Summer Technology Fun:

Here’s a list of great sites for kids and teachers to keep you happily productive and learning this summer. These are in no way in any order of preference. Happy summer!

Magic Tree House

If your students like The Magic Tree House Series (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), they’ll love The Magic Tree House Website. Students climb up the tree and enter the tree house to find some great puzzles, fun games and quizzes on the first 16 books (I’m assuming they will be adding all of the books in due time).

Word Mosaic

Very similar to Wordle, but with more design options, Word Mosaicallows you to create word clouds from text you enter.

ReadWriteThink Printing Press

ReadWriteThink creates a lot of great educational resources. WithPrinting Press students can create a booklet, flyer, brochure, or newspaper fairly easily. There is a nice guide that walks you through the process and the focus is on writing. There is a place within each publication for a picture, but not one that you can add from your computer. This space is reserved for students to draw a picture after printing.

Spell With Flickr

Spell With Flickr is a simple site that allows you to enter any word and it will create a photo representation of that word using pictures from Flickr.

Tagxedo

Tagxedo is a Wordle-esque site that allows students to create beautiful word clouds.

Learn Your Tables

Learn Your Tables is a nice interactive site that allows students to practice their multiplication times tables.

Google Earth Now in Google Maps

Finally, the long awaited addition of Google Earth features within Google Maps!

Science Bob

Science Bob is a fun, interactive site that has several different areas for kids to choose from. There are videos, experiments, science fair ideas, and a research help link with a plethora of fantastic links to other sites. Don’t forget to click on the “Whatever you do, Don’t click here” button (or not).

Grammaropolis

Grammaropolis is a fun, interactive site that helps students learn about the parts of speech.

Math Live

Math Live is a fantastic site to use for upper elementary students that has a plethora of cartoon math tutorials on subjects like fractions, multiplication, area and perimeter, tessellations, probability, and a variety of other topics. The glossary section is an amazing collection of math concepts animated for more solid understanding.

Animal Diversity Web

From the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, the Animal Diversity Web is an online database of animal natural history, distribution, classification, and conservation biology. Students can browse the information on individual creatures from the Kingdom Animalia and find 1000s of pictures on specific animals.

E-Learning For Kids

e-Learning For Kids is a great site with some wonderful interactive learning games that are engaging and fun. Students click on their grade and then a list of games divided into subjects comes up.

Rhymes.net

Rhymes.net is a simple search site that returns rhyming words to whatever you enter in the search field. The rhyming words are divided into syllables for ease of use and there is a list of photos of whichever word you search for.

NeoK12

NeoK12 is a fantastic collection of videos arranged by subject that have been individually reviewed by K-12 teachers. The videos are all (at least the ones I’ve seen) via YouTube and all the adds have been stripped and related videos removed which, as an educator, is a great thing! There are also quizzes, games and puzzles as well as a cool presentation creator that helps teachers or students create presentations within the site. Also cool is the How it Works Section.

SweetSearch

SweetSearch is a safe searching site for students. Most search engines search billions of Web sites and return tens of millions of results; some are from reliable Web sites, some are not.  SweetSearchsearches only 35,000 Web sites that have been evaluated and approved by a staff of Internet research experts at Dulcinea Media, and its librarian and teacher consultants.

Cells Alive

CELLS Alive! represents 30 years of capturing film and computer-enhanced images of living cells and organisms for education and medical research. The site has been available continuously and updated annually since May of 1994 by Jim Sullivanand now hosts over 4 million visitors a year.

Catch the Science Bug

The educational goals of Catch the Science Bug are to increase science literacy and raise environmental consciousness by adhering to national standards and guidelines for content and use different teaching methods to engage all types of learners, and encourage life-long learning by featuring scientists who model this behavior.

ABCya!

ABCya! is a word cloud generator very similar to Wordle that creates nice looking word clouds.

Invention at Play

Invention at Play is a fantastic interactive website from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. When asked what inspired them to become inventors, many adults tell stories about playing as children. TheInvention Playhouse takes this fact and offers up great activities to increase problem solving ability, visual thinking, collaboration, and exploration.

Virtual Piano

Virtual Piano is a beautifully sounding piano that you play by typing on your keyboard. You can play Für Elise by following the key-pattern available. As this is in beta version, I’m guessing that over time, there will be more song choices and hopefully more learning connectivity with the computer keyboard.

Story Jumper

Story Jumper is a wonderful new site that allows children to create their very own books. You can create cover pages, add text, upload drawings or photos to illustrate your story, and you can use the StoryJumper clipart gallery, too.

Merriam-Webster Word Games

Merriam-Webster Word Games is a nice collection of games that gets students thinking and improving their lexicon. There are crosswords, cryptograms, word searches, jumbles, and a plethora of other brainy games.

Questionaut

Questionaut is a Math, English, and Science game from the BBC. The premise of the game is your standard question/answer delivery, but what I really like about this game is twofold. One, the artwork, created by Amanita Design, is amazing. You could get lost in just looking at all the beautiful details. The second thing that really brings this educational game to a higher level in my book, is that students will have to work and explore to be given the questions. Within each level, the player will need to complete a series of clicks to release the questions, adding a very subtle think-out-of-the-box element to the game.

