Posts Tagged ‘ipod’

Free Audio Stories for Kids! (CSAW)

April 20th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Wednesday, April 20, 2011 and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Age Range: 4-12 (approximately, with parental supervision)

If you don’t know about this website – you should. :) offers a treasure trove of free audio stories for kids that include fairy tales, myths, original stories and more.

Every week a new audio story is published on the website (and has been since 2005). You can listen online or download the stories to your iPod or MP3 player for free.

The storytellers are entertaining and the content includes:

*Fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson

*Folktales and legends from around the world.

*Beloved children’s tales such as the Just So stories by Rudyard Kipling

*Classics including A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and an entire audio book of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

*Original children’s stories created by the owners of the site. 

The founders of Storynory (a writer and BBC radio journalist) own an online media consulting company. Storynory is a demonstration of what they do, and it’s supported by advertising.

You can subscribe to their e-newsletter for free and get the new weekly stories delivered by email to your inbox.

Listening to audio stories develops language arts skills, improves attention, and sparks the imagination. This is a great demonstration of educational entertainment earning a ClickSchooling Award for Excellence (CSAW)!

Spanish Proficiency Video Exercises

March 26th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Saturday, March 26, 2011 and time for Foreign Languages at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
University of Texas: Spanish Proficiency Exercises

Age Range: 12 and up (middle school and beyond)

This website from the University of Texas at Austin offers free video lessons and exercises for each of SIX levels of proficiency in Spanish – from Beginning to Superior!

Designed for use by students at the University of Texas, motivated middle school and high school students can really learn a lot here too!

When you get to the site, you will see an introduction that explains this unique program. The lessons are listed by level in a horizontal menu bar near the top of the page. Place your cursor over the level on the menu bar and a drop-down menu
displays each lesson in that proficiency level. Click on the lesson and a new page opens.

In each lesson, there is one simplified video interview, plus video interviews of FIVE native speakers using the grammar and vocabulary for that lesson. The five native speakers are from Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Honduras.

While the video is playing, the captions can be set to Spanish, English, or none. The videos are also available as podcasts for viewing by iPod, for example.

There are no worksheets or quizzes, but you will find lists of relevant vocabulary, phrases, and grammar in the menu located in the right-hand column of each lesson page.

The entire site can be navigated by means of the “site index” in the upper right corner if you prefer.

Free Video Stories w/ Extension Activities

March 24th, 2010

Hi!  It’s Wednesday, March 24, 2010 and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Age Range: 4-10 (approximately)

ClickScholar Dawn recommended this website that offers free online videos of classic children’s fairy tales, fables, nursery rhymes, and songs along with free story guides, worksheets, and activities to enhance children’s literacy skills. 

When you get to the website you’ll see a featured story in the center of the screen.  Click on it to begin the video.  You’ll also see a menu featuring the story selections available on the site including:

*Favorites – Watch videos of the most popular stories on the site. You can even watch a couple of stories in Spanish.

*Fables – Titles to choose from include Chicken Little, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and The Ant and The Grasshopper.

*Nursery Rhymes – See video adaptations of Hickory Dickory Dock, Jack and Jill, Little Bo Peep and many more.

*Fairy Tales – Enjoy classics like Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Aladdin. I was surprised to see they also offer Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and even Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein in this category.

*Folk Tales – Watch The Pied Piper, Stone Soup, Hansel and Gretel and more!

*Songs – Sing along to Frere Jacques, I’m a Little Teapot, Christmas Carols, and more.

This website is currently in Beta mode, so you’ll come across an occasional glitch or two. If you can’t easily access the story guides, worksheets, and/or arts and crafts activities that accompany some of the stories – just click on “Teachers” from the home page.  A new page opens with a menu of the free, story-themed learning tools that are currently available on the site in downloadable pdfs.

Note: You can also download the stories to your MP3 player or iPod for a fee.

Bookmark this site and check back occasionally to see new content.

World Math Day Challenge!

February 23rd, 2009

Recommended Website:
World Math Day

Age Range: 5-18

ClickScholar Alissa Small recommended this website that hosts a worldwide, online math competition for students of all ages and abilities on March 4, 2009.

This is the 3rd annual World Math Day competition – and it’s open to students in schools as well as individual homeschoolers! There are three levels of competition:

  • Level 1: Ages 5 to 7
  • Levels 2 & 3: Ages 8 to 11
  • Level 4: Ages 12+

World Math Day begins as soon as it is 12:00am on March 4th in New Zealand, and continues as long as it is March 4th in some country around the world. This can be a little confusing, but suffice to say the contest runs for 48 hours from your local start time, which you are given once you register. (Registration is free and confidential.) Registration is a two-step process. You register at the website, and must confirm it by clicking on a link that is sent to you via email.

