Posts Tagged ‘middle school’

Free Alice Computer Programming Software

October 18th, 2016

 

It’s Tuesday, October 18, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Alice

(www.alice.org/)

Age Range: 11-18 (Grades 6-12, with parental supervision)

 

This website offers “Alice” – free educational software from Carnegie Mellon University that teaches students computer programming in a visual, 3-D environment. It makes it easy to create animation for interactive games and videos and much more.

The description from the website best explains it:

Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.

In Alice’s interactive interface, students drag and drop graphic tiles to create a program, where the instructions correspond to standard statements in a production oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. Alice allows students to immediately see how their animation programs run, enabling them to easily understand the relationship between the programming statements and the behavior of objects in their animation. By manipulating the objects in their virtual world, students gain experience with all the programming constructs typically taught in an introductory programming course.

When you get to the site you can read the latest news and media coverage about Alice software and then click on the menu items that include: 

  • About Alice – Explains how Alice works – and provides promotional videos you can watch to better understand how to get started.
  • Downloads – Get Free downloads of the software designed specifically for middle school students and/or high school and college students that will allow you to get started learning computer programming in a fun and engaging way.
  • Teaching – Alice provides instructional materials to support teachers and students in classrooms. Resources include textbooks, lessons, tests, and more that you can download and print out.

NOTE: Some of you may have heard about “Alice” in the context of media coverage about one of the developers, Randy Pausch. Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University professor, died of pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008 at the age of 47, leaving behind his wife and three young children. He gained world-wide attention through an inspirational “Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” in which he recounted how he achieved his childhood dreams of becoming a football player, experiencing zero gravity, and developing Disneyland attractions. There are lessons in his last lecture for all of us. You can view it here. Parents, as always, should preview the lecture to determine suitability of content for their own children.

History and Social Studies and More, Oh My!

September 29th, 2016

 

It’s Thursday, September 29, 2016, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Kids.gov

(kids.usa.gov/index.shtml)

Age Range: 5-13 (Grades K-8, with parental supervision)

 

This sister website to the USA.gov website, designed especially for elementary and middle school students, serves as an internet gateway to educational information and services available through government agencies, schools, and educational organizations.

Using the navigation buttons at the top of the page, first decide your audience, Kids Grade K-5 or Teens Grade 6-8, then choose to:

  • Learn Stuff
  • Play Games
  • Watch Videos

This is where the fun begins. Choose from the suggestions in the scroll-able upper menu box or find the subject you are interested in by selecting it from the icons below the box. The icons will take you to another page broken down into topics. From here either browse through the list of linked websites or click the topical text link to be taken to the page of links.

All kinds of subjects are available, but we will focus on History. On the “Learn More” tab find great resources to learn about: 

  • American History
  • Constitution, Declaration of Independence and More
  • Groups and Cultures
  • Presidents
  • Time Periods and Eras
  • Wars

History games include: 

  • America by Air – Among other activities, take a virtual flight across America.
  • Colonial Williamsburg Kid’s Zone – Games that teach about life in colonial America
  • History and Culture – Smithsonian Education – a selection of games sponsored by the Smithsonian
  • And many more!

Watch videos about: 

  • Native American Indians
  • Martha Washington
  • Webcasts from the Library of Congress

(Note: While reviewing this site we found some links no longer took you directly to the right page, but adventurous researchers can dig a little on the site to locate what they need.)

Select the Teachers button in the top menu to find activities, worksheets, lesson plans and more. The Parents page provides parental resources for a subject.

This is definitely a bookmark-worthy site to come back time and again for all your subjects.

The Science of Non-Destructive Testing

September 27th, 2016

 

It’s Tuesday, September 27, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

NDT Resource Center

(www.ndt-ed.org/EducationResources/HighSchool/highschool.htm)

Age Range: 10-18 (Grades 5-12, with parental supervision)

 

What is Non-Destructive Testing? It’s a method of testing and inspecting industrial parts and materials without damaging them. NDT technicians and engineers test for material conditions and flaws that might cause planes to crash, reactors to fail, trains to derail, pipelines to burst, etc.

Through methods such as radiology, NDT allows inspection without interfering with a product’s final use. NDT inspectors use the sciences of: 

  • Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • X-Rays
  • Sound

This website provides free, interactive lessons in all four of these sciences for students in middle school and high school.

When you get to the site, you’ll see an introduction, and then an icon menu of all 4 sciences. Click on any one, and a new page opens with a table of contents for the curriculum in that field of science.

