Category Archives: Games

50 Riddles to Challenge Your Students

photo credit: Marco Bellucci via photopin cc

What goes around the world and stays in a corner?

For my Fun Friday Post this week, I direct you to this page on Edgalaxy.  50 Riddles to Challenge Your Students is a fun collection of short brain teasers that are sure to delight your students.  They are good for using during those “rare” periods during the day when you are in transition: lined up outside the bathroom or water fountain, waiting for class pictures, packing up for dismissal, etc…  Most of these are popular riddles that we have all probably heard, but it’s handy to have a list of them for reference.

Answer:  A stamp

 

Art Lab

It’s time again for our weekly “fun post”!  Art Lab is part of the Tate Kids Website (associated with the United Kingdom’s Tate Museum), which has a lot of other art-related games and activities that you might want to investigate.  In Art Lab, you get to be an art restorer.  You can choose from several pieces of art, and then go through the stages of returning a work of art to its former beauty.  The stages begin with brushing the dust off and end with adding paint where the canvas was once cracked.  When you have finished working on your chosen artwork, you can then see a comparison of the “before” and “after” phases, and even choose to save it to your own art gallery if you have registered for this feature.  Visit Art Lab so you can virtually experience the joy of saving a masterpiece!

Fido Puzzle

 

Well, it’s Friday.  Time for our fun post of the week!  Today, I confound you with the Fido Puzzle.  It’s a cute interactive site which is seemingly able to read your mind.  Follow the directions carefully, and Fido’s clairvoyant owner will be able to guess your mystery number.  It’s fun to play, and you can challenge your class to figure out the secret behind the mathematical magic!

Codecademy After-School Club

Some of you may already be familiar with Codecademy, which offers free on-line courses in programming and web-site authoring.  Now, the site is offering a free after-school program that it states can be used with students as young as 7.  During the first semester, the students learn how to build a website.  The second semester teaches how to build an adventure game with JavaScript.

According to Codeacademy, even teachers who have little experience with programming can facilitate the after-school club.  There is a free, downloadable curriculum, and Codecademy also provides a mailed kit to the first 250 teachers to sign up, which includes stickers and “other stuff for your club”.

The program is self-paced, and there are no downloads or special pieces of equipment required.  As long as you have computers with compatible internet-connected browsers, you do not need to provide any other materials.

Codeacademy’s After-School Program looks like a great opportunity for younger students to begin learning the basics of computer languages.

Move the Box

As promised last week, my Friday posts are all about “fun”.  Although, I am not sure how “fun” this particular game will be for people like me – who are spatially challenged.  Move the Box is a free iPhone app that requires logic and visual reasoning skills.  I have been trying to work on the latter, but seem to be particularly weak in that area.  In Move the Box, you are limited to a number of moves in which to pull boxes out of a pile, resulting in like boxes landing in vertical or horizontal rows and disappearing.  Your goal is to get all of the boxes to disappear.  You begin with a limit of 1 move, which might seem daunting, but it is easier to use process of elimination than when you get to the level that allows you two moves.  That is when it gets really challenging.  Good luck, and try not to get frustrated!

The Positive Effects of Playing Games

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The topic of gaming and its usage in the classroom has been popping up more and more in the last year or so.  Jane McGonigal, who is an expert in this area (check out this link to see her extensive experience and list of “unlocked” achievements), gives some good reasons that we should not dismiss gaming as “a waste of time”.  Other than improving flirting skills, it seems that many of the benefits might be worth consideration by teachers.  I am planning to create a gaming environment in my gifted classroom this year for my 5th graders, and I hope to see an increase in productivity in the areas of creativity and ambition, as Dr. McGonigal predicts!  If you are interested in this topic, you might want to visit Gamification of the Classroom and Classroom Game Design, too!