Well, it has been an entire week of blogging for me in the month of BLOG-VEMBER, and I wanted to end the first week with a BANG! After exploring the TEDEd Periodic Table of Videos earlier this week, I began wondering, "What other types of periodic tables exist?" As we all know, the answer to most questions is only a Google search away. So, I very innocently and unexpectedly typed into the search box PERIODIC TABLE OF and then conducted and Image search. Let's just say that it was a bit of a rabbit hole. On and off for the past couple of days, I have collected now periodic tables that may be worth exploring and sharing with your students. I present five of my current favorites below and then a link to a Google Spreadsheet where I have listed 60 at this point. I will continue to add to the list as I learn of new ones. If you know of ones that you think should be on the list, please comment below. Also, I have tried to keep the list "kid friendly" as there were many tables that may not necessarily be suitable for educational purposes.
While it could be quite interesting to simply consume the tables, I think it would be far more interesting to have students produce their own. Consider some of the following ideas to get you started.
1. How are Periodic Tables organized? What is the structure that the tables have in common? What makes them different?
2. What makes a "GOOD" Periodic Table? Are tables in the list that could be significantly improved?
3. What Periodic Table is MISSING? Are there things that could be classified that no one has yet created a table?
If you use this activity with your students, please share the results with me. I would love to hear how it went!
WEB RESOURCE WEDNESDAY
There has always been something uniquely compelling to me about the simple beauty and organization of the periodic table. As a gifted student growing up, there was something about the poster that was on many classroom walls that was an immediate distraction. In today's blog entry, I write about the TedED version of the Periodic Videos Collection (http://ed.ted.com/periodic-videos).
First things first, Periodic Videos (http://www.periodicvideos.com) is a site created by folks at the University of Nottingham and has been around for a while. For those of you who have not seen it, basically they have created a short video for each and every element on the periodic table. That is pretty cool in my book.
What is even cooler and would surely get a LOT of kids excited to use the QR Code Scanner on their digital information devices is the Periodic Table of Videos QR Code Posters! They have the poster available in an assortment of sizes for you to download and print.
But what is really SUPER COOL is what TED Ed has done with the Periodic Table of Videos. For those of you familiar with TEDEd, then you already know that for every one of their educational videos they have an accompanying lesson to go along with it. In each lesson, there are a set of questions and extension resources that ask the view to THINK (by answering multiple choice and open ended questions) DIG DEEPER (and learn more about the topic), and DISCUSS (with a guided and open discussion forum). Even better is that TED Ed allows teachers to CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON. This allows you to create a version to share with your students who sign visit the URL that it creates for you. The students then need to sign in to view the video and answer the questions. In the customized lesson, you can alter the questions and even create your own. Better still is that TED Ed puts YOUR NAME on the lesson. So, it makes this look like you did something really impressive. I will be posting much more about TED Ed and its resources in future blog entries, but this is certainly enough to get you and your students investigating the Periodic Table in a brand new way.
Last week, I went to my local polling place and participated in the democracy that we call the United States of America Mid-Term Elections, and now I wait with eager anticipation for the results on Tuesday. While I love the feeling of voting, it is with every election season that we are bombarded by a litany of advertisements. Over the past several elections, the attack ads and general negativity seems to get worse and worse. In North Carolina, it has been estimated that in the race for U.S. Senator over $100 Million has been spent on advertising alone. I wonder what impact that money could have had if it had been spent on something a little more worthwhile like education. According to CNN, one 8 year old admonished Senate Candidates in North Carolina to be nice. With election day nearly upon us, I wanted to take today's blog post to share some Election Day Internet Resources.
However, should not limit yourself to just ONE resource. Why not try to compare the findings with resources from the Tampa Bay Times' politifact.com and the FactChecker from Washington Post.
LIVING ROOM CANDIDATE
While this is not a Presidential Election year, by far my favorite election related resources comes from the Museum of the Moving Image and is called THE LIVING ROOM CANDIDATE. This site offers a collection of Presidential Campaign Commercials from 1952-2012. The site presents not only presents the commercial, but provides and explanation and historical context. In addition, the site also has a collection of lesson plans in the FOR TEACHERS section including What Makes An Effective Ad, Developing Critical Analysis, and Playing On Emotions.
REMIX A POLITICAL AD WITH AD MAKER
While this is a great content resource, I think that the really interesting part is the AdMaker. Here you and your students can re-edit a commercial from a presidential campaign or create a new one using historical footage. The site features a web based video editing interface complete with historical video, audio, and images. I think that it is exactly this type of tool that can help students develop a much better understanding or the power of the advertising to manipulate and aid them in becoming more critical consumers of the information that they encounter.
"If we don't have an informed electorate, we don't have a democracy." - Jim Lehrer