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Oxford Owl Maths: math ebooks, activities

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Math, Primary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 24-07-2013

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iLearn Technology Oxford Owl Math ebooksWhat it is: Oxford Owl is the awesome site I wrote about yesterday.  They have a fantastic collection of free ebooks and accompanying activities for kids.  The site is making an appearance in today’s post because they ALSO have Oxford Owl Math for ages 3-7.  There isn’t quite the breadth of resources here that you will find on the main Oxford Owl site, but they do have some great suggestions for math activities, both online and offline, and there are some online math e-books.  The 3-5 section currently has the most e-books, online math games, activity sheets that can be printed out, and offline games to play.

How to integrate Oxford Owl Maths into the classroom:  Oxford Owl Maths has some wonderful math themed interactive ebooks that include practice with position words, counting, shapes, time, and adding/subtracting.  The ebooks make for a great introduction or review in the kindergarten and first grade classrooms.  The telling time ebook and activities are even appropriate for second grade students.  In the kids treasure box, students can collect online trophies for the games and puzzles they complete, find recipes to make in the kitchen, and download offline activities.

Oxford Owl would be a nice center activity that even the youngest students could explore independently or with a partner.  It could also be used for whole class stories with an interactive whiteboard or projector.

This is a good site to introduce parents to for at home reading, play and math practice.  If you have a classroom website, Oxford Owl is a great one to link to!

Tips: If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Oxford Owl Literacy site.

Tell us how you are using (or plan to use) Oxford Owl Maths in your classroom!

Quincy and the Magic Instruments

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Music, Primary Elementary, Technology, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 15-05-2012

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What it is:  Next year we are adding a kindergarten to Anastasis (currently we are a 1st-8th grade school). In honor of this addition, I’ve been digging up some fun primary sites and resources.  Quincy and the Magic Instruments is a great primary site to teach students about music and instruments.  The site is enchanting with it’s interactive story/video platform. It invites students to take part in the story and introduces them to various “magic” instruments. As students learn, they get mouse practice (dragging dropping) for some fine motor skills; matching shapes, and identifying different types of instruments.  Students also get exposed to a variety of types of music that instruments are used to create.

How to integrate Quincy and the Magic Instruments into the classroom:  Quincy and the Magic Instruments is a great site to introduce students to some basic fine motor mouse skills.  When I taught in the computer lab, I quickly learned that mouse manipulation doesn’t come as second nature for all students. They have to build up that fine motor skill to click, drag and drop.  I can’t tell you how many times I had to show students that their mouse wasn’t actually “broken” – they just had it upside down. :)

Quincy and the Magic Instruments is a fun place for students to learn about different kinds of instruments and the sounds they make.  As the instruments appear, you can help students identify what the name of each instrument is and even introduce them to the idea of major and minor notes.  If you are using the site as a class with an interactive whiteboard, annotate over each instrument with the name of the instrument and what part it plays in a band.

To expand on this little online game, ask students to make up a story about how Quincy’s baton got lost and why the magic instruments turned into different animals and objects.  How did the instruments come to be magic?

Tips: On any screen students can replay a song or jumble the instruments for an added challenge.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Quincy and the Magic Instruments in  your classroom!

ABC Mouse: math, reading, geography, and science curriculum (interactives/games/books)

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Geography, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Math, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Social Studies, Spelling, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 27-10-2011

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What it is:  ABC Mouse is a complete online curriculum for pre-k and kindergarten students that provides a step-by-step learning path.  There are six academic levels that include curriculum that includes over 350 interactive lessons and more than 2000 learning activities.  As a student completes one activity successfully, they are guided to the next.  The interactive lessons include online picture books, puzzles, games, songs, art, activities and printable activities that relate to different topics and disciplines.  Each lesson offers different ways to learn to meet the needs of a variety of students.  The reading curriculum in ABC Mouse helps students recognize letters and sounds of the alphabet and sight words.  There are hundreds of books build in including fables, fairy tales and non-fiction.  In addition to sight words, students can learn phonics, sound recognition and rhyming words/word families.   The math curriculum teaches students numbers, shapes, patterns and measurement.  Students will play games and activities that help them to recognize and count numbers 1-100, identify and draw shapes, and the meaning of addition and subtraction.  ABC Mouse’s World Around Us is an introduction to science, social studies and health curriculum.  In the World Around Us, students will learn about the body and health, sports, plants and animals, weather and seasons, and earth/moon/sun/stars.
The lesson builder, lets you choose the content and activities for students to interact with based on their needs and interests.  Progress tracking makes it easy to see the number of learning activities that have been completed.  There are a lot of fun goodies tucked away including a virtual zoo, farm, aquarium and the ability to record a book in your own voice.
This is a comprehensive, well put together site that is FREE to public schools in the United States and Canada.  It is a wonderful addition to the kindergarten classroom!

