Featured Post

We Give Books: Read digital picture books online for free

What it is: We Give Books is a fantastic initiative from Pearson.  Here, you will find award winning digital picture books for students through age ten.   There is a mix of fiction and non-fiction, a variety of authors, and a balance of read-aloud books and independent readers.  New books are added...

Read More

Flash & Thunder- Part graphic novel, part game, all fun and learning

Posted by admin | Posted in 5Sigma, Analyze, Anastasis Academy, Apply, Evaluate, Geography, Government, History, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Technology, Websites | Posted on 30-11-2015

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1

INVICTA-Challenge- graphic novel/game/maps

INVICTA-Challenge_Packge-with-flap-open_WEB

What it is: INVICTA Challenge combines technology (in the form of an action-packed video game), a graphic novel, maps, an operation packet and an action figure that inspires kids to read and problem solve. Each INVICTA Challenge collection builds problem solving and leadership skills for students 8-14. Part story, part game, students are placed in historical situations where they get to make the decisions that will determine success or failure. The first challenge, Flash & Thunder lets students walk in the shoes of an American Hero.

How to Integrate INVICTA Challenge in your classroom: These challenges are a fun and new way to foster literacy, history, and leadership skills in your classrooms. Stories are highly visual and have enough action and adventure to keep even your reluctant readers engaged. The game component of the challenge almost takes on a choose your own adventure feel as it pairs with the graphic novel, maps, and missions. The first challenge, Flash & Thunder tells the true story of a Native American paratrooper’s D-Day leadership. The way that this combination puts students in the middle of the story is fantastic. Students aren’t passive readers…it is impossible! With Flash and Thunder, students are in the middle of the action, analyzing options, making decisions, evaluating the decisions and building comprehension and understanding of history all the way.

The INVICTA challenge is like a smart recombination of the things I enjoyed most from my own childhood: American Girl dolls/Books, Oregon Trail…only with a major upgrade.

INVICTA-Challenge_app-screenshot_WEB

At Anastasis, we’ve been working on an inquiry unit about change makers and the power of one. The INVICTA challenge has been a fantastic launching off point for students as they consider what it means to be a change maker, and what characteristics make up a change maker. This interactive challenge/book/game put students in the middle of thinking like a change maker, building leadership traits like integrity, nobility, valor, initiative, curiosity, tenacity, and accountability.

INVICTA-Challenge_ops-package_WEB

This challenge would be an excellent addition to your classroom library. You might want a few copies so that students can read together and work through the game and missions together in a book group. The video game component will be available on iOS, Android, and online here. Take a look!

Tips: The INVICTA Challenges can be purchased at Barnes and Noble for $34.99. For all that is included in this kit, it is truly a great value! I’m so excited for the other challenges to come out, some very exciting stories and characters are on their way!

Full disclosure: INVICTA sent me the Flash and Thunder challenge so that I could review it for you all here. But…

You can win your own Flash and Thunder challenge at the 5Sigma Education Conference in February! If you register for the conference today, you can save 20% using the code: CYBERMONDAY at check out. Not only will you get the opportunity to win one of these great challenge kits for your classroom, you also get a conference experience like no other!

The Literacy Shed: a treasure trove of ideas

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, Character Education, Create, Evaluate, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, video, Websites | Posted on 25-06-2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2

What it is:  The Literacy Shed is a fantastic blog/site I learned about on Twitter from @missmac100, thanks Carol! The Literacy Shed is maintained by primary teacher Rob Smith and is packed full of teaching ideas all related to literacy.  The site is separated into “sheds,” each with a different genre.  There are short films images and book suggestions that are each accompanied by a teaching idea that includes discussion questions and writing prompts.  The Literacy Shed has plenty of ideas to keep you going all year long!   This truly is a treasure trove that will keep you coming back again and again. You will find the following “sheds” on the Literacy Shed:

  • Fantasy
  • Ghostly
  • Other Cultures
  • Inspiration
  • Moral
  • Picture Book
  • Great Animation
  • Love
  • Inventors
  • Fairytales
  • Reading
  • Poetry
  • Adventure
  • Mystery
  • Film Trailer
  • Fun
  • Lighthouse
  • Flying Books
  • Resource
  • Non-literacy
  • Weblinks

How to integrate The Literacy Shed into the classroom: The Literacy Shed is a great one-stop-shop for inspiration and ideas to improve literacy and critical thinking in your classroom.  The ideas can be used with a variety of age groups, different ages will pick up on different themes and discussions using the same videos/images/books.  Students will become familiar with a variety of genres and become comfortable with the characteristics of each.

