browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Websites

How to Teach Critical Thinking

There’s a reason why the brain uses 25% of the calories you eat: Thinking is hard work. Subjects like math and science — the ones only “smart” kids do well in — demand that you find patterns, unravel clues, connect one dot to another, and scaffold knowledge learned in prior lessons. Worse, you’re either right or wrong with no gray areas.

Wait. Where have we heard those characteristics before? In games! Do these descriptions sound familiar (or ask your game-playing students)?

Take the helm of your own country and work together with others to solve international problems!

Manage your city so it’s energy efficient and sustainable. 

Solve a mysterious outbreak in a distant tropical jungle and save the scientists. 

All torn straight from the taglines of popular games. Kids love playing games, leveling up, and finding the keys required to win. They choose the deep concentration and trial-and-error of gameplay over many other activities because figuring out how to win is exciting. So why the disconnect among teachers and parents when applying gameplay to learning?

(more…)

Categories: Problem solving, Websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

14 Memorial Day Websites for Students

american-20835_640Memorial Day (May 28, 2018) is the time we remember all of those soldiers who gave their lives in the defense of American freedom. In war and peace, they made the ultimate sacrifice and because of them we are privileged to live the American Dream.

Once a year, we honor them, their sacrifice, and those they left behind. Here are some activities to help students understand the import of this day:

  1. Folding the American flag
  2. In Flanders Field--poem
  3. Memorial Day Messages, Speeches, Oaths, Poems, Anthems, and images
  4. Memorial Day Poems
  5. Memorial Day Poetry–poems
  6. Memorial Day Prayer
  7. Memorial Day puzzle I
  8. Memorial Day Puzzle II
  9. Memorial Day DigitPuzzle
  10. Memorial Day Quiz
  11. Memorial Day Word Search
  12. Primary source recollections of War
  13. Quotes about Memorial Day/Wars
  14. Who you are remembering–Americans killed in action

(more…)

Categories: Holidays, Websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

5 Best Websites for IELTS Exam Prep

If you’re one of the many who must take the IELTS test, one of our Ask a Tech Teacher contributors has come to your rescue. Here are five great websites to prepare you:

The classroom is not the only place you can prepare for your IELTS exam. Thanks to technology, the candidates can access different resource materials online to practice for their examination. There are many platforms online that offer opportunities for you to prepare for the different stages of the exam: Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening. Right from the comfort of your home, you can measure your English skills in the different categories of the test and get familiar with the exam process at a reasonable cost. Stress has been taken out of your IELTS exam prep. You only need to have a computer system or a mobile phone along with the Internet connection.

There are some great online platforms that provide effective training for the IELTS exam. Using any of them will make your exam prep seamless and devoid of any stress. These top 5 online platforms are:

  1. IELTS Test Online

The IELTS Test Online is the official website for the IELTS examination. This site is the perfect place to get familiar with the process of the exam and how it works. There are different useful exam details that you can access on this platform. For instance, you can learn more about the general information about the exam format, where to find a test center for IELTS, how to register for the exam, tips on preparing for IELTS test, and sample questions for the examination. To keep abreast of information on the site, you can also join the Facebook Page where you can get tips and quizzes in relation to the IELTS exam. The site is very active and you can learn a lot from its different posts. You can also ask questions and interact with other candidates on the IELTS social platform.

(more…)

Categories: Websites | Tags: , | Leave a comment

How to Blend Learning with Play for a Kid-friendly Summer

summer learningWith summer fast approaching all over the Northern Hemisphere, kids are eager for time away from teachers, textbooks, and To-do lists. In Ireland, Italy, Greece, Russia, and other Eurasian nations, summer vacation lasts about three months. In Australia, Britain, The Netherlands, Canada, and Germany, it’s six to eight weeks. American students get roughly ten weeks.

While kids celebrate, teachers and parents worry students will lose their academic edge. It turns out that concern is valid. Statistics say over the summer, kids lose over two months of math skills, two months of reading skills, and one month of overall learning. Efforts to prevent summer learning loss propel often-unpopular year-round school initiatives and all manner of summer school and summer camps that focus on cerebral topics.

Worry no more. The cure is much simpler: Disguise learning as play. Using the websites below, kids will think they’re playing games while actually engaging in the leading [mostly] free games and simulations in the education field.

A note: some must be downloaded and a few purchased, so the link provided might take you to a website that provides access rather than play.

General

Here are two gamified options that can be tweaked to address any topic:

  • Digital Breakouts — Players of all ages use teamwork and critical thinking to solve a series of challenging puzzles that ultimately enable them to achieve a goal. Digital Breakouts are an update to the traditional and popular webquests that have students explore the web as they gather content in a particular field — history, math, literacy, or others. A great collection of free, ready-made digital breakouts can be found over at Tom’s Digital Breakouts. These don’t have to be played online; for a fee, students can play unplugged.
  • Flash cards — apps like the free Brainscape provide topical flash cards kids can memorize in between the rest of summer stuff. You might even provide badges for the lists students finish.

Financial Literacy

Summer is a great time to learn topics that require dedicated periods of time — like a financial literacy program. These are important for high schoolers, but often not required for graduation. That means many students transition to that almost-adult point in their life where they need to understand credit cards, bank accounts, paying bills, and other financial concepts but have no real knowledge of how these work.

