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.
Whether you use the Wordle riddles that “Jen” has created, or set off to make some of your own, this is a great concept that integrates technology with practically any topic you are learning. You could use your Wordles to introduce a topic or to review something that has already been taught. You could have students create their own Wordles that others need to guess. One of the cool, and quite simple, features on this site is the way that she embedded the Wordles in her blog so that when you roll over them the answer appears. This can be done when you add the alternate text to a picture you are inserting in your blog or website. Of course, Wordle is not the only site that creates word clouds. Tagxedo is another fun way to make these, and allows you to format them to different shapes.
Khan Academy is a revolutionary approach to teaching which advocates “Flipping the Classroom”. You can view the TED video below to learn about the humble beginnings of the Academy on YouTube, and the ambitious plans Mr. Khan now has for his free service. Basically, the site has hundreds of video lessons indexed in which Mr. Khan explains a variety of topics – mostly math and science related. If you have a G-mail or Facebook account, you can become a Coach. Your students, who would also have to register with one of these e-mail addresses, can complete exercises on the site at their own pace. As the Coach, you can monitor their progress using several different tools included in the registration portion of the site. Even if you don’t want to register, this is a fabulous resource for allowing students to learn at their own pace, or even for reteaching and reviewing topics.
I have been using Thinking Blocks for several years with students who are working ahead of their peers in class. It allows students to use blocks to model word problems. Because the site includes all four operations, I think that it would be a great resource for reinforcement as well as for enrichment. It easily allows for independent learning as it has videos that introduce each topic and an easy way to track progress. There is even a printable certificate once a level is completed.
I haven’t had a chance to try this one with students, yet, but it shows great promise. With videos of different math challenges and supporting resources for K-12, this site has great potential for allowing students to do some independent critical thinking.