Before you click on this link, make sure you have a lot of time on your hands. I have it on good authority from several people, including my eight-year old, that this site is addictive. To be honest, I had a hard time tearing myself away from the screen once I got started. What I love about this site is that it requires a combination of creativity, problem-solving, and musical talent. Basically, it allows you to compose music by building roads, adding cars to the roads, and placing various types of waypoints to create the notes. But you won’t understand the full potential of Isle of Tune until you visit it yourself. And, while you’re there, be sure to visit the isles that have already been created. You will be amazed at the ingenuity used to recreate popular songs and to invent new compositions. Even more exciting news – they are planning to launch their iPad app this week.
Bubble Ball is one of my favorite iDevice apps. It is a free download, and has 48 levels. You can purchase more after you finish the 48 for 99 cents. The purpose of this game is to use the various materials that appear on the screen in each level to direct a ball to roll toward a flag. I don’t usually like to recommend game apps for the classroom, because students seem to get enough of those at home. But this Physics challenge encourages problem solving and creative thinking. Many of the levels have more than one solution. This could be a fun center in which the students could take screen shots of their solutions and explain them using the free Screen Chomp app or other methods. It would be interesting to compare the different solutions groups develop, and have them explain their thought processes. Of course, I highly recommend that you play around with the app yourself – just to get familiar with the levels, of course 😉
Larry Ferlazzo offered a new link on his blog for a site called Draw a Stickman that I think could be really fun for the classroom. The key to this site is the “Share” option. At the end of the interactive story, a message appears. When you choose to “Share”, you can determine the message. You can then e-mail it to yourself and/or others. If you want to use this to introduce a topic, you can e-mail it to yourself, save the link, and have your students help you create the stickman that brings the message. You could also create several different messages, differentiating for your students, and offer them as links on your student server or on a teacher website. If your students have e-mail addresses, such as e-pals, and are corresponding with someone for class, this would be a fun message for them to create and send.
Museum Box is an intriguing resource for a different type of student product. The site describes itself this way, “it allows you to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box. You can display anything from a text file to a movie. You can also view the museum boxes submitted by other people and comment on the contents.” Unfortunately, the site does not work with iOS, but if you have internet access, and your students are doing research, this is a unique way for them to collect their supporting materials in one place.
This recently appeared in the Langwitches blog, and a fellow teacher shared it with me. It is similar to the Bloom’s Taxonomy Tech Pyramid I posted awhile ago, but this one sticks to iPad apps. Of course, there are new apps every week that would also be great to use at multiple levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. This, however, is a great jumping off point, particularly for teachers who are just beginning to implement these devices in their classrooms.
I actually found the link to Beth Newingham’s blog post on another blog, KB Connected. When I clicked on the link, I was immediately impressed by the creative ideas and the higher order thinking skills each activity included. In addition, Beth Newingham provides photos of each activity and printables that are simple but attractive. It has links to her website showing several of the fiction genre lessons in action. This is the kind of classroom in which kids thrive!
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.