Posts Tagged ‘critical thinking skills’

Social Studies – Truth in Advertising Game!

October 31st, 2013

Hi!  It’s Thursday, October 31, 2013 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Admongo

Age Range: 8-12 (with parental supervision)

This website is part of a literacy campaign by the Federal Trade Commission (the nation’s consumer protection agency) to educate “tweens” about advertising including unfair and deceptive marketing practices.

The website defines a “tween” as a child between 8-12 years old. It also points out that kids this age have money to spend and they play an important part of family buying decisions, which is why they need to become discerning consumers.

The site offers a free arcade-type game with lesson plans (developed with Scholastic) to help kids understand advertising and become smart consumers through exercising critical thinking skills. The game is called “Admongo.”

When you get to the site, I recommend that you read the “Parents” and “Teachers” sections on the menu to better understand how to fully utilize the activities and lessons offered. Then, play the game to improve your “ad-ucation.”

There are a series of levels to explore that touch upon concepts such as truth-in-advertising and marketing to children, etc. In each level you collect points as you analyze ads and move through the course. By selecting a password at the beginning of the game, you can save your game and return to the section where you left off at any time.

Kids who are used to playing video games will understand how this works immediately. Novices will have to experiment with the keypad to discover how to move their character and “jump” to collect points.  

The most benefit will come from playing this game with your children, so you can talk about the concepts of ad literacy as they are unfolded throughout the game. The free lessons and worksheets that you can access through the “Parents” or “Teacher’s” sections on the menu will enhance learning.

As the website explains, “By applying the information they learn through this campaign, your kids will be able to recognize ads, understand them, and make smarter decisions as they navigate the commercial world.”

Free Current Events Videos & Study Materials

May 3rd, 2012

Hi!  It’s Thursday, May 3, 2012 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
CNN: Student News

Age Range: 11-18 (Middle School and High School, with parental supervision)

A Maryland ClickScholar suggested this website, sponsored by CNN, that provides free, daily, 10-minute current events newscasts along with materials such as downloadable maps and discussion questions to help students develop critical thinking skills and better understand the stories covered in the news.

When you get to the site you’ll see the day’s featured news video – just click to play.  You’ll also see an icon menu that includes:

*What is CNN Student News? – Get a full description of this service along with suggestions on how to optimize its use.

*Shows & Transcripts – Access the archive of previous shows including the written transcripts of the shows.

*Daily Discussion & News Quiz – Find questions to spark discussion about the daily news stories or test your knowledge of the news.

You can also sign up to receive the free “Daily Education Alert” by email with information on the major stories covered that day. You’ll also find downloadable maps (pdf) and links to other educational resources offered by CNN.

IMPORTANT:  On the Student News page there are ads for other CNN shows and a menu with links to news stories on politics, entertainment, health, money, sports, travel, etc., that are NOT part of the “CNN Student News.”  Therefore, as always, parents must preview and supervise Internet access.

 

Fun Budget & Savings Game for Kids

September 27th, 2010

Hi!  It’s Monday, September 27, 2010 and time for Math at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Savings Quest

Age Range: 9-14 (younger children and non-readers may enjoy aspects with parental guidance)
 
Wells Fargo Bank sponsors this free, fun, interactive online game that challenges kids’ math, language arts, and critical thinking skills in order to help them learn about budgeting and saving.

When you get to the site, wait for the game to fully download. Then, take the animated tour to see how the game works.

Select your character to play the game. Then pick an occupation such as a:

  • Copy Editor
  • Accountant
  • Detective
  • Archaeologist

During the game, you will have to perform certain math, language arts, and puzzle challenges based on the occupation you select in order to get your monthly paycheck.

You will also select a savings goal – an amount of money that you want to save in order to purchase something (i.e, new laptop, vacation, etc.).

Then, you create a budget that includes your fixed expenses (rent, food, car insurance, etc.) along with an entertainment expense and savings to hopefully achieve your goal.

Each month, after depositing your paycheck, you pay the bills and any unexpected expenses (car repair, computer repair, DVD rental, etc.). 

If you get to the end of the game and have saved enough money to achieve your goal – you win!  If not, you can try again. 

Even if you do win, it’s fun to play each different game by selecting a new occupation. The challenges and tasks are different for each. Plus, you can alter your fixed expenses to accommodate lavish or sensible tastes that will change the outcome of the games too.

Mix In Math

July 12th, 2010

Hi!  It’s Monday, July 12, 2010 and time for Math at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Mixing In Math

Age Range: 4-12 (grades PreK-6)

Just in time for summer learning! Mixing In Math (MiM), funded by the National Science Foundation, provides educators and parents with free activities, games and resources that provide ways to mix math into daily activities (e.g., hanging around the house, playing games, doing crafts, cooking, shopping, etc.) to help kids see the value of math in every day life and to reinforce their math skills.

It is difficult to describe the wealth of material here in both English and Spanish that includes ingenious suggestions for math activities designed for 1-4 participants that can be done in:

  • Under 10 minutes
  • 10-20 minutes
  • 20-60 minutes

The activities cover math strands that include:

  • Numbers and Arithmetic
  • Measurement
  • Money
  • Time
  • Data
  • Patterns and Algebra
  • Geometry

When you get to the site you’ll see some icons that lead to explanations of what is available on the site. You can click around and quickly find activities and resources. I recommend that you use the horizontal menu bar at the top of the page and place your cursor over “Materials” to see a drop-down list that includes:

*Activity List – See a list of over 60 activities that help kids practice math skills. Click on any one and a new page opens with colorful instructions, examples, and variations. Some are simple such as: “It’s about 4:25. We’ll have snack in 20 minutes. What time will that be?” and some require more time and preparation such as graphing how tall house plants grow. 

