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Learn English Kids

What it is: Learn English Kids is a website especially for students who are learning English or need some remedial help in language development.  Created by the British Council, Learn English Kids has fun games, songs, stories, and offline activities to help students learn English.  All of the activities are created so that they can be done independently or with family members or friends.  In the listen and watch section of the site are animated stories and songs, many have accompanying activities to use in the classroom.  There are also videos and online activities designed to build listening skills and comprehension.  In the read write section are downloadable materials designed to help develop reading and writing skills.  The make section features online activities in which students can create something.  There are also arts and crafts directions to download and videos of children creating things.  In the explore section are additional resources and websites for English language learners. The game section features several games broken down into language games, fun with English, little Kids games, and games to play with friends.  Students learn basic English vocabulary, alphabetical order, phoneme matching (matching phoneme to its sound), hieroglyphics, months in a year, famous landmarks, seasons, recycling, ancient Egypt, animal habitats, around the world, bugs, Chinese New Year, Christmas, cities, colors, computers, countries, currency, daily routines, days of the week, dinosaurs, directions, environment, fairy tales, food, Great Barrier Reef, health, holidays, human body, maps, money, nature, numbers, Olympic games, pets, planets, plants, school, solar system, space, sports, technology, weather, just to name a few. How to integrate Learn English Kids into the classroom: Learn English Kids is a comprehensive resource that can be used in your classroom in a variety of ways.  The site was designed specifically for English Language Learners (or ESL students) but is appropriate for primary students or students who need some remedial language building.  The site has been created to be navigated and used independently and many of the activities would be perfect as a center that students can visit.  The games are outstanding for vocabulary and language building.  Listen and Watch has an impressive collection of songs that are traditional children tunes like Hickory, dickory dock, teaching songs that help students remember things like months in a year, and themed songs.  Each song is accompanied by a pdf of the lyrics and a print activity.   There are several well made short stories for your students to read along with.  The animated stories can be read with or without audio.  Each story comes with the ability to print and includes accompanying activity suggestions.  Kids Talk features videos of kids answering a variety of questions.  The Listen and Watch section also has a place for students to practice their listening skills.  Students watch an animated video and listen to what the characters say.  Then they are asked to interact with the activity according to what they heard.  These activities are great for ELL, but would also be excellent for students with sensory integration problems.  In the Read and Write section, students read a passage and are given follow up questions that they can write about themselves.  These would make an excellent writing center for students who need some prompting to write.  In the Create section students can create online stories, characters, etc.  There are also some offline printable activities and suggestions of things to create.  This site features so many great resources, it will keep you ready with activities for your students.  Every one of the activities/songs/read alongs are high quality and engaging.  Students will love this site!  I cannot stress enough that this site has something for every student, not just English Language Learners.  My kindergarten and first grade students really enjoy using this site. Tips: This site could take you hours to explore to find all of it’s hidden treasures.  If you are looking for a specific game, story, or topic, you may want to click on “Site Map” at the very bottom of the webpage.  Here you can sort through all of the resources by topic, finding exactly what you need quickly.  What a great website!! Be sure to check out the Teacher page where you will find lesson plans, resources, and guidance for teaching your ELL students. Leave a comment and share how you are using Learn English Kids in your classroom.

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Make your own iPad Stylus for less than 10 cents!

Posted by admin | Posted in iPod, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary | Posted on 30-08-2011

Tags: , , , , , ,


We had an incredible first week at Anastasis Academy.  It was amazing to see all of our hard work come together in the form of a student body.  Walking through the classrooms this week it was obvious: this is a place of learning.

One of our first-week of school activities was creating our own iPad stylus.  Since we are a one-to-one iPad environment, this seemed like a good beginning for everyone.

We learned that to make a stylus, we first had to find some soft, conductive material.  A Google search informed us that we could use conductive foam (the kind that is used to pack electronics), conductive thread, conductive yarn (we thought this would be PERFECT for our pens but couldn’t get any delivered fast enough), or a Scotch Brite sponge.  I was a little skeptical of the Scotch Brite (it just seemed TOO easy) but it worked like a champ!

The kids had fun exploring how the yellow, soft part of the sponge would draw on the iPad when they held it in their hands.  Some of the kiddos were a little baffled when they put the sponge into the plastic pen body and they found out that it no longer worked.  Students added a little wire and soon the pens were working again!  It was a great way for all of the kids to experiment with conductors and insulators.

Below are the steps for making your very own $0.10 or less iPad stylus.

*I bought a pack of Scotch Brite sponges, cheap, penny pens from a local office store, and a small roll of craft wire.  We made about 50 pens for $6.00!

1.  Separate the Scotch Brite sponge from the abrasive green backing.  Cut the yellow sponge remaining into small wedges.

2.  Take the ink out of some cheap plastic pen casing.  Drill a hole near the head of the pen with a small drill bit.

3.  Cut 6 inches of wire.

4. Tightly wrap the wire around the small end of the sponge wedge.

5. Thread the sponge through the head of the pen (our pen head separated from the pen body).

6. Bend the end of the wire farthest from the sponge into a 90* angle.  Thread this into the pen body and through the pre-drilled hole.

