Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2012

RAFT SAN JOSE CELEBRATES PI (π) DAY – 3.14, WITH A BOATLOAD OF FREE ACTIVITIES!

Come meet RAFT’s Math Activity Developer, Jeanne Lazzarini, at RAFT San Jose who has a treasure chest of Pi-Day activities to share!  Not only will she be dressed as a Pirate (because Pi rates!), she’ll also offer you delicious pie to eat while showing you great Pi-Day Math activities to make and take, to use in your classroom to celebrate Pi day! The Pi-Day activities include RAFT Math Idea Sheet activities like Finding Pi, Wearable Pi and Pi Day Pin.

Irrational number Pi, also written as π, is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, and is celebrated all over the world on March 14th because π is a number that begins as 3.14!  With the use of computers, Pi has been calculated trillions of digits past the decimal point! Pi is an irrational and transcendental number, and its digits continue infinitely without any repeating patterns of digits!  Pi has been used in many applications for over 4000 years!

π rate activity days at RAFT!
Join us at RAFT, San Jose in celeb…

The Shortino Family Foundation helps RAFT & YSI reach professional development on hands-on teaching techniques to educators in the ARUSD

Resource Area For Teaching recently held a professional development workshop on hands-on teaching techniques for elementary and middle school educators across the Ocala Cluster in the Alum Rock Unified School District (ARUSD). The workshop is part of the ongoing science program conducted by RAFT in collaboration with the Youth Science Institute (YSI) and ARUSD.

RAFT and YSI have partnered together to support the teachers from the District’s Ocala Cluster of Caselle, Ryan and Rogers Elementary Schools and Ocala Middle School, with the tools and techniques required to spark imaginations and fuel minds. “It's great to be part of this partnership that's bringing RAFT Activity Kits and YSI programs into Ocala Cluster classrooms with lessons that complement each other,” says Ken Sakoi, Education Director at YSI.

These professional development tools and hands on techniques which include a package of classroom materials for each educator, teacher training and, student programs linking …

Generous donor supports RAFT’s mission – to inspire the joy and discovery of learning through hands-on activities

Flextronics Foundation recently donated $10,000 dollars in support of the core component of RAFT’s Education program – creatively repurposing materials donated by local businesses into pre-packaged Activity Kits that facilitate hands-on learning of Math and Science.

RAFT’s mission is to transform teaching by creating engaging hands-on educational activities that inspire the joy and discovery of learning. RAFT works with more than 10,000 educators in the classroom, home-school settings and, after-school and community based programs. RAFT's products (Idea Sheets and Activity Kits), professional development services including mentoring and educational workshops, and low-cost teaching supplies enrich and improve the education of over 825,000 young people each year.

RAFT Activity Kits are based on over 650 curriculum-aligned RAFT Idea Sheets that cover a range of grade levels and subjects. The Flextronics Foundation has awarded a total of $25,000 in grants to RAFT since 2008.

Mary Simo…

RAFT member’s innovative repurposing creates a fun filled take home activity

Here is a creative idea from Arlene Brown, a science teacher at St. Mary's School in Los Gatos:

"Each year I teach my first-graders about weather, and this year I decided to have them build their own rain gauges. I came to RAFT in search of rain gauges, and what I found were giant syringes (with no needles) that turned out to be perfect for this project!  At 17 cents apiece, I was able to have all 36 students create rain gauges for less than 7 dollars.

In class, the students took one look at my sample and knew exactly what to do.  They were very excited about this project! They put a pointed stick in the small end of the syringe to plug the hole and keep the gauge vertical. Now all we needed was rain... thankfully, Mother Nature cooperated by providing a rare rainstorm at just the right time! That night, parents had a great time helping their children set up their rain gauges.  The students could not wait to go out in the morning to see how much water they collected! They eag…

Go green this Valentine's Day!

Great hands-on teaching activities for Valentine's Day!
Do your students want to give something special to their parents on this Valentine’s Day? Send home a sweet surprise with RAFT’s ‘Bouquet of Flowers’, a hands-on activity where your students can design and make their own flower bouquets with just cardstock, flower images and scissors! These flowers are sure to last forever!

