Friday, December 9, 2011

Germs and Hygeine

 After some deep cleaning to rid my house of the germs that are floating around I decided it was time to teach my kids more about hygiene and how to keep healthy. I found this wonderful game that teaches about germs and the importance of hygiene.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I just found a neat game for kids called Alphabet Marks the Spot. It's like twister, with a twist. It's an alphabet mat. The goal of the game is to run to the beginning letter of the picture on the dice before your opponent.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I was noticing that I have a lot Language arts things for younger kids and not so much for older. It's a little bit harder to find book related activities and games for 5th and 6th graders because they are generally reading novels by that time. With so many novel options games for each one are not possible. Here's a great book and a game to go with it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Family History

What a better way to learn about history than by talking to those who actually lived through it? I have been working on my other passion, scrapbooking. I love scrapbooking. For Christmas I have taken all the old pictures from my grandma and scanned them into my computer to give my mom, aunts, grandma, and cousins a special gift for Christmas. Their dad, my grandpa, passed away when I was only 8 years old so close to 20 years ago. Many of my cousins don't remember him at all. So I have taken all the pictures I have been able to find of him and am writing a children's book to help them get to know the grandpa they never did. Through this process I have learned so much about my grandpa and where he came from. Things that I never knew before like that he joined the air force so he wouldn't be drafted into the army and that is where his love of air planes came from. Just little things that no one had ever thought to tell me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Compass and map skills

In my son's Halloween bucket he got a toy compass. He was trying to play with it and asked my husband how it worked. He said he would teach him how to use a real compass. This just reminded me of how important map skills are and how few of us use and teach these to our children. We all own a GPS system and get around that way. I know if I had to find an address without a GPS or step by step directions from the internet I would get horribly lost.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Handwriting is an important part of who we are. Through practice we train our hand to form the letters quickly but practice makes perfect. When I first started teaching I thought handwriting just came naturally to kids and if I showed them how to do it on the board they would get it. Many did and things went well. Then I took a Spalding course. Honestly this was a course I HATED taking but I really did like a few of the strategies I took from the course.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What's GNU?

With the Christmas Season approaching I wanted to give you some great educational board games. I love how a board game can bring a family together. Board games also teach skills that kids can't learn through computer games.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Typing is becoming a very valuable skill. I learned to type while in school, now my son is learning how to type and he hasn't started school yet. My husband still doesn't know how to type, he pecks. I don't recommend starting your kids on typing until they are 5 or 6 because their hands aren't big enough and they don't have the skills they need. This can be a funway to practice spelling words and a good letter review.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spelling game

I was searching for spelling games since I haven't found any good ones for a little while when I stumbled upon This site is full of all sorts of games. There are ads on the site so make sure you watch what your children are doing on the computer.

Monday, October 17, 2011

This is a neat website,, for grades 5-12. It teaches them how to be involved in their community and different issues that pertain to that age group. They are also doing a contest for the class that earns the most points and from what I see anyone can sign up.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Since Monday is Columbus Day I decided to do some searching for fun games about Columbus. Here's the one I found.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Last night while I was watching mind numbing television after the kids went to sleep I saw a commercial for Now normally I don't pay too much attention to commercials. They are just noise but this one caught my attention because it was for an educational website. I got on and it was definitely not what I expected. I thought it would be another game site for kids but it's not. It's a site that offers collections of games on any subject. Kind of like Google. You type in what you want to learn about and then everything they have comes up.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

CNN article

I just read this CNN article that one of my friends posted on Facebook. Wow is all I can say. It's sad but true. I posted the article in red, then I'll tell you what I think.

Get involved!!!

