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Using Literature To Explain Mathematical Concepts Tags: literature in math math and literature math literature math in literature math stories math and reading

If you enjoy using “living books” to help teach mathematical concepts in a more real world way, here are some links to a list of titles, and the lessons to go along with them. Some of the books are about math, covering specific topics like probability; or Algebra

And some of the books have nothing to do with math, per se, but are used to illustrate certain concepts. For example, activities are suggested for The Chronicles of Narnia  and A Wrinkle in Time

Here are the main links. They cover mostly middle and high school math:

Using Literature for Math  

Literature in Math

For additional math links, visit the Math Group.

Live Animal Web Cams Tags: live animal web cam live animal cameras live animal video live wildlife cameras habitats of animals live zoo camera animals and habitats

A fun activity to add to a nature study or science unit is watching animals in their “natural” habitats -- animals on a farm or zoo, pets at home, wild birds that visit backyard feeders. Another good option, thanks to today’s technology, is viewing live animal web cams. There are scads of them these days that stream real-time animal activity from zoos, aquariums, and wildlife parks all around the U.S. and the world.

You can use them to have your kids make observations like scientists and record  what they see in paper or electronic notebooks or logs. Examine habitats and compare to other animals; do long-term studies of particular animals; make a list of questions raised about what’s being observed. Could be something used in your own family, or with a homeschool co-op.

Here’s a list of some live web cams of an assortment of animals. I tried to pick ones that have some action. These are all real-time – as opposed to recorded video, or video that refreshes every so often. I like the real-time ones best, although the animals will sometimes walk out of the frame. If you know of any others that are especially good, please post a link. 

Elephants  San Diego Zoo

Penguins  California Academy of Sciences; offers three views: wide, underwater, and biologist

Flying Skunk Farm   Daily life in a chicken yard; you can feed the chickens by clicking on a button on the site

Steve's Ant Farm

Southeastern Guide Dogs  Puppy Cam

Hornby Island Eagles   When you get to the site, you'll find the eagle link and other cam options under the Live Now tab.

Bird Feeder  

North American Bear Center  Three bears live here: Ted, Honey and Lucky

Polar Bear  San Diego Zoo

Marwell Wildlife  Live cam of Coati and Pygmy Hippo; other still video cams showing lemur, gibbon, tiger, and others, refresh every five minutes

Flash Mobs!
Category: Misc.
Tags: flash mob improv everywhere choir dancing freeze frame


So there's this thing that's been going on for a few years now called "flash mobs." As defined by Wikipedia, a flash mob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and sometimes seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment. Usually, the people involved in the flash mob organize the event electronically, over Facebook, or email, etc. 

Flash mob videos are pretty common now because just about everyone has a camera and an idea, but not all of them are very good. However, companies like ImprovEverywhere made it their business to create professional, and most of the time, hilarious flash mob videos.

Here's a list of my 6 all time favorite flash mob videos.

I'll start with the least professional, much quicker, and much less hyped up flash mob, however, since it has myself and my choir, Crossflame, in it, I happen to think it's pretty good.

1. Praise His Holy Name (the video featured at the top of this post)

The choir that I am in decided to sing one of our songs randomly in the food court of a Canadian mall. It was a very spur of the moment thing. And it was sooooooooooooooooo much fun!!! :D 

 2. The T-Mobile Dance

350 people show up and start dancing at the Liverpool Street Station in London. It's so cool.

3. Frozen Grand Central

Produced by Improv Everywhere, the original Frozen Grand Central Video is one of the coolest. The people's reaction when everyone stops moving is great, and this idea has been reproduced by other flash mob groups several times.

4. The Sound Of Music

"Do Re Mi" starts blasting through the speakers of Central Station in Antwerp and the floor is soon covered by 200 dancers, a lot of them, just kids! It just gets better and better as the video goes on.

5. Grocery Store Musical

Yes, another one by Improv Everywhere, but this one was too good not to share. 6 singers acting like normal grocery store shoppers spontaneously break out into song and turn real life into a musical.

6. Lunchtime Hallelujah Chorus

Unsuspecting people eating lunch in a mall's food court get treated to a nice rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus.

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