Lesson plan – pattern making with “Parade of People”

A great lesson plan that needs no resources apart from cooperative students!

As a result of this activity, students will be able to recognize and extend patterns made out of physical objects.”

Students will be creating patterns out of people, and extending patterns created by others. Either pick students as needed or form groups ahead of time–groups should be big enough to form relatively complex patterns, about 4-6 people. One group at a time will create a pattern using the members of their group.


Compassionate Coding: Students Compete in Microsoft Competition to Write Humanitarian Apps

by Scientific American

Microsoft has for the past eight years hosted a global competition that challenges high school and college students to develop applications that address some of the planet’s most urgent needs. The company’s Eighth Annual Imagine Cup finals wrapped up Thursday in Warsaw, Poland, with 400 students vying for $240,000 in prize money. The Imagine Cup, of course, serves as a major promotional event for Microsoft, with the dual purpose of trying to ensure that the company’s products are the tools of choice for the next generation of computer programmers. The event’s popularity has expanded rapidly—about 325,000 students from more than 100 countries registered to compete this year (with 400 students advancing to this week’s finals).


Summer Boredom busters

School’s out for summer and that means free time to do what you want: Go to bed later, sleep in, play more games, hang out with friends, and explore the world outside. In case you run out of fun ideas and before you say the dreaded, “I’m bored,” to an adult, check out this list of fun games, puzzles, jokes, and activities.

Photo: A girl sliding off of a water slide

The beginning of the end for current grade levels?

Schools in Kansas City, Mo., will begin to group students by ability as opposed to age this fall.
As Kansas City, Mo., students return to their age-assigned classrooms this fall, they will begin to take assessments in math and reading—tests that will determine their mastery of specific skill sets and, ultimately, where they will be placed.
Instead of simply moving kids from one grade to the next as they get older, Kansas City schools will begin grouping students by ability. Once they master a subject, they’ll move up a level. This practice has been around for decades, but was generally used on a smaller scale—in individual grades, subjects, or schools. Kansas City is believed to be the largest U.S. school system to try grouping by ability.


Later School Start Time May Make Better Students

Would starting school 30 minutes later make better students? Researchers in Rhode Island have published a study that suggests it might.

Dr. Judith Owens and her colleagues studied 201 high school students who had their school start time delayed from 8:00 am to 8:30 am. Before and then two months after the switch, the students completed a survey that asked about their sleep habits.

After the change to the later school start time: read more …

Comments on the Hole-In-The-Wall project

One the one hand, you had two computers set up outside which received minimal maintenance, and which anyone could use from 9-5 each day.  There was no direction on how to use this equipment, but that didn’t stop kids from figuring it out via trial and error (or, more often, from other kids).  On the other hand, you had a dozen computers locked up in a school just a short walk away, gathering dust for lack of ‘qualified teachers’ to use them, and direct their use.

Read the whole article

Students can now explore the cosmos from their PCs

Terapixel enables seamless panning and zooming over the entire night sky.

Terapixel enables seamless panning and zooming over the entire night sky.

In a project that aims to pull a new generation of students toward science and technology, Microsoft and NASA have teamed up to create what they say is the largest seamless, spherical map ever made of the night sky, as well as a true-color, high-resolution map of Mars that users can explore on their computers in 3D.

The mission, Microsoft and NASA say, is to inspire today’s students and spark interest in the STEM fields, and it appears to be working: In studying photos of Mars taken by a NASA spacecraft, a group of seventh graders in California earlier this year discovered a previously unknown cave, as well as lava tubes that NASA scientists hadn’t noticed

Read more …