*Download Activities – This list is the same as the one above, except each activity opens a pdf file.  Print out one activity or print out all of them and place them in a binder to use at will.

*Games – This section provides printable “game boards” for activities that provide practice in math and critical thinking skills.

*Calendars – Download and print out a year’s worth of calendars with simple math activity suggestions such as count the seeds in an apple or find the number 24 on something in your kitchen.

*Posters – Print out posters with provocative math questions. Post one on the wall and see if it inspires your kids to find the answer to these puzzles: “Up to how many miles away can a lion’s roar be heard?” “What’s about the same size as a Blue Whale’s heart: a mailbox, a VW beetle, or a UPS truck?”

*Newsletters – Access the archived MiM newsletters with all kinds of additional lesson ideas and activities for learning math.

*Mixing in Math Moments – Print out individual sheets with a “Math Moment” to inspire kids to do a quick math activity or as a way to give kids something to do.

*Activity Search – Search the activities based on parameters such as grade level from Pre-K through 6, length of activity, materials, math strand, and type of activity. Note: Too many limitations can lead to a “not found” message.  It’s better to select just one or two options to limit your search if you want good results.

While MiM was designed with classroom teachers in mind, I think it’s a no-brainer for homeschool parents who want to encourage their kids to see that there are opportunities to learn math everywhere.

Media Awareness Games for Kids

May 27th, 2010

Recommended Website:
Media Awareness

Age Range: 9-14 (Grades 4-8, approximately)

ClickScholar Cie recommended this website that offers free, interactive, multidisciplinary, educational games that help kids use critical thinking skills to navigate their way through the volume of media, consumer, and pop culture influences they are exposed to everyday.

When you get to the site you’ll see a menu of games that include:

  • Co-Co’s AdverSmarts: An Interactive Unit on Food Marketing on the Web — Kids design a website for a popular cereal and learn about marketing techniques that foster brand loyalty and consumerism.
  • Privacy Playground: The 1st Adventure of the Three CyberPigs — Kids (ages 8-10) learn to detect marketing ploys, spam, and how to protect their personal information and avoid online predators. A Teacher’s Guide provides activities and handouts for classroom use that can be tweaked for homeschooling.
  • CyberSense and Nonsense: The 2nd Adventure of The Three CyberPigs (ages 9-12) — Learn the rules of netiquette, how to distinguish between fact and opinion, and how to recognize bias and harmful stereotyping in online content. A Teacher’s Guide gives info on “cyberbullying” with activities and handouts.
  • Jo Cool or Jo Fool — Take a CyberTour of 12 mock Web sites to test kids’ online savvy and surfing skills. Includes a quiz that provides food for thought about various Web issues they may encounter. Teacher’s Guide provides further activities and resources.
  • The Target is You!: Alcohol Advertising Quiz — A quiz for kids ages 11-14 to help increase students’ understanding of alcohol marketing on TV commercials, branded clothing, ads in magazines, websites, and sponsorships at sporting and music events. The quiz helps students understand how these marketing messages can influence their attitude toward drinking. Includes a companion activity to reinforce learning.
  • Allies and Aliens: A Mission in Critical Thinking — Increases students’ ability to recognize bias, prejudice and hate propaganda on the Internet and in other media. A Teacher’s Guide provides supporting discussion points and student activities.

All of the games are interactive, colorful, animated, and narrated presentations designed to engage kids in learning how to deal with the issues and challenges they encounter in all forms of media — especially when using technology tools like computers, video games, and smart phones, etc.

As always, parents should preview the games to determine suitability of content. These games, when used with parental guidance, can open the door to important discussions about Internet savvy and safety.

Enjoy!

Play “Admongo!”

April 29th, 2010

Hi!  It’s Thursday, April 29, 2010 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Admongo

Age Range: 8-12 (non-readers will need assistance)

ClickScholar Cie recommended this website that is part of a literacy campaign by the Federal Trade Commission (the nation’s consumer protection agency) to educate “tweens” about advertising including unfair and deceptive marketing practices.

The website defines a “tween” as a child between 8-12 years old. It also points out that kids this age have money to spend and they play an important part of family buying decisions, which is why they need to become discerning consumers.

The site offers a free arcade-type game with lesson plans (developed with Scholastic) to help kids understand advertising and become smart consumers through exercising critical thinking skills. The game is called “Admongo.”

When you get to the site, I recommend that you read the “Parents” and “Teachers” sections on the menu to better understand how to fully utilize the activities and lessons offered. 

Then, play the game to improve your “ad-ucation.” There are a series of levels to explore that touch upon concepts such as truth-in-advertising and marketing to children, etc. In each level you collect points as you analyze ads and move through the course. By selecting a password at the beginning of the game, you can save your game and return to the section where you left off at any time.

Kids who are used to playing video games will understand how this works immediately. Novices will have to experiment with the keypad to discover how to move their character and “jump” to collect points.
 
The most benefit will come from playing this game with your children, so you can talk about the concepts of ad literacy as they are unfolded throughout the game. The free lessons and worksheets that you can access through the “Parents” or “Teacher’s” sections on the menu will enhance learning.

As the website explains, “By applying the information they learn through this campaign, your kids will be able to recognize ads, understand them, and make smarter decisions as they navigate the commercial world.”

css.php