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Big Learning News 12-7-05

Big Learning News
Karen Cole's Guide to Real-World Learning with Kids
Issue 3:33 December 7, 2005

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Table of Contents

Math Moment: Fahrenheit and Celsius
Activity: Snow Stuff
Book Review: Arts and the Creation of Mind
News to Share: A new mammal
Web Site: Heroes


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Math Moment

Temperature Conversion

More and more, it's useful to be literate (numerate?) in both Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature scales. What better time to face this issue than winter, when the temperature is on everyone's mind?

For young kids, practice using a dual-scale thermometer to convert and learn some common reference temperatures in each scale, such as water's boiling point, the indoor temperature in your living room, and normal body temperature. For example, water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Celsius.

If you don't have a dual scale thermometer, you can look at mine on BigLearning.org:

www.biglearning.org/thermometer.htm

Older kids can earn the AMS (add-multiply-subtract) method for mentally converting between Fahrenheit and Celsius temperatures. The method is explained fully on this page:

http://www.sas.org/E-Bulletin/2002-03-08/features3/body.html

Adults might want to learn it themselves and teach it to their kids - the text is a little dense for a kid but otherwise very clear.

Top


Activity

Snow stuff

Speaking of winter, the snow has arrived a little earlier than usual here in Maryland. Here are some snow activity pages for livening up your family's winter play.

Snow Fun with your Grandchildren http://www.retirementwithapurpose.com/afsnowfun.html : Snowball thermometers, snow ice cream, lighted snow angel, and lots more Big-learning type fun.

Snowflakes: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/ Everything you ever wanted to know about snowflakes, and some pretty pictures too.

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Book Review

The Arts and the Creation of Mind by Elliot Eisner (Yale University Press, 2002).

Adult

This is a book for adults who suspect that arts education is really, really important but have trouble articulating why. Eisner is a Stanford University School of Education professor specializing in art education. Rather than taking the stylish and politically-expedient tack of justifying arts in terms of higher test scores, he explains why arts education is vital in its own right.

Art education, he explains, teaches unique communication and thinking skills and, of course, makes life more beautiful. It has much to do with our ability to live and flourish in a complex society. Just as "the ability to swim well requires material we call water," Eisner argues, the ability to perceive fully the bounty of the senses, and to give form to our perceptions and emotions, requires arts education.

Buying Information

More Education Books for Adults

Top


News to Share: New Mammal Discovered

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20051206/wl_afp/indonesiaenvironment_051206105909

Here's an article about the discovery of a new mammal species in Borneo - the first such discovery on that island in more than a century.


Web Site

Heroes

http://www.myhero.com/myhero/

Kids who like to write can actually get published here, by contributing a story about a hero. It can be a personal hero or a famous person - even an animal!

This is a great site to browse too, because kids can learn about important historical events and social issues in a context they can relate to - an individual's inspiring story of bravery and commitment.

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