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iboard: Balancing Animals

What it is: Balancing Animals is another fun activity for your interactive whiteboard that lets students use animals as ‘non-standard’ units to weigh others.  Students can drag an animal (or animals) up to the scale, other students try to balance the scale by choosing animals that would cause the scale to be balanced. How to integrate Balancing Animals into the classroom: Balancing Animals is a nice visual for students to use to learn about weight.  Choose an animal to weigh and drag it to the scale.  Encourage students to whisper a guess of how many animals it would take to balance the scale to their elbow buddy (the student next to them).  Groups of students can come to the board and test out their guesses.  This game could be completed on an interactive whiteboard or on classroom computers as a math center. Tips: iboard has a variety of activities for the interactive whiteboard that can be purchased.  Balancing Animals is one of their freebie samples. Leave a comment and share how you are using iboard: Balancing Animals in your classroom.

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Trapped! Punctuation: Punctuation Practice for October

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 15-10-2012

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What it is:  I’ve long been a fan of the BBC’s Bitesize games and activities.  They continue to grow and continue to impress me.  I recently ran across the BBC Bitesize Trapped! Punctuation game.  It couldn’t be a more perfect way to practice punctuation in October.  It has all the elements that students will enjoy: a challenge in the form of a story, spooky characters and setting (but not too spooky), a built in extra game challenge to get from one level to the next.  The game begins with a short animation explaining how students got trapped in a tower and how they will solve punctuation puzzles to get free.  Students have to choose the correct punctuation to complete each puzzle.  After they have chosen the punctuation, they have to use some physics/experimentation to get an apple into a hole to move on to the next level.  This is FUN punctuation practice!

How to integrate Trapped! Punctuation into the classroom: Trapped! Punctuation is a fun way for students to practice placement of punctuation in writing. This beats worksheet practice hands down.  I like that the site puts students in the middle of a story and challenge.  Students will have to consider why a punctuation mark is appropriate in each place.  After students choose the punctuation to complete the puzzle, students have an additional challenge of getting an apple into a hole.  There are some very basic physic principles introduced here.  Students have to use the mouse to choose the angle and speed to shoot the apple to get to their goal.  The puzzles get increasingly difficult and add the additional challenge of extra twists and turns to get the apple through.  The second challenge asks students to choose the correct form of punctuation by “herding” crates with the mouse.

I like that these games are not your typical drill and kill.  They aren’t simply choose the right answer and move on.  There is an additional problem solving component built into each game.  Can’t beat that!

Trapped Punctuation would be a great challenge for kids in a one to one computer setting.  Don’t have that luxury? The games are quick enough to be used as a center activity in the one or two computer classroom.  Set up Trapped! Punctuation as one of the centers in the classroom for students to visit as part of their rotation.

Tips: This practice is fun and challenging enough that students may want to continue practice at home.  Be sure to share this link with parents, they are always looking for good uses of home computer time!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Trapped! Punctuation in your classroom.

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Comments (3)

Game sounds perfect for my students!

What is the site address?

Hi Jackie, in all of my posts all you need to do is click on the name of the site (it is a live link) and it will take you to the correct url :)

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