Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Create Your Own Maps

April 28th, 2016

 

It’s Thursday, April 28, 2016, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

MyGreatMaps

(mygreatmaps.com/)

Age Range: 8-18 (Grades 3-12, with parental supervision)

 

Create your own maps with this website from Mr. Nussbaum.

When arriving at the site, a welcome pop-up will appear encouraging you to sign up for a free account so that your maps can be saved. When you sign up as a teacher, you will be able to add student accounts so that you can see all the maps your students have created in one place.

Once your accounts have been created, the fun can begin. In the upper right, select the “Need help?” link to learn about the features of the map creator. To create your map, make a selection from: 

  • World maps – Includes world, North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Middle East, the Caribbean, Central America, and Atlantic Ocean.
  • State maps – Select the whole US, the 13 Colonies, eight USA Regions, the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Great Lakes, New England, Southern States, Western States, or any of the 50 states.
  • Country maps – Choose from Canada, Brazil, Japan, Indonesia, China, France, Greece, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Egypt, India, Nigeria, New Zealand, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Somalia.
  • Flags – Includes selections from various countries and states.

Once you have created your map and added features such as your key, notes, and more, the map can be saved, printed, and even shared. Once your students have learned to navigate the program and with a little practice, this tool will have your young cartographers creating all kinds of maps for geography and history projects.

How To Be A Writing Mentor to Your Child

April 27th, 2016

 

It’s Wednesday, April 27, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Wonder Farm

(patriciazaballos.com/become-a-writing-mentor-to-your-child/)

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.

The Secret Life of Machines

April 26th, 2016

 

It’s Tuesday, April 26, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

The Secret Life of Machines

(www.secretlifeofmachines.com/index.shtml)

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: 

  • elevators
  • fax machines
  • internal combustion engines
  • refrigerators
  • sewing machines
  • telephones
  • televisions
  • 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.

Fun Physics Simulations for K-12

April 19th, 2016

 

It’s Tuesday, April 19, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

PhET Interactive Simulations

(phet.colorado.edu/)

Age Range: 5-18 and up (Grades K-12 and beyond, with parental supervision)

 

The University of Colorado at Boulder sponsors this website with free, fun, interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena. As explained at the website:  “We believe that our research-based approach – incorporating findings from prior research and our own testing – enables students to make connections between real-life phenomena and the underlying science, deepening their understanding and appreciation of the physical world. “To help students visually comprehend concepts, PhET simulations animate what is invisible to the eye through the use of graphics and intuitive controls such as click-and-drag manipulation, sliders and radio buttons. In order to further encourage quantitative exploration, the simulations also offer measurement instruments including rulers, stop-watches, voltmeters and thermometers. “As the user manipulates these interactive tools, responses are immediately animated thus effectively illustrating cause-and-effect relationships as well as multiple linked representations (motion of the objects, graphs, number readouts, etc.)”

When you get to the site, you’ll see a brief introduction, information on how to run/use the simulations, and a button that says, “Play with Simulations.” Click on that and a new page opens where you will see an icon menu of the latest simulations on the site including: 

  • Forces and Motion
  • Gene Expression
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Molecule Shapes
  • States of Matter

Use the menu on the left side of this same page to search for simulations by topic, for example: 

  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Math
  • Cutting Edge Research

And, you can search for simulations by Grade Level including Elementary School, Middle School, High School, and University.

Be sure to bookmark this site – you’ll want to return again and again.

Free Interactives for Art, Music, and More!

April 16th, 2016

 

It’s Saturday, April 16, 2016, and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Toy Theater

(www.toytheater.com/)

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

 

This website offers all kinds of interactive games for learning art, music and more. It was recommended by Maaria Hoagland, the wife of the website designer. She wrote, “My husband has spent many years creating ToyTheater.com as a free and quality educational website for PreK through Grade 5. It is completely free and will remain that way. We want children to learn!”

Because this is Saturday and “Electives Day” at ClickSchooling, we focused on Art and Music for this review. When you get to the site, you’ll see a menu that includes: 

  • Art – Your child can use interactive online media to draw, color, make collages, create animations and more.
  • Music – Your child will have fun composing music, creating drum beats, and using a virtual puppet to play piano tunes.

Just click on either topic and a new page opens with a selection of activities that will engage and entertain your kids.

Then, when you are through having fun and learning with Art and Music, get ready to explore the MAIN CONTENT on this site that is archived in these menu items: 

  • Math – Play a variety of interactive games that teach kids about patterns, matching, shapes, counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, time, algebra and more.
  • Reading – Enjoy an animated alphabet, learn to type and practice keyboard skills, read a few jokes, play a crossword puzzle, or create your own road signs. All of these activities are designed to enhance language arts skills.

You’ll also find puzzles and games at the site – so be sure to bookmark it to return often.

The Literature, Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe

April 13th, 2016

 

It’s Wednesday, April 13, 2016, and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

 

Recommended Website:

Knowing Poe

(knowingpoe.thinkport.org/)

Age Range: 9-18 (Grades 5-12, with parental supervision)

 

This website explores the literature, life, and times of the state of Maryland’s native son and writer, Edgar Allan Poe. It is sponsored by Thinkport, a resource for Maryland educators and families in association with public television and Johns Hopkins University.

Turn on your speakers to engage in a variety of multi-media activities that will help you learn about one of America’s foremost writers, who is best known for works such as “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

This site offers some ingenious methods for learning about Poe through both historical and fictional means, as well as from a number of different perspectives. Learn about the era he lived in, what his house, family, and hometown were like, and see how it informed the complex choices Poe made as he wrote poems and stories. You can even become a forensic investigator and review the “hard facts” about Poe’s untimely death.

Use the lesson plans and interactive experiences, including primary source documents, links to other website resources, and even some fun family-centered activities to understand the continuing impact of Poe’s legacy. [Note: Some of the links to other web-based resources are inoperative. However, we found that a quick Google search for those items led to results for similar content on a variety of other sites.]

When you get to the site you can click on images to begin to explore the content, or use the menu on the left to focus on: 

  • Poe The Person – Includes a timeline that highlights historic events that occurred during his lifetime. This section also offers, “It’ll be the Death of Me,” that allows you to explore the possible causes of Poe’s mysterious death.
  • Poe The Writer – Provides an exploration into Poe’s writings and the unusual tools, techniques, and revision processes he used.
  • The Poe Library – Access some of Poe’s works, primary source documents about Poe, and link to other resources about Poe.

In addition to all of the above, this site is filled with trivia and little known facts about Poe. The dark, mysterious images and style of the website maintains the spooky legacy of Poe’s most famous works. (Parents, as always, should preview this site to determine if the content is suitable for their own children.)

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