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Hooda Math: math fact practice that feels like fun

What it is:  Hooda Math is a fantastic collection of math games that give students the opportunity for math fact practice while having fun. The games are based on other addicting games like Flappy Birds and 2048. Instead of just playing the games to see how far they can get, students also get some built-in fact practice. For example, in Flappy Factors, students maneuver a bird through a maze of pipes. Each pipe has an integer on it, students must fly through the correct factor of a target multiple that is given. Students must avoid the pipe with the incorrect integer. As students advance through the game, a progress report is generated that can be emailed to a teacher or a parent. The Hooda Math site has been created for a variety of platforms…perfect for a BYOD classroom! How to use Hooda Math in your classroom: Hooda Math is organized by category types: Mobile games, Shopkeeper games, Geometry games, Logic games, Number games, Physics Games, Growing games, Building games, and Escape games. The games can also be organized by grade level, subject, or category. There are over 500 games in all, ensuring something for everyone in kindergarten through high school. Students at Anastasis LOVE mobile games. When Flappy Birds came out, they were often spending hours (truly!) playing these games in their free time. Hooda Math games are a great way for students to practice math facts and skills while they are playing. Math becomes significantly less challenging when facts become second nature. Hooda Math games are a great way for students to practice their math facts without hours of flash cards. Math practice becomes fun and the challenge is not just in figuring out the trick to the game, it is also unlocking the building blocks of math. When I taught a computer class, I often had students lament that they would NEVER be able to learn to touch type. I often asked these students, “do you play video games? Do you have to look at the controller when you play to see what to press next?” They always answered, “No! I would lose if I had to look at the controller.” I would follow-up by asking them how they memorized what to do to the controller to win. Light. Bulb. Moment. The same is true for these math games. Students can play these games like they would other popular games, if they know their math facts, they are more likely to “live” longer and win the game. I learned my math facts when my third grade teacher made up rhymes and a Chinese jumprope game where you had to know your facts to stay “in.” We learned our multiplication tables in no time! (If anyone knows this game, I would LOVE to remember how to play it, leave the link/directions in a comment below.) I suspect that Hooda Math games could have the same outcomes for your students. When the facts are the key to winning, there is a different motivation to know them (beyond just completing the worksheet/test). In a one to one device environment, students can play the games that build skills where they need them. Students can play at their own level. In the one or two computer classroom, use Hooda Math as a math center rotation. Students can travel from center to center in small groups and take turns playing the games that meet their individual needs. Be sure to pass on Hooda Math to your student’s families. It is a great way to practice at home and over summer break. Tips: Don’t forget to have your students send you the progress report at the end. This helps you keep track of their progress without the need for worksheets. Are you using Hooda Math in your classroom? Leave a comment below and share the ways that you use it with students!

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National Geographic Young Explorer

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Geography, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Science, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 04-03-2010

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What it is: National Geographic has fantastic resources for the classroom.  Their Young Explorer online content is not to be missed in the primary classroom.  This is an online magazine specifically for kindergarten and first grade student (I think second grade students would also benefit).  The site lets students listen and read the latest stories from National Geographic Young Explorer.  The photographs are breath taking and the reading is very accessible to beginning readers and English language learners.  Each portion of the text has a speaker next to it that allows students to listen to the text.  Click on the “More Issues” button to access past issues.  In the “For Teachers” section, you will find print versions of the teacher’s guides complete with lesson plans, discussion questions, accompanying worksheets, and more.  There is a very helpful story planner that gives you upcoming themes.  These may be helpful when planning upcoming lessons.  

How to integrate National Geographic Young Explorer into the classroom: It can be hard to find quality, accessible informational reading for primary students.  National Geographic has solved this problem with Young Explorer.  I am amazed that National Geographic is offering these online for free!  Struggling readers can listen to the text read to them and read along.  English language learners receive support for their reading of the text.  The photographs and images are nothing less than excellent.  The teacher materials that are included will help you to utilize the magazines and stories effectively.

Read and discuss Young Explorer stories as a class using a projector or interactive whiteboard.  Teach your students how to read informational text, and the comprehension strategies that will help them to understand what they are reading.  Set up Young Explorer on the classroom computers as a reading center for students to visit during reading time.  Take a look at the Young Explorer archives to see if any of the past issues will support the learning you are doing in the classroom.

Tips: In the “For Teachers” section, you will find a link to interactive whiteboard content.  This is a link to National Geographic’s premium content that can be found on Promethean Planet.  These flipcharts are fantastic and include a teachers guide, printable blackline masters, teaching notes, and offline materials.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using National Geographic Young Explorer in your classroom.

Comments (10)

This is a great resource to build on the intense interest youngsters seem to have for nature and animals. National Geographic are an extremely reputable organisation, so this is perfect!

Talk about great minds think alike. I only found this yesterday and thought how brilliant is this.

I love it, and know that my kids will too. Thanks for posting.

I have never heard of National Geographic Young Explorer. Growing up, I received National Geographic magazines. I was always excited to receive them in the mail and I would spend hours reading and looking at the awesome photographs.

The Young Explorer sounds amazing and I will definitely incorporate this resourse in my Kindergarten classroom! My students use mini laptops on a daily basis durng Reading and Kid Writing. They love playing educational games and I’m certain they would enjoy looking at these magazines, too.

I could use this resource in the classroom for science and social studies units, as well as practicing reading skills. I especially like that it is kid-user friendly and that they can use it independently.

I look forward to using Young Explorer and I will definitely pass this information along to the primary teachers in my district.

I love this site! The pictures make the subject matter come alive for the readers.

The students can listen to the stories and the words are highlighted as they are read so they can follow along. I believe that this feature will help students learn fluency as well as reinforce sight words and new vocabulary. Those students that are reading at higher levels may have the sound turned off so they can read on their own. With this website we can also conduct shared reading lessons as a class.

This is the type of technology that creates a fun interactive learning environment for students. They are learning and may not even realize it. I remember as a student being handed the scholastic newspapers to read once a week for current events. I always found it boring. Now students can access this website and use a similar news resource to learn about science. Only now it is much more engaging for the students and they can do so much more with it.

Students can even be given a choice as to which story they want to read. They can learn the new vocabulary and then each student can share what they learned with the class. This way all students will know a little bit of information on several different stories.

The resources for teachers are great as well. The lesson ideas are thorough and the material is prepared for us.

I so agree Lisa, the implications that this site has for vocabulary development and fluency are great. Informational reading is often lacking in such great resources and as a result, becomes something that students really struggle with.

Melissa, I was the same. I would spend hours looking through our National Geographics, the pictures were always incredible. Students will find the same excitement and quality…but even better, it is made just for them at an appropriate reading level!

I lave this one! I found this one last year- and found that it’s great to have students read & do the worksheets that go with it- for comprehension- whether it’s graphs, fill in the blank- whatever.
I love the stuff you put on here- and the way that you give ideas on how to easily incorporate resources in class. I’m sure that there’s been many non-techies run across your site & get ‘bitten’ by the ‘Tech Bug’!
Keep ’em coming!

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