How to integrate ABC Mouse into the classroom:  ABC Mouse is a fun website.  Activities in ABC Mouse are fantastic for center use in a one-two computer classroom (or more).  The activities and games are short enough for a center activity that students can cycle through.

For kindergarten students in a computer lab, this is a great site to get their feet wet with the technology at the beginning of the year.  I often started my students on fun academic sites like Starfall.com where students could practice clicking, navigating, dragging/dropping, etc.  These type of sites build students computer confidence, improve their fine motor skills and provide them with content area learning at the same time.  I wish this site had existed when I was teaching kindergarten computer!

If you don’t have access to computers for the students but have an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer, students can take turns interacting with the ABC mouse activities.  The books make great class read along stories on the big screen!

ABC Mouse is a fun way to introduce new concepts/skills, as a place for students to practice concepts/skills, or for review.

Tips: If you aren’t at a public school, sign up for the sample content…the private school dollar amount is reasonable!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using ABC Mouse in  your classroom!

BBC: Magic Key

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 09-07-2010

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What it is: The BBC is a constant source of excellent classroom interactives and games.  Today I ran across Magic Key while working on supplementing MacMillan Mcgraw Hill’s Treasures curriculum for first grade.  Magic Key is based on a cartoon in the UK, even if your students aren’t familiar with the cartoon, they are sure to enjoy the website adventures.  Magic Key has fun literacy games for kindergarten and first grade students.  The games help students practice full stops (sentence endings), sentence order, questions, character characteristics, capital letters, seeing patterns, figuring out new words, descriptions, and words that make sounds.  The games are age appropriate, include fun characters, and help students practice and understand important literacy skills.  In each game, students enter an adventure where the goal is to collect the Magic Key.

How to integrate BBC: Magic Key into the classroom: The Magic Key games are short and sweet, they give students the opportunity to practice new skills independently.  I like to use games like these as a center activity.  These types of short games make a great center because they provide students with immediate feedback and are self leveling.  Set Magic Key up on your classroom computers as a literacy center for students to visit independently or in small groups.  Don’t forget that the interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer can also be a center station!  These games are a great alternative to the worksheet (you didn’t really want to grade one of those anyway) and will provide your students with an opportunity to practice what they are learning.

Tips: Check out the teacher section of Magic Key for a description of each game, the curriculum tie in, and (I hesitate to mention) worksheets.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using BBC: Magic Key in your classroom.

TED Talk Tuesday: Tom Wujec Build a Tower, Build a Team

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, collaboration, education reform, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, TED Talk Tuesdays, video | Posted on 22-06-2010

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The group that consistently fails at the marshmallow task: recent graduates of business school.
Business students are trained to find the single right plan and then execute it. The problem with this strategy is that they wait for the last minute to add their marshmallow to the top of the structure and when their plan fails, it is a crisis.
The group that consistently succeeds at the marshmallow task: recent graduates of kindergarten.
Kindergarten students start with a model and they build successive prototypes of their structure. They always keep their marshmallow on top. They have multiple opportunities to refine their structure until it is working. With each version of the prototype, students are getting instant feedback about what works and what doesn’t and they can adjust accordingly.
Kids don’t spend time trying to be CEO of Spaghetti Inc. They aren’t jockeying for power, they are working together creatively and having fun.

What stands out to me about the data that Tom Wujec shares, is not that architects and engineers build the best towers (as he says, we would expect that), but that kindergartners are not very far behind. This makes me wonder about what important things we are deprogramming kids to do as we send them through the education system. If the education system was really working, I would expect that adults would be able to construct the best, highest towers. I would expect that those with the most education would build the best towers. But as we see, this isn’t the case. In school we teach students that everything has a correct answer. Sometimes that answer means filling in the “c” on a bubble test, and sometimes it means getting your teacher to nod and say “that’s right”. School has become a game of “guess what the teacher is thinking”.  As a result, we have students who can come up with one correct solution to any problem. In the real world, we often need more than one right solution. Many times we need several solutions and creative thinking applied to the problem. Our most recent example of this is the BP oil spill. I can’t help but wonder what great solutions kindergartners would come up with that adults aren’t even considering because we have been deprogrammed to think that way.
What does this mean for schools? It means that we need more opportunities for students to explore multiple solutions to a problem, it means that we offer kids the chance to discuss and stop asking the one answer questions all the time. Sometimes there is one correct answer, but in life that isn’t always the case. Students need to be given the chance to explore both options.

(As a side note, it is interesting to me that when the incentive of a prize was offered, not one team had a standing structure. I am working my way through Daniel Pink’s book Drive right now and it mirrors what he says in the book.)

