Saturday, June 26, 2010

Explore the Amazon River

Explore the Amazon River with this interactive from the New York Hall of Science.  In explore mode, your students can move the magnifying glass over the mural and select a fish or reptile.  At the bottom of the screen the students will see an image and text and hear audio about the species they chose.  Click on the mural button to learn about the artist and how he learned about the Amazon creatures.  If your students are experts, have them click on the challenge mode and they will answer questions about the different Amazon river inhabitants.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Petz Dog Tricks

Okay, this game isn't really educational, but you could use it to introduce Interactive Whiteboard skills to your students! Your students will need to teach the dog to do some tricks for the dog show. Use the mouse (or practice touching the Smartboard or using an ActivPen) to draw the command shown on the sign above the dog's head. When you draw the command correctly, the dog practices his tricks. The Petz Dog Tricks game is on the ASPCA Kid's Site.

Observing Seasonal Changes

Take a walk with a Smithsonian Field Guide to Observe the Seasonal Changes of a forest. Students will watch the forest change throughout the four seasons and then discover differences in animals, plants, and food resources in each of the different seasons.

Build a Panda Habitat

Your students will need to choose plants, water features, enrichment items, climate control, and food to create the ideal habitat with the Build a Panda Habitat activity from the Smithsonian National Zoo. Don't forget that the zoo needs to have exhibits that are good for the animals as well as the visitors and staff of the zoo. When your students are done creating, see if the pandas come out to enjoy their new home.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

More Magnetic Numbers and Letters

Here are two interactive magnetic boards that you can use with your young students. Use the Magnetic Letter Board to create words. Then try the Magnetic Number Board to practice math equations and number recognition. These great resources are from Big Brown Bear Software.

Popcorn Words- Sight Words

Your students will have fun learning dozens of common sight words with Popcorn Words from Fun 4 The Brain. Listen to the word and click on the correct popcorn container. If you get enough correct, you will promoted to manager of the movie theater.

Learn Your Capitals

Practice identifying state and country capitals with these two games from Arcademic Skill Builders. This site offers many games that can be played individually or multi-player for math and language arts, but these geography games are great, too. Choose Country Toad to practice identifying the capital cities of different countries. A city name is displayed at the bottom of the screen, just click the matching country to have your frog jump to it. Choose Penguin States to practice identifying the US state capitals. Click on a the matching state to have the penguin to jump to it. Be careful, if you click the wrong answer the frog or the penguin will fall into the water. My students love the graphics and fast moving fun. Try these activities on your Smartboard, too.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One More Roller Coaster Creator

Here is another fun resource that I forgot to add to my earlier post about roller coaster design applications. This one definitely focuses on math and physics when your students design the ultimate coaster.

Build an Animal Habitat

Your students will learn more about habitats and animals with Build an Online Habitat by Switchzoo. Click the circle icons on the screen to change the animal, weather, biome, and vegetation. Watch the compatibility meter to find the perfect match for each animal.

Roller Coasters and Physics

Here are some fun online applications that you can use to make roller coasters and learn a little about physics along the way. Students will choose track heights, shapes, and dips to create the ultimate thrill ride that is not too scary or dangerous.

Caret's Roller Coaster Designer:

Fossweb's Roller Coaster:

Spark Lab's Roller Coaster Designer:

Roller Coaster Creator:

If you want a great lesson plan involving roller coaster physics, take a look at Amusement Park Physics and Take a Roller Coaster Ride.

Monday, June 14, 2010

US Government Games

I recently learned about two exciting US Government online activities from Kelly Tenkely's Blog: iLearn Technology. I wanted to pass along those great finds along with some other interactive sites and activities that you can use when studying US Government:

American Symbols
Identify the meanings of US symbols:

Drag the leaves to the correct branch of government:

No games, just easy to read and easy to understand information about government for your students. The information is written for three levels: elementary, middle, and high school. Click the tabs at the top right to change your grade level:

Your students will need to prove that they are good candidates as they run for Congress against an opponent that wants to get rid movies, books, and kids video games.

Best for middle schools students, choose from several games where students need to make decisions as members of the Executive Branch, Judicial Branch, or Legislative Branch.

Students will campaign for the presidency:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Subscribing to Blogs and Sites with Google Reader

If you like learning from blogs, online newsletters, news sites, or other sites that update their content often, you should use a reader to easily keep up to date with new information. Google Reader is the reader that I use to subscribe to my favorite blogs and sites. There are several readers that you can choose from, but I find Google Reader very easy to use.

Google Reader uses RSS to find all of the newest blog posts and articles from your subscribed sites and shows them in one place, in your reader. The reader enables you to quickly scan or read new content from several blogs and sites. If you use Google Reader, you no longer have to visit individual sites to check for updates.

Learn more by watching these videos about Google Reader and RSS:

Now that you understand more about Google Reader and RSS, use Google Reader to subscribe to my blog and others that you enjoy.
1. Go to Google Reader.
2. Sign in or create an account.
3. Add the InTec Insights site and other blogs or sites by clicking the "add a subscription" button at the top left.

4. Or, click the RSS feed button from a blog or site and choose Google Reader.

5. Now all you will need to do is visit Google Reader daily to see if any of your blogs or sites have posted new content!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Random Number Generator

The Random Atoms resource by Fiery Ideas would be a wonderful classroom resource if you were studying probability, if you wanted to create math problems with random numbers, or if you were playing math bingo. The main menu allows you to choose what types of numbers you want the randomizer to display. Choose from whole numbers, hundreds and tenths, negative numbers, multiples, and tenths. Once you choose the type of numbers, you can use the sliders at the bottom of the activity to set your limits. For example, in the multiples number generator shown here, I have chosen multiples of 4 up to 10X. Click new below the spinning number machine and the robot will grab a random number for you. You can display up to nine random numbers and then reset to grab more. Duplicate numbers do pop up.

