Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Foreign Language, Fun & Games, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Social Studies, video, Websites | Posted on 08-07-2010
What it is: Whiz Kids is a new site developed for autistic children. It was designed to give these kids a fun place to develop life skills. All of the games and videos have high production values, making them engaging and impressive, they feel as though you have stepped into a Pixar movie. Through this one portal, you get 16 interactive and therapeutic games. The games help kids develop essential life skills like empathy, recognizing emotion, making decisions, coping with change, transactions, non-verbal gestures, grouping, schedules, finding a route, and making eye contact. Although these games were specifically developed for children with autism, they are wonderful for primary elementary students and ELL students as well.
How to integrate Whiz Kids into the classroom: Whiz Kids has an incredible back story, the site was created by more 80 students 8 lecturers and 10 autism specialists, the project represents more than 16,000 hours of research and development. The games are tailored to fit the needs of autistic children. If you teach autistic children, these games will help them develop important life skills that will aid them when interacting with classmates. The games would be great for classroom computers as a center activity. Help other students in your classroom understand how they can help the autistic children in the classroom by having them play the Whiz Kids games as well. This will give your students a shared vocabulary and experience to draw on when they are working and playing together in the classroom. Because the games focus so much on character development, they are appropriate for any primary classroom. Help your students learn about complex human interactions like empathy, non-verbal communication, and coping with change through game play. The games can be played and discussed as a whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer, or they can be played independently at a computer center, or a computer lab. After playing the game, practice the skill taught as a class. For example, if students play Robbie the Robot and are practicing recognizing emotion and facial expressions, follow up by asking students to work with a partner making faces and naming the emotion. ELL students can use Whiz Kids to develop character related vocabulary and understanding.
Tips: On the Whiz Kids sister site, Autism Games, teachers can get more information about individual games and how to use them with students. Each game is categorized based on the life skill that it teaches. The game descriptions and suggestions are fantastic.
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Whiz Kids in your classroom.