I recently attended a back to school lesson put on by my church. This was a how to get started with the new school year class. WOW. Boy was it amazing. I took notes to share.
Educating a child is like a table with 3 legs. All three legs need to be there or it will fail. inorder for a child to succeed they need supportive and active parents, they need to be interested in learning, and then there is the teacher. I have seen it time and time again where the teacher is blamed for the child not succeeding. Remember the teacher is only 1/3 of the equation. There could be a few problems like a learning disability with the child. In my experience it has been the parents lack of support in the child's education.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Job Chart

I just found this neat FREE job chart site. It's called I believe it is important to teach kids to be responsible. My kids are very young but that doesn't mean they aren't expected to help out around the house.
This use to be a HUGE battle that was usually followed by a fit before the job was even started. Once the job was started it was play time and take as long as you can before completing the job. That was until I found this site while I was blogstocking. I don't remember which blog talked about this site but I'm glad they mentioned it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

ABC Mouse - for members

We recently got to review the portion of ABC Mouse that you can subscribe to. WOW. It was neat. I don't think my kids have played any of their other on-line games since. My son says "I think it's good and I want to play it."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back to School

It's back to school time. I can't believe it's time fall ready. Summer just flew by. This means back to school shopping time. I like to start early and get the deals but you never know what the teachers are going to need until back to school night or the first day of school. Here are a few suggestions.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Charter School vs. Public School

I posted this as my very first post but I didn't have many readers then and wanted to share it again. I have seen many parents wonder what is the best school situation for their child a charter school or just public school. I have worked at 1 public school and 2 different charter schools so here's the break down.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Nicklesburg is a fun site that helps teach about money. I love that they have a friendly Mayor that walks you through everything. This way you don’t have to guess at what you are doing and how to do it. This site teaches about money and how to use and save it. What a great thing for kids to learn young.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Syllable Split

Syllable Split is a fun beginner game that helps kids understand syllables. They are given 3 words and the bear splits them into syllables. The computer then says the word in syllables and your child is asked to pick the right word.
This site works on word recognition and begins to teach about syllables. It has 3 levels but the only difference I could see between the levels was how fast the logs moved in the game after they get 6 words right and helped the bear build his house.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Left and Right

I have noticed that many kids have problems learning which way is left and which way is right. I was thinking about this while my kids and I were driving in the car and I was telling them about a policeman on the side of the road. Instead of telling them that the policeman was on the left I told them "Look out daddy's side window."

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I had a special request to find second grade math topics. The biggest concept a second grader needs to know is how to regroup. Basically how to make 10 ones turn into a ten. Here is practice site that I was very impressed with.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Making Rain

Hurray Summer is finally here. Don't let the summer pass you by. There are so many activities that you can do with your kids while they are home to fill their time so they don't get the "I'm bored" syndrome.
My kids are just getting old enough to do Science experiments with me. We love "Messy Projects."
Here's our first one.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer Science

Summer is beginning if not now then soon. Don't let your kids stop learning and exploring. I found this neat blog called "Science with me!" It's a site full of fun ideas and science experiments for kids. What a fun way to spend your summer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ABC Mouse - Math section

I’m sad to say that the free math section is not at neat as the reading section. There aren’t as many options for the kids. They pick a number 1-10 and are shown that many objects.

Monday, May 23, 2011

ABC Mouse

ABC mouse is a lot like Starfall and oh how I LOVE starfall!!!! They have a free section and a full curriculum for 7.95 a month or 79.00 a year. As a member you get to track your child’s progress, create your own lessons, and have access to more advanced content. The site is meant for ages 2-6 so up to First grade. As members your child can also earn tickets as they complete tasks which they can turn in for a digital reward. The basic site (free part) just covers reading and math basics, the membership site covers reading, math, art, science, geography, and music. Basically it’s an on-line preschool.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Word Families

Word families are a group of words that are relatedlike; cat, rat, fat, sat. This is the at family. If a child understands what at says they can experiment and make different words by changing the beginning letter. This helps them become a better reader and speller at a young age.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Authors Wanted UPDATED

Here is a great website where kids can pretend to be an author. Just think if you start soon you could have a wonderful, sentimental, Father's Day gift.