There is something here for every classroom and unit.  As I said, it is a treasure trove of resources!  Use the ideas in the Literacy Shed to spark meaningful discussions and writing direction for your students.  I always like to start with discussion and end with a written reflection because it gives students the opportunity to listen to other ideas, and then solidify their own ideas and reflections in writing.

Tips: You can follow the Literacy Shed on Twitter: @redgierob

Please leave a comment and share how you are using The Literacy Shed in  your classroom!

National Geographic Maps: Tools for Adventure

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Geography, Interactive Whiteboard, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 26-05-2010

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3

Screen shot 2010-05-26 at 9.13.55 PM

What it is: National Geographic Maps: Tools for Adventure is the best everything-map site I have seen.  The site was created by the Children’s museum of Indianapolis.  Maps are presented as the keys to adventure.  Students learn to use maps to find their way, share information, look at patterns, and solve problems.  There are six excellent interactive games for students to practice putting their math skills to use.  Students can explore a pyramid by guiding a robot to hieroglyphs, find sunken treasure, explore Mars, go on an adventure, see GIS in action, and visit Adventure Island.  I love the realistic feel of these games, as students explore and guide robots, they get a “live” video feed of where they are navigating.  On the National Geographic Maps: Tools for Adventures site, you will find information about the Indianapolis exhibit, how to use maps, related map links, and lesson plans.  This is one of those websites that my description just won’t do justice to, be sure to check it out!

How to integrate National Geographic Maps: Tools for Adventure into the classroom: This website is packed full of fantastic resources, games, and activities involving maps.  This is THE website to use when you are teaching students map reading skills.  As students navigate through the games, they will learn how to read a legend, practice following written directions, learn about different types of maps, practice giving directions, and problem solving.  The games provide an authentic way for students to learn how to use maps. Lessons in the “For Educators” section are wonderful and incorporate the online games.  National Geographic Maps: Tools for Adventure is ideal as a center on classroom computers or as an individual activity for the lab setting.  It could also be used as a whole class activity with an interactive whiteboard or projector, allow each student to take part in the navigation process at the board.

Tips: Be sure to check out the Related Links for more map adventures, games, and activities, you will find fun extras to build map skills.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using National Geographic Maps: Tools for Adventure in your classroom.

Stories of Learning

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, inspiration, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 10-03-2010

Tags: , , , ,

4

Picture 2

Stories of Learning is another new blog I am launching this week.  I interact with teachers every day who are innovative, creative, and doing transformative things in education.  We need to collect these stories in one place.  Stories of Learning is (I hope) a place where we can record all of these.  Write a guest post, cross post something that you have already written, I would love it all!

The Tale of Despereaux Adventure

Posted by admin | Posted in Foreign Language, Fun & Games, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 04-02-2009

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

0

What it is:  I learned about this awesome interactive site from Larry Ferlazzo’s blog.  It is just too good to pass up blogging about it!  This interactive story book lets students create their own tale in the Kingdom of Dor.  The students become a part of the story as they create a character version of themselves that takes part in the story adventure.  Students can choose to have interactive games and puzzles included in their story.  The story is a virtual pop-up book, it is read to students and they can read along with subtitles.  Along the way, students have to help solve problems in the story by playing an interactive game. 

 

How to integrate The Tale of Despereaux Adventure into the classroom:  The Tale of Despereaux Adventure is a really impressive site.  This would be a great introduction to the book by Kate DiCamillo.  The site would act as a teaser for the book that would have students eager to read.  Even if you aren’t reading The Tale of Despereaux, this is a fun way to get students interested in reading (most of them won’t even realize that they are reading!)  Set up a Tale of Despereaux center on your classroom computer during reading time for a month.  Each day two new students can visit the center and take part in their own adventure.  This site could also be used with an interactive whiteboard or projector for the students to create a whole class story.  If students choose to read the story with the interactive games, they  will be stopped along the way to complete puzzle and logic games throughout the story.  These type of games are great to get kids thinking creatively and outside of the box.  The story can be viewed in different languages, this would be a fun site for foreign language classes to visit in the language they are studying!

 

Tips:  One thing I don’t love about this site is that it asks students to enter their first and last name to be part of the story.  I teach my students never to put their last name online.  I ask my students to make up a last name when creating their story. 

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Tale of Despereaux Adventure in your classroom.

Crayon Physics

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 07-05-2008

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

What it is: Crayon Physics is a freeware puzzle game. The object of the game is to guide a ball to a star. Students do not have direct control of the ball, but interact with it by drawing shapes with the mouse to get the ball to roll from one platform to another. Any object that students draw reacts as it would if it were subject to gravity. There are some great physics lessons to be taught with this game! Crayon Physics is a Windows only download right now…(I know, bummer for those of us who are Mac users! Not to worry, I have found a Mac version that I will be posting tomorrow.)

