Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How-To Tuesday!

Welcome to How-To Tuesday! On Tuesdays I will post a quick how-to, or a link to a how-to, that you can implement in your classroom with little to no pain. :)

Today's topic is, how to create a vocabulary learning game using an online tool.

Classtools.net is a great resource that can be used to enhance vocabulary development.

Follow these steps:

1. First, go to Classtools.net

2. Click on the pull-down menu that is named Select A Template. Select the template Random Name Picker.
3. Next, type the vocabulary words in the yellow book. For example, you may want to focus on the writing vocabulary words: plan, draft, revise, and edit.
4. Then, you can select Typewriter or Fruit Machine to activate the random selection of a word.
5. Now we are ready to play the game!

A. Put your students in groups of two. Use a projector to allow your entire class to see the random name picker you created.

B. Each time a word is randomly generated the students will take turns asking and telling each other the definition of a vocabulary word.

C. For example, let's pretend the word plan was randomly generated. Here is a sample conversation that might take place:

Student 1: "What is the definition of plan?"
Student 2: "The definition of plan is a picture or sketch that tells what you are going to write about."
Student 1: "You said, a plan is a picture or sketch that tells what you are going to write about. That is correct."

D. Then, the students will switch roles and a new word will be randomly selected.

Thanks to classtool.net you now have a new tool to use in your classroom!

There are a variety of ways classtools.net can be used. Please post your ideas in the comments section. We would love to hear your great ideas!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Penguin Party - Math Fact Games

Penguin Party is an addition fact game also found on Sheppard Software. This game was so much fun to play. The player is given an equation. Then four penguins display answers on their bellies. The player must choose the penguin with the correct answer. If you are correct, the penguin gets to eat a fish. :)
There are also subtraction, division, and multiplication versions of the game. Each game has cute and clever interactive aspect to it. The division game is especially enticing. The player must choose from four crocodiles with answers. When the correct one is selected the player brushes the crocodile's teeth, ekk!
These games can be used to build fluency with math facts. It can be used as a center activity or as a whole group warm up activity. Who knew math could be so fun, and dangerous?

Sheppard Software - Money Games

Sheppardsoftware.com has a variety of interactive educational games for all academic areas. Among the plethora of games on this site are two related to counting money. Sheppard Software claims that they make learning fun, and I would have to agree.

Coinmadness is a fun money matching game where you must find the coins that equal a predetermined amount.

Matching Money is a concentration game where the students must match the coins with the written amount.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Grammar Gorillas

Funbrain.com has a game named The Grammar Gorillas that you will want to explore. This game had two levels. In the beginner level your students will identify nouns and verbs. The advanced level challenges you to identify all parts of speech. If you click on the right word in the sentence, the gorilla gets a banana. No one wants an angry gorilla, so let's feed him some bananas.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


JeopardyLabs is an extremely user friendly, online Jeopardy type game template. You can build your own template in under 15 minutes, or browse other jeopardy templates created by other users.

I had a great time creating this template. We will use our template to review concepts that we have learned in grammar this school year. The pictures below show you what a completed template looks like.

Would like to play our game? Click here to see if you are smarter than a First Grader.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I accidentally tumbled across Tumblebooks as I was walking through one of our super second grade classrooms. Mrs. Merten was so kind to share the site with me.

This site offers animated picture books that are read aloud to your students page by page, puzzles, and resources for families.

This site operates from Fort Vancouver Regional Library Districts' site in Washington. In order for it to work you must stay within the library's website. This is why the hyperlinks navigate you to the library's main page and not directly to Tumblebooks. To find the link to Tumblebooks scroll down a bit one the main page. If you can't get to a book that you want, go back to the original website and click on tumblebooks and re-navigate to the one you want.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Kid Friendly Searches

Use KidRex.org for kid friendly searching on the internet.