Or you can help your pupils create unique DIY valentine hearts with RAFT’s ‘Foil Art’. With just foil and adhesive cardstock their foil art creation can melt their parents’ heart!

Valentine’s Day can also be a great day to teach Science by focusing on flowers, one of the most gifted V Day present! With The RAFT’s ‘Preserving the Petals’ hands-on activity , elementary and middle school students can learn about plant structures and functions. This activity creatively repurposes materials like pipette holders and paper towels! With RAFT Idea Sheets and materials, you can go green this Valentine's Day!

For…

Plastic to art that’s fantastic!

With Valentine’s Day round the corner, one of RAFT’s upcoming weekend workshops – ‘Shrink Art Fun’ shows you how to recycle plastic into awesome shrink art! This year learn how to make some meaningful gifts using donated plastic material, available at RAFT in the form of trays and take-out containers, thus preventing them from ending up in a landfill. 

Shrink plastics encourage creativity, and can be used to supplement a variety of classroom activities.  Students can create models, manipulatives, and displays. They can make maps, pins, book report characters, and even cards! 

But there is also a science behind this hands on art form! Says Instructor Georgina Patterson, who has been in the education field for 40 years, “The science behind the shrinkage process is a chemistry lesson in itself, and the excitement young children get when they watch the plastic change size in the oven is worth the effort!”

The base material consists of thin, flexible polystyrene plastic (#6) sheets.  Pri…

Have your own classroom science fair today with RAFT hands on Activity Kits!

Can’t make it to the White House Science Fair today? Here are some great hands on ideas for your own local Science Fair!

Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT) has over 600 Idea Sheets with more than 400 focused on Sciences – Life Science, Earth/Space Science and Physical Science. These idea sheets can lead to a myriad of possibilities! Here are a few RAFT hands on Science activity ideas that you can even conduct as a classroom science project!

Colors of Light
White light is actually a combination of different colors. This easily built spectroscope allows students to separate the incoming light into its component colors, forming a light spectrum (rainbow). Besides creating interesting color patterns it can be used to identify different sources of light.Grade Range: K - 12 Download Idea Sheet Buy Activity KitHovercraft
Create a simple hovercraft that will gracefully glide along on a thin cushion of air.Grade Range: 4 - 12  Download Idea Sheet Buy Activity KitFloating Garden of Magnets (physic…

Experience the union between Math & Art in a RAFT workshop!

While Geometry often describes and measures shapes like a cone, sphere or triangle, does it define the shape of a cloud, a mountain, a coastline, or a tree?

It does! Most patterns in nature, called “fractals” describe curves, surfaces and objects that have some very peculiar properties so irregular and fragmented, that it takes more than spheres, cones, circles, triangles, smooth or straight lines to describe them!

These fractals might resemble arteries, coral, a heart, a brain, tree branches and other such ‘designs’ that have symmetry, ‘self-similarity’ and are scale-free!

 Look around you – Fractals are everywhere!  Have fun with us and discover everyday Fractals at the upcoming RAFT workshop ‘Fractals and Beyond’ on Feb 9th, at RAFT San Jose. This workshop will demonstrate how fractals can be related to Sierpinski's gasket, to patterns, to equations, to graphing, and to even a broccoli! 

Break off a branch of the whole broccoli and what do you see?  The smaller branch lo…

Brighten your students’ learning with RAFT’s electrical workshop!

Want to teach your students about basic electric circuits using hands on methods? Then the “Battery Science -  Light and Power Up the Learning!”RAFT workshop is just the thing for you! The hands on workshop at San Jose RAFT is held tomorrow (February 4th) from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The workshop incorporates newly developed and simplified electrical activities including the redesigned breadboard circuit Activity Kit! Kids will love to tap into these activities to make things light up, move, and buzz and the learning will build as they make the ‘connections’!

The workshop supply bag will include sets of motors, buzzers, bulbs, batteries, wire, and more RAFT Materials so that you can duplicate the activities with your students. The materials can enhance 4th grade lessons on electricity, or be used for enrichment, after school, or summer programs.

The workshop is conducted by Michael Pollock who has taught hands on science to elementary students for 25 years. He currently works at RAFT