What’s the Time Mr. Wolf

Posted by admin | Posted in Language Arts, Math, Primary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 19-05-2010

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What it is: What’s the Time Mr. Wolf is a fun sequencing and time activities for students in kindergarten or first grade.  (I was just looking for one of these for a Treasures unit in first grade, great timing!).  In this game, students are asked to sequence pictures based on the time of day that they happened.  After sorting the photos, students must choose the correct time-of-day description to match the photo.  Finally, students are given analogue clocks with various times on them.  Students have to choose the correct clock to match the narration of the story.  

How to integrate What’s the Time Mr. Wolf into the classroom: What’s the Time Mr. Wolf is a great short activity that helps students practice sequencing, recognizing time-of-day high frequency words, and reading an analogue clock.  The activity is narrated and builds listening and direction-following auditory skills.   What’s the Time Mr. Wolf is a short and sweet activity that students can complete independently.  The game includes progress monitoring and provides students immediate feedback as they interact with it.

Tips: What’s the Time Mr. Wolf is another free game from Sherston.  They also sell this game as part of a complete software package.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using What’s the Time Mr. Wolf in your classroom.

Kid Thing

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Fun & Games, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 20-11-2008

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What it is:   I could have sworn that I had written a post about Kid Thing in the past, but after running several searches on my posts, I came up empty.  Kid Thing is a secure digital media player for kids in grades k-4.  Kid Thing accesses the Internet but is not a web browser.  It is more like an iTunes type environment designed specifically for kids.  There are no advertisements on Kid Thing and because it is not a web browser, there is no place to type a web address where students could inadvertently stumble on inappropriate content.  The Kid Thing player is free to download and they often have free downloads of learning and interactive activities for students.  There is also a Kid Thing store where additional books, videos, games, and creative arts can be downloaded to the Kid Thing player.  Everything in the store is very reasonably priced.  Right now Kid Thing is offering a free download in addition to the player, a 25 day Countdown to Christmas.  Each day students will get to open a new kid thing Surprise with a game to play.  After the game has been opened, it will stay on the Kid Thing player to be played over and over again.  

 

How to integrate Kid Thing into the classroom:   The Kid Thing player would make an excellent reading center, or learning center for phonics, language arts, and math.  The player is very user friendly for students.  Start each morning with the free Countdown for Christmas, let each student have a turn to be the one to open the Countdown for Christmas surprise.  Throughout the day, let students visit the Kid Thing center to complete the new activity for the day.  Kid Thing is great for the one or two classroom computers, a computer lab, a projector or interactive whiteboard, and for home use.  Encourage parents to download Kid Thing at home and add books and games that are appropriate for their child.

 

Tips:   At the moment Kid Thing only runs on PC’s running Window’s XP and Vista.  There is a Mac version in the works (hooray!!) and if you visit the download page you can sign up to be the first to know when the Mac version is available.  

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Kid Thing in your classroom.

Kindersay

Posted by admin | Posted in Language Arts, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 17-10-2007

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What it is: Kindersay is a website for emerging language learners. This is the new See and Say. Kindersay allows pre-school, kindergarten, and struggling language learners to learn new words through visual and auditory practice.

How to integrate Kindersay into the classroom: Kindersay makes an excellent listening and language development center in the preschool, kindergarten, or special education classroom. Set up the computer for student exploration of words. Learn adventure, alphabet, animals, arts, cities and people, food, home large, home small, movement, numbers, outdoors, parts of the body, colors, times, shapes, tools, and transport words.

Tips: For a $6 a month subscription, Kindersay allows you to upload your own images and sounds to Kindersay.

Berenstain Bears

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive book, Language Arts, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 12-08-2007

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What it is: The popular children’s series, Berenstain Bears goes 21st century with their very own website. Students can visit the art gallery, read biographies of each of the bears, print out activities, read interactive story books, visit Barn theater for some Berenstain Bear videos, write an email to the Bears at the post office and more.

How to integrate Berenstain Bears into your classroom: Allow students to explore the Berenstain Bear site as part of their reading time. The site is sure to motivate students to read. This is a great site to have on hand for indoor recess days!

Tips: Make sure you have the most current Java and Quicktime players for the interactive books and videos.

 

 

 

Doodle Bops

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Math, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 09-08-2007

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What it is: The Doodle Bops website is fun learning for pre-kindergarten through first grade students. Students can write a letter, play virtual hide and go seek, paint pictures, play games that encourage following oral directions, virtual dot to dots for counting practice, and other games to help build computer mouse skills.

How to integrate Doodle Bops into your classroom: Allow kids to interact with the Doodle Bops site during center time. The site is easy to navigate and very kid friendly. Use the site to build computer skills before introducing more complex sites.

Tips: Visit the Printables page at the bottom of the site for coloring sheets that coordinate with the Website. These would be nice to have on hand for indoor recess days.