Freebie Friday Roundup

Freebie Friday Roundup: Optics, Sand, The Jetsons, Peanuts, and Calvin & Hobbes

OPTICS: LIGHT, COLOR AND THEIR USES (PDF ebook)

A great hands-on experiment & study guide from NASA filled with great color and light activities using lenses, prisms and mirrors to create telescopes, periscopes, microscopes and kaleidoscopes. Other activities include finding focal length and understanding reflection, refraction and diffraction. Activities are marked by grade level, and can be adapted from K-12 (so they say). Anyway, this is a lot of fun!

CLICK HERE to go to the download page!


 

IT’S A JETSONS WORLD by Jeffrey Tucker (PDF ebook)

Today we feature this fascinating economics book, just published by the Mises Institute book for junior high – adult readers on how free market has changed our lives today,  particularly in the digital universe, and yet we don’t appreciate or realize this nearly enough. Meanwhile, the public (government) sector is systematically wrecking the physical world in sneaky and petty ways that really do matter.
Easy to read, full of great stories, and written with an Austrian School of economics viewpoint, this book is and eye-opener for older students and parents who want to gain a better understanding on the changes in our world today and in the years ahead.

The pace of change is mind-boggling. The world is being reinvented in our lifetimes, every day. Email has only been mainstream for 15 years or so, and young people now regard it as a dated form of communication used only for the most formal correspondence. Today young people are brief instant messaging through social media, but that’s only for now, and who knows what next year will bring.
Oddly, hardly anyone seems to care, and even fewer care about the institutional force that makes all this possible, which is the market economy. Instead, we just adjust to the new reality. We even hear of the grave problem of “miracle fatigue”—too much great stuff, too often. Truly, this new world seems to have arrived without much fanfare at all.

The Jetsons’ world is our world: explosive technological advances, entrenched bourgeois culture, a culture of enterprise that is the very font of the good life. But there is one major difference, and it isn’t the flying car, which we might already have were it not for the government’s promotion of roads and the central plan that manages transportation. It is this: we also live in the midst of a gigantic leviathan state that seeks to control every aspect of our life to its smallest detail.

The government, however, is still the Flintstones, an anachronism that operates as this massive drag on our lives. With its money manipulations, regulations, taxation, wars (on people, products, and services), prisons, and injustices, we similarly look the other way. We try to find the workaround and keep living like the Jetsons.

CLICK HERE to go to the download page for this ebook


THE THEOLOGY OF CALVIN & HOBBES

Well, not quite… but today we feature something completely different: Here from the Experimental Theology blog is a playful and thoughtful “young-reader friendly” online book of theology lessons derived from none other than Calvin & Hobbes. “How can this possibly be?” you ask. Well, give it a look-see. Regardless of your theological persuasion, this contains some fascinating material (AND great cartoons) for young and old readers alike.

CLICK HERE to go to the online ebook!

And don’t worry PEANUTS fans… Mr. Beck has also got you covered. Check this out!


THIS IS SAND

Just for the fun of it, here’s a delightful little activity game to end your week. See what you can make of this virtual sand box.

CLICK HERE to go to the site! Then press or double click your left mouse button to drop sand.

Tip: Click on the little square in the upper left hand corner to get instructions. Use the “c” key occasionally to change your colors. Have fun!

Freebie Friday Roundup

FREEBIE FRIDAY ROUNDUP: Legos, Pennies & Hearts

LEARNING WITH LEGOS UNIT STUDY

Here’s a fun Unit Study using everybody’s favorite building blocks from WalkingByTheWay.com. The Learning with LEGOs unit study is written to the student and each day includes four components: copywork, a word of the day, explore and learn, and a building challenge.

CLICK HERE to go to the download page!


THE MEGA PENNY PROJECT

Visualizing huge numbers can be very difficult. People regularly talk about millions of miles, billions of bytes, or trillions of dollars, yet it’s still hard to grasp just how much a “billion” really is.
The MegaPenny Project aims to help by taking one small everyday item, the U.S. penny, and building on that to answer the question: “What would a billion (or a trillion) pennies look like?”

CLICK HERE to go to the site, and have fun!


THE HUMAN HEART

Did you know that the human heart beats about 100,000 times a day, 35 million times a year, and two and a half billion times in an average lifetime?
Did you know that, on any given day, your heart beats roughly 100,000 times and your blood travels about 12,000 miles as it circulates throughout your body?
Did you know the average heart pumps more that a gallon of blood a minute?
Did you know a kid’s heart is about the size of a fist… and an adult’s heart is the size of two fists?

Here is a great collection of links from “Education World” all about the human heart. You’ll learn how the heart works, take an interactive tour of the heart, learn about the heart’s electrical system, blood flow and blood supply, see some amazing videos, and much more.

CLICK HERE then follow the links!

Freebie Friday Roundup

Freebie Friday Roundup: Earth Science, Dads & Daughters, Art Zone & more

More treasures from our archives, resurrected just for you…

THE EARTH SCIENCE PICTURE OF THE DAY

This neat site has a new high-definition photo of some fascinating earth-science subject every day… along with a few paragraphs discussing the phenomenon depicted. Great way to interest your kids in geological topics in daily bite-sized doses!

