Funical friday

January 16, 2010 2 Comments »

Finical (adj): excessively precise in trivial matters.  Funical (adj): accuracy in amusement.  Here we go:


  • Road to the Olympics – I’ve mentioned Capzles before as a timeline tool for the classroom, and this is a good example.  CBC has included photos and videos of the lead-up to the Vancouver games.
  • Political manoeuvering – Tom Flanagan, professor of polisci at UofCalgary, dissects the Conservatives’ methods of maintaining their position as government, even with a minority.
  • WWII battles – Animated map of the Eastern Front of WWII, with numerous annotations and bookmarks.


  • Historical fiction – A librarian maintains this list of books set in different locales and eras.  While most of the books are aimed at younger readers (including a “Picture Book” category), some may be useful as background to a particular unit.


  • Anonymous bullying – Macleans peers into the world of anonymous chat online.  While sensationalised, I can see the issue with allowing teens to comments on peers and teachers with no sense of impact.
  • Top 100 tools – A slideshow presentation of the top 100 tools for learning in 2009. Each slide includes the homepage link, as well as a short description of what the tool does.


  • 1st person Tetris – This one will make your head spin, or maybe just your stomach turn.  It’s a tetris game, turned on your head.  You have to play it to understand.  I lasted less than a minute.
  • Food art – An artist who accepted the challenge to carve more than radish roses has taken the art of food carving to a whole new level with these 17 carvings.
  • Teachers who lie – Author Kai Peter Chang shares the memory of his favourite teacher, who told students that there would be a lie in every lecture he gave.  This opened the floor to students being willing to question what the teacher taught and being more focused on the content.
  • Great teachers – We all know that teachers can make a difference in a child’s education, but new studies are starting to quantify exactly how much.  A new argument is emerging that the differences between schools is not as important as the differences between teachers inside a school.  This article talks about Teach For America’s statistics showing what predicts good teachers.
  • The Apple – Created by, this teacher portal has information for teachers new to the profession, op-ed on education, and resources for teachers in every content area.  Well worth checking out!
  • National standards – Alfie Kohn demolishes the argument for national standards, arguing that the standards already in place have led to “judging students and schools almost exclusively by their scores on those tests, and hurting the schools that need the most help.” He makes a compelling argument that the last thing we need is standardisation.

Have a great weekend and remember, January 18th is A.A. Milne’s birthday (1882).

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  1. Julie January 20, 2010 at 4:00 pm -

    I tried the Tetris. I couldn’t finish a game either. Loved the food carver! Your posts on Fridays make my week – all the stuff I’d love to find on the net, but have no idea how to.

  2. Ian Hecht January 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm -

    Glad you like them. While some of the sites I stumble across on my own, most are from my Twitter and Google Reader feeds.