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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America



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collected by Paul and Vicki



The French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) was an important member of the Impressionist movement of the nineteenth century. His large body of work includes many portraits of children and women in lively social situations. "Why shouldn't art be pretty?" Renoir quipped. "There are enough unpleasant things in the world."

Art in the Picture: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
The beautifully designed Art in the Picture offers a Renoir biography, a few quotes, and most importantly, a gallery. Sorted either by popularity or date, Art in the Picture displays twenty-five Renoir paintings, complete with title, date, and tags, but no annotation. Additional artists are searchable by name, movement, country, century or tag. The tags are fun to explore, and lead to some unique juxtapositions. For example, paintings tagged "bee" include one work by Salvador Dali and another by Albrecht Durer. Pierre-Auguste Renoir
With a gallery of over 200 Renoir works, this Expo-Shop site is the largest of today's picks. Best reasons to visit are the versatility of the search function (works can be found by keyword, technique, theme or year), the Renoir biography (which includes links to important works), and the Permanent Exhibitions list. Because most of these ten museums have a good portion of their permanent collections cataloged online, the best way to learn more about Renoir is to visit these websites, and use the museum's on-site search functions to find more Renoir.
National Gallery of Art: Tour: Mary Cassatt, Auguste Renoir
"Toward the end of the nineteenth century, many French painters turned their attention to scenes of modern life ... For the two artists featured here, Mary Cassatt and Auguste Renoir, images from the lives of women and children, especially, provided lifelong inspiration." This National Gallery of Art tour brings a true museum experience to the Web. Although this mini-exhibit features only seven paintings, it's the commentary that makes it so valuable. "Perhaps more than the work of any other artist, Renoir's sunlit scenes reflect the joie de vivre that is so appealing in impressionist painting."
The National Gallery: Renoir
This online museum exhibit from London's National Gallery begins with a short Renoir biography. Your next stop should be The Impressionists, a special feature listed as a "Who's Who" Guide. In addition to Renoir, the exhibit includes works by Monet, Degas, Manet, Pissarro and Cezanne. Returning to the original biography page, you'll find twelve more of Renoir's paintings listed in the right-hand column, each with an excellent description.

Philadelphia Museum of Art: Renoir Landscapes
"Celebrated for his portraits and nudes, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) is most often associated with figure painting. He was also a lover of nature, however, and an accomplished painter of landscapes." Be sure to read the articles exploring themes in Renoir's landscape paintings such as gardens and cityscapes, and listen to curator John Zarobell's two-part audio podcast. "The paintings on view in this exhibition reveal the subtlety of touch; vaporous effects; and lush, full-blown color that mark Renoir as one of the most audacious and original landscape artists of his age."

Square Root
In celebration of Square Root Day on March 3, 2009, here are my picks for pre-algebra students learning about square roots. Square Root day is celebrated whenever the day and the month are both the square root of the last two digits of the year. Enjoy it while you can, because you won't get another chance until April 4, 2016. Square Root Flashcards
Because math practice is so vital to learning, this online flashcard game is a sure hit. Each quiz offers ten perfect square roots to solve, randomly choosing radicands (the number under the square root symbol) from 1 to 144. Because the problems are randomized, you can play this game as many times as you like. For more math games, look in both the Flashcards and Games sections.
Ask Dr. Math: Square Roots Without a Calculator
Dr. Math explains two methods fo finding a square root by hand. The first includes three steps: guess, divide and average. Of course depending on your guess in step one, steps two and three might need repeating. Dr. Math demonstrates by showings all the steps involved in finding the square root of twelve assuming your first guess was two. The second method uses the Binomial Theorem and infinite series, and is probably not for most middle school students.
Homeschool Math: Square Roots Worksheets
Eureka! We've found the mother lode of printable square root problem sheets with this worksheet generator from Homeschool Math. When creating your worksheet and answer key, make choices such as only perfect squares, the number of decimals to round the answers to, the range of radicands, and the number of problems on the page. When you've found the combination you like, you can simply reload your worksheet to generate another one with the same specs. To make it even easier, six sample worksheets are provided.

Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun, the third-largest planet in the Solar System, and has twenty-seven known moons. Though visible to the naked eye, it was dismissed as a star until March 13, 1781 when Sir William Herschel, using a telescope, noticed that this particular "star" seemed different from the others.

Ask an Astronomer for Kids: Uranus
From Caltech, in conjunction with NASA and Cool Cosmos, Ask an Astronomer answers thirteen frequently asked questions about Uranus. How big is Uranus? Is Uranus really tilted on its side? Why is Uranus blue? You can explore the rest of the universe (planets, stars, galaxies, nebulas and black holes) by following the Ask an Astronomer link. Cool Cosmos is also a must see. "Learn about infrared light, and open a door into the fantastic world of Infrared and Multiwavelength Astronomy."