7.  Pull the wire through the drilled hole and wrap it several times around the pen body.

8.  Cut the exposed end of the sponge into desired pen-nub shape. 

9.  To use the pen, make sure that your hand is touching the wire at some point. Draw or write with your stylus!

The kids loved making their own stylus.  There was a lot of talk about perseverance (when we tried to thread the wire through the small drilled hole), conductivity and exclamations of “I did it!”.

It was a wonderful exercise in frustration and success.  Every student was proud of their finished product that actually worked!  Students learned about conductivity, perseverance, insulation, and building with every-day materials.

One of our students, Benton, made a short stop motion animation with his pen…you can see it below:


Now for our next trick- working with @ianchia to figure out how we can construct conductive manipulatives that work with the iPad.  Should be fun!

Comments (24)

[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Make your own iPad Stylus for less than 10 cents! One of our first-week of school activities was creating our own iPad stylus! Source: ilearntechnology.com […]

Fantastic learning opportunity, and very clever too. Can’t wait to try it!

[…] Kelly Tenkely does it again at iLearn Technology. […]

[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Make your own iPad Stylus for less than 10 cents!: […]

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[…] from: iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Make your own iPad Stylus for … This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged local-office, penny-pens, scotch, scotch-brite, […]

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[…] they put the health sponge in to the plastic pen body and that they found out that it no…Read more… This entry "iLearn Technological innovation?? Blog Archive?? Make an individual iPad Stylus […]

[…] Make Your Own iPad Stylus for Less than 10 Cents | iLearn Technology This entry was posted in Tech and tagged DIY, Stylus, Tablet by admin. Bookmark the permalink. […]

[…] Make Your Own iPad Stylus for Less than 10 Cents [iLearn Technology] Tagged:clever usesdiystylus […]

[…] Make Your Own iPad Stylus for Less than 10 Cents | iLearn Technology You can reach Alan Henry, the author of this post, at alan@lifehacker.com, or better yet, follow him on Twitter or Google+. Article source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/lifehacker/full/~3/j2uk0-7zPZg/build-your-own-tablet-stylus-on-the-cheap-with-a-ballpoint-pen-and-a-spongePosts Related to Build Your Own Tablet Stylus on the Cheap with a Ballpoint Pen and a Sponge [MacGyver Tip]7notes for iPad Lets You Take Notes On-Screen with Your Finger [Video]iPad: If you've been waiting for a utility that finally lets you take notes on a tablet screen like you would a piece of paper, …Today’s LinksThe Birdy Is a Super Simple Budgeting Site That Records Your Purchases Via Email [Personal Finance] If you appreciate the need for budgeting and tracking …Samsung Galaxy Note May Revive the StylusRecommend: 0 Comments Print By IDG News Service, PCWorld   Sep 1, 2011 2:30 PMBuild Your Own Grid-It Tech Organizer in a Vintage Book [DIY]Grid-It organizers are versatile gadget containers we're really fond of, but this DIY version wraps that modern organizing goodness into a vintage book for a …Report: Amazon 10-Inch Tablet Production Starts Early Next YearAmazon CEO Jeff BezosProduction on a 10-inch Amazon tablet will begin in the first quarter of 2012, while a 7-inch slate from the company will …Did you like this? Share it:Tweet […]

[…] Make Your Own iPad Stylus for Less than 10 Cents | iLearn Technology You can reach Alan Henry, the author of this post, at alan@lifehacker.com, or better yet, follow him on Twitter or Google+. […]

This is great! Are you worried at all about the sponge slipping up into the pen leaving a hard edge that might scratch the surfaces of the iPads? Thanks for sharing your activity and instructions. Sounds like the students enjoyed it. I think I’ll give it a try!

[…] Make your own iPad Stylus for less than 10 cents! via iLearn Technology […]

[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Make your own iPad Stylus for less than 10 cents! RT @ianchia: Kids at @TeamAnastasis making their own iP*d Stylus for less than 10 cents http://t.co/alKTkUl #mlearning #slide2learn #ipaded #iear #edapp… Source: ilearntechnology.com […]

Not worried about the sponge slipping up because of the way you wrap the wire around the sponge it really isn’t possible for that to happen.

[…] a cheap disposable pen, some wire, and…yellow sponges…don't believe me, check it out here – iLearn Technology – Cheap iOS Stylus Patrick Share this Do you know somebody else who would find this post interesting or useful? […]

[…] this step-by-step tutorial (inspired by iLearn), we’re going to show how to make your own capacitive stylus that you can use with […]

[…] http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=4221 – Using pen, foam and wire – geared to kids […]

Great tutorial guys, we were doing some research into how stylus’ are made for the iPad and found this enlightening article. Definitely going to have a play around with this.

It it is. Super cool but I tryed it a different way I used pen wire and sponge then I took the sponge hooked it on to the pointy part wrapped a wire around and then it was finished way better than anything you should try this. Thanks. Bye

[…] constructing a styles from foam, wire, and an old pen. Students at Anastasis Academy made with own iPad styluses for less than 10 cents using a sponge and […]

[…] community together for some activities.  Our first year, students worked together to create iPad styluses out of sponge and wire for less than 10 cents.  Last year we held an all-school day of play (highly recommend that!) and marshmallow/spaghetti […]

Gummi worms work, too. Really!

Sponges are made without he brillo.

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