Games for Change

I’m a big fan of quality educational games, and this site takes it to the next level. Games for Change is a non-profit organization which seeks to harness the extraordinary power of video games to address the most pressing issues of our day, including poverty, education, human rights, global conflict and climate change. As of this writing, there are quite a few dead links to the games (Balance of the Planet, ElectroCity, Globaloria), but I have high hopes that updates come soon as I really like the idea of this site.

Who Pooped?

You know with a name like Who Pooped this will be popular with the younger students.Who Pooped is a science site created by the Minnesota Zoo to help students to begin thinking like scientists. One way scientists learn about animals is by studying their poop — also called “scat” or “dung.” Who Pooped allows students to investigate various types of scat and try to match the scat with its creator. A very interactive site which would pair well with IWBs.

Number Gossip

Number Gossip is a simple search box where you enter any number and receive back “everything you wanted to know about the number but were afraid to ask.” For example, I entered the number 38 and got these facts:  38 is the magic constant in the only possible magic hexagon (which utilizes all the natural integers up to and including 19); XXXVIII (=38) is lexicographically the last string which represents a valid Roman numeral; 38 is the largest even number which cannot be written as the sum of two odd composite numbers

Illuminations: Dynamic Paper

Need a pentagonal pyramid that’s six inches tall? Or a number line that goes from ‑18 to 32 by 5′s? Or a set of pattern blocks where all shapes have one-inch sides? You can create all those things and more with the Dynamic Paper tool. Place the images you want, then export it as a PDF activity sheet for your students or as a JPEG image for use in other applications or on the web.

Museum of Animal Perspectives

Museum of Animal Perspectives is a cool mashup of YouTube and Google Maps that has videos of animals in their natural environments along with where, specifically in the world the video was taken. Great for science and geography learning.

Vocab Ahead

Vocab Ahead is a collection of short videos that give definitions, usages, pictures associated with interesting vocabulary words.  You may subscribe to receive a vocab video of the day and there is also a section of videos by students that are fantastic.

Geognos

Great site to learn about all the world’s countries. Geognos is a World atlas with key facts and statistics on all countries, states and nations with photos, maps, flags, visual information about geography, history, people, demographics, government, economy, communications and transportation.

MathRun

Fun site for practice basic math facts.  Mathrun is a simple idea (math problems float up the screen and you have to tell whether they are correct or incorrect) and I love simplicity. There is no registration required and no advertisements – I love this too. Mathrun rates your brain speed and keeps a running total of how many problems you solved correctly. Great site to use independent practice.

Academic Skill Builders

Academic Skill Builders is a research-based and standards-aligned free educational math games and language arts games website that will engage, motivate, and help students improve their academic skills. There are many interactive games to choose from and they’re all pretty fun, have decent graphics/sound effects, and offer great practice to specific skills.

100 Coolest Science Experiments on YouTube

Stellar resource for science teachers that has, as the title suggests, links to 100 cool science experiments. If your district has YouTube blocked, you can download any of the videos using 3outube. There are some really cool videos here and it’s well worth a gander.

MathTV

Math TVis an amazing collection of how-to videos in a variety of math subjects. Checking it out, I watched a video on how to multiply fractions and I learned a new method.  Imagine what your students can learn. This site is free, but it does require you to register to be able to view the videos.

Audio Owl

Audio Owl makes the world’s public domain audio books available for browsing in a visual and easily searchable way. You can search for a specific title, or use the genre list to visually scan through hundreds of titles. Books may be previewed directly on the site, or you may download them directly into iTunes, or as zipped mp3 files. The downloads are broken into chapters, which is useful for teachers using this as a listening station.

Search-Cube

One of my 4th grade students was using this site while researching for a biography assignment. Search-Cube is a visual search engine that presents web search results in a unique, three-dimensional cube interface. It shows previews of up to ninety-six websites, videos and images.

Interactive Simulations

From the University of Colorado at Bolder comes some fantastic java-based interactive simulations. From Glaciers, to Natural Selection, to Circuit Construction; these simulations really show students how things work.

Active Science

Active Science has 15 different scientific modules, each with interactive games and activities.

Kerpoof

Kerpoof is an online story and comic-creator which allows students to create comic scenes and stories, as well as animated movies, cards, drawings, doodles and pictures.  There are no adds or inappropriate content and the art work is fun and lively.  Finished products may be saved, printed, or emailed.  Great site for story creating!

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for the links to these websites. We are always looking for new tools to engage the kids. The same old, same old ones were getting pretty boring. I appreciate you taking the time to find some useful tools so I didn’t have to 🙂 Hope everyone at AE is enjoying the summer with their famiies.

  2. Your links are great! Just what I need for my elementary classes. I will be experimenting with them, I’m sure. Again, thanks.

  3. Great sites for kids and teachers to keep you happily productive and learning this summer.

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