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Friday, October 26, 2012

Baseball: A Game for Every Subject

I read an article today by Matt Davis that prompted me to update my Baseball Unit.  It's baseball for every subject in this unit...even English class! 

Here are the details of the Out of Bounds Baseball Unit, if you don't want the PDF:

Back Story
Integrating GIS into core content is easy if you take advantage of preexisting content.  This unit was born out of a baseball theme in English Language Arts (ELA) class.  As the four core teachers talked about what we were doing in ELA class, they wanted to get on board.   Over time, we incorporated all four classes at the same time to create a powerful experience for our middle school students.  This is an outline of what each class did as their part of the baseball unit.  The GIS activities were incorporated in ELA, Science and Social Studies classes.  Perhaps you can play out of bounds and integrate!

English Language Arts / Reading
  • “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” song by Jack Norworth
  • “Strong Men Weep” short story by Benedict Cosgrove
  • Excerpts from Wait Till Next Year a novel by Doris Kerns Goodwin
  • “Who’s on First?” play by Abbott and Costello (videos available at YouTube)
  • “Casey at the Bat” poem by Ernest Thayer (videos available at YouTube)
  • “Baseball in April” short story by Gary Soto
  • Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge
·         Ball analysis (measurement, physics, experiment procedures)
·         Baseball statistics and spreadsheet formulas
Social Studies
·         Games and sports in cultures around the world
·         Build a baseball Museum
·         Research baseball topics
·         Play Ball! Spatial Analysis of Baseball (
·         Baseball Radio Station Analysis (
·         Where should you put the next MLB team?
·         Demographic patterns related to baseball

Monday, October 15, 2012

MyCOE Global Connections & Exchange Program

Opportunity for Teachers from my colleagues at AAG:

The AAG is heading up an exciting program,My Community, Our Earth Global Connections and Exchange Program, for U.S. teachers/classrooms to connect with teachers and students from countries abroad.

Participating teachers receive $300 for the classroom when they:

• Sign up for 3 hours of international virtual classroom exchange.
• Guide students to submit a collaborative map project.

MyCOE GCE is connecting high school students in the U.S. with their peers abroad. Through virtual online meetings, high school students throughout the world will develop collaborative, youth-led projects that map sustainable development issues. To learn more, check out the website.

Contact Niem with your questions about the program...

Niem Huynh (黃可柔), Ph.D.
Senior Researcher
Association of American Geographers
1710 Sixteenth St NW
Washington, DC 20009-3198

Friday, October 12, 2012

GIS: Your Spatial "Swiss Army Knife"

Educators need a multi-functional tool that can help teach, repair and assist exploration...a "swiss army knife" kind of educational gadget that can allow students to explore, yet gives teachers the necessary substance in required curriculum and high-stakes testing environments. And, hey... it's just fun (always an appealing characteristic to wrangly middle schoolers)!
I often read articles and papers on learning, standards and other hot education topics.  This article caught my eye today and I was thinking...GIS...a great tool to teach content while engaging students...and did I mention a tool they will most likely use in a future job! 

For those of you who need a little fuel for the GIS fire in your camp, this article along with all the great resources we have in our community will have you making smores in no time!  You're not alone and there are excellent resources to get you started.