I am sad to say that this site only lets authorized teachers using Pearson Education products to create an account. If you want one ask your teacher if they use Pearson Education materials and if they would be willing to create an account for your student.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Today is national take your child to work day. What a great way to get your kids thinking about what they'd like to do and what career path to choose. Why make it just one time a year? I was looking on KSL and found a news story that listed many fun sites where kids can pretend and create.
It is very important for kids to get the chance to use their imagination and to create. Unfortunately this is a place where many schools lack so looking for alternative creating activities is important.
For the next few days I will highlight games that encourage kids to create.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Underground Railroad

Here is a neat site to help kids understand how the Underground Railroad worked. It's done by National Geographic, one of my favorite sites. Remember those books where as you read you got to decide how the story would go. They would say things like "You are at a fork in the road, if you want to turn left go to page 10 and continue reading. If you want to turn Right keep reading." This site is like that. Your choices determine what happens. You begin your journey as a slave in the 1850's and you are asked if you want to escape to freedom.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Khan Academy

I finally heard about a great site to help high school students with math. It's called Khan Academy. I haven't seen anything like this yet but wow. It's a site full of videos and practice lessons to help everyone understand math. They have a library of offer 2,000 videos on a variety of topics. The ones I watched were short but very helpful. This is a wonderful resource for parents helping older children with higher level math. It's also a great place for students to go when they just can't remember what the teacher said or how to do the homework.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Noun videos

I was just talking to my son about nouns and I remembered that Schoolhouse Rock has a wonderful noun song. I got on youtube and let him watch it. When it was over he clicked on one of the other videos that came up which is an updated noun song. It's really upbeat and fun. I also like that you can sing along with the video because it provides the words to the song. There aren't any characters but it definitely tells what a noun is and has a very catchy tune.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Google Art

WOW! A friend just showed me a neat website Art Project powered by Google. You can tour museums and see the art work. This would be a wonderful tool to use in the classroom. Just imagine schools no longer have to store paintings, teachers no longer have to search for the image to show their students because they are all in one place and just need to be projected on the wall. You can zoom in to see the individual brush strokes or walk through the museum and view all the paintings. They have a list of museums from around the world and a large selection or paintings to view.

Here is a Samples:

Van Gough's Farmhouse in a Wheat Field.

See how far you can zoom. You can see the individual brush strokes.

This is a great teaching tool for any grade.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

20 minutes of reading

I once had a parent tell me that it was very hard to get their child to read for 20 minutes because the parent didn't have a lot of time. She was a busy mom of 4with kids ranging from 5th grade to a new baby and she had to help 2 of the kids read because they were so young. Believe me I know it's hard. My son has just started reading and I want desperately to sit and spend 20 minutes a day just reading with him but it doesn't always happen. K- so I won't lie, it hardly ever happens. He is not in school yet but I know that I need to make time for this.
Here are my reading with your child tips.

Pre-School and younger
It is soooooooo important to spend that one-on-one time with your young kids. They need and crave it. My daughter wasn't getting much time because of all the kids at our house and a new baby so she started acting out. I decided that it would be best to spend time with just her to help her realize she wasn't being ignored or replaced by those in our house. I put her down for a nap a half hour earlier than my son so she would wake up earlier and we could spend that special reading time together. It really helped her behavior!

I am a believer that if you schedule a time to read you are more likely to do it. I like to read to my kids before bed. It helps them calm down and prepare to go to sleep quickly. I also recommend doing having a child read to you while you are cooking in the kitchen. Talk about killing 2 birds with one stone. You just have to makesure you can listen and check on what they are reading often. Stick them on the counter while you prepare the vegetables so you can look at the book once in a while.

This group can usually read to themselves but don't let them full you. I have seen many kids that are great at looking at the same page for 20 minutes just so they don't have to do it. Make sure you let them pick the books as much as possible. I'm not saying that all they read are Babysitter's Club (which was my series of choice) or Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Encourage them to read a variety of books. A fun way to do this would be through Reading Genre Bingo

1. Make a Bingo board on your computer.
2. Write in the book genres make sure you leave a free space.
3. Read and try to get a bingo!

Here's an example. You could also add Magazines and Newspapers if that is what your child enjoys reading.
I like to give a reward for getting a bingo. This could be a special activity with mom and dad, a friend party, ice cream cone. Anything that will help motivate your child. I also find that it is fun to read the same book that your child is reading. You can then discuss and point out things to them and you are also showing them that you also value reading.
No matter what you decide make sure you ask them about what they are reading and listen to their answers to make sure it actually goes along with the story they are reading.

