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Chess Kid

What it is: Chess Kid is a fantastic way for kids to learn to play the game of chess and then practice their game against kids from around the world.   The Chess Kid environment is safe and secure for kids, students have no contact with strangers.  A parent or a teacher manages all access and friendships online and can easily monitor all activity.   On Chess Kid students learn the rules and strategies of chess and work to improve their game, memorization skills, patience, and sportsmanship.  Students can train with tactic puzzles and exercises, view video lessons, practice tactic against the computer, or read chess articles.  Chess games can be played online against other kids from around the world, in online tournaments, blitz chess, or against the computer.   How to integrate Chess Kid into the classroom: Chess is a great game that is packed full of skills that help students in other disciplines such as math.  Students must use problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, deductive and inductive reasoning, and the ability to make accurate judgments and estimates as they play.  Chess makes for a great mental workout and develops skills necessary for solving other problems.  Chess Kid is a place where students can learn how to play the game of chess, and then practice through play with kids from around the world or the computer.  Chess Kid can be used with the whole class for lessons and learning the how-to aspect of chess on a projector or interactive whiteboard.  Students can then play on classroom computers, as a math center, or individually in a computer lab setting. Tips: The American Chess Foundation published that chess can improve a child’s visual memory, attention span, spatial reasoning skills, capacity to predict and anticipate consequences, and the ability to use criteria to drive decision making and evaluate alternatives. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Chess Kid in your classroom.

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ESA Kids

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 02-04-2010

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What it is: The European Space Agency (ESA) has a great website for kids.  ESA Kids has fabulous, kid friendly information about the Universe (the story of the Universe, the sun, the planets and moons, the galaxies, comets and meteors), Life in Space (astronauts, space stations, life in space, exploration, are we alone?), Lift Off (launchers, orbits, mission control, spacecraft, new ways to space), Useful Space (TV and phone, know where you are, space spin-offs, weather, health), and Earth (climate change, natural disasters, protecting nature, water world).  This site is absolutely packed full of information and awesome images.  Students can “work in a lab” where they can build papercraft globes and spacecraft, try reading space maps, and learn fun space facts.  Students will also enjoy the space themed games and puzzles, online coloring book, quizzes, and downloads.  Each month, a new story about space is added to the News section, keeping students up to date about what is happening in space exploration.  

How to integrate ESA Kids into the classroom: When I am hunting for space related websites, I usually begin with NASA.  ESA Kids is being added to my must visit places for all things space.  The site is organized well, very kid friendly, and has fun activities that students can take part in.  Use ESA Kids for space research, when learning about the weather, climate change, and natural disasters.  After students have some background knowledge about space and space exploration, have them visit the Lab and choose a papercraft spacecraft to print and build.  Students can write a story about their spacecraft, including facts that they learned on the ESA Kids website.  They may even write a fictional story about their visit to space that includes factual elements that they learned in the Life in Space section.    Be sure to visit the Useful Space tab, I think students will be surprised at how many common items are linked to space and space exploration.

Tips: Be sure to visit this site often, the news is updated every month with current space events.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using ESA Kids in your classroom.

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