May 4th, 2016 by ClickSchooling
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It’s Wednesday, May 4, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!
Blue Zoo Writers
Age Range: 10 and up (Grades 4 and up approximately, with parental supervision)
This website is a free online learning center to help writers of all ages learn to write better without taking up a lot of your time.
As explained at the site:
As W. Somerset Maugham said: “There are three rules for writing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” This is not a place for rules. On the other hand, it’s not a place for endless advice… My promise here: no fluff. Just help.
When you click on the link above it will take you to the “Young Writers – Tips” page. While the entire site offers helpful information for writers of all ages, this particular page is a good jumping off point – with lots of short writing tips especially useful for young writers. You’ll see a menu of articles that include guidelines and suggestions for writing:
- Brainstorming Ideas for Stories
- The Difference Between an Idea and a Story
- Good First Lines to Start a Great Story
The articles include advice and examples from well-known writers such as Barbara Kingsolver, Sid Fleischman, Jan Yolen, Dr. Seuss, and more. You’ll find links to resources within the articles as well.
When you’re through exploring the “Young Writers Tips,” click on “Core Advice for Your Writing Craft and Career” on the menu. There, you’ll find more articles on becoming a better writer, including the “Blue Zoo Curriculum – An Outline.” It’s a set of core articles on 10 skills “a professional writer would do well to master” and are grouped into three categories:
- Being a Writer – Get advice on becoming a better writer along with some motivational techniques.
- The Craft of Writing – Find out how to spin an appealing story and how to create a sense of place.
- Career Development – Discover how to build your writer’s brand.
May 3rd, 2016 by ClickSchooling
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It’s Tuesday, May 3, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!
Eric Weisstein’s World of Scientific Biography
Age Range: 11-18 (Grades 6-12, with parental supervision)
This website offers over 1,000 encyclopedia-style biographies of scientists along with illustrations.
When you get to the site, use the menu on the left side of the screen to search for a scientist by:
- Branch of Science – Search for a scientist by his/her field of study from Archaeology to Sociology.
- Gender/Minority Status – Women, African Americans, Asian Americans, etc. (Note: This section is woefully short on scientists of varying races and ethnicities. Fortunately, the FAQ section on this website tells you how to submit names for inclusion.)
- Nationality – Find scientists from many nations including the U.S., China, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, and Russia.
- Prize Winners – Read the Bios of Scientists and Mathematicians who have been awarded prizes (i.e., The Nobel) for their work.
- Alphabetical Index – An A to Z list of all of the scientists and mathematicians whose biographies are archived on the website. Click on any one, and a new page opens with the scientist’s picture and bio. References are provided as well.
As mentioned previously, there are over 1,000 entries and we only read about 10. Therefore, AS ALWAYS, parents should preview the site to determine suitability of content.
April 29th, 2016 by ClickSchooling
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It’s Friday, April 29, 2016, and time for a Virtual Field Trip at ClickSchooling!
Greenwell Farms – Kona Coffee
Age Range: All (All grades; children with parental supervision)
Take a delicious virtual tour of the Greenwell Farms in Hawaii and learn how Kona Coffee is grown and processed.
Through images, text, and videos:
- Dig into the growth process from seeding to harvest.
- Discover pulping, drying, milling, and roasting of the coffee beans.
- What is Kona Snow?
- Learn about ‘cupping’ coffee.
- Uncover the challenges in coffee farming.
- Examine the science and innovation used in farming.
- Explore the history of Greenwell Farms.
Click on any of the images at this easy-to-navigate and colorful website to explore the farm and learn all about the coffee making process.
April 27th, 2016 by ClickSchooling
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It’s Wednesday, April 27, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!
Age Range: Varies (written with homeschool parents in mind).
One of the most challenging subjects or skill sets to help children learn is writing. Enter Patricia Zaballos, a veteran homeschool mom, writer, and educator who values “child-led, passion-driven, project-based learning, gently encouraged by enthusiastic adults.” For the past 12 years, she has facilitated writer’s workshops for homeschooled children, and teaches homeschool parents how to make writing more “fun, authentic, and meaningful for their kids.”
Patricia writes a terrific blog called “Wonder Farm” that currently features a free series on how to “Become a Writing Mentor To Your Child.” It is filled with thought-provoking commentary and practical albeit unconventional suggestions and ideas that will ease your anxiety and inspire your desire to help your kids learn to write. There are 8 installations so far that include:
- Part 8: Encouraging without Discouraging
- Part 7: The Power of Positive Feedback
- Part 6: Finding Meaningful Writing or Kids
- Part 5: Grammar By Ear
- Part 4: That Niggling Thing Called Spelling
- Part 3: Three Points from a Mentor
- Part 2: They Know Stuff
- Part 1: Teacher or Mentor?
When you get to the website you’ll see the current blog post, “Grammar By Ear.” Read it. It may change your perspective and open a world of writing freedom and fun to you and your family. You’ll especially enjoy the free tips at the end of the article for helping kids learn grammar and punctuation.
Take the time to explore the archived blog posts, and use the menu to learn more about Patricia and her family, their homeschool journey, her book, and more.
April 26th, 2016 by ClickSchooling
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It’s Tuesday, April 26, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!
The Secret Life of Machines
Age Range: 8-18 (Grades 3-12, with parental supervision)
Engineer and cartoonist Tim Hunkin developed a series of cartoons with simple explanations about how machines work. Tim’s unique take on explaining the mystery behind the mechanisms, resulted in a TV series that allowed him to further develop the explanations with more in-depth cartoons. These cartoons are featured on today’s website.
When you get to the site you’ll see a brief introduction and then a menu of cartoon topics that includes:
- fax machines
- internal combustion engines
- sewing machines
- vacuum cleaners
- video recorders
- washing machines
- word processors
- and many more!
Click on any one and enjoy reading the cartoons that explain how these machines work.
They made a series of videos from the cartoons that demonstrate the history and inventions of modern conveniences and other machines. They are really fun to watch and are housed by the Exploratorium website here. (You need to have QuickTime installed to view the videos.)
Samples of the videos are also on other sites such as Google Video and YouTube and you’ll find the links here.
April 25th, 2016 by ClickSchooling
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It’s Monday, April 25, 2016, and time for Math at ClickSchooling!
Age Range: 5-adult (Grades K and up; children with parental supervision)
This ad-supported and commercial website offers some free interactive games and printable worksheets that help kids practice their math skills.
When you get to the site you’ll see a menu divided by grade level as follows:
- K-2 – Match numerals with number words and practice multiplication facts to 20.
- 3-4 – Practice rounding numbers, add 3-digit numbers, and practice division.
- 5-8 – Match fractions to their decimal equivalents, play games to learn the metric system, explore negative numbers, and solve some short word problems.
- All Ages – Some math games for ages 5-105.
When you click on a menu item a new page opens with a menu of the free math games. Be sure to click on “See more Math” to access the printable worksheets.
You’ll also find some free Language Arts games that help kids develop reading skills.
This site offers the free math activities with the hope that you’ll like them enough to purchase a subscription that will allow access to all of the games and resources in a given category (without any advertising). You don’t have to purchase a thing to try the free games and worksheets.