Earth in Space : Gravity and Orbits

Earth in Space : Gravity and Orbits By Colorado University

This excellent simulation depicts the orbit of the Earth around the Sun and to show the effects of increases and decreases in the gravitational force governing the Earth’s orbit.

In addition, there is an option to show the orbit of the moon around the Earth.

Users can increase ir decrease the gravitational pup of the sun or the earth and watch the effects on screen. The orbit may change its distance from the Sun or become elliptical depending on the relative gravitational force of the two celestial bodies.

In extreme cases the Earth may even crash into the Sun or drift off into outer space.

This activity is both instructional and provides great subject matter for discussion about what wold happen to life on Earth in a variety of circumstances

Gravity and Orbits By Colorado University

Arithmetic : A brilliant online times tables activity…

Arithmetic by Colorado University

This is one of the best times tables support activities I have seen in a long time.

The game offers three modes on which pupils are offered the opportunity to Multiply, divide or determine factors.

Three Levels of each of the above are on offer: within 6×6, within 9×9 and within 12×12 making this activity suitable for use across the whole primary age range.

Each activity can be attempted against the clock so giving students the opportunity to improve their times and thus their times tables competence. There is also an option to tur off the sound (thank goodness!).

This activity is tablet friendly and works very well on my elderly iPad (double tap required to select a square in the matrix when on iPad)

Arithmetic by Colorado University

Fraction Matcher

Fractions Matcher From the University of Colorado asks pupils to recognise equivalent fractions both as graphic representations and expressed as numbers. Students are required to recognise equivalent fractions of a variety of differing shapes.

There are eight levels of difficulty in to chose from making this fractions activity suitable for all levels of ability across both Key Stage 1 and Key stage 2.

There is an option to play the game against the clock and the sound can be turned off (always a bonus!).

Pupils drag and drop fractions as images and fractions expressed as numbers in ti place on a virtual balance and check their work. If correct then a scale shows the user which of the two choices is the bigger and allows another attempt…

Fractions Matcher

This excellent fractions game is tablet friendly and performed like a dream on my elderly Pad.

Fractions Matcher

Toy Shop Money Game by Topmarks

Toy Shop Money is a game for helping children understand UK money. There are also versions of the game in other currencies – US Dollars and Australian dollars

There game has two options; in the first children click on a gallery of coins to make up varying amounts to buy the toys at their given prices, and the second Children are asked to work out the change from an amount tendered.

It is possible to select whether the game is played sith an array of coins all the same or whether a child is offered an array of mixed coinage from which to select coins for payment or change giving.

Top marks say that their money game is suitable for children from 4 to 11 years of age as it has varying levels of difficulty and I have to agree. From the simplest possible calculations, repeatedly adding coins of the same value, to complex calculations with mixed coins giving change from amounts up to £10, this high quality resource delivers.

It is suitable for use on whiteboards, desktop computers and all hand held devices.

All about spring…

Another high quality series from Topmarks. This science based resource also has has separate link section for KS1 with simplified text at an appropriate reading level and differentiated images.

A suite of web pages ideal for introducing pupils to researching a topic on the internet, it begins by explaining the concept of ‘spring’ as a season, defines when spring occurs and what events to expect to happen in spring.

This is followed up with information about the weather and the behaviour of animals, explaining that young animals are often born during the season. A series of screens explains that calves and lambs are born in spring and also follows the story of a family of great tits in detail.

Science is further supported by a detailed study of the life cycle of a frog and the growth of plants: trees, flowers and vegetables.

There is also a Maths game and a video about nesting birds as well as a series of spring themed printables. The video and the game appear to be flash based and may not play or some tablets and hand held devices.

The Apostrophe: It’s or its? and other stuff… 

The word it’s only has an apostrophe when it is a contraction of it is or it has.

It’s a lovely day.
The film was poor, I’m glad it’s finished.
Now I can ride a bike, it’s easy!

Apostrophes are used to show possession, but there are other ways to show possession using possessive pronouns or determiners:

Possessive pronouns: mine, yours, his, hers, its, our, theirs.
Determiners: my, your, his, her, its, our, their. 

These words do give an indication of belonging or possession, and some of them end in -s, but they never have an apostrophe.

So, if you are not sure whether to write its or it’s, simply substitute the words ”it is“. As a rule of thumb, if the sentence still makes sense then you can still use the apostrophe, otherwise leave it out.

Generally apostrophes are never used to form plurals. However, it is acceptable to use an apostrophe for the sake of clarity when forming the plural of a single letter or a single number:

Find all the number 7’s on this page.
Mind your p’s and q’s.
Put a circle round all the t’s in tittle-tattle.