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Tool-Making Crows

In the Brevia section of the 9 August 2002 issue of Science, Weir et al. report a remarkable observation: The toolmaking behavior of New Caledonian crows. In the experiments, a captive female crow, confronted with a task that required a curved tool (retrieving a food-containing bucket from a vertical pipe), spontaneously bent a piece of straight wire into a hooked shape -- and then repeated the behavior in nine out of ten subsequent trials.

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Larry Ferlazzo's The Best Science Sites of 2011

"Here’s the latest in my [Larry Ferlazzo] end-of-the-year “The Best…” lists.

 

As usual, sites on this list must be available free-of-charge and student resources must be accessible to English Language Learners.

 

Number one:


McDougal Littell’s Class Zone site http://tinyurl.com/bl8fvqx is on many of my Social Studies related “The Best…” lists — their interactives are incredible (the links I have in this post may, or may not, bring you directly to the interactives. If you get sent to a map, just click the subject you’re interested in and click on California. That will lead you to different textbooks — then click on one of them. That will lead you to the interactives). However, I realize I’ve never written about their equally as impressive high school biology sites http://tinyurl.com/dy6shfw. It, too, has plenty of interactive, and most provide audio support for the text.

 

Number two:


Earlier this year, Richard Byrne http://tinyurl.com/c9n92wp posted about a neat BBC interactive on rocks. I was pretty impressed, because it had subtitles and was relatively accessible to English Language Learners. So I explored the site a little further and found that the BBC Schools Bitesize KS3 site had a whole series of similarly accessible activities.


First, go to their main Science page http://tinyurl.com/kqosx. Next, click on any of the four primary categories:

 

- Organisms, behaviour and health
- Chemical and material behaviour
- Energy, electricity and forces
- The environment, the Earth and the universe

 

Each of these four sections has multiple “activities,” which are animated exercises that have audio and subtitles."

 

See the information about all the 2011 sites, thirteen so far, and past year's lists here: http://tinyurl.com/c9vd5es

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Twenty Tips for Creating a Safe Learning Environment

Twenty Tips for Creating a Safe Learning Environment | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
In her work with UCLA's Graduate School of Education, Rebecca Alber assists teachers and schools in meeting students' academic needs through best practices. Alber also instructs online teacher-education courses for Stanford University.

"Twenty Tips for Creating a Safe Learning Environment

I visit a lot of classrooms. And I'm always fascinated by the variety of ways teachers launch the new school year and also with how they "run their rooms" on a daily basis. From these visits and my own experiences as an instructor, I'd like to offer my top 20 suggestions for keeping your classroom a safe, open, and inviting place to learn."
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Temperature Rising: With Deaths of Forests, a Loss of Crucial Climate Protectors

Temperature Rising: With Deaths of Forests, a Loss of Crucial Climate Protectors | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Trees, natural carbon sponges, help keep heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. But insect and human threats are taking a heavy toll on them.

 

Experts are scrambling to understand the situation, and to predict how serious it may become.

 

Scientists say the future habitability of the Earth might well depend on the answer. For, while a majority of the world’s people now live in cities, they depend more than ever on forests, in a way that few of them understand.

 

Scientists have figured out — with the precise numbers deduced only recently — that forests have been absorbing more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide that people are putting into the air by burning fossil fuels and other activities. It is an amount so large that trees are effectively absorbing the emissions from all the world’s cars and trucks.

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Scientists Say Atlas Is Wrong on Greenland’s Glaciers

Scientists Say Atlas Is Wrong on Greenland’s Glaciers | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Climate scientists say a new edition of an influential atlas vastly overrepresents Greenland’s rate of glacial melt.
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China Unveils Ambitious Plan to Explore Space

China Unveils Ambitious Plan to Explore Space | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

Broadening its challenge to the United States, the Chinese government on Thursday announced an ambitious five-year plan for space exploration that would move China closer to becoming a major rival at a time when the American program is in retreat.

 

Coupled with China’s earlier vows to build a space station and put an astronaut on the moon, the plan conjured up memories of the cold-war-era space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. The United States, which has de-emphasized manned spaceflight in recent years, is now dependent on Russia for transporting its astronauts to the International Space Station. Russia, for its part, has suffered an embarrassing string of failed satellite launchings.

 

China has been looking for ways to exert its growing economic strength and to demonstrate that its technological mastery and scientific achievements can approach those of any global power. The plan announced Thursday calls for launching a space lab and collecting samples from the moon, all by 2016, along with a more powerful manned spaceship and space freighters.

 

In recent years, China has also sought to build a military capacity in keeping with its economic might, expanding its submarine fleet and, this year, testing its first aircraft carrier, a refurbished Soviet model. Under the new space plan, it would vastly expand its version of a Global Positioning System, which would have military as well as civilian uses.

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The City 2.0 -- 2012 TED Prize Winner

The City 2.0 -- 2012 TED Prize Winner | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

"For the first time in the history of the prize, it is being awarded not to an individual, but to an idea. It is an idea upon which our planet’s future depends.

 

The 2012 TED Prize is awarded to….the City 2.0.

 

- The City 2.0 is the city of the future… a future in which more than ten billion people on planet Earth must somehow live sustainably.

 

- The City 2.0 is not a sterile utopian dream, but a real-world upgrade tapping into humanity’s collective wisdom.

 

- The City 2.0 promotes innovation, education, culture, and economic opportunity.

 

- The City 2.0 reduces the carbon footprint of its occupants, facilitates smaller families, and eases the environmental pressure on the world’s rural areas.

 

- The City 2.0 is a place of beauty, wonder, excitement, inclusion, diversity, life.

 

- The City 2.0 is the city that works."

 

>>> "Who will make and oversee this year’s TED Prize wish?

 

The TED Prize organizing team is bringing together a group of visionaries — urban planners, architects, technologists, authors, policy makers, and economists — to act as advocates for The City 2.0 and craft a wish capable of inspiring collaborative action by many. The wish will be unveiled during the TED Prize session on February 29, 2012."

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First Arctic Ozone Hole Recorded | Global Warming & Stratosphere | LiveScience

First Arctic Ozone Hole Recorded | Global Warming & Stratosphere | LiveScience | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
Unprecedented loss of ozone over the Arctic earlier this year created the first ozone 'hole' over the North Pole, similar to the infamous one that opens up every year over the Antarctic, scientists say.
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Why I Am a Naturalist

Why I Am a Naturalist | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

Naturalism is the philosophical theory that treats science as our most reliable source of knowledge and scientific method as the most effective route to knowledge.

 

That doesn’t mean anyone should stop doing literary criticism any more than forgoing fiction. Naturalism treats both as fun, but neither as knowledge.

 

What naturalists really fear is not becoming dogmatic or giving up the scientific spirit. It’s the threat that the science will end up showing that much of what we cherish as meaningful in human life is illusory.

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China 'to overtake US on science'

China 'to overtake US on science' | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it
China is on course to overtake the US in scientific output possibly as soon as 2013 - far earlier than expected.

That is the conclusion of a major new study by the Royal Society, the UK's national science academy.

The country that invented the compass, gunpowder, paper and printing is set for a globally important comeback.

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