CLICK HERE to go to the site


50 RULES FOR DADS OF DAUGHTERS

This is a link to a blog post that is just a delight, full of humor, wisdom and great advice. We loved it, and knew you would too. So go read it:

CLICK HERE to go to the site


NGA Kids’ THE ART ZONE

The National Gallery of Art has developed an amazing array of interactive art project activities for kids to create their own works of art online. These are obviously graphics heavy, but if you have a high speed connection, your kids will love these projects: Create animated scenes; Create portraits and landscape paintings in the style of American primitive artists; create crazy collages; and much more! Your kids can go creative hog-wild here!

CLICK HERE to go to the site


CLIPART ETC.

This online service of Florida’s Educational Technology Clearinghouse is a wonderful education oriented clipart collection for students & teachers… 60,000 pieces of free clipart and growing every week. No ads, images in several sizes, well categorized collection. Licensed for use by students
& teachers w/out further permission. Great stuff!

CLICK HERE to go to the site

Freebie Friday Roundup

FREEBIE FRIDAY ROUNDUP: Slo-mo, Writing Challenges, Worksheets, Color & Sound

Let’s continue our weekly roundup of past freebie resources, shall we?

Amazing Adventures in S-L-O-W Motion

Sometimes the most common, everyday things around us can take on a breathtaking beauty and grace when viewed in a different way than we normally see them.  Today, let us direct your attention to a wonderful page of slow motion videos on the neoK12 site, where you will find animals, surfers, car crashes, bursting water balloons, matches catching fire, drops of water, and dozens more everyday subjects made most EXTRA-ordinary when viewed in super s-l-o-w motion.

Click here, then click on the different videos on their page.


This is ME Writing Challenge

You are the only one who knows your story. This well-done site for teen and adult writers helps you tell it your way with help and ideas from the “This Is Me Challenge!” Here you’ll find dozens of wonderful writing prompts and ideas to help your older students tell their own story and learn to write better in the process.

Click here to see all the writing challenges posted to date. Each of these links to a more detailed version w/ extra challenges. A unique, revealing and memorable approach to creative writing lessons!


Sound Uncovered: An Interactive Book for the iPad

Explore the surprising side of sound with Sound Uncovered, an interactive collection from the Exploratorium featuring auditory illusions, acoustic phenomena, and other things that go bump, beep, boom, and vroom.

Hear with your eyes, see with your ears, test your hearing, make and modify recordings—this app puts you at the center of the experiment.

How do you make a saxophone growl? Are there secret messages in music played backward? Can you talk and listen at the same time? Why does the sound of gum chewing drive some people mad? Listen up and find answers to these questions and more as you take an auditory trip to the place where sound gets truly interesting: the space between your ears.

Click here for info on downloading this iPad app


Color Uncovered: An Interactive Book for the iPad

When is yellow yellower than yellow? What color is a whisper? What’s missing from the palette of Renaissance painters?

Explore the surprising side of color with Color Uncovered, an interactive book for the iPad, featuring fascinating illusions, articles, and videos developed by the Exploratorium.

There’s a broad spectrum of colorful surprises in store that focus on the art, physics, and psychology of color. In keeping with our hands-on spirit, there are also a few color activities you can conduct yourself using your iPad and simple items you have at home: a CD case, a drop of water, and a piece of paper. You’ll never look at color the same way again.

Click here for info on downloading this iPad app


WorksheetWorks

Here’s an amazing site that offers downloadable PDF worksheets in all sorts of categories, customized to your specifications. There are hundreds of worksheets here, with millions of possible configurations. Highly recommended! (Be sure to check out the puzzles category if your kids are maze or brain-teaser lovers!)
“You can make and print out worksheets of topics including math, handwriting, geography and english language and more. Good to use for extra practice or to supplement what you are teaching.” – Submitted by Adriane White
Click here to go to the site!

 

Freebie Friday Roundup

Freebie Friday Roundup: String Figures, Japanese, Flexagons & Nature Stories

Here are more freebie resource links for you, brought back from our archives!

String Figures for All Ages!

Can your kids have fun, improve their dexterity and learn about design and geometry from just a simple loop of string?

Check out this great collection of tutorials and cool designs for making all sorts of great string figures that have been collected from cultures around the world.  From simple “cat’s cradles” to “Jacob’s Ladders” and beyond, there are many fascinating designs and projects here that will keep some kids busy for hours.

This is old fashioned “digital” fun that incorporates all sorts of thinking skills that generations of kids used to enjoy. Why not give it a try?

Click here to go to today’s resource site.


IRASSHAI – LEARN TO SPEAK JAPANESE

Irasshai, a video course from Georgia Public Broadcasting, teaches Japanese language and culture skills to high school and college students and adult learners and professionals.

The 138 video lessons in this well done series get up close and intimate with viewer learners. Dr. Tim Cook, an Emmy award-winning instructor, takes students on a personal journey to where Japanese is spoken. Sometimes it’s predictable – inside a Japanese home or a Tokyo office building. Sometimes it’s less so – a sushi bar in Atlanta, a fishing hole in the Appalachians.

