - Zug? There are the Höllgrotten near Baar.  Are they the sort of caves people might have lived in?

There are caves nearby in Luzern, too.
"Wildkirchli is the name of a system of three caves in the Alpstein massif of Appenzell, Switzerland. They are notable for the traces of paleolithic (Neanderthals) habitation discovered in 1940 by Emil Bächler (1868–1950), dating to ca. 50,000 to 30,000 BP. Even earlier are remnants of cave bears found in the caves, dating to ca. 90,000 BP.
The caves were inhabited by hermits from 1658 to 1853.
Today, the caves are a tourist site. They can be easily accessed on foot via a short trail down from the cable car station at Ebenalp
." (Read more at Wikipedia)

Wildkirchli, Appenzell, Schweiz on Wikimedia                                                  

Have you ever used your hands to make pictures or designs in clay or mud?  How did it feel? How long did they last?

Off Book | Street Art | PBS Arts

I'm sharing this video with the ISOCS classes who are investigating shape and space.  Do you think color or texture makes any difference to how you perceive a shape? Is a rough or furry cube different from a smooth paper one?  Is a florescent pink sphere different from a white one?  Do you feel connected to a shape you've drawn or built?  Watch this video all the way to the end.

 
Text from the YouTube page:

Uploaded by  on Sep 27, 2011
"The street is a space where art thrives, and a place where artists can shape the public aesthetic. Olek, a sculptor whose medium is crochet, and Swoon, a mixed media artist, disrupt daily life with work that creates wonder, emotion, and humor. Equally at home in museums and galleries, both artists also create installations that challenge the formats of traditional art spaces. With powerful layers of meaning, beautiful aesthetics, and using unique media, these two prolific creators are pushing the boundaries of contemporary art."