Here is a great resource for teachers and students! Khan Academy, a global classroom for anyone in the world who has access to a computer, has a library of over 3,200 videos online that are free. This provides quality instruction to areas all over the world, no matter where they are located. Incentives for students are also on the cite to motivate them with a game of earning badges and points, “game mechanics” as they refer to it, and they also offer Teacher Resources as well. Here is an example of one topic they cover:
ALGEBRA (many lessons in each of these subtopics):
Rations & Proportions
Exponents and Radicals
It’s easy to see by this listing that there are many lessons from which to choose. Here is a partial list of more topics without subtopics listed:
Arithmetic & Pre-Algebra
Art History (for many different eras)
Banking & Money
Healthcare & Medicine
Khan Academy is a global classroom of students who learn at their own rate and choose what they want to study. Here are reviews and stories of the academy so you can read first hand from teachers and students all over the world.
We visited the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado with our teenage son a few years ago, and he was so impressed with the bridge that a couple of years later he chose it for a school project. It is truly an awesome experience to walk across the lengthy bridge, look across towards the majestic mountains, look down into the immense canyon, and then ride the “world’s steepest incline railway” deep down into the canyon and look up at the tiny strand of a bridge that you have just walked across. Pictures do not do it justice! It is one of those “Wow!” experiences.
I wish I had taken pictures throughout all the steps of this project, but time was a factor and I didn’t. Here are some of the few pictures I did take. I am so glad I took these pictures beforehand because his project disappeared from the classroom and we never got it back. It got thrown out with the trash by the janitor along with 20 other projects. Our son received a high grade on this project so at least the teacher did see it!
A large, very sturdy foam (or wood) sheet to form the base for the project
Large empty cereal boxes to form the brown walls on either side of the canyon
Newspapers to make paper mache slopes and texture for the inside of the canyon
Brown craft paint to cover the paper mache slopes
Brown construction paper to cover the outside portions of the cereal boxes that are not in the canyon (and any part of the cereal boxes showing that are not part of the canyon) OR brown paint. We found it easier and quicker to use brown construction paper.
Popsicle sticks to glue together to make the base for the road part of the bridge
Flat toothpicks to make the bridge slats over the top of the Popsicle sticks
Wooden dowel rods and other small wooden pieces from a craft store
Lightweight craft wire to make the cable wires for the bridge
Silver Sharpie Permanent Marker or silver spray paint (for the wooden pieces)
Heavy duty tape such as duct tape
Newspapers to make paper mache
If you have never visited Royal Gorge, then I suggest watching the Online Video to give you a better idea of what the bridge looks like.
Using duct tape or something similar, tape the cereal boxes in place along the two long edges of the thick foam or wooden base. This forms the canyon.
Make paper mache out of newspapers, glue and water. Use paper mache to make the slopes on the inside of the cereal boxes to make the canyon walls.
Paint the paper mache canyon walls and floor of the canyon with brown craft paint.
Paint the outside of the cereal boxes with brown paint or cover with brown construction paper. (we used construction paper)
Use blue craft paint or blue plastic wrap to form the river at the bottom of the canyon.
Depending on what wooden pieces you find at the craft or hobby store, look at the picture of the bridge and use your creativity to use items from the hobby shop to approximate the dimensions to scale in your model. Color the wood with silver to represent the metal parts of the bridge.
Glue the Popsicle sticks end to end and then lay “slats” made from flat toothpicks (cut in half or thirds) across the sticks to form the part of the bridge that cars drive across. (This is very time consuming and you might come up with a different idea.)
Use the craft wire to form the cables on the bridge.
Royal Gorge Bridge, “Building World Landmarks” Series, by Margaret Yuan. Good for ages 7-14. Describes the techniques and difficulties in building the bridge.
America’s Top 10 Bridges by Edward Ricciuti. Good for ages 7-12. The Royal Gorge Bridge is included in the 10.
Credit: Free pictures from acobox.com
Here is an excellent free resource for teachers. This is written to go with exhibits at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, however, it can be modified to use in the classroom without visiting the museum. If you live close enough to Austin, Texas, to take a field trip then I highly recommend this excellent museum.
KidsAstonomy.com is a great site for students to use when learning about the planets, moons, asteroids and comets. This site offers free games and free online classes as well. Their “Teacher’s Corner” provides free worksheets and a learning center
Following the lesson on The Five Senses, students can compare and group objects. Here are some activities:
Make sure students understand “same” and “different.” Have two objects that are exactly the same and one that is different (such as two math books and an English book, or two identical balls and one that is different, etc.) Show the two objects that are the same and talk about how they are alike. Then show two objects that are different and talk about the ways they are different.
Show two flowers that are not completely alike and talk about the ways they are the same (both are pretty, both smell good, both have stems, both have leaves, etc.) and ways they are different (one is shorter, they are different colors, etc.) Talk about how we use our senses of look, smell, and touch when we’re comparing the flowers.
Explain to students there are different ways to compare things. Have a group of objects such as shells that the students can practice comparing and putting into groups such as big shells/little shells and then white shells/colored shells. Other objects that you could use to compare and group would be different sizes and colors of seeds, various rocks, or different sizes and colors of marbles.
Have students compare their pencils. Remind students there are different ways to compare things. Have students with pencils longer than six inches line up on one side of the room. Have students with pencils shorter than six inches line up on the other side. Another comparison would be to have yellow pencils on one side and colored pencils on the other side. Or pencils with erasers on one side and those without erasers on the other.