Click on any topic to learn more, or just follow the arrows to chronologically follow the curriculum. Each page offers interesting text and illustrations. Many pages contain multi-media, interactive demonstrations of the concepts discussed. The material is presented in an engaging way to capture student interest.

If your student enjoys the material here, they may be interested in learning more about a career in NDT. You’ll find information about that (designed just for middle and high school students) at the site as well. Here’s the direct link: http://www.ndt-ed.org/Welcome/welcome_jr_sr_high.htm.

Free Storm, Oceanic and Atmosphere Science Activities

August 30th, 2016

 

It’s Tuesday, August 30, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Science with NOAA Research

(www.oar.noaa.gov/k12/index.html)

Age Range: 10-14 (Grades 6-10, with parental supervision)

 

This website is provided by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The goal of the site is to provide middle school science students and teachers with research and investigation experiences using online resources.

You can also download FREE Student Activity Books and teaching materials (from the “Teacher” link) for each of the topics that include: 

  • El Niño – Find out about El Niño, how it forms, and its effects on the weather of the world.
  • Storms – Investigate hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning by tracking their courses and measuring their strength. Learn how weather is forecast.
  • Atmosphere – Investigate the origins and effects of global warming and the effects solar events have on the Earth.
  • Fisheries – Manage various species of fish after learning about what overfishing and the environment can do to commercial fishing.
  • Great Lakes – Interpret maps of winds, waves, and temperature. Learn about zebra mussels and how to control them.
  • Oceans – Take real measurements such as temperature and wave height and graph the changes. Also, find out about ocean currents.

Free Interactive Math Worksheets, Flash Cards, & Quizzes

August 29th, 2016

 

It’s Monday, August 29, 2016, and time for Math at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Mr. Martini’s Classroom

(www.thegreatmartinicompany.com/)

Age Range: 5-14 (Grades 1-8 approximately, with parental supervision)

 

This ad-supported website provides free, interactive math flash cards, math worksheets, quizzes, and printable math worksheets for elementary and middle school math.

The list of math topics include: 

  • Addition
  • Counting
  • Decimals
  • Division
  • Exponents
  • Fractions
  • Geometry
  • Inequalities
  • Long Division
  • Multiplication
  • Negative Numbers
  • Order of Operations
  • Percentages
  • Place Value
  • Radicals
  • Square Roots
  • Subtraction
  • Word Problems
  • And More!

When you get to the site, you’ll see a selection of flash cards, instructions on how to use them, and a menu that is a little overwhelming. We found it helpful to go to the “Math Teacher’s Index” to see everything this site offers listed in alphabetical order.

While the interactive flash cards are a highlight of this site, we were really pleased to see the interactive worksheets for long division, long addition, long subtraction and long multiplication as well. You can actually do the long division problems, step by step, digit by digit, and check your work online. You can set the number of digits you want to use, and then simply type in the solutions in each step of the equation. This interactive, online aspect is very engaging.

Bookmark this page for easy access to it as a fun online learning resource to complement whatever textbook or method you prefer for learning math.

History through Legends

August 25th, 2016

 

It’s Thursday, August 25, 2016, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

The Best of Legends

(bestoflegends.org/index.html)

Age Range: 11-18 (Grades 6-12, with parental supervision)

 

Today’s website is one woman’s creative endeavor to plot the historic trail of swashbucklers, dragon-slayers and other characters featured in ballads, fiction, fairy tales and film. Not only does it provide historic background for characters like Robin Hood and King Arthur, but it provides interactive access to primary source documents and current scholarly opinion through essays and reviews.

The site is filled with thoughtful historic commentary about the tales that have intrigued humans for hundreds of years and you can even read the stories in multiple versions and interpretations for free online.

When you get to the website you will see a brief introduction. Use the menu to explore categories of interest including: 

  • Robin Hood
  • King Arthur
  • Beowulf
  • Pirates & Privateers
  • Ballads & Broadsides
  • Swashbucklers & Fops
  • Fairy Tales
  • Shakespeare’s Stories
  • Sagas & Sea-Kings
  • Paladins & Princes
  • Poets & Painters
  • Erin & Alba

This is a truly remarkable archive. As always, parents should preview the site and the stories to determine suitability – remember, that even some fairy tales in their original form deal with potentially frightening issues of loss and death in addition to joyous and redemptive themes. While the tales will entertain older elementary and middle school students, the research is geared for high school ages and beyond. This site presents the history of legend and lore, and brings it alive with tales full of “romance, adventure and panache.”

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