# Absurd Math: Pre-Algebra From Another Dimension

July 30th, 2018

It’s Monday, July 30, 2018, and time for Math at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Absurd Math

Age Range: 10-15 (Grades 6-10, with parental supervision)

This website offers a free series of 4 interactive, pre-algebra level problem-solving games that will test your student’s math skills in a fun and challenging way.

As the player, you proceed on missions in a strange world, finding clues that are hidden on the pages along the way. You use the information you find to calculate answers in order to proceed to the next level. Handy clues are provided along with an interactive calculator. Here is a little advice to help you navigate the games: Each page looks impossible until you discover enough clues. For example, in the first game called “Nomean City” you’ll notice that on the first page you need an “authorization code”. If you look closely at everything on the page, you will see a note that says “authorization code is area times level” and then farther up on the page you see “Area 46” and “Level -3”; so you just multiply the two numbers and enter the answer where indicated.

Then, you get to the next page. Same degree of challenge again: looks impossible, and then suddenly it’s easy. Often you have to move the mouse all around the page, and even scroll down, while looking for the cursor to turn into a “hand” shape, indicating something you can click on for more clues. Sometimes you have to backtrack to other areas. Click on everything and read everything closely. Every page looks like a dead end, but the only actual dead end is the final page from which you print out your hard-earned certificate of completion. FYI: The games start with a fake message that says “Intruder Alert!” We clicked around and realized that it is actually just the first page of the game.

The games include:

• Nomean City – A powerful being has been captured by a cult of pollution makers and you must help save this creature and the mathematical knowledge it holds.
• Dr. Plenobious – Dr. Plenobius is an evil scientist. Print out his entrance exam to the Airtight College. Identify flesh-eating bacteria and try to save one of his lab rabbits.
• The 7th Floor – The Hotel Unknown’s 7th floor holds both mystery and danger. Find out who lives on the floor, and deal with the house detective.
• Airtight College – Your quest is to save the alien creature, as you search the offices of the Department of Diabolics.

By the way, if you need help, you can email the website’s staff for assistance. Teachers and parents may email to request the answer keys.

Again, these games are free. They are used as an enticement to subscribe to the Middleschool Mathematics program offered for a fee at the site but no purchase is necessary to play the games.

# Solve the Mysteries of Plant Life!

March 20th, 2018

It’s Tuesday, March 20, 2018, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

The Great Plant Escape

Age Range: 8-11 (Designed for Grades 4-5, but can be tweaked for a broader age/ability range – with parental supervision)

The University of Illinois Extension offers this free, fun science unit that will help your students solve the mysteries of plant life!

The interdisciplinary lessons introduce kids to plant science and how foods grow while enhancing their knowledge of science, math, language arts, social studies, music and art. The activities are flexible and can be used separately or in an ordered manner. Some are designed with independent study in mind, others are group or classroom activities that can be tweaked for the homeschool environment.

When you get to the site, click “enter” to begin the adventure. Or, if you prefer, click on the “Teacher’s Guide” on the menu to get some pointers in how to use the program. Either way, you will be introduced to six “Case Studies” as follows:

• In Search of Green Life – Find out about the interrelationships that exist between people and plants. Learn about plant structure, plant parts, plant life cycles, and growing plants indoors.
• Soiled Again – Learn about the composition of soil, nutrients in soil, gardening indoors, and composting.
• Is It Dust, Dirt, Dandruff or a Seed? – Explore seeds, seed structure, germination, and non-flowering plants.
• Plantenstein is the Suspect – Discover how plants reproduce and learn about pollination and flower parts.
• Mysterious Parts That Surprise – Learn all about the differences and similarities between bulbs, rhizomes, and tubers.
• You’ve Learned the Mysteries of Green Life – Test your knowledge of plants and plant life and enjoy additional activities such as growing lettuce, making a salad, and growing an indoor garden.

Each “Case Study” assumes the student is a detective searching to solve plant mysteries. These “Case Studies” are lessons cleverly disguised as fun activities that teach as they engage students in the process of learning about the science of plants.

# Fun Arithmetic Practice Games

March 5th, 2018

It’s Monday, March 5, 2018, and time for Math at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Turtle Diary – Math

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

This colorful site has free, animated, interactive games to help young kids learn and practice basic arithmetic.

When you get to the website, you will see a menu of free math games. You can choose by type, grade or topic. Here is a list of some of the games by grade:

• Preschool: Count Money, Pattern Match, Color by Number
• Kindergarten: Using a Calculator, Skip Counting, Pattern Match
• First Grade: Bingo Multiplication, Battle for Roman Numerals, Time Zone
• Third Grade: Find the Multiples, Tangrams, Calculate Area
• Fourth Grade: Target the Fraction, Reasonable Temperature, What Are Polygons
• Fifth Grade: Divide and Grab, Decimal Detective, Monster Multiplication

And so many more!

