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The Tale of Despereaux Adventure

What it is:  I learned about this awesome interactive site from Larry Ferlazzo’s blog.  It is just too good to pass up blogging about it!  This interactive story book lets students create their own tale in the Kingdom of Dor.  The students become a part of the story as they create a character version of themselves that takes part in the story adventure.  Students can choose to have interactive games and puzzles included in their story.  The story is a virtual pop-up book, it is read to students and they can read along with subtitles.  Along the way, students have to help solve problems in the story by playing an interactive game.    How to integrate The Tale of Despereaux Adventure into the classroom:  The Tale of Despereaux Adventure is a really impressive site.  This would be a great introduction to the book by Kate DiCamillo.  The site would act as a teaser for the book that would have students eager to read.  Even if you aren’t reading The Tale of Despereaux, this is a fun way to get students interested in reading (most of them won’t even realize that they are reading!)  Set up a Tale of Despereaux center on your classroom computer during reading time for a month.  Each day two new students can visit the center and take part in their own adventure.  This site could also be used with an interactive whiteboard or projector for the students to create a whole class story.  If students choose to read the story with the interactive games, they  will be stopped along the way to complete puzzle and logic games throughout the story.  These type of games are great to get kids thinking creatively and outside of the box.  The story can be viewed in different languages, this would be a fun site for foreign language classes to visit in the language they are studying!   Tips:  One thing I don’t love about this site is that it asks students to enter their first and last name to be part of the story.  I teach my students never to put their last name online.  I ask my students to make up a last name when creating their story.    Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Tale of Despereaux Adventure 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.

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

[...] 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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