Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Math Run - A Fun Game for Practicing Math Skills

Math Run is a simple and fun game for practicing math skills. Math Run presents players with a scrolling series of mathematics problems. The players respond to each problem by using the right and left arrow keys on their keyboards. If a problem is displayed with its correct answer press the left arrow and if the wrong answer is displayed press the right arrow. The game begins with simple addition problems and gets progressively more difficult as players advance through the levels.

Applications for Education
Some people deride games like Math Run as being simplistic "drill and kill" and activities. But as Kelly Tenkely wrote earlier today, there is still some room for these type of activities for helping students retain basic information. A game like Math Run is one way for students to practice basic math skills while perhaps enjoying the process.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
35+ Educational Games and Games Resources
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The 3rd Annual "Doodle 4 Google" Contest Begins

For the third year in a row, Google giving US K-12 students the chance to have their drawings featured on Doodle 4 Google asks students to draw images based around the Google logo. The theme of this year's contest is If I Could Do Anything, I Would... Students should create drawings that match that theme. The creator of the winning drawing receives a $15,000 college scholarship, a laptop computer, and $25,000 technology grant for their school. To enter the contest schools must register by March 17th and all drawing must be submitted by March 31. You can read all of the contest details here.

Below is a video of last year's Doodle 4 Google awards event.

Consumer Ed Resource - The Risks of Payday Loans

Through a cool blog called Cool Infographics I learned about The purpose of is to educate people about the risks of taking a payday loan. They try to educate visitors through a combination of articles, infographics, and interactive guides. I knew that payday loans had obscenely high APRs but what I didn't know, and learned from their infographic, is that in many states the APR for payday loans can exceed 1000%. The most accessible and educational resource offered by is their How Payday Loans Work interactive tour.

Applications for Education
If you teach consumer education lessons, is a great resource to add to your collection. As part of a larger lesson on consumer borrowing you could have students compare the risks of payday loans with the risks of credit card debt.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Saving Money in Plain English
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How to Make Placemarks and Tours in Google Earth

On Monday I shared a post titled Walking in Holden's Footsteps. In that post I mentioned that having students create Google Earth tours based on a character or storyline in a book is a good way to break-away from the typical book report assignment. One of the first steps in creating a Google Earth tour is to create placemarks. If you're considering having your students create a Google Earth tour, the following video is a good introduction to creating placemarks in Google Earth.

Each placemark icon be customized and can include text, images, and videos. The video below shows you how to select placemark icons and how to embed a video into a placemark.

This video from one of my fellow Maine educators and Google Certified Teacher Sarah Sutter shows you how to put pictures into your placemarks.

And after you've created all of the placemarks for your Google Earth tour, follow the directions in this video for recording a narrated tour.

For more information about Google Earth, you may want to read Google Earth Across the Curriculum.

A Pictorial History of Money

Earlier this week through the US History Teachers Blog I learned about a neat pictorial display of the history of US currency. A Pictorial History of US Currency, created by, displays twenty-three different pieces of US currency from throughout the history of the United States.

Applications for Education
Talking about money has always gotten my students excited and interested in classroom conversations. A Pictorial History of US Currency could be used to start discussions about the purpose of money or to launch a research assignment in which students investigate the people featured on the various bills.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The History of Credit Cards in the United States
Saving Money in Plain English
Simple Lessons in Saving and Borrowing Money