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Splat Square

What it is:  Splat Square is one of those very simple websites that you will end up using weekly in your math classroom.  Splat Square is a 100 grid that starts out blank.  There are different ‘splat’ colors on the right side of the screen.  Choose a color and then click on the square, ‘splat’, the number is revealed with a splatter of colored paint.  The interactive grid is wonderful for several applications in the math classroom.   How to integrate Splat Square into the classroom: Splat Square is perfect for use with an interactive whiteboard.  Teach students to count by 2, 5, 10, etc. by ‘splatting’ those spaces as you count aloud as a class.  Teach students the difference between odd and even numbers by color coding the 100 grid, prime numbers, skip counting, and ordinal counting can also be practiced with Splat Square.  This is a great grid to use with the whole class with the students interacting with the grid on an interactive whiteboard.  It can be used as a interactive math help center or individually in a lab setting.  I like using the grid for whole class math games, I call out what rule I want the teams to follow and they can take turns at the board.     Tips:  Share this one with parents, it can be a big help for your visual learners during math homework.    Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Splat Square in your classroom.

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Typing Practice

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Typing, Websites | Posted on 02-02-2010

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What it is: This blogging alliance has been expanding my knowledge of great tools for the classroom faster than I can keep up with!  Recently, I found two more excellent ways for students to practice typing from @2sparkley‘s blog.  The first is reminiscent of the popular Rock Band, called UpBeat.  Students can choose a song and level of difficulty.  They must type the letters as they appear to keep the song going smoothly.  This had my students absolutely SILENT while they practiced typing.  They were so involved and having a great time trying to keep up.  The way the game is set up, really challenges kids to touch type.  They can’t very easily keep up without touch typing!  Students stopped by my lab the morning after I introduced the site to tell me how many combos they were able to get.  The second typing site is called Typing Chef. In this game students try to type words as they float past on bubbles.  The goal is to type the word on the bubble before it pops. It gets increasingly harder as more bubbles float up and speed up.

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How to integrate UpBeat and Typing Chef into the classroom: Typing can be a subject that elicits groans.  Adding these games in the mix as additional opportunities for practice is sure to make students happy to practice.  I try to keep typing to a minimal in my classroom.  With only 35 minutes once a week with students, I don’t want to spend all of our time practicing typing. I have the kids do the majority of typing practice at home.  Once a year (sometimes twice) I hold a big typing Olympics competition.  Students can earn a free break dress code day (we have uniforms), this is great incentive…like gold to them!  The fastest boy and girl touch typist in each class get the break dress code certificate.  I make a huge deal about how athletes who participate in the Olympics have to train hard.  Practice doesn’t always make perfect but we are aiming for practice makes permanant (good habits).  I created the following website for my students to use in their training www.typing.weebly.com.  Upbeat and Typing Chef have both been added to the games page of my Typing website.

Tips: UpBeat is a Mini-clip game. This site is often blocked at schools, make sure it is unblocked at your school before you plan on using it in class.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using UpBeat and Typing Chef in your classroom.

Comments (13)

These are really cute. I will send home to parents. Many game sites are blocked for us at school due to advertisements.

Thanks for those! I’m always on the lookout for something to add to the perpetual typing conversation at our school, other than rolled-eyes.

I know I must have done typing practice through my TRS80/Apple][ elementary and middle school, but I have few memories of it. When I’m *forced* to do typing with 5th graders or above, I try to avoid any WPM nonsense and focus just on having them type as fast as they can think. Slower than that and you’re frustrated, sloshing ideas out the side. Faster than that and you can wind up in real trouble.

The only typing game I’ve ever loved was Sega’s Typing of the Dead. Kids would laugh when I set up the twin keyboards on our videogame overnights, but they would stay up blasting zombies until the wee hours. Alas, it’s school-inappropriate on a number of levels. Probably why it works so well.

I am constantly looking for engaging typing practice for my 8 and 6 year old daughters. Since we do not have a computer lab teacher at school, they won’t be “taught” this essential skill until middle school. My hope is that typing is an afterthought for them by the time they get there.

[…] author of the iLearn Technology has recently placed some of the very best keyboarding activities in one place. Each is kid friendly […]

Great list, thank for sharing! Just out of curiosity, what do you look for in a typing or keyboarding activity? And to what degree do you chart student progress on speed/accuracy?

For my students, I look for keyboarding games/activities that encourage students to build good touch typing habits. (I appreciate games that are fast paced enough that they don’t give students time to look between the keyboard and screen to peck type). In my class, I don’t really chart speed. I am more interested in accuracy. In the elementary classroom, there hands are really too small to achieve much typing speed. I want students to practice good habits. They naturally build speed as they practice and play the games.

A great skill to build BEFORE middle school!

Videogame overnights? I am intrigued tell me more!

How cool! I can just imagine the kids loving these sites, learning while having fun – it’s the ideal isn’t it?

Yes it is!

Kelly-

Well, those overnights were all before I had a toddler at home! But as a special activity (sometimes tied to a fundraiser) we’d get a batch of kids together and put all the LCD projectors in the classrooms to a *good* use! I get to pull out all the system that clutter up my house and introduce kids to amazing games form before their time. We play way too late into the morning, then I send them off to have the crankiest Saturday ever at home. It’s a good deal!

It’s always nice to spend big chunks of time with your students in a non-class setting (even if we are still in the same classrooms), and I’ve learned so much about so many kids through the years of these events. In my happier moments I also think I may have changed the way some of them look at all games. Everytime I overhear an argument about why YY is the wrong weapon to use at moment X in game N, I smile. There’s the math I taught them!

[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Typing Practice […]

Sounds like fun! The best part is that you get to send them on their way by the time the crankiness sets in 🙂 I really enjoy getting to know my students apart from the classroom. It makes such a huge difference to building classroom relationships and understanding.

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