Here are a few sites that gamify financial literacy topics and can be completed over the summer:

  • Banzai – online free comprehensive financial literacy program
  • You are here – kids learn to be smart consumers

(more…)

Categories: Economics, Games/Simulations, History, Math, Problem solving, Science, Social media, Websites | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

17 St. Patrick’s Day Sites For the Classroom

st patricks day websitesGetting ready for St. Patrick’s Day? Try these fun websites:

  1. Color the shamrock
  2. Color the Pot-o-gold
  3. Color the leprechaun
  4. Puzzle–St. Pat’s Puzzle
  5. Puzzle–St. Pat’s puzzle II
  6. Puzzle–St. Pat’s drag-and-drop puzzle
  7. Puzzle–St. Pat’s slide puzzle
  8. Puzzles and games
  9. St. Patrick’s Day history–video
  10. St. Pat’s Day songs–video
  11. Tic tac toe
  12. Webquest for St. Patrick’s Day I
  13. Webquest II
  14. Wordsearch

If you have iPads at your school, try these three apps:

(more…)

Categories: Holidays, Websites | Tags: | 3 Comments

39 Resources for Read Across America Day

Many people in the United States, particularly students, parents and teachers, join forces on Read Across America Day, annually held on March 2. This nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

Here are some great reading websites for students K-5:

  1. Aesop Fables—no ads
  2. Aesop’s Fables
  3. Audio stories
  4. Childhood Stories
  5. Classic Fairy Tales
  6. Fairy Tales and Fables
  7. Listen/read–Free non-fic audio books
  8. Starfall
  9. Stories read by actors
  10. Stories to read for youngsters
  11. Stories to read–II
  12. Stories—MeeGenius—read/to me
  13. Stories—non-text
  14. Story Scramble
  15. Ziggity Zoom Stories (more…)
Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, Holidays, Reading, Websites | Tags: , | 5 Comments

20 Valentine Sites For Students

valentine-297033_640Here are some fun Valentine sites to fill those few minutes betwixt and between lessons, projects, bathroom breaks, lunch, and everything else:

  1. Apps
  2. Drag-and-drop
  3. Dress up the heart
  4. Google Drawings Magnetic Poetry from Ctrl Alt Achieve
  5. Games and puzzles
  6. Games and stories
  7. ‘I love you’ in languages Afrikaans to Zulu
  8. Line up the hearts
  9. Match
  10. Mouse skills
  11. Poem generator
  12. Projects from Winter Wonderland
  13. Puppy jigsaw
  14. Rebus game
  15. Rebuses
  16. Sudoku
  17. Tic-tac-toe
  18. Typing
  19. Unscramble
  20. Write in a heart
[gallery type="slideshow" ids="44901,44902,44903,58336,58337,58338,58339"]

Do you use any I missed?

Holiday Lesson Plans

Looking for holiday lesson plans? Here’s my collection.

(more…)

Categories: Holidays, Websites | 3 Comments

Top 10 Websites and Apps of 2017

Throughout the year, I post websites and apps the Ask a Tech Teacher crew’s classes found useful, instructive, helpful in integrating technology into classroom lesson plans. Some, you agreed with us about; others not so much. Here, I’ll share which sites you-all thought were the most helpful in efforts to weave tech into the classroom experience. Between these, they had over 240,000 visitors during the year. See if you agree:

  1. 12 Websites to Teach Mouse Skills
  2. 16 Great Research Websites for Kids
  3. 10 Tech Tools for Your Math Class
  4. 67 K-8 Hour of Code Suggestions–by Grade Level
  5. 6 Ways to Make Classroom Typing Fun
  6. 16 Websites on Natural Disasters
  7. 9 Best-in-Class Digital Storytelling Tools
  8. 84 Math Websites for K-8
  9. Hour of Code Suggestions by Grade Level
  10. 13 Ways to Use Canva in Your Classroom

Have a wonderful 2018!

(more…)

Categories: Websites | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

16 Holiday Websites and 13 Projects For Your Students

holidayNeed a few websites to fill in sponge time? Here are Holiday websites that will keep students busy while teaching them:

  1. 12 Days of Christmas
  2. Christmas puzzles and games
  3. Christmas—history—fun video
  4. Gift Hunt–updated version of 12 Days of Christmas–just as much fun
  5. Holiday Crossword
  6. Holiday Elf Games
  7. Holiday Hangman II
  8. Holiday music II–sing along with the music–the site provides the words
  9. Holiday—find the word
  10. Holiday—Math Facts
  11. Holiday—North Pole Academy
  12. Holidays around the world
  13. Holidays–various
  14. Penguin Show
  15. Phone call from Santa
  16. Santa Tracker

(more…)

Categories: Websites | 6 Comments

18 Thanksgiving Sites and Apps and 4 Projects for the Holiday

tagul thanksgiving2Need a few websites and apps to fill in sponge time? Here are Thanksgiving websites that will keep students busy and still teach them:

  1. Canadian Thanksgiving
  2. Online/Offline Thanksgiving activities
  3. Plimoth Plantation–a field trip of a Pilgrim’s life. Included on this real-life site is a video of the Pilgrim’s crossing to the New World.
  4. Starfall–Silly Turkey
  5. Thanksgiving edu-websites–CybraryMan
  6. Thanksgiving Games
  7. Thanksgiving games and puzzles
  8. Thanksgiving games–Quia
  9. Thanksgiving information–history, more
  10. Thanksgiving Jigsaw
  11. Thanksgiving Jigsaw II
  12. Thanksgiving Lesson Plans
  13. Thanksgiving Tic-tac-toe
  14. Thanksgiving video–Brainpop
  15. Thanksgiving Wordsearch
  16. The First Thanksgiving

(more…)

Categories: Holidays, Websites | Tags: | 1 Comment