From the editor’s desk: the latest fun and fascinating resources for teachers and students.
Compiled by Barb Szyszkiewicz
New this September: an App to encourage kindness, and online biographies of notable scientists.
Doing acts of kindness: there’s an App for that!
Introducing Christmas Tree of Kindness, an App to encourage all to decorate a virtual Christmas tree with acts of kindness. Embodied in this App you will find kindness, can do spirit and perseverance. Teachers may especially enjoy using this App in the classroom via iPads and Smart Boards and work cooperatively with students to create classroom trees.
As explained by its creators, “When our children were little we began this special game each Christmas Season with a construction-paper tree and balls. Each year someone would encourage us to share this idea with others. This is the year!”
Begin by naming your tree, selecting the number of ornaments that will be placed on your tree and picking a background. All ornaments are earned by completing acts of kindness. Enter your own good deeds or choose from a list of suggestions. Choose from over 30 beautiful ornaments to decorate your tree(s). When a tree is completed, all will receive a star for the top of the tree and hear Christmas music to celebrate that our world is a kinder place. Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, and Easter ornaments are also included for more kindness-tree fun.
The Christmas Tree of Kindness App may be downloaded for $.99 USD from ChristmasTreeOfKindness.com, The Apple App Store or Google Play. To decorate a tree with family and friends across multiple devices download the Christmas Tree of Kindness Pro version for $1.99 USD.
Innovators in Science Online Biographies
In time for back-to-school, Carolina Biological Supply Company, the leading school science supplier, launched the new Innovators in Science digital literacy resource for students in grades K to 8. The online resource of biographies presents diverse examples of notable scientists and engineers as part of Carolina’s core science curriculum, which is enriched with opportunities for students to access informational texts, literature, simulations and media related to science and engineering. The goal of this new resource is to bring relevance to all students in science and engineering and the message that science is for everyone. This digital literacy resource is available now and instantly accessible to students and teachers as part of Carolina’s digital science curriculum programs. Carolina developed Innovators in Science as it was creating new science education products for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Calif. NGSS. These biographies specifically meet Calif. Science Framework requirements for diversity in science education. Teachers are invited to preview Innovators in Science at www.carolina.com/innovators.
Innovators in Science includes short, easy-to-read profiles of a diverse selection of 49 scientists from around the world, selected for their diversity, as well as interesting accomplishments and awards in many different fields of science. Carolina will continue to expand the resource by adding more profiles automatically and seamlessly online. Among the initial scientists profiled, 19 are women who are/were leaders in anthropology, astrophysics, botany, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, chemistry, invention, marine biology, medicine, physics, planet geology, primatology, seismology, theoretical physics, and volcanology. From a couple of popular names like Sally Ride and Jane Goodall, to lesser known names such as Youyou Tu from China who discovered the best medicine to treat malaria and Rosaly Lopes, a NASA scientist who discovered volcanos on the planet Jupiter’s moon, girls and young women can learn about many female innovators and role models.
Each innovator profile includes a photograph and several links from reputable organizations or sources to encourage students at higher grade levels to explore and learn more about each person. Teachers can also use the links for lesson planning, saving them time preparing for class discussions, assignments or activities.
The sources have been thoroughly researched and vetted by Carolina to provide the most appropriate and best quality of online background information about each scientist. Teaching students about reliable sources for research, they include education sites, universities, nonprofit organizations, government departments, museums, professional science and engineering associations, science organizations, science journals, encyclopedias, biography databases, and firsthand blogs or websites of the scientist profiled.
Some of the sites that students will visit if they explore the curated links at the end of each profile are Biography, Encyclopedia Britannica, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Nobel Prize, NASA, Scientific American, and Stanford University.
For information, visit, call (800) 334-5551, or e-mail .
Barb Szyszkiewicz is editor of CatholicMom.com and managing editor at Today’s Catholic Teacher.
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