The important thing is that they are reading. It can also be difficult to get them to read when they have just come home from school. Remember they just worked all day. I don't like working all day just to come home and work without a short break. Set a time that works for everyone. The goal is not to make reading a punishment, but a fun escape to a far off place.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hopping ThrougHistroy

This is one of the games on This site is highly educational. The games are kind of old fashioned but they are very educational. At first kids will look at them and think they are crazy but I enjoyed them.

Hopping Through History is a new take on Frogger. The goal is to answer questions so your frog can jump on a log and then jump and eat the bug. Each time you catch a bug you level up. The game is broken into chapters. I'm not sure how they got these chapters but they seem to go in world history order. This would be a great game for Jr. High students and older Elementary students because the question they ask are difficult. I was however able to answer many of the questions just by eliminating the incorrect answers and guessing so the questions just look intimidating when you first read them. It's really a fun way to practice your World History facts.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kids Numbers

I had a friend ask me to find some times table games to help her kids. Times table facts can be very difficult to memorize and the only way this can be done is through memorization and practice. It's not a lot of fun to sit and practice over, and over, and over again so lets make it fun.

Most teachers use flashcards to help kids memorize their facts. This is well, boring. It's not fun to practice the same facts. Make it fun. Have them race against you and see who can get the answer first. They can also beat the clock. Have them set a goal to and see how many they can get in a minute. If they reach their goal reward them with something like a piece of candy, a high five, extra TV or Computer time. Rewards definitely work better than punishing them for getting the answer wrong.

I also found this site which has games to help with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, telling time, geometry, and algebra. Each unit has a week by week lesson along with a group of games. I haven't played all the games but I found that some of the games and lessons were good and fun, and others I didn't like so much.

Here are some of the games under the multiplication tab that I like.

All the odd weeks are a games called apple baskets. The game asks you to type in how many baskets there are then how many apples are in the basket. This game teaches the basics of multiplication. We understand the 1X7= is one group of 7 but kids don't see the problems that way.

The even weeks are mostly different. They begin with patterns which just shows them the facts. The first few just show the numbers and ask your child to say it with them. I like week 8 where they are asked to fill in the numbers.

I also really like week 14. This is the times table grid. I would race my student on paper to see who could complete their grid first. If they beat me they got a candy bar of their choice. I think only 1 ever beat me but boy did they work hard get faster so they could get that reward (and bragging rights that they beat Ms. Kierston).

Week 16 and 17 put everything together. Week 16 gives them the problem as well as the visual to help them solve the problem and week 17 just shows the tree and the problem.

If they get an answer wrong then they get to try again. These aren't timed they are just there to help them learn their facts.

There are other games and most of them are good. I found Math Frog Multiplication difficult to get the frog to jump to the correct answer and I didn't see any Math in Moon Math except for the space ship counting down as it few if you went too high. I really liked Timed Multiplication. You get to pick how long you have to answer your questions and the highest number the game will give you so if you only know everything up to 5's you can practice those and don't have to worry about getting a 12X 11.

These games are great for those beginning to learn about times tables so second and third graders. Older kids would have fun challenging themselves with the games but wouldn't enjoy the week to week stuff.

Monday, February 21, 2011

President's Day Games

Since today I President's Day I decided to see what I could find on this topic. The one I chose to write about is called "IF YOU WERE PRESIDENT?"

At first I thought this would just be some writing exercise for kids to do, but I discovered that it's more than just that. It teaches kids about balancing a budget and asks them to defend their choices for creating the budget. They are also asked to pick and defend their choice for advisors.

This site does ask for a first name. My son and I have an agreement with sites that ask for names. If it asks for a name he MUST ask me before typing in his name. I look at the site and decide what is best. We have a separate name that he uses if I don't think it's a good idea, or if he can't ask me. We practice this so he knows what to do.This gam does have some ads but it's run

The advisors are interesting characters. Each one has a biography that the kids can read to help them decide which 3 of the 5 they would like to have advise them.

The last step before meeting the press is to balance the budget. It is a balancing act. I do wish that the advisors were there offering their advise when you are budgeting.

