3-6, Education, Language Arts, Parenting, Writing

Summer Superheroes (Reblog)

This week, I am focusing on providing resources to “Squash the Summer Slide” as ReadWriteThink puts it.  Parents often ask me at this time of year for ideas to keep my students challenged over the summer, and here is one that would be great for students who enjoy writing.  

Summer Superheroes is a “Parent & After School Resource” on ReadWriteThink.  It offers an interesting twist to the concept of creating your own superhero by challenging the author to invent a superhero whose powers are somehow dependent on the warmest season of the year.  The detailed instructions for motivating the child and for helping him or her to develop the story include interactive resources on the ReadWriteThink site.  This would be a fun idea to share with parents, or to use in the last month of school – when everyone’s mind is on summer anyway!

3-6, Critical Thinking, Education, Games, Problem Solving, Teaching Tools, Websites



In yesterday’s post, I stated that I would publish a post about the Vi Hart videos today.  However, I forgot that it is Friday.  Now, that my “Gifts for the Gifted” series is over until next holiday season, I would like to return to my Fun Friday posts.  So, I will “post”pone my Vi Hart post until Monday.

Several years ago, I purchased a book called GridWorks by ThinkFun.  It doesn’t look like ThinkFun still sells this book (although you can buy it for $21 on Amazon), but you can find GridWorks puzzles online, which is almost as good.  If you are looking to purchase something similar to GridWorks, I highly recommend another ThinkFun product, Chocolate Fix.

Both GridWorks and Chocolate Fix have 3X3 grids in which you have to place symbols (or pieces of chocolate) in certain cells based on the visual clues you are given.  In the easy levels, the clues are very explicit.  As you work your way through the levels the game, of course, increases in difficulty.

This link just give you puzzles 1-4.  But you can click here to get over 200 puzzles.  (Scroll to the bottom to get to the beginning.)

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

3-6, Apps, Critical Thinking, Education, Language Arts, Problem Solving, Websites

Word Picture Brainteasers

Answer: “Hole in One”

I recently discovered this set of word picture brainteasers on the “Kids Pages” area of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences website.  If you make it to the bottom of the page, you will see a link for more, and the same link appears on the next page, and the next…  There is a seemingly endless amount of these puzzles available for eager students to solve.  But, if those are not enough, you also download the free app, “Rebuzzle”, on your iDevice to further challenge your kids.  Of course, some of the phrases are a bit outdated, so you may need to have the kids do a little research to find the meaning and the origin of some of the more archaic answers!

3-6, Critical Thinking, Education, Games, Websites

Inference Riddle Game

Inference Riddle Game is a site created by Phil Tulga that has 15 inference riddles.  The user can decide which riddle to work on by typing in a number, and can slowly add clues until he or she guesses the answer, types it in, and checks it.  This would be fun to play with the class when there is a small wait time for something.  When I play games like this with my students, I always ask them to justify their guesses.  They are also discouraged from “wild guesses” by being told they will be out of the game if they guess incorrectly.  Another way to use this site would be as a springboard for students to create their own riddles – perhaps using Powerpoint or another presentation option – that are related to something that is being studied.


3-6, Education, Games, Geography, Social Studies, Websites

Go on a Family Adventure!

National Geographic has an Education site that is in Beta right now.  Just in time for the summer, you can visit the site to play “Go on a Family Adventure!”  You can choose whether you would like to do a Land or Sea Adventure, which route you would like to take, and the difficulty level.  It’s a great way to practice your geography skills, see how long it typically takes to travel around the map, and to even see photographs of each of your destinations.

3-6, Critical Thinking, Education, Games, Research, Social Studies, Websites

7 Hat Challenge: Master the Roles of the President

7 Hat Challenge is a game hosted by Scholastic News that allows the player to choose the difficulty level, and then try to earn 7 different presidential “hats” of responsibility.  This is a good interactive that allows the player to learn more about some of the Presidents of the United States and their many roles.  For a plethora of Presidents’ Day activities, check out the post where I found this one on “Technology Rocks.  Seriously.”