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Internet Safety with Professor Garfield

What it is: Professor Garfield has offered an array of interactive games and activities for kids.  I learned from blog Educadores Digitales that he has now teamed up with the Virginia Department of Education and the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia to help students protect themselves online.  Internet Safety with Professor Garfield is offering lessons on online safety, cyberbullying, and coming soon: fact or opinion and forms of media.  Each lesson is composed of three parts, watch, try, and apply.  In the “watch” section, students watch a video starring Garfield and his friends.  The video teaches an important Internet safety lesson.  In the “try it” section, students are given a chance to play a game that checks for understanding and redirects thinking if students missed a concept.  In the “apply it” section, students help a character from the video to make wise Internet safety decisions.   How to integrate Internet Safety with Professor Garfield into the classroom: This is an excellent place for elementary students to begin learning about how to keep themselves safe online.  I make it a point to visit Internet safety throughout the school year.  I always start out my year with a few weeks that are focused on and dedicated to Internet safety.  I make a big deal of the activities that take place during those weeks.  At the end of the Internet safety unit, my students take an interactive quiz (usually using our ActivVote system) so that I can gauge their understanding.  Each student must pass this quiz in order to receive their Internet drivers license for the year.  Professor Garfield’s Internet Safety is the perfect addition to the Internet safety week.  The videos and activities are fabulous!  Revisit the site throughout the year so that students are reminded of the safety rules they agreed to follow at the beginning of the year.  I find that mid-year students start to get critical of each other.  The name calling and bullying seems to start up every February.  This is a great time to reintroduce Cyberbullying, and the lesson on Professor Garfield is a great way to do this. In the lab setting, each student can go through these lessons at their own pace. Students will receive immediate feedback from the activities if they have any misunderstandings. If you are a classroom teacher without a regular computer lab time, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to watch the videos as a class.  During the try and apply, turn the questions into a class discussion and choose the answers together. Tips: Internet Safety with Professor Garfield has lesson plans and unit quizzes, an Internet safety certificate that can be printed at the end of the unit, and a printable poster for your classroom to remind students how to stay safe online. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Internet Safety with Professor Garfield in your classroom.

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Learning Box Base 10 Blocks: Virtual math manipulative

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Interactive Whiteboard, Math, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 07-09-2011

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What it is:  Today while I was doing a quick Google search for a place I could buy a set of base 10 blocks, I came across this AWESOME digital version by accident.  What a happy accident!  Learning Box has a virtual version of base 10 blocks that builds in a fun practice game.  Students are given a target number and drag base 10 blocks onto the paper to represent that number.  As students add blocks, a counter at the bottom of the page shows how many blocks are currently on the paper.  This is a great way for students to digitally practice place value, counting by hundreds, tens and ones.

The outcome of my shopping trip for base 10 blocks: the digital version is MUCH cheaper (read:free) than the physical version (not free).  While I understand the value of the physical blocks, the digital version is a fantastic alternative for classrooms without the budget for each student to have a set or for students to continue practice at home.

How to integrate Learning Box Base 10 into the classroom:  The Learning Box Base 10 blocks are a great example of a virtual manipulative.  They help students visually represent numbers and place value.  I like the way the slider and cups on the bottom of the page help track student progress as they drag blocks to the paper. When students get the target number, they don’t start with a blank slate, instead a new target number is given and students have to figure out which blocks to add or subtract. You can adjust the level of difficulty and place values practiced by clicking on the 1, 10, and 100 circle to the left of the paper.

Learning Box Base 10 would make a great center activity in the one or two computer classroom.  Students can use the digital manipulatives with the built in game or to help them represent real-world problems.

Start a whole-class game with the Learning Box Base 10 blocks using a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard.  Students can take turns at the board solving the problem and “phone a friend” if they need some additional support.

Tips: This Learning Box activity is flash based…I’m hoping that someone comes out with an app of manipulatives for the iPad (hint, hint).

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Learning Box Base 10 Blocks in  your classroom!

Comments (8)

[…] Read this article: Learning Box Base 10 Blocks: Virtual math manipulative […]

Kelly, I LOVE the Learning Box base 10 blocks and have used them with my first and second grade classes when they were learning about place value and doing addition with regrouping. I found that site and others with similar virtual base 10 blocks on http://www.internet4classrooms.com in the math skillbuilders for second grade. The kids have a great time using these and they work great for differentiation.

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[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Learning Box Base 10 Blocks: Virtual math manipulative […]

[…] the home page to entice me.  As I entered this blog I was greeted by a screen shot of digital base ten blocks… “I must read more” is my only thought!  Kelly Tenkely is the creater of the iLearn […]

I have used electronic base 10 blocks in my third grade classroom for a couple of years now. I was amazed at how much better they grasped place value, as well as constructing and deconstructing large numbers with this tool. The kids were so excited to be able to use the smartboard and the electronic base 10 blocks to make numbers. I think the hand on component of this technology really reinforces the concept and increases students’ understanding and retention of place value. Thanks for sharing!

Love that your kids responded so well to the virtual! I’m always hesitant to go JUST virtual because I know some kids really love holding the blocks in their hands…they are so darn expensive that this is a great alternative!

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing these Debra.

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