What it is: Health Detective is an interactive game developed by Kaiser Permanente that teaches kids how to make healthy choices. The premiss of the game is an outbreak of unhealthy habits hitting too many kids. The kids get ‘secret’ training on how to eat right an exercise. Students can investigate fun games like whack a snack, soccer, and zap the TV. Students and teachers can also print out classified clues on ways to be healthy.
How to integrate Health Detective into your classroom: This is a fun, motivating way to learn about making healthy exercise and eating choices. In the one computer classroom, set up the Health Detective as a center for students to visit during science/health class. In the computer lab setting each student can play individually (about 20min. game). If you have access to a projector, this would be a fun whole class experience.
Tips: Teachers can print out healthy habits “classified clues” to send home with students.
What it is: Google Lit trips is a new way to teach literature. Using Google Earth, students discover where in the world the greatest road trip stories of all time took place. This is interactive learning at its best! Google Lit Trips include books such as By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleishman, My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier, Traveling with P.G. Wodehouse, The Aeneid by Virgil, Candide by Volatire, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Night by Elie Wiesel, The Odyssey by Homer, and Blood Meridian by Comac McCarthy.
How to integrate Google Lit Trips into your classroom: Use these virtual trips to make literature come alive for your students.
Tips: These Google Lit Trips are best used for upper elementary through high school.
What it is: Geni is a genealogy family tree site.
How to integrate Geni into your classroom: Encourage your students to learn more about their family. Students can gather information about their family and create a family tree using Geni’s easy to use tools. Parents can collaborate with their students on this project easily. The Geni family tree can be printed out and emailed to other family members.
Tips: Encourage parents to collaborate with their students on this easy to use site.
What it is: Mindomo free web-based mind mapping tool that delivers the capabilities of desktop mind mapping software in a web browser with no software to install or maintain. Students can create, edit, and share mind maps with teachers and other students.
How to integrate Mindomo into your classroom: Students can use Mindomo to create mind maps for all subjects. Students can create character diagrams, comparison charts, story diagrams, vocabulary word diagrams, timelines, effect of events, experiment maps, food pyramids, scientific processes, life cycles, and more. This tool will be valuable for your visual learners!
Tips: Students have to sign up for a free account to use Mindomo they will need a email address to complete registration process.
What it is: Vocabulary is a website where students can build spelling, reading, phonics, and vocabulary skills while playing games. The word games provide a motivation to manipulate, examine, and interact with the core building blocks of communication. There are six games to play and hundreds of options for each game. Games include: Hang Mouse (like hangman), Crossword Puzzle, Word Search, Vocabulary Quiz, Picture Match Game, and Word Scramble.
How to integrate Vocabulary into your classroom: Use the Vocabulary website to introduce new units, during phonics or center time, or as practice during a unit. The Vocabulary website offers multiple levels of each game and many themes.
Tips: Search this site for vocabulary words that tie in with your specific classroom and school themes. The site is appropriate for first through eighth grade. Find the levels that are most appropriate for your students.
What it is: The Story Starter provides 345,935,040 creative ideas for writers of all ages. The Story Starter randomly generates writing prompts that will help students start stories.
How to integrate The Story Starter into your classroom: Have one or two of your classroom computers set to this site during writing or journaling time. Students can click on the random story starter button and get the beginning of a story that they can add to. This is a wonderful creative tool for students who are learning to write fiction.
Tips: Bookmark this page for easy access during writing time.
What it is: The Apple is a social networking site for teachers. Think Facebook specially designed for teachers! This is the place where teachers meet, discuss, and learn. Use The Apple to read the latest education news of the day, watch education related videos, shop for education products (and see how other educators on The Apple have rated the products), search for jobs, learn about furthering your own education, explore articles and search for lesson plans by subject, share photos, discuss with other teachers, and create your own community of educators.
How to use The Apple in your school: Encourage your colleagues to sign up for The Apple and use it as a place to meet and discuss online. This is a great place to collaborate at your convenience. Meet other educators around the country and find out what works and what doesn’t in their classrooms.
Tips: This is also a wonderful resource for people who are considering becoming a teacher! Be sure to check out the wealth of resources under the “Become a Teacher” tab.
When you sign up, be sure to add me as a contact! ktenkely
What it is: Blogger is a free blogging tool. Blogger makes it easy for teachers and students to share work, class notes, and pictures online. Educators can even make private blogs for their classes’ eyes only.
How to integrate Blogger into your classroom: Teachers can use Blogger to stay connected to students, parents, and other teachers. Use Blogger for newsletters for parents, keep parents up-to-date about what is happening in the classroom, share photos and student work, post school documents and projects, and assign collaborative group projects online with an easy way to track students’ progress. Students can use Blogger to communicate ideas, photos, class notes, improve their writing skills (give students a sense of audience), improve typing skills, and teach basic web publishing. Students can access Blogger from any Internet connected computer making it an ideal place to collect information for projects, work on unpublished drafts, collect feedback from classmates, and take on collaborative projects.
Tips: When you view a published blog in Blogger, you will see a Next button at the top of the screen. This next button will take you or your students to a randomly selected blog. These are not always school appropriate. To remove this next button, follow the instructions at TechLearning.
What it is: Scribble Screen is a presentation tool allowing you to write directly onto the screen, drawing the attention of the audience to items which can be in windows from completely separate applications, high-light items as you speak about them, sketch a quick diagram or type some text. Scribble Screen works by capturing an image of the Macintosh screen at the moment it is launched; thereafter drawing occurs on top of this screen image as a background. This background can take over the whole screen (the other applications still running, but hidden) or can be in a smaller side window so you can see the other applications. Scribble Screen is a freeware application.
How to integrate Scribble Screen into your classroom: Use Scribble Screen for presenting information to students. Scribble Screen can be used over any computer application making it ideal for teaching any computer skill, math, taking notes, etc. The possibilities with this tool are endless. This tool is best used with a projector in whole class instruction.
Tips: Note that this program only works with Macintosh operating systems.
What it is: Hands on Banking is a free, fun financial education program that presents the basics of smart money management in an easy to use format game. Topics include budgeting, the importance of saving, bank accounts and services, borrowing money, establishing credit, investing, and more. The curriculum is appropriate for 4th through 12th grades.
How to integrate Hands on Banking into your curriculum: Use the Hands on Banking site as an extended learning activity for the economics or math classroom. Activities can be customized for each age group. The site works best in a computer lab setting because it takes time to get through the entire game. Use this activity at the end of an economics or money unit as a culminating activity.