Part of me wants to apologize for not blogging more often this summer, but I must tell you that taking a few weeks break from thinking too much "classroom technology" felt quite good. I just spent the entire morning rereading the blogs that I have saved, newsletters, listserv messages, etc. that were worthy of keeping and concentrating on later in the summer, which is now here. I have picked out some things I really want to share with you throughout the rest of your short-lived vacations and hope that they will help you feel ready for the beginning of a new year!
The first entry will be called Websites With A Cause and have been collected from various sources.
Each of these websites offers students an opportunity to look outside their own needs to the needs of others. They go a long way to teaching your students compassion and how to help those less fortunate than they are. They also provide excellent practice in vocabulary or geography skills. They will probably like them so much that they will "play" these games at home and continue learning. Graphing class results will also provide further learning opportunities. I liked the idea that I saw on the ILearn Technology Blog, which suggested that we use websites such as these to teach persuasive writing to get other students to use the site, e.g. having your students make a commercial about the sites. Another idea is to post these sites on the desktop of the classroom computers so students who finish their work early can sit and play one of the games while they wait for the next activity. Credit is given to the ILearn Technology website for most of these suggested websites:
Free Rice - For every word gotten right on this v0cabulary game, 20 grains of rice are contributed through the United Nations World Food Program. Totals are kept on the computer being used, so that students can watch their progress.
Free Poverty - This is a wonderful geography game that donates ten cups of clean water for each correct answer on the student's behalf.
Free Corn - distributes free corn, but it takes 25 visits for each kernel of corn. However, if your students check in every day, they will learn new vocabulary and throughout the year, the donation could add up.
Free Kibble - This is a fun Trivia game and whether the student gets the answer correct or not (they are given the right answer so they learn), the site will donate free kibble to animal shelters.
Kibble Cat - does the same thing as Free Kibble, but the goodies go to the cats.
Aid to Children - For every correct answer to a vocabulary quiz, $ .25 is donated to children. A list of where the money goes can be seen on the website.
An additional resource that would be great for "whole class" use by the younger students and "on their own" for the older ones - Learning Games To Change The World These are wonderful and very motivating for students, being so "game-like".
I am sure these will keep you busy for awhile and I promise to get back to blogging more often as we all get in to "school year" mode.
Remember I am always happy to hear from any of you!