Then it's off to the press. This would be a great assignment for kids in the 5th grade because they study about our government and how it works. The final page is a newspaper clipping of all the President's comments which could be printed as an assignment. This game does have some ads but it's run by scholastic so everything is kid friendly.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Football Math

I finally found a decimal math game that would be education and fun. This one will appeal mostly to the boys. I found this game unique because you play then you answer questions.

This game has multiple levels. When you begin the game the questions are the same and in the same order. Once they know the answers to those questions they will answer new questions on different levels but once they get to the final level they will have answered all the questions which is the drawback.

I recommend this game for 5th and 6th grade. Decimals are taught beginning in 4th grade but most of the questions are too difficult for them. Some 7th graders might benefit from this game as a review.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Letter Fall

WOW. I just found a very neat spelling game. It's called Letter Fall. The objective is to catch the letters to spell the word that the computer says. It tells you the word and then gives you a sentence. Here's the cool part.

You get to pick the word list that you practice from. The lists are

Dolch Words
Days of the Week
Little Numbers
at words
Magic Show

You can use Letter Fall with your own word lists but you have to purchase a premium membership to use this feature. I would just use the Dolch Words. Dolch words are 220 most commonly used words in the English language. These words will show up in their reading so it is important to know how to spell and read these words. These are words that every child should know how to read and spell by the end of third grade.

The game is very entertaining.
The goal is to catch the raindrops that spell the word that the computer says.
Points are lost if the wrong letter falls into your bucket orif you let a letter that you need fall. You can also get bonus points by catching cheese and other things.

I really like that this game uses most commonly used words and is a fun great way to practice spelling words. It's better then drill and kill at the kitchen table. The more fun a learning is the better your child will learn and the less fighting about learning you will have. to get a premium membership to the website and all the games it's $24.99 for a family or $49.99 for a classroom. I recommend this game for first, second, and third graders.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dinosaur Dig

Themed games can help kids learn especially if they are centered around a concept they are currently learning about. Many kids are into dinosaurs. I actually started searching for dinosaur games because my nephew is very much into dinosaurs. He is in preschool and knows all the dinosaur names and what many of them eat. He is a great example of being interested in what you are learning about so you learn more.

I found a Dinosaur Dig which teaches kids about grids. They are given a picture with a grid on top and specific pictures to find.

You then drag the correct coordinates to the boxes next to their pictures. If you chose the wrong one it doesn't stay in the box. When you chose both correct coordinates the dinosaur at the bottom of the page says "awesome" or "good job."

This is a great game to play once or twice. The picture and grid are always the same. The game can also be easily beat just by using trail and error. Some of the pictures are also difficult to find. It does however teach a great concept. There are also a few ads on this site but they are mostly kid friendly and ads that I wouldn't worry too much about. I recommend this game for second and third graders.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pyramid Pile Up Plus

We have once again had a few too many crazy things happening at our house. A sick child, another child in a "mood" and then too many babies. I have however found so many fun games to play on the web.
This game is called Pyramid Pile Up Plus. I found it on playnormous.comIt's a great game to teach what foods belong in which food groups. I did agame like this with my second graders and pictures of food. They got to run around the classroom deciding which food group their food belonged in.

This site does use the old food pyramid which is a little problem but can be easily fixed just by talking about it. I really like how the kids get to pick the food for their pyramid so if they don't like apples and want to have bananas they can.

The first two levels are very simple. They use colors to help the kids know where the food belongs.

After each level it show the kids what they chose to eat that day in calories, fat, and sugar. This is a great time to sit down and talk with them about what they chose and how they could make a better choice in their daily eating and in the game.

The game becomes progressively more difficult. There are these little monsters that come and steal your food, you amount of moves changes, and the color behind the food disappears so you have to think more about where the food belongs.

I really enjoyed this game and my son has reminded me 3 times while I was typing that I need to add this to his bookmarks so he can play it. I recommend this game for K-6 because of the levels. This is a great all around game. The graphic are great and there is just enough of a challenge to keep you interested.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kids Astronomy

Yesterday I blogged about some fun educational videos that taught about the solar system. Since they weren’t games I got to wondering what solar system games were out there. I found Kids Astronomy. This is a fun site. You can create your own planet, take practice quizzes that test your knowledge about the planets, complete puzzles, and more.