# Corn Math & Much More!

June 26th, 2017

It’s Monday, June 26, 2017, and time for Math at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Corn Math

Age Range: All (All grades; children with parental supervision)

At this archived website you will find interesting corn-themed activities and lessons in math (and more!) that are geared for about 4th grade and up. However, there is material that younger children will enjoy as well.

When you get to the site you will see quick facts about corn math, corn products, and corn geography. But that’s not all! There is a menu at the top of the page with lessons and web-based activities designed for classroom use (that can be tweaked for home use) that include:

• History Detective – A remarkable exploration of the history of corn including Native American folk tales about corn.
• Scavenger Hunt – Take the challenge and find the answers to the questions about corn by following Internet links to information resources. Then take the “Corny Quiz.”
• Newsroom – Develop a video segment about corn production for KORN-TV by following the lesson plan and using web-based research.
• Mystery Photo – An exploration of the microscopic world of corn.
• Amazing Mazes: Find out about the history of corn mazes. Then create your own computer-generated maze!

Then on the side bar, check out:

• Teachers – The teacher section offers an outline of the lessons contained at this site, along with information on curriculum standards addressed by the lessons. It provides background and resources that will help with lesson presentation. Remember, this was designed with the classroom teacher in mind – so some of this may not be as helpful to the home educator.

Note: Most of the links on this site are good, but we did find a few dead links. Regardless, there is so much information here that the dead links are more of a nuisance than a deterrent to learning.

# Be a Portrait Detective

June 3rd, 2017

It’s Saturday, June 3, 2017, and time for Art at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Portrait Detectives

Age Range: All (All grades; children with parental supervision)

The Walker Art Gallery provides this fun website for kids that lets them learn about art history through the study of portraits.

The site explains that a portrait is a treasure trove of clues and ideas. It can tell you who a person was, how they lived and what they thought about themselves. It can even tell you about the painter and their life.

Using paintings from the Walker, the website provides a tutorial on how to find and interpret clues in a portrait. You can take a virtual “Guided Tour” of three portraits in which the museum explains the portrait to you, or you can visit the “Explore” section where you do the detective work and find the clues yourself.

To begin your investigation, go to the website where you will see a menu of six portrait icons. Click on any of the three portraits in the top row, and a new page opens with instructions for how to take the “guided tour” through pictures and text. Click on any of the three portraits in the bottom row, and a new page opens that allows you to begin your own exploration of the portrait by finding clues that answer the questions provided.

Be sure to click on the button “Something To Do” right above the portrait menu. It offers activity suggestions to enhance learning offline.

The site is designed so that your whole family can enjoy doing a computer activity together.

# Free eBooks

January 18th, 2017

It’s Wednesday, January 18, 2017, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Project Gutenberg

Age Range: All (All grades; children with parental supervision)

Many of you may already be familiar with the Gutenberg Project that is composed of a team of volunteers endeavoring to make as many books as possible available online at no cost. Currently, there are over 50,000 books. Gutenberg makes it easy for you to find just the titles that might interest you.

When you get to the site, click on “Book Categories” in the menu on the left side of the page. When a new page opens, scroll down where you can select from categories such as children’s literature, mysteries, detective stories, science fiction, one-act plays and more! Click on any category, and a new page opens with a list of the free books available. These books can be read online or downloaded.

In the Children’s Literature bookshelf, access the writings of L. Frank Baum, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Edith Nesbit, and Anna Sewell.

Other authors in the bookshelves of Project Gutenberg include Agatha Christie, Andre Norton, Lester del Rey, and Dostoyevsky.

Project Gutenberg has also put together a selection of audio books. Imagine your family enjoying one of the following authors during a long ride in the car or around a crackling fire:

• Aesop
• Hans Christian Andersen
• L. Frank Baum
• Charles Dickens
• Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
• Benjamin Franklin
• Robert Frost
• The Brothers Grimm
• Rudyard Kipling
• Jack London
• Nietzsche
• Plato
• Poe
• Beatrix Potter
• Shakespeare
• Mark Twain
• Jules Verne
• H. G. Wells
• Walt Whitman
• and more!

To find the list of audio books, start here.

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Gutenberg:The_Audio_Books_Project

One more thing: Project Gutenberg is always in need of more volunteers willing to proofread one page per day. You or your teen might like to join the team and take advantage of this exciting, fulfilling, skill-building opportunity.