Math Goodies & WebQuests

March 23rd, 2015

It’s Monday, March 23, 2015, and time for Math at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Math Goodies

Age Range: 9-14 (Grades 5-8, with parental supervision)

This ad-supported website features a smattering of free interactive math lessons, printable worksheets, games and more to help students in about grades 5-8 learn math. Gifted younger children and remedial older students may benefit from the resources provided as well.
The site was designed by a math teacher who also developed a complete math course that is available for sale on the site. However, you don’t have to purchase a thing to access the generous sampling of math lessons and materials.

When you get to the site you’ll see a brief introduction followed by some featured items and lots of advertisements. Look below the introduction for the menu that includes:

• Lessons – Learn how to determine the perimeter and area of polygons. Find out how to simplify, compare, order, and convert fractions. Explore decimals and percentages. Find out how to write algebraic expressions and equations and much more!
• Worksheets – Download math worksheets (pdf) that include an introduction to fractions, decimals, percent applications, probability theory, graphs, and symbolic logic.
• WebQuests – This terrific resource provides math inquiries and instructions that lead to online explorations to find information and solve problems. Choose from a short but meaty selection of quests to recommended websites and learn about exponents and scientific notation, integers and science, math and climate, math and sports, number theory, percentages in daily life, and even a “Pi Day” celebration.
• Games – An assortment of interactive math games. Not all of the games featured here are open for free play. The ones that were accessible included: Factor Tree Game, Integer Football, Percent Goodies, and Probability Goodies.
• Puzzles – Enjoy interactive math-themed crossword puzzles about circles, fractions, logic, percentages, polygons, and probability.
You’ll also find homework help, articles, forums and more.

The Polar Express

December 10th, 2014

It’s Wednesday, December 10, 2014, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

The Polar Express

Age Range: 4-10 (Grades K-5, with parental supervision)

One of the best-loved holiday books is The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. The timeless story captures the imagination of children everywhere. We thought it would be fun to explore learning language arts through this magical tale of a boy who takes a night-time train ride to the North Pole.

The author’s website offers an overview of the book and samples of the outstanding illustrations that earned a Caldecott Medal. You can also read the author’s bio, see a timeline of his work, and access resources and interactives themed around his books.

When you get to the site you’ll find a picture of each book cover/title. If you click on them – you will be directed to purchase the book. There is no requirement to purchase anything in order to use the free resources. Scroll past those covers to the bottom of the page to find a link titled “Teachers: Discussion Guides for all of Chris Van Allsburg books.” When you click you’ll find additional curriculum connections for the Polar Express.

Creative Writing/Language Arts:

* Brainstorm winter words.
* Ask children to imagine their own magical midnight train ride and write about what they see on their journey and what their final destination looks like.
* Go through the book together and pick out all of the adjectives and list them on a large sheet of paper. Do the same for the verbs and nouns.

* As a way to begin using the book as the basis for a unit or simply as a treat for the children, host a Polar Express Party. Click the link to download a complete party kit.
Science/Geography:

* Have children locate the North Pole on a globe or map. They can research and write a short report on the landscape, climate, and other characteristics of the North Pole
* Topics for Further Research
o Polar ice cap
o Northern lights
o Reindeer
o Weather and climate – what are the average high and low temps?

Art:

* Have children draw what they would see out the window of the Polar Express on its way to the North Pole.

Music:

* Give each child a bell. Play holiday songs to which they can ring the bells.
* At your party, break the kids into groups of four. Give each group a song and have them come up with a way to accompany it with their bells.

When you think you’ve done everything you can, find the link to “More Games & Fun” to discover activity sheets, games, recipes, and more AND discussion guides for all of Chris Van Allsburg’s other books!

The Sun – Science, Tour, & Song!

September 9th, 2014

It’s Tuesday, September 9, 2014, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Various – see below

Age Range: 3-18 (Grades PreK-12, with parental supervision)

These websites offer terrific information on the nearest star to Earth – the Sun! It’s educational and entertaining…
Watch a terrific 6-minute video that provides an interesting overview of the sun – designed for kids!
Don’t miss this! Learn about heliophysics as you listen to the “Chromatics” sing facts about the sun in perfect harmony.
This site provides a multi-media virtual tour of the sun through the use of text, photographs, illustrations, animations, and film clips. The entire tour takes about 20 minutes and includes information about solar wind, sun spots, solar eclipses, solar flares, and more.
New Mexico is the “clean energy state” and offers this website with solar energy science projects for grades 3-12 that include:
* Let’s Study the Sun
* Intro to Light & Matter
* Make a Pizza Box Solar Oven
* Simple Solar Cell Demo
* Intro to Electricity
* Solar Cell Demo
* Explore Passive Solar Design
* Explore Photovoltaics
* Electrolysis: Obtaining hydrogen from water
* Explore Fuel Cells
* Intro to Light & Matter
* Experiment with Passive Solar Design Lab
The information here is presented in a user-friendly way, and all of the lessons and projects can be downloaded and/or printed out for use offline.

