Google Expeditions has come to Britain. Google has just opened up their Google Expeditions Pioneer Programme to more schools across the UK. Imagine being able to take your students on immersive journeys to places you never thought possible. With a virtual reality viewer, phone or tablet, students can be magically transported to different places on Earth and even Mars! They could explore the inside of Buckingham Palace or the Great Barrier Reef. So far there are 200 engaging expeditions. Journeys are suitable for all age groups from 7 upwards. With the teacher acting as a “guide”, pointing out interesting sights along the way, classroom-sized groups of “explorers” are led through collections of 360° and 3D images.
The Google Expedition App is freely available on both iOS and Android. Lesson plans are available for every expedition and there’s training showing you how to embark on an expedition.
So what are you waiting for? Get your school signed up today!
If you’re in the UK how about joining in the the Big Butterfly Count which runs from 15 July to Sunday 7 August? It is a great educational activity and it provides an opportunity for everyone to contribute to important scientific research. Sadly the dreadful wet summer weather is putting butterflies at risk and numbers of the UK’s once plentiful butterflies have dwindled with some species even becoming extinct.
All you need to do is choose a place such as your garden or park and see how many butterflies you spot in 15 minutes. You can download a useful butterfly chart or a free iOS and Android app which can help you identify and record your findings.
If you are planning a primary school topic on food or healthy nutrition then you may like to check out Tesco Online Field Trips. We think they’re a great idea and a super way of demonstrating ICT in action. Using Google+ Hangouts these field trips bring farms and factories into the classroom. They’re scheduled every two weeks and have lessons from food suppliers from around the world via live video chats. So far there have been thirty-three and the next three scheduled sessions are entitled ‘Wrinkly Raisins’, ‘Marvellous Marmite’ and ‘Scrumptious Chocolate’. No prizes for guessing which one of those foods we favour!
Forthcoming Field Trips
Each of the field trips includes support materials for teachers and you can access lots of extra food related teaching resources on the website too. It’s really easy to take part and sure to be a fun class activity!
We want to share a great idea for the primary classroom, one which is so simple we wish we had thought of it. It’s the use of dice in small, see-through containers when playing maths games in the primary classroom. We bought eight containers for £1.00 in Poundland, and think that’s money well spent as a means of preventing the inevitability of dice flying all over the place. As a bonus too it’s easy to check whether dice have ‘gone missing’ at the end of the session.
There are lots of maths games and investigations which use dice but here is a fun two-player game that uses two dice and is ideal for 9 to 11 year olds. It’s called ‘Sixes’ and the winner is the first player to get 100 or more.
Both players start with zero and take turns to roll two dice, by shaking the containers and letting the dice settle. During their turn each player can roll the dice repeatedly adding the totals after each roll. If one six is thrown the turn is ended and nothing is added to their running total. Rolling a double six ends the turn and zeros the total score.
If you prefer a friendlier version you can adapt the game so that rolling a double six just ends the player’s turn without resetting their score to zero, in the same way as a rolling a single six.