Friday, February 27, 2009

Periodic Table of Scientists

We blogged a little while ago about a periodic table we made.

We have several of them actually. We have one here, too.

We've finally made our first periodic table for use in an actual science classroom. Of course, it's not your usual periodic table.

Instead of elements, this chart features over 100 famous, and not-so-famous, scientists, arranged by their field of research.

Science teachers will love it, because it looks great on the wall, and is an awesome way to kick-start writing across the curriculum.

Students will love it because it has Chuck Berry--which is our way of saying, we're doing what we can to make science fun.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our Favorite Things We've Made (part four!)

Alicia has this to say about a PowerPoint presentation she ushered forth into the world called "The Reagan Revolution and the 1980s":

"The Reagan Revolution and the 1980s PowerPoint is much more than leg warmers, leotards, and shoulder pads--although we couldn't possibly leave all those crazy '80s fads out! Reminisce as you relive the days when 'Thriller' moves ruled the dance floor, the Smurfs found their way onto your TV set every Saturday morning, and you purchased your first 'car phone.'"

"Students can learn about Ronald Reagan, the man who was president while all this was going on. Follow along on his journey from humble beginnings in Iowa, to his acting days in Hollywood, to his emergence on the political scene, and to his years in the White House. Teach your students the definition of 'Reaganomics' and show them its triumphs and downfalls. Examine the Iran-Contra Scandal, the end of the Cold War, and the effects of being a 'Great Communicator.'"

It's a great piece. We even have a game to go with it!

Here's a link to download a sample if you're a PC user.

Here's the download link for Mac users.

We hope you'll check it out and let us know what you think.

(By the way, Alicia is the young lady with dark hair who seems to appear on every other page of our catalog.)

That's A Big Fish!

We saw this story about scientists catching (and releasing!) a record-setting stingray.

Science can be so cool.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Our Favorite Things We've Made (part three!)

Nina has this to say about her favorite PowerPoint presentation, the French and Indian War:

"If only there was a teaching aid when I was in school that brought the French and Indian war – the battles, people, places – alive like this PowerPoint does.

Listening to the audio, watching the animated maps, and looking at colorful slides will make your students understand that this was the war that truly began it all for our country."

Here's a sample to download for PC: click here, PC person!

Here's a Mac download: Mac folks, this is for you!

Edison Patents

This website has files for all of Thomas Edison's patents. It's pretty cool.

Below is the diagram included in the paperwork for Edison's first patent, a voting machine.

(insert politically aware joke here)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kindle 2 and Audiobooks Collide

We saw this interesting piece about the Kindle 2's ability to "read" books aloud.

Would be a shame to stop the development of this technology, but we are talking about folks' jobs when we talk about audiobook performers.

Teaching With Music Videos

Hello from Teacher's Brunch HQ here in soggy-was-warm-gonna-snow-Auburn Hills, MI.

We'll be honest up front about this blog post. First, this idea won't work in every classroom. Second, this idea won't be cool with every principal. Third, we need to say "thanks" to Mike, our tech guru, who taught us how to embed YouTube content into a blog.

This is Mike, looking dapper for Halloween:

We use YouTube to play music to help us focus in the office, and it got us thinking about using music videos in the classroom. Below are two examples of some pretty interesting videos. The first is "Handlebars" by Flobots. The second is the Linkin Park song "Shadow of the Day."

It would be pretty interesting to use these videos in a Social Studies class to spark discussion about government and media, the role of common people in a democracy, or how the First Amendment protects the right to make videos that could be interpreted as critical of the government.

In English class, students could analyze imagery, the storytelling aspects of the videos, or even write a compare and contrast paper about the videos.

A lot of acts have official YouTube channels, so high quality video is pretty accessible.

In addition to being familiar with the song, of course, we suggest you check-out the comments for video before you show them. Some folks post comments decidedly school INappropriate.

But it would be fun to use technology your students are really familiar with, along with their culture, to get them thinking about bigger concepts.

(here's an extra credit video. we don't know how to use it in class, but it's pretty funny, anyway!)

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Teacher's Discovery Homepage!

The Teacher's Discovery homepage is all bright, shiny, and new.

Check it out here.

The Teacher's Brunch gang at TB HQ in Dali-like melting Auburn Hills, MI especially likes the coffee cup.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Our Favorite Things We've Made! (part two)

Ryan has this to say about his favorite game, "Early Explorers and Colonies Challenge":

"Ferdinand Magellan, Christopher Columbus, Ponce de Leon, Cabeza de Vaca and Tom our buyer, what do all of these people have in common? It's not that Tom was around to work on their ships and give us great sketches of what life was like back in those times. They are all stars in Early Explorers and Colonies Challenge. This Challenge series game reaches all the way back to the land bridge, works its way through the many great explorers that reached the Americas and ends with the rise of Jamestown and the Pilgrims. Which explorer was the first to set foot in Florida and not have it bitten off by a gator? Your students will jump over a cow when they find out what the explorer's name Cabeza de Vaca really means. What could Hernando de Soto have done to have his body buried at the bottom of the Mississippi River? Let's just say he didn't default on some shady loans. I bet the seven bishops of Mérida are still laughing about the wild goose chase they started of the seven cities of gold. I'm sure Coronado isn't laughing. These are just some of the people you will encounter in Early Explorers and Colonies Challenge."

Sounds like he had fun making it.

And if we have fun, your students will, too.

as an added bonus, here's a picture of Ryan himself, "having fun" at our Teacher's Discovery Halloween party.

We're glad Ryan's on the team.

We're also glad we're not pumpkins.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Do You Use Editorial Cartoons?

Yahoo has a great comics section under its news tab.

Some of the country's best cartoonists are represented.

The best things about the political cartoons is that they are so timely. Great for discussion starters, activating prior knowledge, or just having a laugh.

By going back to previous entries, you could even track how public perception--or at least the cartoonist's perception--is evolving.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Our Favorite Things We've Made! (part one)

Here is the first part in an ongoing series, highlighting the teacher stuff we've made that we think came out the coolest!

Stephanie writes the following about her favorite game, "Forensics Challenge:"

"I love the dramatic images that are in the Forensics Challenge. Its suspenseful while waiting to see the next image. I really like the questions about real crimes. They help me remember some of the major crimes from the past. The concepts in this game help me see what it would be like to solve an actual crime. "

Like all of our Challenge games, Stephanie made this to work perfectly on an interactive whiteboard, or projected just using a regular wall. It would also be fun to use in a computer lab or on a stand alone machine.

You can see some more preview pictures, and buy the game, here.

Here's a link to download a PC-friendly trial.

And if you're Mac-ish, here you go.

Tell us what you think. Did Steph do a good job?