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Big Learning News 11-02-04

Big Learning News
Karen Cole's Guide to Real-World Learning with Kids
Issue 2:41 November 2, 2004

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Table of Contents

Are you a winner?
Activity: Election Math
Activity: Lunar Eclipse Review
Web Site: Pacific Salmon Life Science


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Are You a Winner?

We have contacted the winners of our Birthday Giveaway, and they have a week to respond before we give their prize to someone else! So check your inboxes and your spam folder - you don't want to miss your notification if you're among the winners!

Thanks to some generous donations, we have seven winners. Here are the prizes.

Joyful Productions - http://www.joyfulproductions.com has donated an autographed copy of the wonderful book, Milton's Dilemma, tale of a lonely boy's magical journey to friendship and self-acceptance. Check out the Joyful Productions site for links and resources for parents and educators on literacy and anti-bullying policies.

The Covero Consulting Group, Incorporated ( www.covero.com ), has donated a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Amazon.com. Covero provides Web technology analysis, architecture, and development services to start-ups and established companies. Their clients include Adobe Systems, Intuit, and Palm Computing.

Big Learning is giving away five more prizes. Five people have won cool Mychron children's stopwatches.

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Activity

Electoral Vote Math

As the U.S. presidential election season enters its final days, are your kids confused about the electoral college voting system? Great! That's a opportunity for a civics lesson that will encourage them to use math skills from addition to percentages, graphing, and proportion. Here are some sites for checking out the latest polling data in a variety of useful forms. Take a look at the maps, graphs, and charts with your kids and help them understand what they mean.

LA Times Interactive Map (http://www.latimes.com/): In the Election Guide 2004 box, click on Poll Tracker Maps, Presidential Race. Up pops a cool interactive map showing current poll numbers for each state, and the total electoral votes for each candidate. Then you can click on any state to change it from Bush to Kerry to "Up for Grabs." That changes the electoral total automatically. You can play, "what if:" what if Kerry gets Pennsylvania and Ohio - would that put him over the top? When one candidate's total goes over the 270 required to win, the page plays, "Hail to the Chief."

 

Electoral Vote Maps on ElectoralVote.com

http://www.electoral-vote.com gives a mixdown of many polls into one map. The site has lots of great information about polls, the electoral college, and more.

Cartograms gives a crazy map of the U.S, with each state shown a size proportional to the number of electoral votes it has.

Animated Map lets you watch the changes unfold through the whole campaign season. States flop from Bush to Kerry, Kerry to Bush. http://www.electoral-vote.com/info/graph.html shows the same information in graph format.

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Activity

Lunar Eclipse Review

Ooh, do I feel guilty. I know it's my job to keep y'all up to date on Big Learning opportunities, but I didn't find out about last week's lunar eclipse until after BLN went out.

So to make it up to you, I found some videos of the event, and a few more goodies for you and your kids to enjoy together.

Eclipse Video: http://jeffcarlson.com/blog/archives/002878.html An amateur video that shows the whole eclipse.

Eclipse Video: http://www.news14charlotte.com/content/top_stories/beyond_carolina/?SecID=212&ArID=77758 (IE, commercial) Professionally shot, but doesn't show the whole thing, and has a commercial at the end. Requires Internet Explorer.

Eclipse schedule: http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/OH/OH2005.html Schedule for solar and lunar eclipses in 2005, so you don't miss the next one. Here's another page with a schedule: http://skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/eclipses/article_80_1.asp

 

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Web Site

Pacific Salmon Life Science Simulation

http://schoolcentral.com/willoughby4/salmontest/

Here's a nice site about Pacific Salmon. You can use some of the pages to learn about the lifecycle, habitat, and other needs of the salmon. Then you can do a simulation where you try to create a habitat and food chain that will allow salmon eggs to survive.

 

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