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.