How to integrate Crayon Physics into the classroom: Allow students to interact with Crayon Physics to learn about principles of gravity, energy, force, velocity, etc. The game is very entertaining and even mildly addictive. Your students will love learning physics with Crayon Physics. It will bring your class and all those formulas to life for your students.

Tips: Take a look at the video above for a good look at Crayon Physics in action.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Crayon Physics in your classroom.

Science Buddies

Posted by admin | Posted in Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 01-04-2008

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

What it is: This is one of those websites that makes me wish I was still a student! Science Buddies is revolutionizing the science fair project by helping kids discover their secret science passions. Students fill out a survey/questionnaire and based on their answers, Science Buddies gives them some topics that might be of interest to that student. Students can select the topic that most resonates with them and see a collection of related science fair project ideas and experiments. Very neat!

How to integrate Science Buddies into your curriculum: This is an awesome site that will help students discover that they do indeed like science. The questionnaire is the perfect way to help your students discover the science topics that will hold their interest. Use science buddies at the beginning of the school year to discover what your students science interests are…this may help direct your science studies for the year! Students can use Science Buddies to help them prepare for a school or class science fair.

Tips: Make sure to visit the teacher section of Science Buddies for some great downloads. Print out scientific method posters, guides on how to run a successful science fair and much more. This really is a must visit site!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Science Buddies in your classroom.

Nobel Prize

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, History, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Science, Websites | Posted on 24-01-2008

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

What it is: NobelPrize.org is a site dedicated to teaching about the Nobel Prize since 1901. The site offers a wealth of great information as well as some fun, interactive educational games. The games and simulations are based on Nobel Prize winners and ideas. Games include: physics, literature, chemistry, nuclear weapons, medicine, and economics.

How to integrate Nobel Prize into the classroom: The Nobel Prize website is a wonderful launching off point for teaching students about what the prize is and as a place to learn about past winners and how they have impacted society. The games show the practical purpose of the prize and what it means to our world. The subject matter of the site is definitely for older students. Students will appreciate learning about the Noble Prize with the interaction of the games on the site.

Tips: Fill out the teacher’s qustionairre and give NobelPrize.org feedback about the site and how you are using it in your classroom.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Nobel Prize in your classroom.

Kinetic City

Posted by admin | Posted in General, Science, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 12-11-2007

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

What it is: The Kinetic City Super Crew needs students help to save their virtual world of Vearth from the science-distorting computer virus, Deep Delete. Students work together to perform engaging science activities and then download their data to the Super Crew to help repair their world. Kinetic City provides students in grades 3-5 a fun interactive way to learn standards based science. There are 100 fun science based activities to participate in. These activities can be done through physical experiments, internet research, interactive science games on Kinetic City, art projects, and physical activities. The complete Kinetic City experience was intended for use as an after school program, starting a Kinetic City club cost money but use of the online materials and games is free.

How to integrate Kinetic City into the classroom: Since Kinetic City activities are all standards based, they should fit right into your third through fifth grade curriculum. The interactive games, experiments and activities are wonderful to use as an extension of current classroom activities. Game and activity topics include gravity, the human body, human body systems, learning, animal adaptation and classification, power and energy, and more.

Tips: Visit the Kinetic City educator page for more information on starting a club and for print out guides for using the site.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Kinetic City in your
classroom.

I Was Wondering

Posted by admin | Posted in Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 16-10-2007

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

What it is: I Was Wondering is a site geared toward getting girls interested in science and technology. Although this site is geared toward girls, the site has some fun games and activities that boys will enjoy too. I Was Wondering features 10 women scientists, a time travel time line, and science games. Games include astroscope where students can explore the universe in a scavenger hunt (this is really neat!), gorilla quest where students can “track” and learn about gorillas, and make a robot where students can create their own robot and then learn about robots that real scientists have created.

How to integrate I Was Wondering into the classroom: I Was Wondering would be an excellent site to use during a solar system unit. The scavenger hunt gives students a sense of what the universe looks like while making them familiar with vocabulary. Set the site up as a center during science class or bring your students on a space “field trip” to the computer lab. Students could explore the gorilla quest to learn about gorillas. This would be a fun way for students to learn research skills. Students could use the 10 women scientists or time travel time line to learn more about famous scientists and their contributions. All are very student friendly.

Tips: Visit the teacher section and click on “Using the Science Labs”. Science labs are activities based on one of the ten scientists. These are really great extension activities for your science classroom. Again, this site is geared toward girls but is a great addition to any science class…boys included!