One of the things that I thought was very neat was "The Sky Tonight." This is at the bottom of the home page. It shows you something that you can see in the sky tonight. Here's something fun to see tonight.

I also really liked playing with the make a planet option.

Here’s my planet

This site also offers facts about the planets, the sun, black holes, nebulas, stars and much more.

I really enjoyed this site. I learned a lot as I had fun playing the games. Most of the games are meant for 3rd graders on up but anyone could have fun making their own planet. This is also a great site to go to for research. Their terms are kid friendly. There are some difficult vocabulary words but we are talking about a complicated subject but they can do it with help.

Monday, January 31, 2011


So today's post isn't about a website, it's about a movie I just watched. I was searching Netflix for something entertaining and educational to watch/listen to as I cleaned the kitchen and made some much needed brownies. I stumbled on a Nova documentary about Pluto and why it is now an ex-planet. I like many people (mostly 3rd graders as the movie says) don't understand why Scientists decided that Pluto was no longer a planet so when I saw this movie I decided to take a look.

Kids learn about the planets in a couple of grades. 3rd and 6th for Utah curriculum. This documentary talks about all the planets but mostly pluto and why it is no longer a planet. I found it very fascinating, helpful and informational. The narrator is the director for the Natural History Museum in New York. He speaks to many scientists about why and how the decision was made to no longer call Pluto a planet. I found the vocabulary pretty simple and the movie entertaining. I would recommend this movie for 6th graders.

Here's the link to watch the full episode. (about 53 minutes long)

Here are some for younger kids

Schoolhouse rock has a video called Interplanet Janet. This is an upbeat song that tells about the sun and each of the planets, including pluto. The graphics are a little old but it still teaches what it needs to.

** This link is from youtube. ALWAYS watch the whole video when on youtube. I have watched a couple where people have posted very inappropriate things in the middle of the video. Make sure you watch it before your kids do. I did watch this video and it's safe.

The Magic School Bus also did a show called "The Magic School Bus Gets Lost" I really like the Magic School Bus series. They show science facts in an educational and entertaining way. If you want kids to learn something you need to make it fun. Well if you want anyone to learn something you should make it fun.

I wasn't able to find the full video on youtube, but I did find it in 2 parts. One is about 12 minutes, the other almost 15.

I recommend these cartoons for any grade.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Kidz page - What's your decimal point?

I found this site, The Kidz page, today as I was searching for other fun games for kids, specifically art related games. They had a math section with a game called What's you decimal point? At first I was thinking it was a great game because it asks kids to place the decimal point in the correct location based on the number they read. A wonderful game for 5th and 6th graders.

I did find that one of the questions is worded wrong, which concerns me. The question says "Place the decimal for the number such that the number is one hundred and twenty thousand, four hundred and thirteen, and four tenths." Kids are taught at a young age that we don't say and unless there is a decimal point so this number would look like this 100.2o4oo.13.4, which doesn't work.

The solution is simple. It needs to say one hundred twenty thousand, four hundred thirteen, and four tenths. They want you to write 120,413.4. I also played the game a couple of times and the questions are all the same, they just change the order of the 5 questions, the game is easy to beat.

The other problem I saw was the ad's. There is on ad on another page that I found to be inappropriate for my children. It's called "Design your wedding dress." It's a picture of a cartoon girl in her underwear. I personally don't think this a good ad on a sight for children. When you click on the ad it takes you to My top free games where you can design a wedding dress. I'm not a huge fan of the ad and would check before my child played anything on this site to make sure it wasn't there before they got to play. This is also a site I wouldn't leave the room to just let my kids play because there are so many ads that could lead them to sites I don't want them on.

If you have a better option for a decimal game I would take it and would probably skip over playing this game. It is appropriate for 5th and 6th grade students.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Math Lingo

This game was made by Houghton Mifflin Math, a popular math program that many of your 1at graders might be using. I chose to spotlight this game because math is a foreign language to most young children. How often do you ask your six year old something like this

If kids are going to succeed in math they understanding the language is VERY important!! This Math Lingo has 8 units and I’m pretty sure they go along with the Houghton Mifflin Math Program. That would be a great thing to ask your child’s teacher.

