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Zoodles: a kid safe mode for every device

What it is: Zoodles makes it possible to have a “kid safe” mode on every device: Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android.  Zoodles includes wonderful features for technology use in the classroom and at home.  With Zoodles every child has their own “playground” space (login) that they access by clicking on their picture.  A parent dashboard lets teachers (or parents) customize Zoodles to meet the needs of students. Parents and teachers can clearly see where a student spends their time, what their interests are, and what subjects they have been practicing.  Every game in Zoodles has been previewed by experts and is rated based on it’s educational merit.  Parent play-along mode makes it possible for parents or teachers to guide the learning experience.  The interface is focused on kids and is extremely intuitive.  There are no distracting “extras” in the navigation or URLs where students can get sidetracked or lost.  The content in Zoodles adapts to each child’s age and ability level so they are constantly being challenged and engaged. There are thousands of educational games built into Zoodles…students always have something new and challenging to interact with.  Zoodles also gives students access to fun educational videos.  Zoodles is geared for toddler to third grade (8 year old) students.  You can peruse the games included in Zoodles by clicking on the “Games” tab on the site.  There are games for: cognitive development, creative development, life skills, math, reading, science, and social studies. The games and videos in Zoodles are pulled from several places on the Internet.  What makes Zoodles a great tool is the ability to guide students in their learning, easily find quality educational content, scale as a student is ready, and keep ads blocked and hidden. How to integrate Zoodles into the classroom: Zoodles is great for classroom computers and devices in the primary classroom.  It provides students with access to quality learning games and content from the Internet without having to sort through the Internet to get to it.  Zoodles is perfect for classroom computers that are used as learning centers.  For the classroom, create 3-5 different accounts.  Instead of basing the accounts on individual students, the accounts can be based on a learning level.  Through the dashboard, teachers can guide the learning that happens in each account.  This keeps your students on task, learning at their level, and engaged in meaningful activities.  Even if you don’t use the Zoodles interface on your computers for students, it is definitely worth a download as a teacher.  The games and videos are broken up into subject areas and age groups.  This makes it easy to find an activity for any learning that you are doing in the classroom.  Use Zoodles as your guide to find great activities and learning games on the web. Tips: I found Zoodles when searching for a solution for one of the families I teach.  They were looking for a way that all of their kids (2 years old to 8 years old) could use the family computer for fun, safe learning experiences.  This is a great app to recommend to parents who don’t know what they don’t know, but want to provide their kids with virtual learning experiences.  Be sure to recommend it to your students families!  There are premium features that families will LOVE! Please leave a comment and share how you are using Zoodles!

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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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