NASA: Solar System Exploration: Uranus
"Uranus is very cold, windy and, like most of the other planets, poisonous to humans. It is a gas planet like Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. There is nothing to land on. The air -- atmosphere -- gets thicker and thicker until it is squished into liquid. That is called pressure." NASA presents a kid's eye view of Uranus with quick facts (11 Uranian rings, 84 Earth years in each Uranian year), a short article about the Voyager 2's 1986 Uranus flyby, and a Uranus calculator. How much would you weigh on Uranus? Because of the effects of gravity, you'd weight about eleven percent less there than you do here on Earth.

NASA: Welcome to the Planets: Uranus
Originally published as a CD-ROM, this site is a photo gallery of images from NASA's planetary explorations. You can explore the Uranus photos by starting with any of the thumbnails and then following the next and previous links. The annotations are short and include hyperlinks to the site's glossary. "This image reveals many broad lanes of dust surrounding the 9 main rings of Uranus. It was taken by Voyager 2 looking back toward the sun through the ring system. The dust is especially bright in this view, for the same reason that we can see dust on a windshield better when we are driving toward the sun." Uranus
"John Flamsteed first recorded the planet in 1690, but believed it was a star. Almost 100 years later in 1781, Sir William Hershel made the formal discovery. Although originally mistaking it for a comet, Hershel quickly corrected his error and established Uranus as a planet. After much debate about what to call it, Uranus was named after the Greek god of the sky."'s coverage of Uranus includes a data sheet, an archive of a dozen featured stories, a photo gallery, and a movie short "The Planet Hunter."

Windows to the Universe: Uranus
Windows to the Universe is my Uranus pick of the day because they publish their material at three different levels: beginner (for elementary students), intermediate (for middle school) and advanced (for high school and college students.) "The plain aquamarine face of Uranus confirms the fact that Uranus is covered with clouds. The sameness of the planet's appearance shows that the planet's atmosphere is mostly composed of one thing, methane."

A homophone is a group of words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings, such as "to, too, and two." Homophones are a special kind of a homonym, which in addition to words that are spelled differently, includes words that are spelled the same but still have different meanings, such as the stalk of a plant (a noun) and to stalk a person (a verb.)

About Special Ed: Homonym - Homophone Worksheets
Although specialist Sue Watson is a special education guide, these twenty printable homonym and homophone worksheets will be great for all primary grade students (as well as ESL learners.) The worksheets are presented on twenty different pages, and you can view a readable thumbnail before deciding to download using the "PRINT PDF" link below. The worksheets are strung together in two batches of ten, so take care not to miss worksheets eleven through twenty.

Alan Cooper's Homonyms
Alan Cooper started his homonyms list in second grade. He eventually lost his "dog-eared pad of yellow paper with an ever-growing list of homonyms," but when his son was in second grade and needed a list of homonyms, Cooper rediscovered his old passion. "The best part about homonyms, though, is that they are the raw material for puns, a truly sublime form of humor. With a robust knowledge of and appreciation for homonyms, you will never be embarrassed when a pun-battle breaks out in public."

All About Homophones: The Homophone Machine
"All About Homophones" is a homophone activity workbook that can be purchased in soft-cover or PDF, but the resource I want to share is the free Homophone Machine. Type in any sentence or paragraph, and it will be converted into a misspelled, but often very funny version chock full of homophones. If you need a suggestion, try starting with "I would like to show you my new horse" or "Praise the Lord for the spelling checker that came with our PC. Make a mistake and it puts you right. It's so easy to use, you see." That last tidbit is based on Janet E. Byford's poem "An Ode to the Spelling Chequer" which you can find at Alan Cooper's site (see above).

PBS Kids: Between the Lions: Homophones Video
This fun video from PBS' Between the Lions features singer-songwriter Brian McKnight and Cleo Lion singing about "a very unusual H word homophones." This one is sure to delight audiences of all ages. "You're right, let's write the words all day and night. They're out of sight. You're still so sweet, that's why we always meat. Not that kind of meet. Homophones. Two words that sound the same, but they're not spelled the same. Homophones."

Scholastic: Super Homophone Match Game
Do you have good memory? You'll need it when you try to match homophones. Don't know what a homophone is? You'll find out when you play Super Match." This concentration-style memory game requires you to match homophones, instead of the usual identical pictures. For example, "hair" is a match for "hare" and "scene" is a match for "seen." Because the game scrambles with each restart, it can be played multiple times.

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Students And Teachers Against Racism announces their new website that offers insight into the Native American perspective to teachers and educators.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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