I like that if there are words all the child has to do is put the curser on the square and it will read it to them. I also like that it has noises that are easy to recognize so as a parent I can set my children up to play and work on making dinner or cleaning instead of just sitting and watching to make sure they understand.

Here are the links to each grade level

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Suffixes Say A Lot

I just found a new site that looks promising. It’s called I has gradeK-8 math and language arts games. I looked at a couple of 4th grade games. They are pretty basic and simple. So simple once the game has been learned on the internet, it could be played with paper and pencil at home or on long car rides later.

The first game I tried is a 4th grade Vocabulary game called Suffixes Say a Lot. I really like how it defines what a suffix is right on the left hand side just incase your 4th grader doesn’t remember. It also gives a few examples of how to use this skill.

Once you pick your definition it gives you feedback. This is important because it describes why the answer is correct or incorrect. I also like the vocabulary words that are chosen and the fact that the child has to figure out the word meaning in context, not just from a list of words they are given.

This game also offers a few different levels that become more complex as they go on.

I recommend this game for second semester (3rd term) 3rd graders, 4th graders, and 5th graders.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Primary Games- 50 States Game

My son has recently become interested in learning about the states and their names, so I set off to the internet to find him a game to help him meet this goal. We have a leapfrog book that got him interested but the system needed to use that book doesn’t work. I found this 50 states game on I will say that so far I’m not impressed with this game. As soon as I got into the game it took me straight to an ad about toilet paper. Um, last time I checked it was kids playing these games, not the adults purchasing things like toilet paper. I understand the need for sites to have ads, this is how they make money to create the games and keep the site free. I just wish they would make them kids friendly ads, like ads for pillow pets, or the latest and greatest toy. I know they are obnoxious but I would rather have my children bugging me about that where I could use it as a teaching moment than having them see some ad that doesn’t apply to them or could lead them to clicking on other sites and taking them where they shouldn’t be going. I will now get off my soapbox and tell you about this game.

This 50 states game requires some prior knowledge about the geography of the United States. You are given a map of the country and a state and told to place it in the correct location.

Once you put the state in the proper location it gives you a point.

If you make a mistake it then shows you where the state should be and tells you how far off you were.

I also like that it gives you the average error miles. This can spark a discussion about what the average is and why it keeps changing. It would also be fun to start a family challenge by seeing who can get the lowest error mile average.

I recommend this game for second semester (3rd term) 4th graders, 5th, and 6th grade.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Edheads Weather

Edheads Weather is a Science game I found through that helps kids understand how we predict weather and then has them practice what they have learned.

There are two ways to play - you can either create a weather report based on what you read, or you can predict the weather based on the previous day's weather.

Report Weather

Level 1 is there you teach you how to play. Warning read carefully!! I made silly mistakes because I was trying to hurry.

I really like the symbols and the fact that kids have to grab them an place them in the by the correct city.

I also like that they use both a Fahrenheit and a Celsius Thermometer when they ask you to find the correct temperature. On the harder levels it gives a range of numbers and you have to pick the correct number.

Predict Weather

The prediction map is a little different from the report map. There screen shots are from level 1. The robot up in the left corner really helped as I learned how to play the game.

You use the symbols near your city to help determine what tomorrows weather will be.

You then look at what has happened across the country to predict the next 3 days weather. You do need to know how to multiply because you use this skill to find out how close the warm and cold fronts are.

I have had a very difficult time finding good educational sites for older kids. There just aren't many out there. This one is a great educational site geared toward older kids. The math that you do to predict is multiplication so a second semester (3rd term) 3rd grader might be able to do it, 4th, 5th, and 6th graders would be able to do it with little to no explanations. This site uses a variety of skills like; map reading, geography, following simple to complex directions, understanding symbols, vocabulary and math skills. This is a great game because it doesn't "dumb down" complex information, it teaches and then uses the vocabulary that kids will hear on when they listen to the weather report on the news.
I recommend this site for late 3rd graders, 4th, 5th, and 6th.