This month’s mashup is a discussion of fun online learning games for students in grades K-8. All of these websites below can be used by students independently during computer center time or even at home. Some of them would be great resources to use as a class presentation and have students interact on a digital whiteboard. Each site is also appropriate to be used with students with special needs and a variety of activities can be chosen based on the students learning levels and not necessarily grade level.
ABCya is a website for elementary level students to play online educational games. These are fun, high-interest games that can be used during computer center time or for reinforcement of key concepts. This site would also be a great resource for the students to use at home. There are many different activities broken down in to the various standard strands for math, science, language arts, and social studies activities.
Kids will have so much fun they won’t even realize they are learning! I played Balloon Pop Subtraction. In this game the students pop the correct number of balloons to solve the problems. There are three levels of difficulty for students to choose from depending on age and ability.
I also tried the Map It! game in the classroom where students have to match the puzzle pieces with the shapes of the states to where they would fit on the map. I enjoyed having my students challenge each other to see who could solve the puzzle the fastest. On the easy level, it provides the students the names of the states and on the hard level it does not.
Teaching technology, the unit on future technologies and robots, is one of my favorites, so I also played the Build a Robot game. In this game, students get to pick the shapes to build the body for their robot, increase or decrease their size, rotate, and layer the parts in order to build their own unique robot. The robots can be saved to a file or even printed to display in the classroom. I encourage my students to not just make robots that are shaped like people, since the majority of robots do not take this form. As an extension for this website, you could have students write a description of their robot, what it does and how it helps society.
Jig Saw Doku
Jig Saw Doku is a kid’s version of Sudoku. This website provides various levels of difficulty ranging from easy to hard. All of the pieces are tiled like primary color numbered blocks. These blocks need to be placed in the pattern where no numbers overlap a row or column. The hint option is great tool for kids to see their mistakes. The misplaced tiles are removed to give the student another try. The game is timed at the bottom, so it would be a good challenge to race against their best times or against other students.
The Sensory House
The Sensory House is a great interactive website for special needs students. Students enter the sensory house through the door and then enter the hallway and are able to choose from a selection of rooms and decorations. When you select an object, more options will appear which will then lead the student to an activity. In the garden, students build a virtual garden filled with animals, plants and other garden art. In the music room, students can play a variety of classical and rock instruments. In the money manager, students calculate costs and change for a wide variety of household expenses. This would be a good website to project on an interactive board to work with students as a class.
Read Write Think has an interactive website where students can learn and write their own Shape Poems. Students are able to select an appropriate shape for their poem, type their poem, and print their poem in color to share with their classmates. This would be a great activity to introduce poetry.
All of these sites offer fun learning experiences for children of all ages. Are there others that you have found? Please comment and add them our shared resources.
Article By Laura Ketcham
Picture By bestlibrarian