Once you register, you can start to practice at the website, however, points will not count until the official World Math Day begins. (This year, there are applications that allow students to PRACTICE on their iPhone or iPod too!)

On the day the competition begins, students play against each other in mental arithmetic games at the website. Your ability level is determined by the age you enter upon registration. Equations are displayed on the screen, and you solve as many as you can within 60 seconds by typing and entering the correct answers.

Note: My helpful tester is 9 years old. In several practice rounds she was provided with very simple addition and subtraction problems that seemed to increase in difficulty slightly as the rounds progressed. It was easy for her, and she kept rolling her eyes at me. :) I don’t know, but it may be that the bar is set a little low to motivate students with success initially and then progresses to more complex or challenging math. Try it for yourself and find out. :)

Each game lasts for 60 seconds. Students can play as many games as they wish. The student who logs the most correct answers wins a prize. (Get full details at the website.)

This worldwide math event was designed to promote numeracy. As explained at the website, “Past results show that students will make significant improvements in their mental arithmetic skills and have fun in the process.”


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DID YOU MISPLACE A ClickSchooling Review? Do you need to find an educational website – fast! Visit the ClickSchooling archives.

Audio Science and More!

September 23rd, 2008

Recommended Website:
Youth Science Forum: Why?

This website offers FREE, fun and informative podcasts with scientist Dr. Dave Brodbeck — who has an engaging, laid-back style. Kids submit their science questions in audio format, and Dr. Dave answers them through the podcast series titled, “Why?”

You can listen to the audio clips on your computer, download the MP3s for your ipod, or burn them to a CD for listening in the car!

When you get to the site scroll down the page to see the menu of “Why?” episodes that include such riveting topics as:

  • How does your brain make your fingers move?
  • Why Isn’t Greenland A Continent?
  • Why Don’t the Oceans Freeze in the Winter?
  • Why Do We Have Tonsils and an Appendix?
  • What Came First the Slug or the Snail?
  • What is the Shape of Space?
  • What Makes Some Ice Clear and Some Ice White?
  • How Do Bees Make Honey?

Click on any one, wait for the download, and listen to Dr. Dave’s answer.

Then, use the menu at the top of the screen to explore the rest of this site that offers links to sites where you can find science experiments to do at home, interactive science games, science fair projects, and more!


DID YOU MISPLACE A ClickSchooling Review? Do you need to find an educational website – fast! Visit the ClickSchooling archives at:

Animated Streaming Videos of Classic Literature

April 30th, 2008

Recommended Website:
Adam Smith Academy

Age Range: 10-17 (Emphasis on Middle School and High School content. However, there is an Aesop Fable that younger children may enjoy. Parental guidance required.)

I was contacted by a representative of today’s featured website that provides free animated streaming videos of classic literature. Each of the stories is professionally narrated and animated for greater student interest, comprehension, and retention.

While the potential is remarkable, the selection is currently very small and includes titles such as:

  • The Fox and the Crow by Aesop
  • An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce
  • The Boarding House by James Joyce
  • Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

Choose any title and a new page opens where you can download the animated iPod movie, watch Flash or Streaming Video of the movie, and access the eText, eTest, and essay questions.

The company’s “mission statement” contends that in this day and age, educational content should be delivered and distributed to students through their favorite formats including iPods, iPhones, DVDs and online streaming videos. Moreover:

“…while Thomas Jefferson and John Adams might still choose to curl up with a good book (if they were alive today), we can guarantee you Ben Franklin would be surfing the Internet for the latest scientific information out of MIT or CalTech, and Alexander Hamilton would be scrolling through the latest stock quotes on his new iPhone.

The truth is, while parents, teachers and politicians argue over why ‘Little Johnny’ isn’t learning in school, Johnny’s up in his room listening to his iPod, watching a DVD, and/or playing video games on the Internet. If only someone had noticed that ‘Little Johnny’s’ book bag was lying in the corner collecting dust, perhaps the seemingly endless arguments and finger-pointing over what’s wrong in education might have been averted, along with the waste of a lot of the taxpayer’s money.

We believe that by presenting educational content in an entertaining fashion and on a ‘cool’ format, students may not even know that they’re learning.”

You’ll notice that the site has more literature titles in development, along with some history lessons on George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Chairman Mao and others.

You can also currently access some college lectures on economics and philosophy as well.

It is unclear whether or not this will become a commercial website, but for the time being, you can access the limited content for free.

DID YOU MISPLACE A ClickSchooling Review? Do you need to find an educational website – fast! Visit the ClickSchooling archives.