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Webspiration Wednesday

Last week, I instituted Webspiration Wednesday at CHC.  To find out what exactly Webspiration Wednesday is, check out my original post here. Today we gathered over a TED Talk by Tim Brown on Creativity and Play. Tim reminded me of something very important, there comes a point in schooling where we begin discouraging play.  We ask students to sit in their seats, to fill in the circles completely with a number two pencil, and to stay on task.  There is very little time in schools for play.  I think that by making schools void of play, we harm our students.  There is a lot of important learning that happens during play and discovery. In the video, Tim shows some pictures inside some major design firms (Pixar and Google).  At the beginning of the year, I asked students to describe what their dream school would look like.  I was very sad to learn that most of them couldn’t conceive of a school that looked different.  In our first brainstorming session, most of them talked about having more recess or a longer lunch and that was the extent of their wishes.  I really tried to impress on them that their school could look and be structured any way they wanted.  I was met with blank stares and confused looks.  The problem in the first brainstorming session was that students were doing what they do all day long in school.  They were trying to guess what I was thinking.  They wanted to give me the right answer.  But in this instance, there wasn’t a right answer, every answer was right.  I showed my students pictures of Googleplex and Pixar and explained that there was a lot of work and creativity that came out of both companies.  What they saw was a playland.  Nearly all of my students declared that they would work at Google or Pixar when they got out of school.  One of my students asked if I would help her write a resume so that Google would have it on file when she was ready to work there (she is 9).  We brainstormed a dream school again.  This time the students understood that there wasn’t a right answer, that the sky was the limit.  Few of them included desks in their dream school, nearly all of them included animals of some kind, and most of them wanted slides and piano stairs to get from one floor to another.  We collaborated on Wallwisher and dreamed together.  At the beginning of the project, I told the kids the school could look like, and operate, any way that they wanted, but there were two restrictions: 1. it had to be a place of learning, and 2. they had to justify why they included everything in their school.  Most of them cited an increase in creativity and innovation (we learned that word as we looked at pictures of Googleplex).   One of my students wanted  a huge cylinder tropical fish tank in the lobby with clear pipes branching out and winding around the school and through the classroom.  She thought the fish would be interesting to study and an inspiration for learning.  Another student wished for swing chairs hanging from the ceiling so that they could move while they learned.  Several kids wanted dogs in the school that they could read to because, “dogs won’t make fun of you when you make a mistake reading out loud.”  Once the students felt comfortable with not having one right answer, they let their imaginations run wild and came up with excellent ideas and suggestions. We need to help kids understand that there usually isn’t only one right answer.  They have been so primed to believe that every problem has one correct answer because we overload them with tests and worksheets that tell them that it is so.  We squash creativity.  Pretty soon they become adults who don’t know how to play and as a result, aren’t creative.  How do you encourage creativity and outside the box thinking in your classroom?

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Gudli: learning games for math, language, science, puzzles and fun

Posted by admin | Posted in Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Math, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Websites | Posted on 09-06-2011

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What it is: Gudli is a collection of games for kids that makes learning fun.  Students can play these interactive educational games while developing skills in math, logic, memory, words, creativity and more.  Gudli is free to use and a fantastic learning space for students in kindergarten, first and second grade.

Learning games include:

Math

  • Color Addition
  • Learn Shape
  • Color Subtraction
  • Number Series
  • Number Wheel
  • Add Numbers
  • Match Shape
  • Minus
  • How Many
  • Number Writing
  • Spider Counting
  • Color by Number
  • What Number Missing
  • Billing Counter
  • Time Zone
  • Table Memory
  • Mission Subtraction
  • Tick Tock Time
  • Quick Match
  • Math Story
  • Pattern Match
  • Counting Coins
  • Mission Addition

Language

  • Simple Sentences
  • Lead the Way
  • Rhyme Time
  • ABC Words
  • Word Rhyme
  • ABC Jigsaw
  • Word Trail
  • Sight Words
  • Labeling
  • Save Panda
  • Letter Blox
  • Word Hunt
  • The Blank
  • Opposite Adjectives
  • Spellathon
  • Scramble
  • Phonic Train
  • Googly Balloon
  • Alphabet Writing
  • What Letter Missing
  • Word Search
  • English Memory

Puzzle

  • Connect Pipe
  • US Map
  • Jigsaw Wonders
  • Stardoku
  • Shape and Shadow
  • Jigsaw Puzzle
  • Tetris Mania
  • Tricky Shuffler
  • Tic Tac Toe
  • Sliding Puzzle

Science

  • Butterfly Life Cycle
  • Grow Plant
  • Water Cycle
  • Animal Quiz
  • Jigsaw Safari

In the side bar student will learn fun “did you know” facts, Math tricks (like “Multiply by 9: Multiply by 10 and subtract the original number”) and grammar hints.  Each game is labeled with the grade level and has a short description of the game and learning goals.

How to integrate Gudli into the classroom: Gudli is a fun way for kids to practice learning in math, English and science.  These games make great center activities to support learning.  The games are short enough that they can be set up on classroom computers and students can take turns reinforcing learning and skill practice.  Gudli has enough games that students can play several in a lab setting where each student has a computer.  Students can choose the games that best meet their learning needs.

Gudli is a great site to share with parents looking for some ways to reinforce learning over the summer!

Tips: Gudli has a brand new virtual world coming soon!  Students will be able to explore a fun virtual world, “chat” with their friends, play in an interactive environment, challenge friends to games and of course learn!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Gudli in your classroom!

Comments (4)

[…] post: Gudli: learning games for math, language, science, puzzles and fun Share […]

Simple sentences game contains grammatically incorrect sentences. Need to check carefully before putting learners on this site.

[…] Gudli: learning games for math, language, science, puzzles and fun June 15th, 2011 by Dallas Leave a reply » http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4034 […]

RT, thank you for the tip!

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