Category Archives: 5-8

SuperThinkers

Peter Reynolds, author and illustrator of The Dot, as well as many other books, is the mind behind SuperThinkers.  This website, designed for students in upper elementary and middle school, includes, games and activities that encourage: reading for meaning, logic, and reasoning skills.  According to the site, it “offers activities that require that students THINK before they click. Do not be surprised if some students find this site “too hard.” An important lesson in authentic learning is that it IS a challenge to think.”

The featured game on SuperThinkers is The Peetnik Mysteries, and I think students will enjoy making deductions based on the clues that are given.  The site also includes:  a creativity workshop, posters, and parent and educator pages.  In addition, there is a section on getting involved by helping others with your SuperThinker powers.

Bright Ideas for Summer

Read, Write, Think has a page of recommended summer activities that would be good to share with parents.  “Bright Ideas for Summer” includes links to four activities that could be used with students in 2nd-8th grades.  I’m already planning to use “Can You Convince Me?” with my 9 year old daughter!  All of the activities have recommended links, resources, and plans for implementing.  Bookmark this site for something different to do on a hot summer day!

Pink Bat

Pink Bat, by Michael McMillan, is an inspirational book that I just shared with my 5th graders.  The book is “about turning problems into solutions”.  In a charming story about a plastic red baseball bat that fades with time, the author teaches about the importance of trying to look at problems through a different lens.  Included with the book is a DVD of the author explaining his message.  You can also find that video here.  We were able to connect the story to another video that was recently brought to my attention through e-mail.  Ask your students to brainstorm their own “pink bats”, and share a few of yours!

Math Apprentice

Math Apprentice is designed for students in grades 4-7.  According the producers of this site, “the goals of this project are to connect math with real world careers, introduce students to more advanced mathematical ideas, and provide additional opportunities to apply math concepts they have already learned.”  If you have a student who asks you, “How will I use this in the real world?”, you will probably want to give him or her this link.  The activities will definitely appeal to tweens, and there is a great guide for teachers to facilitate using this in the classroom.

Wonderville

This site from the Science Alberta Foundation describes itself as follows:  “Wonderville is a fun, interactive destination for kids to discover the exciting world of science. This award-winning site encourages exploration and curiosity, while helping kids discover how much fun science can be.”  The site include videos, games, comics, and other activities about topics such as “Milk Mystery” and “Tree Cookies”.  This would be a great link for a teacher to suggest to parents, or to use as a supplemental resource in the classroom.

The Amazing Word Tamer

This is an awesome site brought to you by author Judy Waite.  It is designed to immerse students in the writing experience through interactive experiences that introduce them to:  plot, genre, character, and settings.  In her own words, “I wanted to utilise all the benefits that image, sound and animation can bring, connect this with creative exercises that have been proven to enhance children’s creative writing skills, and package it with a work of fiction that would support all these aspects.” I guarantee it will appeal to your students’ imaginations and enhance their writing.

Math Moves U

This website is fun to visit for the graphics alone!  It is sponsored by Raytheon, and designed specifically to engage middle school students in math and science.  It offers games, scholarship information, and much more.  Students can register to earn credits with their games, or they can play as guests.  Even clicking on different links on this site produces interesting visuals that are sure to catch the attention of kids and grownups alike.