7 Hat Challenge: Master the Roles of the President

7 Hat Challenge is a game hosted by Scholastic News that allows the player to choose the difficulty level, and then try to earn 7 different presidential “hats” of responsibility.  This is a good interactive that allows the player to learn more about some of the Presidents of the United States and their many roles.  For a plethora of Presidents’ Day activities, check out the post where I found this one on “Technology Rocks.  Seriously.”

The Akinator

I found out about this site on KB Connected right before the holidays. Karen’s site recommends to “use it to introduce: Historical figures, characters from a book, famous scientists, figures in pop culture etc.” I tried it out myself, and was impressed, so I showed it to my nine-year old daughter – who became obsessed with it!  The Akinator tries to “figure out” which character you are thinking of by asking you questions.  It slowly narrows down to the correct answer based on the answers you give to its questions.  The character can be one from fiction or non-fiction.  Of course, there is less of a chance that obscure ones will be guessed correctly.  But, you may be surprised by what The Akinator knows!  My daughter was thrilled when it guessed the character from The Fablehaven series she had in mind.  In addition, if The Akinator guesses incorrectly, you have the option of inputting information about the character to help it to “learn” more.

Be aware that the site does request a name and age.  I would recommend that you have your child or student use a nickname, but give a close approximation to his or her real age.  The questions change a little for adults and might be considered inappropriate.

Word Sort

Word Sort is one of the many “brain games” offered by Lumosity.  In this particular one, cards are revealed one at a time.  Each card has a word on it, and the player must determine whether or not the card “follows the rule”.  At first, the player has to randomly guess, but should soon see a pattern in the words that fall into the rule-following pile.  Once the player is able to correctly classify 6 words in a row, he or she is eligible for the next level.  This is a good game for practicing vocabulary and logical reasoning.  It would also be  a neat idea to extend it further for higher level students by asking them to create their own games with words from the curriculum.

Cart Before the Horse

With the holidays coming up, many parents ask me for educational gifts that I would recommend for their children.  “Cart Before the Horse” is one that I would suggest.  It is a logic puzzle game that can be played independently or in a small group collaboration (or in a center).  It’s for children 8 and up, and comes from www.mindware.com, one of my favorite sources for thinking games and activities.  Some other games that I recommend from the site are:  Rush Hour, Solitaire Chess, Q-Bitz, Knot So Fast, and Gobblet. These are all games that require logic, strategy, and deductive reasoning – making them great for the classroom or as gifts.

Kids’ Science Challenge

Free Technology 4 Teachers recently had post about this great website from the National Science Foundation.  Be sure to check out Richard Byrne’s description of the site.  And, when you visit the site, don’t miss the neat brainstorming tool and the information for parents and teachers.