Creator of ClassTools.net, @RusselTarr, tweeted this site the other day. My 1st graders have been studying countries around the world, and we have recently been discussing foods. They really enjoyed “Don’t Gross Out the World,” from FunBrain because they thought many of the cultural traditions were unbelievable. For example, how can it be true that some people think that it’s a compliment to burp loudly after a meal? Or, that asking for catsup could possibly be an insult in some countries? I learned a few new things myself by playing this game with the class 🙂
UPDATE 5/8/18: This site does not seem to be available any longer. However, I found a screencast that someone made of the game that is a decent substitute.
This week I am going to dedicate my posts to sharing resources I learned about at TCEA in Austin last week. I think packing too much info into a blog post is overwhelming, so if you are craving more, feel free to check out my notes (which are not finished yet!) here.
At her “Fabulous and Free” session at TCEA, Shannon (@SweetBlessShan) offered a lot of neat resources. You can visit her website to get all of the links here. If you have any time after reading my post, I highly recommend you follow her on Twitter and subscribe to her great blog, “Technology Rocks. Seriously.” (She currently has some free Valentine printables!)
Since I try to just feature one resource, or a small group of related resources, each day, I had a hard time choosing from the notes I took on Shannon’s session. But TeacherLED is one site she mentioned that is “good to go” in the sense that you don’t have to register or put any work into using it ahead of time. It has neat Interactive White Board Activities for all sorts of subjects. Also, it looks like most, if not all of the activities, will work on mobile devices.
Being a GT teacher, I was immediately drawn to the puzzles. This site isn’t all about games, though. There are math interactives, geography activities, and ELA games. You can see the full list here.
Some of the resources on TeacherLED aren’t necessarily curriculum-based, but they are definitely fun. I think I actually heard “ooh’s” and “ah’s” when Shannon showed us the “Quiz Buzzer” which will allow you to know right away who answered a question first!
Most of the trouble I get into is when my daughter is late getting done with swim practice. I get bored and start clicking on Twitter links. Before I know it, I’m addicted to a new game.
Ian Byrd from @byrdseedgifted tweeted the link for “Oh hi” out a couple of days ago. For those of you who enjoy Sudoku, this logic puzzle should be right up your alley. For those of you who think Sudoku is evil – you’re welcome.
“Oh hi” is browser based, and the game appears to work on any device, which makes it even more wicked.
I have lots of devices.
I’m not going to try to explain the game because the site does a good job with a simple tutorial. Basically, you need to get the same amount of blue squares and red squares in every row and column without repeating the pattern. However, you can never have more than 2 of the same color adjacent to each other. There are 4 levels: 4×4, 6×6, 8×8, and 10×10. I’m still on the 8×8 – mostly because I like the feeling of being somewhat challenged and majorly successful at the same time. Frankly, I only got that far because of my daughter’s encouragement 😉
If you’re struggling to find an activity to fill in small time gaps during the last couple of days before Thanksgiving break, this might be a good option!
Technically this should be a Phun Phriday post. Because it’s seriously, addictively P.H.U.N. However, my Friday posts in November and December are devoted to my “Gifts for the Gifted” series. So, we’re going to break the mold and make it a Phun Thursday. And even though that’s not quite as alliterative, it’s still fun.
I saw this tweet from @shannonmiller this week.
Of course, I immediately investigated the link. I actually have an old Spirograph kit that I bought from E-bay a few years ago and I’ve been debating whether or not it would make a nice center in my classroom. The reason for the debate is the pins involved. I think I can overcome the pin issue, but for those of you who don’t have a kit or prefer not to deal with pins Inspirograph is a perfect solution. You can even download the image when you have finished your masterpiece! Can you imagine trying this out on an interactive whiteboard?!!!
Don’t be mislead by the title of this site. You are not required to download any software, and the math resources here are fun and free. Although primarily designed for middle and high school students, there seem to be a lot of activities that could be used in upper elementary – and it would be a great site to refer to for extension activities.
The first thing I discovered when exploring the site was the “Starter of the Day” link, which gives a mathematical brain teaser for each day of the month. Below is the example for today:
Shine + Write has many activities that would be great to use with an interactive white board. This “True or False” game, for example, takes some thought. Fun Maths has a page of games and math tricks that will be sure to entertain. Investigations offers challenges that might be good for gifted math students to work on independently.
There are many other links on Transum Software that you may find useful. If you are looking for a way to make math class more exciting, I highly recommend checking out this site.
Think Link is a neat way to integrate technology into the activity that I wrote about yesterday – Hexagonal Learning. On the Think Link site, you can create your own board of hexagons, add notes to each one, and manipulate them. You can save your boards to be used whenever you like on that computer. This is an alternative to cutting out a lot of hexagons to distribute to your students. Think Link could be used for your students to generate hexagon words as a class about a particular topic. The board could be saved, and then different student groups could create their own relationships with the words to show their understanding of the topic.
I highly recommend trying a Think Link activity with your students this year.
For the summer, I have decided to use my Tuesday and Thursday posts to reblog some of my favorite posts that some of my readers may have missed the first time around.
Triptico is one of the most user-friendly teacher tools I’ve come across in a long time. Designed by a teacher named David Riley to use with interactive whiteboards, this is free software that you download to your computer. Don’t despair if you don’t have an IWB, however. If you can project your computer to a screen in the classroom, the activities (over 20, and the teacher plans to add more) can still be utilized. Included in the package are random name generators, timers, text and photo spinners, word magnets with graphic organizers, and several games. One intriguing game is “What’s in the Box?”, and eerily reminds me of the game show “Deal or No Deal”. The interface is very simple, and the download takes less than a minute. I guarantee you will capture your students’attention – or your money back!