Category Archives: Games

Sketch Nation Studio

I should probably preface this post by admitting that I have absolutely no artistic talent whatsoever.  If I did, my creations on Sketch Nation Studio would be much more entertaining – and I might have included some screenshots on this post.  As it is, though, I am pretty certain you will be much more impressed by the actual iTunes photos.

Sketch Nation Studio is a free app for iDevices that allows the user to create a simple app out of his or her own sketches.  You do not have to know any programming mumbo jumbo or submit your game for approval.  You follow the extremely user-friendly steps and, voila!

Your drawings can be created in the app itself, or you can draw them on paper and upload them to the app.  This is where I think the creativity (and superior artistic talent) of my students will shine.  You can find ways, I’m sure, of integrating curriculum with this app.  But the true value is in the joy of creating and seeing a usable finished product.

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TechChef4U

The amazing Hostess with the Mostest, Lisa Johnson, at www.techchef4u.com, has just released a free iPhone app – also called TechChef4U.  It is an app to find apps – specifically EDUCATIONAL apps that are FREE.  When I downloaded the app today, there were already over 500 apps listed.  Featured apps will also include examples for classroom integration, and you can search for the apps by Platform, Grade Level, and Category.  This is a great, and much needed, resource for teachers.  Download your TechChef4U app today!

Wondermind

Wondermind is about Science, Art, and Alice in Wonderland.  It’s hard to describe this enchanting site, which just got nominated for a Webby Award in the Youth category.  I recommend that you visit the site, play the delightful games, and learn about the brain and its perceptions.  You will be enchanted.

Drawminos

Drawminos is a website that allows you to choose from some “Favorites”, allowing you to drop a ball, and to see the shape created by the toppled dominoes.  The part that I think will engage many students, though, is the “Create” part, in which you can design your own shape to be revealed once the ball is rolled.  It takes some planning and patience to arrange the dominoes how you would like in order to achieve your final design.  Once done, though, you can save your design online, and receive a URL for its specific location.  This could be a great way to introduce a topic, or to have students integrate their learning, their creativity, and their understanding of Physics!

budd:e

Online safety and digital citizenship are becoming more and more important as lessons our children need to learn.  To that end, the Australian government has created a thorough, but fun, site for helping students to get this information while they play.  budd:e is a site that is available in formats for both primary and secondary students.
I have not investigated the secondary version, but the primary version allows the user to “build” a robot by meeting certain challenges,  learning about cybersecurity along the way.  There are teacher resources that include lesson plans in addition to the student portion of the site.
The site is free, but you do have to register.  You are encouraged, however, to NOT give your real name.  The only small glitch I found was that, since the site is based in Australia, you must input a “school post code” to register.  I found, however, that by typing in any 4 numbers, I was given a new box with choices for “homeschool” or “other”.
budd:e is a flash-based site, so you won’t be able to use it on iDevices.

Draw a Stickman, Episode 2

Draw a Stickman” has been one of the most popular posts on this blog.  Now, there is an Episode 2!  You can play it on the web, or you can play it on an iDevice (and get an alternative ending) for free.  Although I found out about the new episode through e-mail, I thought that  Kelly Tenkely’s summary of both of the Stickman episodes and the ways you can integrate them in your classroom was an excellent post.  So, I will direct you to her for a wealth of ideas!

Inference Folders

I love this idea from Maureen at StrongStart.  Meant for primary grades, this activity could easily be differentiated for any ability level.  Using file folders with a picture glued inside, and a hole cut on the exterior that shows part of the picture, students are asked to guess the picture.  Hints can be given on the outside.  Older students could easily design these folders themselves, photographing or even drawing the pictures on the inside.  This could be tied in to any academic discipline to review or introduce terms, characters, and settings.  Visit Maureen’s blog for ideas on how to implement this in your classroom.