What it is: Kidoons brings time-honored, universally recognized stories to life. Stories include tales from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault, Thorton Burgess, and more. Kidoons offers both online stories and games for kids developing literacy skills.
How to integrate Kidoons into your classroom: Offer students the opportunity to use Kidoons during silent reading time, or during a unit on one of the time-honored authors listed above. The online books are not read for the students, so it is best used with independent readers.
Tips: Visit the teachers section to join the Kidoons teacher’s resource newsletter. Kidoons will alert you of any new games, stories, and ideas for your classroom.
Kidoons does have advertisements on it, use this as an opportunity to teach kids about how to spot ads on the Internet.
What it is: Our Timelines is a free web tool that lets teachers and students create and print timelines. Students can click on any entry in an already created timeline that is underlined as a link to a page that provides additional details on the event.
How to integrate Our Timelines into your classroom: Allow students to create timelines on Our Timelines. The timelines can be a 5 to 140 year span. Students fill in the time period, the event description and the event type. Students can also see a timeline of events that happened on their birthdays. This is a great resource for teaching kids about timelines and visualizing history. Use for history lessons, literature timelines, personal timelines, etc.
Tips: Be sure to click the printable check box in the timeline form so that the timeline can be printed.
What it is: Teachers can use School Notes to create notes for homework and class information and post them on the web in seconds using this free service.
How to integrate School Notes into your classroom: Use School Notes as a quick easy way to stay in touch with your families. Parents and students can view your notes by entering the school zip code. This is an easy to use interface!
Tips: School Notes is part of Education World, be sure to visit Education World for great teacher resources.
What it is: Grade Connect is an online course management system that streamlines and enhances communication between teachers, students, and parents. It is free to use. It includes a secure online gradebook, announcement and assignment posting, and convenient email system.
How to Integrate Grade Connect into the classroom: Use Grade Connect to make teacher/parent communication more efficient and effective. Post assignments online so that students can easily check on the weeks activities and homework.
Tips: Watch the demo of Grade Connect before signing up to see if it fits your needs.
What it is: Safety Land is an interactive city that teaches Internet safety. Students help the Safety Land super hero catch a bad Internet character. Students search different buildings and answer Internet safety related questions. They receive feedback on their answers (right or wrong) along with an explanation about why the answer was right or wrong. When all questions have been answered, the bad Internet character is captured.
How to integrate Safety Land into the classroom: Use Safety Land to practice and assess Internet safety. Because students have to go through a series of questions to get to the end of the game, this is a wonderful game to use to check for understanding. The site should be used throughout the year to reinforce Internet safety rules.
Tips: Teachers can print out the entire game (all questions, answers and responses).
What it is: Planetfesto is a website dedicated to creating an Internet ribbon large enough to stretch around the planet. Students add their own six inches to the ribbon by creating a simple panel expressing their love for the Earth and a pledge to change something small in their life that might affect the earth.
How to integrate Planetfesto into your classroom: Planetfesto would be a great Earth Day activity for the classroom. Students can create their own tribute to the planet (on paper and scanned in or in a graphics program) or choose a picture from the site that demonstrates how they view the planet. Students then type a paragraph about why they love the planet and their pledge to personally protect it. There are some ideas for students to choose from for their pledge.
Tips: Your students will be proud to be part of the “bigger picture” with this ribbon that wraps around the world. Students can share their work by using Planetfesto’s search feature.
Planetfesto has been nominated for an Edublog Award!! Vote for them here. Congratulations Planetfesto!
What it is: Privacy Playground- The First Adventure of the Three Cyber Pigs is a game designed for ages 8-10. In the game, the Cyber Pigs play on their favorite website and encounter marketing ploys, spam, and a close encounter with an unfriendly wolf. (Think the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf in cyber space.)
How to integrate Privacy Playground into the classroom: The purpose of the Privacy Playground game is to teach kids how to spot online marketing strategies, protect their personal information and avoid online predators. This is a great game to use in the classroom to reinforce Internet safety. Use this game before students use the Internet extensively in class. Play the game throughout the year to remind students of important Internet safety rules.
Tips: The teacher’s guide explains how to play the game, gives background information on the issues of online marketing, spam, and children’s privacy and also provides activities and handouts for use in the classroom.
What it is: Secrets @ Sea is the worlds first online ocean adventure learning game. This curriculum based adventure story is targeted for 4th through 7th grade students. The engaging website game complements ocean-theme units of study and enhances students learning experiences using the Internet. Student play the starring role of “Ace”, assistant investigator to Paula Pacific, who is assigned to examine unusual behaviors noticed in killer whale populations in the Alanamorris Strait. As Ace progress through the story, s(he) must successfully complete a number of ocean-related learning activities. The knowledge gained from completing these activities leads the student to the solution of the case.
How to integrate Secrets @ Sea into the classroom: There are four main ocean themes to complement units of study, marine mammals and food webs; salmon, herring and plankton; tides, oceans and mapping; and features of the ocean floor, currents. Individual sections can be completed during a typical classroom computer lab session (30-45 minutes), or all sections can be played together in a longer session. Students can work through the site individually or with the entire class, in partners, or in small groups.
Tips: Visit the Teachers Guide for an overview, introduction, important features, a break down of chapters, learning outcomes, technical specs, extension activities, and engaging science.
What it is: Student Treasures is a free publisher that will publish student work into bound books. This program is highly motivating for students because they see their work result in a 4-color, hard bound, professionally published book.
How to integrate Student Treasures into the classroom: Use Student Treasures as a motivational tool. Students can write individual or class stories to be published. Use a word processor for the final copy that will be published. This is a great tool for teaching writing as students will have to go through each step of the writing process and learn how to use a word processor proficiently.
Tips: If you do not have a word processor, see the Archives for free tools.
What it is: Inspired learning is a collection of lesson plans and ideas for using visual software such as Inspiration, and Kidspiration in the classroom.
How to integrate Inspired Learning into your curriculum: Use Inspired Learning for ideas and lessons to integrate visual software into the classroom. If you don’t already have visual, mind mapping software, you can download Free Mind open source (free) software to use with the lessons and ideas.
Tips: Click on the Educators Resource page on Inspired Learning for a free trial version of Inspiration and Kidspiration.