Spanish Labeling Games

If you teach elementary Spanish, your students will love these interactive matching and labeling games. Crickweb's Primary Spanish Interactive Resources have 8 labeling activities that will teach or reinforce the spanish words for numbers, colors, classroom objects, vegetables, fruits, transportation, and animals.

Multiplication Cloud Click

E-Chalk's Multiplication Cloud Click game is a fun way to reinforce multiplication facts in the classroom. Use this activity on the Smartboard or Interactive Whiteboard and your students can click/touch the answer on the clouds. If they get the answer wrong, lightning will flash across the screen. Users can choose from multiplication tables from x2 to x12 or mix them up!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Learn about the life cycle of a butterfly with these interactive resources that you can use on your Smartboard or Interactive WhiteBoard:

Learn about a butterfly's life cycle, decorate a butterfly, and show what you know in the life cycle game.

Watch and interact with a movie about the life cycle of a butterfly.

Beginning Fractions

These wonderful, interactive sites will help your students to visualize and understand basic fractions:
E-learning for Kids: Mendel's Magic Math Market:
BBC Skillwise's Introduction to Fractions:
Teacher LED's Equivalent Fractions:
NGFL-Cymru's Visual Fractions:

I'm Thinking of a Number

I love number games and was excited to find this great interactive resource. You can play Thinking of a Number with your students on your Smartboard or Interactive WhiteBoard. Click the clouds to reveal hints about the target number. The answer is revealed when you click the question mark. Get a new number by clicking the dog. By the way, the answer to this number puzzle is 23. Have fun!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Interactive Geoboards

Use these interactive geoboards to learn about geometry, angles, or area and perimeter. Drag the virtual rubber bands around the pegs:

Build Your Own Virtual Volcano

Your students can create and erupt their own virtual volcano with Discovery Kids Volcano Explorer. Just change the viscosity and gas levels to create different types of volcanoes. Click set conditions and the virtual volcano will form. The most fun comes next as you click to make your volcano erupt. Use this interactive resource to also learn about the global location of volcanoes, various types of volcanoes, and what is inside a volcano.

Science Up Close

Harcourt's Science Up Close is a collection of mini lessons that you can use on your Smartboard or Interactive Whiteboard to help your students understand science concepts. The activities are made to accompany the Harcourt Science texts, but even if you don't use the Harcourt texts, you will find activities that you can use with your science lessons. Each lesson has clear audio and images, animations, or video clips to demonstrate and explain each concept. Many lessons are also interactive and will encourage your students to explore the content.

Here are some examples of the activities found in Harcourt's Science Up Close. Make sure you check all the grades for activities that may relate to your classroom content:
Grade 1: A Coral Reef- Learn about living things that are sheltered in coral reefs.
Grade 2: What Happens During the Water Cycle- Learn about the movement of water in the water cycle.
Grade 3: Shadows Throughout the Day- Explore the effect of the sun's position on the length of a shadow.
Grade 4: Full Moon to New Moon- Discover why the moon changes phases.
Grade 5: Features of the Ocean Floor- Uncover features of the ocean floor.
Grade 6: World Biomes- Explore forest, grassland, desert, and tundra biomes.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Create a Slideshow with Slide

Add some pizazz to your classroom website or blog by adding a photo slideshow with Slide. Just upload your photos from your computer or sites such as Flickr, Photobucket, Facebook, or MySpace. Then choose how you would like your slideshow to appear. You can choose designs, themes, skins, music, effects, and the size of your slideshow. Next, choose your privacy settings and save your show. Slide will give you an embed code that you can use to place your new slideshow on the site of your choice.

Kindersay Word Shows

The Kindersay web site has over 500 word-show activities to help young students learn words from categories including animals, food, numbers, and colors, time, and shapes as well as many more. This site is designed for use with pre-school or ESL learners. The word-show format displays a large image of the word, a video that says the word after giving the child a moment to figure it out, and a large text of the word at the bottom. Users can play individual words or start a word-show that cycles through all of the words in a category. There is even a section of words in sign language. Thanks to Mr. Byrne for sharing this site on his blog: Free Technology for Teachers.

My Great Maps

My Great Maps is a resource that will allow your students to paint, draw, create lines on and add points of interest to a variety of maps. Users can choose from maps of the world, continents, the United States, countries, and flags. When complete the maps can be printed or saved if you are a registered user. Registered users also have access to more maps including US states.

Interactive World Map with Facts

Learning geography can be fun! Just move your mouse around the world map and students will discover the name of each country along with facts about the country's flag, population, area, and capital. The box on the right will display unique facts about the country's location, climate, people, flora and fauna or culture. This great resource comes from Mr. Nussbaum's website where you can find many more activities.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Start With a Character

Sometimes young students need a little inspiration to begin writing a story. Have them use Start With a Character by I-Board. Students can choose a face, expression, and outfit. If you are using this resource on a Smartboard, the teacher could add labels to assist students with spelling difficult words related to their character, such as astronaut. I-Board also has other great story starting resources to use: Start With a Setting and Start With Speech.

Listen to Composers and Instruments

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has created a wonderful music resource for kids. The site includes information on the symphony and tips for learning to play an instrument, but most notable are the listening resources. Students can listen to musical works by famous composers or hear the sounds that different instruments make. There is also a listening section for music theory. After the students have listened and learned, they can try some of the interactive games, too.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

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