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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

35+ Educational Games and Games Resources

1. XP Math is a good place to find math games, math videos, math worksheets, and math e-books. The games section of XP Math offers games for basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and probability. Create an account on XP Math and you can keep track of your scores.

2. Word Twist is an online version of the popular board game, Boggle. Word Twist comes in two versions a four by four grid and a five by five grid. The purpose of Word Twist is to identify as many words as possible using the letters in the grid.

3. Super Text Twist is a simple word game similar to Word Twist which asks plays to identify words from a set of jumbled letters. The Super Text Twist game be played online or downloaded for use offline.

4. Parade of Games in Powerpoint was developed by faculty at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. Parade of Games in Powerpoint provides teachers with games and game templates for classroom use. The games and game templates are available for download in Powerpoint format. Some of the games and game templates that teachers can find on Parade of Games in Powerpoint include Bingo, Jeopardy, and scavenger hunts.

5. Arcademic Skill Builders offers a collection of twenty-one quality games for sharpening math and language arts skills. All of the games can be played online and six of the games are even enabled for play using a Nintendo Wii remote.

6. The Problem Site is loaded with great games for students. Some of the games are traditional "hang-man" style games, some of the games are traditional games with a twist, and some of the games are completely new. Each game is designed to help students develop problem solving skills. The games are categorized as word games, math games, or strategy games.

7. Ghost Blasters is designed to help students learn to multiply and divide quickly in their heads. To play Ghost Blasters select a multiple of which each "bad" ghost will have a value that is a multiple of that which you chose. Students then use their mouse to blast every "bad" ghost. For example, if I select "5" at the beginning then all bad ghosts will display a multiple of 5. I then have to blast all of the bad ghosts to gain points, but if I blast a "good" ghost (a ghost that does not have a multiple of 5) I lose points.

8. Learning Games for Kids offers games for mathematics as well as many other content areas. Most of the games on Learning Games for Kids can be played directly on the website although some do link out to other sources.

9. Learn With Math Games is a site that I like because it offers online games as well as PDF templates for games that teachers and students can play in their classrooms. Learn With Math Games is organized by grade level and by mathematics topic.

10. Gamequarium developed by Diana Dell (a great person to follow on Twitter by the way) offers an excellent catalog of mathematics games and video demonstrations of mathematics functions.

11. Primary Games offers a collection of mathematics games as well as games for other content areas. You can grab some of the games on Primary Games and embed them into your own blog or website.

12. Grammar Ninja is a fun game for students to play as they develop a working knowledge of the parts of speech. Grammar Ninja has three levels for students to work through. As long as you answer questions correctly, they continue through the game, but answer incorrectly and the words explode.

13. Mad Libs offers a widget that you can install on your blog to allow visitors to play Mad Libs. I've always thought that having a "fun element" on your classroom blog is a good way to keep students actively visiting the blog without prompting from you. If you're an English teacher, the Mad Libs widget might be something to consider adding to your blog.

14. the World Food Programme's website offers students a large selection of educational online games and activities. The games are categorized by age group. Some of the games, like Food Force, are about world hunger while other games are more general in nature.

15. Taking it Global, an organization for youth interested in global issues, has a small games section that includes a game based on the flags of the world. Flags of the World asks students to match flags to their respective countries. After matching each flag to its country students can click the "learn more" link to find more information about that country.

16. Shape It Up is one of many good educational games and activities on Kinetic City. Shape It Up is an activity that would be good for use in an elementary school Earth Science lesson. The activity presents students with "before" and "after" images of a piece of Earth. Students then have to select the force nature and the span of time it took to create the "after" picture. If students choose incorrectly, Shape It Up will tell the student and they can choose again.

17. The Houghton Mifflin Company produces Grammar Blast. Grammar Blast offers 35 interactive grammar activities for students in grades two through five.

18. The Grammar Practice Park produced by Harcourt School Publishers provides 12 games for students in grades three, four, and five.

19. The British Council's Learn English website offers 69 interactive activities for learning the rules of grammar. The activities are not listed by grade level so you will have to preview them to determine which activities are best suited for your students.

20. Scholastic Inc. has a page for elementary age students called Maggie's Learning Adventures. On Maggie's Learning Adventures visitors will find five grammar activities as well as activities for learning Spanish, Math, and Science.

21. The BBC's Skillswise website is a great resource for a wide variety of content areas. On the grammar and spelling page there are 21 activities suitable for students of middle school and high school age.

22. Playing History is a collection of 128 games related to topics in US and World History as well as civics and geography. The games come from a variety of sources across the web. Feedback on every game and suggestions for future additions are welcomed by the hosts of the site. Visitors to Playing History can search for games by using the tag cloud, by using the search box, or just browse through the entire list.

23. Think About History is a fun trivia game on History.com. The object of the game is to cross the playing board by correctly answering a sequence of history trivia questions. The game has multiple levels that get progressively more difficult throughout the game. The questions on Think About History are a mix of video-based and text-based questions. The game can be played as an individual game or a two player game.

24. Fling the Teacher is a website containing 68 history quiz games. All of the quizzes have at least fifteen questions and a few of the games have more than 100 questions. The average is 30-45 questions per quiz. Prior to starting each quiz game students can create their own custom game character.