July 10th, 2014

It’s Thursday, July 10, 2014, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Geography World

Age Range: All (All grades, with parental supervision)

This award-winning website will quickly become your first stop when looking for anything geography related. It serves as a portal to hundreds of other geography websites. When arriving at the home page, you will be pleased at the simplicity of the site and navigation. The home page is broken down into the following sections:
• Geographic Information
• Geography Games, Puzzles, Quizzes, Trivia
• Geography World (contains information about the website)

Each of the above sections provide link lists based on topics such as:

• Continent
• Culture
• Conservation / Environment
• Books, Magazines, Toys
• Weather / Climate
• Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Erosion / Weathering
• Population
• Flags
• Geography Games
• Maps / Globes / Skills
• And so much more!

After selecting your topic of choice, you are taken to another page with a list of links to websites relating to the topic.

At the top of the home page, there is also a small navigation bar broken down into the following tabs, each with their own dropdown menus for more navigation opportunities:

• Home
• Continents
• Culture
• Geography Information
• Geography Fun
• Other Topics
• Geography World

Per the information on the website: “Geography World previews all listed links and reviews these links on a semi-annual basis to keep content fresh and current.” Keep this website handy by bookmarking it because you will want to come back to it again and again throughout your homeschooling years.

A Bear of an Adventure in Geography

April 24th, 2014

It’s Thursday, April 24, 2014, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Geo-World from KnowledgeBears.com

Age Range: 6-13 (Grades 1-8, with parental supervision)

Part of the larger KnowledgeBears.com website, Geo-World takes students on an entertaining and colorful interactive exploration of geography. When arriving at this link you are greeted by Winston Bear who explains to students how to navigate through his animated study to reach areas of interest. There are also navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen for visitor’s convenience. Featured areas of study include:

• World Maps – Select your continent of interest, then narrow down your exploration by selecting a country. Each country includes Quick Stats, Information, Pictures, Anthem, Map, and Links for further study.
• World Music – Choose from these musical selections and gain an appreciation of the diversity of songs from around the world.
• Print & Color – Using your browser print option, select continental outline maps to print. Each map also includes a “Passport Assignment” with instructions for students to color and label specific countries, cities, and other geological features.
• Climates – Using the legend on the page, select a climate to learn more about through images and text. There is also a print option which opens a new window to print out the information as well as provides additional links to other websites for a more in-depth look at a particular climate.
• Geo Games – Test your knowledge of locations in Canada, the United States, Central America, South America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Australia with these simple interactive map games.

This website continues to evolve with new features being added regularly. When you are done learning in Geo-World, you will surely want to explore the other sections of KBears website such as:

• A to Z Animals
• Dino Island
• K-Sub 1
• KB Farm
• Science World
• Game Factory

There is also a Teacher/Parent site available where you can find a selection a free printables to use for various subjects.

The ease of use and delightful animations make this website one that your students will want to come back to time after time.

Free Environmental Science Journals for Middle Schoolers

April 22nd, 2014

It’s Tuesday, April 22, 2014, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

The Natural Inquirer

Age Range: 10-14 (Designed for grades 6-8, but there are aspects of these journals that will appeal to a much broader age/grade range. All children with parental supervision)

Happy Earth Day! This website offers a FREE science education journal titled, “The Natural Inquirer,” in which scientists with the USDA Forest Service share their research with middle school students. Each article in every issue explains research being conducted on trees, wildlife, insects, and water.
Each issue of “The Natural Inquirer” introduces students to the scientists who conduct the environmental research and includes an article on a specific research project. The article, as explained at the website, is “written in a way that scientists write when publishing their research in journals.” Topics include:
• Climate Change
• Invasive Species
• Relationship Between Carbon, Photosynthesis, and Roots of Trees
• Urban Forests
• Tropical Biomes
• Rocky Mountains
• Natural Resources
• And more!

Each issue also contains a “Discovery FACTivity” designed to help students learn scientific vocabulary words included in the articles. There are also discussion questions designed to help students think more about research.

When you get to the site you’ll see a brief introduction, information on the latest issue of “The Natural Inquirer,” and scrolling below that will reveal a few new free resources:
• Download the first series of scientist cards and posters – These cards are an excellent tool for teaching students about different types of science and scientists and can be printed and used offline. There is also an accompanying lesson plan designed to encourage students to use their imagination and envision themselves as scientists while they explain and present their understanding of the Natural Inquirer Scientists’ Card Series to their peers.
• A few items for Pre-K and 1st grade – Find coloring sheets and activity sheets available for Pre-K through 4th grade.

On the left side of the screen choose from the drop-down menu:

• View & Order Issues: This is where you can access all the archived issues. Some issues are also offered in Spanish!
• Education Resources: Put your cursor over this menu item to see a drop-down list by age group, that includes a glossary, games and activities, podcasts, slideshows, lesson plans and more that are themed around topics covered in various issues of “The Natural Inquirer.” This is a treasure trove of environmental learning resources!

Bookmark this one, as you’ll need to visit many times to explore the vast content!