This is an award winning, excellent way to learn  basic Japanese language skills & be introduced to many fascinating aspects of Japanese culture and society. Good for jr. high through adult learners!

Click here to go to the site!


YOUNG NATURALIST

Wow! This has to be the motherlode of nature stories for kids! You will definitely want to check this out.

Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine’s “Young Naturalists” series is designed to engage elementary and middle school students with a wide variety of nonfiction topics on natural science and outdoor life. Each full color, illustrated story is accompanied by a Young Naturalists teachers guide that includes ready-made classroom activities. Bookmark this impressive library of over 100 stories and refer to it as you study outdoor and nature topics. Highly recommended!

Click here to go to the site!


EARLY SETTLERS AND THE FOREST

Here’s a great educational picture book/coloring book by Debbie Sluggett and Larry Fox from the Canadian site, Learn Forestry.com on early settlers and their relationship with forestry and wood products in both Canadian and US pioneer days. It is great for primary grades!

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key and click the link and save to your mac.


FLEXAGONS & OTHER COOL GEOMETRIC TOYS

In these hands-on tutorials, you’ll learn how to make a flexagon, a most fascinating geometric toy! It looks like an ordinary paper hexagon with a front and a back, but hidden inside is a third side (or face) that can be brought to the outside by flexing the paper.

Flexagons are folded paper polygons that have the neat feature of changing faces as they are flexed. There are many types of flexagons. The names of flexagons tell the type of polygon and the number of faces.

Click here to go to the Flexagon introductory page with instructions on how to make a basic Flexagon.

Then to make a Hexa-hexaflexagon, go here.

Then to make a Tri-tretraflexagon, go here.

And THEN, to make a way cool FLEXTANGLE, go here!

Freebie Friday Roundup

Freebie Friday Roundup: Civility, Spelling, Outdoor Skills, Learning Greek & more

CIVILITY COSTS YOU NOTHING: Great Quotes on Manners (PDF ebook)

Many writers, observers and philosophers have written about the value of good manners throughout the ages. Their comments contain a wealth of insight, humor and wisdom, and have application for our kids even today.

This unique little compilation of great quotations can be used for penmanship and copywork practice, memorization, or to print out and stick some choice quotes on your refrigerator door! Check it out!

To download this PDF, RIGHT CLICK HERE then “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your Mac.


ArtsEdge

Here are over 180 different visual, performing and literary Arts related lesson plans from the ArtsEdge program at the Kennedy Center. These downloadable lessons cover a huge range of  arts topics – from writing haiku to Irish Dance to creating comic strips.

You can search the lessons by keyword, arts subject, and grade level. Use the blue “Lesson Finder” box and fill in the specifics to find what you’re looking for!

CLICK HERE to go to the download page!


OUTDOOR BIOLOGY INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES

Outdoor Biology Instructional Strategies (OBIS) is an outdoor program that offers young people fun and challenging opportunities to investigate ecological relationships in their local environment.

OBIS was developed in the 1970s at the Lawrence Hall of Science to help adults (teachers, parents, community leaders) take young people outdoors to experience ecological principles in their local area.

The 97 OBIS activities in this PDF collection are meant to increase environmental awareness, and can be used individually or in combination. These simple experiences then act as a gateway for children and adults to explore and understand their local environment.

Click Here to go to the download site


MATH PUZZLES, COMPETITIONS & BRAINTEASERS!

The Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching over in the UK has put together this GREAT collection of brain-stretching mathematical problems and shape related teasers (including printable tangram puzzles, sliding blocks, pentominoes, and dissection puzzles). There are dozens of them on this page, all designed to get your students thinking mathematically and using their problem-solving skills!

Click here to go to their math challenges page!


LEARN GREEK FREE

Learn Greek Free.com offers a complete 13 lesson video course (along with dozens of free downloadable handouts & review sheets) to enable students to read the New Testament in the original language. No other resources or books are required.

As explained by instructor D. Eric Williams:

“The method of instruction employed at LearnGreekFree.com is designed to begin the learning process as quickly as possible. The  lesson plan will enable you to read the New Testament Greek after a few hours of study. Rather than burden students with morphological technicalities right off the bat, the pupil will learn Greek grammar in the same way he learned his mother tongue; in context and as the need arises. In this fashion the learner is able to make quick progress and the learning of the Greek becomes a joy, not a burden.”

Click here to check it out!


THE BASIC COZY SPELLING COURSE

Here’s a complete 30 lesson spelling course especially designed for students grades 6 to 8, with a complete course outline, lesson plans, dictation, answer key, and more. Good stuff!

Says the author, Marie Rackham:

“Spelling, like grammar and punctuation, is a technique of English.  Spelling is an important communication skill. In my opinion, since the advent of the Internet, it is even more important because words on a web page may determine what people think of you and your abilities. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors will make you appear less credible to your audience. Good luck and have fun with the course!”

Click here to go to the site! (There are other courses available for sale on the site, but the Spelling course is free!)