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Language arts

What’s a Digipuzzle?

digital puzzlesNetherlands-based Digipuzzle is an online educational resource that offers hundreds of G-rated learning games for younger audiences, many in both Spanish and English.  Topics include math, animals, typing, geography, spelling, letter recognition, holidays, seasons, dinosaurs, USA, other games, and more.  Many of these are divided into subcategories — for example: Math includes games and counting, fractions, addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Digipuzzle even offers holiday games.  The site is easy to navigate, fun to use, and completely free. It is the labor of love from Marcel van de Wouw. It includes not only lots of themed puzzles, but Sudoku, line puzzles, search puzzles, dot-to-dot, tangrams, mosaics, and more.

You can use Digipuzzle on the web or as a mobile app.

Pros

Each game includes a sidebar with easy-to-understand icons that answer questions, access settings, and click you through available games.

Each game can be played at the level a student is comfortable — easy, normal, or hard — and can include audio or silent.

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Categories: Games/Simulations, Holidays, Language arts, Math | 7 Comments

Mindsnacks–Learning in Bite-sized Pieces

Mindsnacks is a series of education apps on topics like geography, vocabulary, languages, and SAT. With colorful graphics and cute characters, it’s a cross between flashcards and multiple choice with lots of visual thrown in. Though these are game-based learning, there’s no plot as you might find simulated games. Think Number Munchers rather than Minecraft. Each app includes personalized learning, an enhanced review mode, and additional challenges to keep students motivated.

To start, download the app and log in. If you have several Mindsnacks apps, you can log into a central profile and track your progress on all of them. Here are three of my favorites:

mindsnacksU.S. Geography

Fee

Mindsnacks’ U.S. Geography includes eight games for beginner and intermediate students with over 40 hours of interactive content, more than 600 hand-drawn graphics, and 1,000-plus questions on borders, shapes, landmarks, history, state culture, flags, mottos, capitals, and major cities. Initially, only four of the eight games are available; users unlock others by successfully navigating a virtual road trip across the country. A tutorial is provided for each state so kids can review basic information prior to beginning play. To keep learning interactive, the app includes features such as a dart players use to mark the spot on the map where a certain U.S. landform or landmark exists. Post-quiz reports show how close users are to mastering each state’s information and what skills they developed during the game.

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Categories: Geography, Language arts, Reviews, Word study/Vocabulary | Tags: | Leave a comment

Weekend Website #119: 4 Great Websites to Teach Letters

teddy bear lettersHelping munchkins learn their letters is one of the most frustrating–and rewarding–tasks in Kindergarten. Te ability to decode words leads to the vastness of the universe available through reading. If you’ve every met someone who can’t read, you know first hand the pain and embarrassment that dogs them every day in a world where literacy is expected not exceptional.
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Anything to make this process fun is a good thing. Here’s a great list of websites that do just that. Students can see the letters, trace them on the screen with their fingers, play games with them, and suddenly find A to Z as comfortable as their favorite teddy bear.
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Categories: Language arts, Websites, Word study/Vocabulary | Tags: | Leave a comment

Weekend Website #92: 43 Language Arts Websites for 3rd Grade

Every Friday, I’ll send you a wonderful website (or more) that my classes and my parents love. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of your students as they are of mine.earth day

Here’s a long list of Language Arts and Word Study websites for 3rd grade. I’m sure they’re fine for 4th and 5th, also. You decide, depending upon what your students are working on.

  1. BBC Phonics
  2. BiteSize—Reading, Writing, Grammar
  3. Blends
  4. Common/Proper Noun Basketball
  5. Contraction Games
  6. Contraction Crossword
  7. Contraction Practice
  8. Create a picture with words
  9. Feast of Homonyms
  10. Flamingo Suffixes
  11. Funny Poetry
  12. Glossary of Poetry Terms
  13. Grammar Gorillas
  14. Grammaropolis
  15. Instant Poetry—fill in the blanks
  16. Jelly Fish
  17. Katie’s Clubhouse
  18. Opposites Train Game
  19. Parts of speech poetry
  20. The Patchworker
  21. Pick a Word
  22. Plural Nouns
  23. Poetry with a Porpoise
  24. Poetry Engine
  25. Prefix Catch
  26. Prefix Match
  27. Prefix Suffix Balloon Game
  28. Punctuation and Capitalization
  29. Punctuation Games
  30. Sam’s Lab
  31. Shaped Poems–fun
  32. Short Vowels
  33. Suffix Match
  34. Synonym or Antonym?
  35. Third Grade Poems
  36. Vocabulary Flood
  37. Vocabulary Pinball
  38. Web-based Mad Libs
  39. Word Balloons
  40. Word Family Sort
  41. Word Magnets
  42. Word Play
  43. Word Pond

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Categories: 3rd Grade, Language arts, Reviews, Websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

Thirty-two More Ways to Use Spare Classroom Time

I keep a list of themed websites that are easy-in easy-out for students.  They must be activities that can be accomplished enjoyably in less than ten minutes. In the parlance, these are called “sponges”.

You may have read my post with nineteen sites my students love visiting during sponge time (let me know if you liked them, have some to add, I’m always interested in learning from you). Here are thirty-two more. Hope you like them! (more…)

Categories: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Classroom management, History, Language arts, Math, Science, Websites | Tags: , | Leave a comment

#35: Sponge Activities for Vocabulary Building

There are lots of great online vocabulary websites to help kids learn high-frequency and dolch words. I’ll share five you would enjoy this summer. Maybe you have some to share with the group. (more…)

Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, Language arts, Lesson plans, Websites, Word study/Vocabulary | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Weekend Website #51: 17 Story Sites for First and Second Grade

This is my list of websites students can use when we’re studying story-telling, fables and myths. This list includes sites

[caption id="attachment_4872" align="alignright" width="222" caption="Create a story"]create a story[/caption]

where students can read stories, have stories read to them and create their own. I pick 3-4, post them on our internet start page for a week or two, and then change the list. If you click that link, it takes you to kindergarten. You can select the red first grade tab or the blue second grade for more choices. If you don’t see any there, it’s because we’re not discussing stories right now.

See which work best for your students:

  1. Aesop’s Fables
  2. Aesop Fables—no ads
  3. Bad guy Patrol
  4. Childhood Stories
  5. Classic Fairy Tales
  6. Fairy Tales and Fables
  7. Make Your Story (more…)
Categories: 1st, 2nd, Language arts, Reading, Web Tools, Websites | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Weekend Website #50 Visuword

Every Friday I’ll send you a wonderful website that my classes and my parents love. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of your students as they are of mine.

[caption id="attachment_4806" align="aligncenter" width="614"]visuwords Visuwords–makes words exciting[/caption]

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Categories: Language arts, Reviews, Websites, Writing | Tags: | Leave a comment

#30: A Cover Page in Publisher

Use the Quick Publication template to make a fast cover page for a report, project, etc, in the classroom. Pay attention to layout, grammar, spelling, design.

[caption id="attachment_5021" align="aligncenter" width="614"]lesson plans computer lesson plan[/caption]

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Categories: 2nd, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, Freebies/Discounts, Language arts, Lesson plans, Writing | Leave a comment

#28: My Storybook

Create a ten-sentence story, using characters, setting, plot, rising action, climax and resolution. One sentence per page with a picture to communicate the idea. Include a cover, About the Author. Use this lesson to teach students how to use Publisher’s design gallery

Click on lessons for a full size alternative. (more…)

Categories: 2nd, 3rd Grade, Language arts, Lesson plans, Websites, Writing | Tags: | Leave a comment