25. Scavenger Hunt Through History is a game designed to be played by students in junction with Freedom: A History of US produced by PBS. Freedom: A History of US contains is an overview of US history containing videos, documents, and pictures. In addition to the resources previously mentioned, their are quizzes for students to test their knowledge.

26. National Geographic Kids has a wide variety of games, puzzles, and activities for students of elementary school age. National Geographic Kids has nine games specifically for developing geography skills.

27. Learning Together offers four activities for learning about the geography of the United States. Learning Together also offers a game about world geography and a game about European geography.

28. Owl and Mouse Educational Software offers nine, free, interactive maps for students. The maps cover every continent except Antarctica.

29. Traveler IQ Challenge has 14 interactive geography games. The activities can be embedded in a blog or website.

30. Geosense is a fun way to use and improve your knowledge of world geography. Players can play against the computer or challenge another player. Geosense can be played anonymously or you can register and have your scores recorded for you. There are four Geosense maps (US, World, Europe, or advanced) that players can select from.

31. Smarty Games features games for developing basic mathematics and reading skills. There are six mathematics games covering basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The reading section has two alphabet games and nine animated stories. In addition to the mathematics and reading activities, Smarty Games offers activities for learning to read a clock, puzzles, mazes, coloring activities.

32. Planet In Action is a fun website that features three games based on Google Earth. All three games utilize Google Earth imagery and navigation. The three games are Ships, Places, and Moon Lander. In "Places" you navigate, from a helicopter view, five popular places including the Grand Canyon. In "Ships" you become the captain of a fleet of ships to navigate famous ports of call. And in "Moon Lander" you take control of the Apollo 11 moon lander and guide the "Eagle" to touch-down.

33. The National Center for Education Statistics hosts a collection of games and tools for students. Dare to Compare is a quiz section of Kids' Zone where students can test their knowledge of civics, economics, history, geography, mathematics, and science. After taking each quiz the students are shown the correct answers. Dare to Compare also allows students to see the national and international average rate of correct answers.

34. Brain Bashers offers visitors a nice selection of word games, logic games, and puzzles. Brain Bashers is updated regularly with many games that change daily and new games added every week.Brain Bashers was developed and is maintained by Kevin Stone. Kevin Stone is a mathematics teacher in England.

35. The Discovery Channel website lets you test your trivia knowledge while playing the same quizzes the contestants on Cash Cab play. Play the Cash Cab quiz game and earn fictitious money for every question you answer correctly. Answer three questions incorrectly and the game is over.

A Bloom's Taxonomy Tutorial & Activity Design Tips

The Community College System of Colorado has a faculty wiki on which there is a page about Bloom's Taxonomy. The Bloom's Taxonomy page contains two flash tutorials designed to help teachers to plan lessons and create assignments using Bloom's Taxonomy. The first tutorial is a general overview of Bloom's Taxonomy. The second tutorial applies the concepts of Bloom's Taxonomy to current Internet resources like blogs, wikis, and multimedia mash-up tools.

















Applications for Education
The Bloom's Taxonomy tutorials on the CCCS faculty wiki could be helpful for teachers and student teachers trying to apply the concepts of Bloom's Taxonomy to the use of current web tools.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
Visual Representation of Bloom's for the 21st Century

A Lifetime of Color - Lesson Plans Incorporating Art

A Lifetime of Color is one of the resources that was listed today in a blog post on Curious Works. The Curious Works post is full of art education resources. A Lifetime of Color offers lesson plans incorporating art activities into Language Arts, Science, Mathematics, Music, and Social Studies. The lesson plans are designed for use with K-8 students. You can search for lesson plans by subject area or you can search for lesson plans by grade level.

In addition to lesson plans, A Lifetime of Color offers a collection of games and interactive activities for learning about artists and learning to create art.

Applications for Education
A Lifetime of Color's lesson plans could be useful for finding new ways to combine content areas through the creation of art projects.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Connecting Social Studies and Art Through Video
7 Resources for Creating Cartoons and Comics
Online Art Education - Smithsonian Art Museum

Cell Phones In My Civics Class = Parent Involvement

Image Credit: Flickr user thegloaming

This afternoon in my civics class we were discussing some of the citizens' initiative questions on this fall's ballot in Maine. At one point in the conversation I saw one of my students playing with her cell phone. In an attempt to make sure she was paying attention I asked this student what she was doing. She said that she just received a text from her mom telling her that she could stay after school. So I said, kind only half-seriously, ask your mom what she knows about Question 4. Another student said, "can I ask my mom too?" And in a matter of minutes more than half of my class had sent a text message to their parents asking them what they knew about Question 4.

The responses from parents were interesting in that many of the responses echoed the various messages that have been running on local television stations. After we had received all of the responses we talked about why some parents knew more than others about Question 4 and the role of television and radio advertising in influencing voters' positions. Those discussions took place on top of the original pro v. con conversation that had started prior to breaking-out the cell phones.

Cell phone use during the day is against the rules in my school so what I did today came as a bit of a surprise to my students and probably to their parents. Hopefully, the surprise factor will prompt some conversations between parents and students about today's class and lead to my students having conversations with their parents about this fall's ballot. My guess is there will also be conversations about the use of cell phones in school. I won't meet with my Civics class again until Thursday, I'll find out then if my hunch about conversations between students and parents is correct. Even if I'm wrong, at least for today's class I was able to bring in opinions from real voters in real time.

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