# 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.

# Learn to Play Drums in 4 Weeks

July 21st, 2018

It’s Saturday, July 21, 2018, and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Learn Drums Now

Age Range: 9-18 (Grades 4-12, with parental supervision)

Learn how to play drums with the lessons available at this website.

The lesson plans follow the creator’s, Doug Kleiber, methodology he calls H3 (Head, Hands and Heart). The student first practices without using a set of drums to learn to think about the drum beat. The next step has the student practicing the lessons on the drums while playing musical selections for background. Lastly, the focus is on learning to “feel” the music. If your student is young (5-12), Mr. Kleiber provides suggestions for using his lesson plans in the blog post,

There are four weeks of lessons in the plan. The topics include:

• Learn To Play Your First Song
• Playing with Sticks
• Learn To Play the Parts of a Song
• Learn To Play Drum Fills

Lessons are textural but be aware that there are affiliate links to sale sites for music supplies, so as always be sure to check the pages prior to allowing students to visit.

These lessons appear to be a good starting point for your budding musician who is interest in the drums.

# Current Events for Kids

July 5th, 2018

It’s Thursday, July 5, 2018, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Current Events

Age Range: 11-18 (Grades 6-12, with parental supervision)

This website from textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provides free, interactive, multi-media current events reports for middle school and high school students.

When you get to the site you’ll see a list of the recent stories. Use the left-hand sidebar menu for sections that carry stories spotlighting:

• American History
• World History
• World Geography
• Civics/Government
• American Diversity
• Economics
• Psychology
• Sociology
• Presidential Election Connection

Also available from the homepage are sections for “Today in History,” “BBC Lead Stories,” “Web Resources,” “Events Calendar,” and “Polls.”

Click on any topic and a new page opens with a selection of current stories in the news, photographs, illustrations, and information for further research and study. Visitors will also find topical quizzes, top related stories and more.

Parents, please be aware that there are often links to other websites outside of the HMH site that have not been reviewed. As always, preview content prior to allowing your student to visit those websites.

# Free History Resources

June 7th, 2018

It’s Thursday, June 7, 2018, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

School History

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

Today’s United Kingdom-based website offers a tremendous amount of FREE resources for learning (interspersed with occasional plugs to purchase software programs or membership to the site).

The site can be navigated in several ways. Use the blue, horizontal menu across the top to access free lessons, games, and quizzes based on time period, or use the grade-range menu to sort the activities according to the student’s age. You can also click on any topic of interest that is featured on the landing page. Among the resources you will find:

• Links – Get over 1,000 links to history websites sorted first by the age- or grade-range they are suited for, and then divided into topic categories such as Aztecs, Magna Carta, Spanish Armada, Industrial Revolution, etc.
• Lessons – These are illustrated lessons with short text, hyperlinked vocabulary/definitions, and captivating tone, yet the material is not at all frivolous. You can learn a lot here!
• Resources – downloadable .pdf worksheets and PowerPoint presentations. This is a LARGE collection, well organized by age and topic, annotated, and well done. Many of these were created by teachers. Definitely worth a look!
• Interactivities – Here are opportunities to show what you know. Fill in online diagrams, write an essay, or make a cool storyboard with your choice of several colorful backgrounds and characters to complement your text!
• Games – The rest of this site is great, but it’s ok to admit that this game section is the REALLY fun part! Here you will find such games as Penalty Shootout, Make Your Teacher Walk the Plank, One- or Two-Player HoopShoot, Beat da’ Bomb, and more! All of these exciting and highly motivational games have been customized by teachers and students, so there is an amazing collection of history questions you can choose from in order to beat these games!
• Quizzes – Here you can find a variety of quiz types – matching, multiple choice, flash cards, word searches, and more – and again, an extensive list of topics.
• Teachers – You can create your own content or questions for most of the interactivities, lessons, quizzes, worksheets, presentations, and other items found on this site! You can also access a vast collection of teacher helps, hints, and much more! Or go see what bits of wisdom and experience you can glean from history teachers in the forum!

Although you may need to dig around to locate the free resources, it is well worth the search. You could also opt to purchase a subscription to the website to access all the available information. You will definitely want to bookmark this incredible page and return often!

# French Games

May 12th, 2018

It’s Saturday, May 12, 2018, and time for Foreign Languages at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

French Games

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

Learn and practice French through lessons and games at this UK website.

From the information on the site, Beginner activities are for students age 5-11 and Intermediate activities are suitable for students 11 and up.

Using the site is fairly-straight forward broken into steps:

• Topics – Start by selecting the level in the first box, then whether you wish to study words or sentences. Next select from the list a lesson category. On the next page, choose the topic for your lesson.
• Lessons – After a topic has been chosen, choose which option for the lesson you would like. Select “Full Tutorial” to go through the entire lesson. Choose “Introduction” and the page will scroll down to the interactive word list. Click the French word to hear it. Or, if your student is already familiar with the word list, select the “No tutorial thanks. Go to the Games” option to go straight to the topical games.
• Games – have fun practicing what you have learned with a variety of interactive online games. There are nine different types of games:
• Mix and match – match pictures with the word
• The Beetle and the bee – Win strawberries by moving a beetle around the game field. When you hit a strawberry, a box opens revealing images and a word. Match the word with the correct image and win a berry.
• Four in a row – Tic-Tac-Toe type game but in order to get the “X” you must match the word with the correct picture
• Hangman – classic game of guessing a letter to figure out the French word
• The frog flies – Move a frog around a game field to capture flies. Answer questions to win points.
• Spelling game – Select the correct spelling of the French word or phrase with the image shown.
• Rock fall – This is a fast-paced game where the player tries to “catch” a falling rock and then has to match the image with the correct word to win a point. Sounds easy enough but catching those rocks is difficult.
• Tests – a variety of tests to check the students’ knowledge of what they have learned.

This is a wonderful site for either starting to learn French or to practice learned skills. Be sure to bookmark to use throughout your language studies.

# Free Piano Lessons

April 28th, 2018

It’s Saturday, April 28, 2018, and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Zebra Keys

Age Range: 13-18 (Grades 8-12, with parental supervision)

Learn the basics of playing the piano with the over 50 free lessons at this website.

After reading the home page overview information, select the “Start Lessons Now” button to begin with lesson 1. Please note that you will need to have Flash installed to view the animated lessons and be sure to have your volume on. Lessons include instructional text and animations as well as videos and other online tools. Practice what you are learning on the Zebra Keys Virtual keyboard using either your mouse or computer keyboard then test your knowledge on an interactive keyboard trainer.

Lessons are broken into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels and each are divided into five mini sections:

• Learn Songs
• Chords
• Music Theory
• Improvisation
• Technique

It is suggested that if the student is new to the world of playing the piano that they should start with the “Preparation” section to learn basic playing concepts.

Browse the left-hand side bar menu to find:

• Sheet Music – downloadable PDFs of piano music as well as links to specific song lessons
• Articles – general information from tips on buying a piano or keyboard to how to learn to read piano music and more