Posts tagged ‘computer’

September 28, 2011

Cheering activities on a Rainy Day

by stryson

I’m feeling very beaten up and under the weather today. It’s dark and rainy, and I had a dentist appointment yesterday that has left me with a tender mouth. Additionally, it’s grey and rainy. In short, it was the perfect day to start a funny novel with my kids.

I know I’ve mentioned at least once how much I adore Ken Derby’s Top Ten Ways to Ruin The First Day of School. It’s funny, relateable, and a nice, easy novel for starting the year. I used it with my fifth graders last year, and I’ve just begun introducing it to this year’s batch. It cheered me up to see them laughing at Tony Baloney’s Stupid Human Tricks. Unfortunately, as I’ve gone to write this post, I’ve found that this book is currently out of print, but Ken is working on that situation. See his comments here.

Speaking of things that have brightened the week in my classes, I’ve found a typing game that the kids really love: Dance Mat Typing. One of the girls in my homeroom was literally in tears because she was laughing so hard at the interludes. I liked it because they’re so methodical about presenting the keys in the order a normal typing program would.

Enjoy!

July 31, 2011

Goodreads

by stryson

Have I  explicitly mentioned my love of Goodreads yet on this site? I don’t think I have, though a link to my profile has been sitting at the bottom of the page. In any case, goodreads.com is one of my favorite social networking sites – which is not shocking, since it centers around books. The site’s primary focus is helping you keep track of the books you’ve read, are reading, and want to read. They get classified on “shelves” to that effect. You can create further shelves to keep your books organized and to see statistics based on what you read. For example, I have shelves for young adult & children’s lit, fiction, nonfiction, sci-fi & fantasy, historical fiction, etc. You can place books on multiple  shelves, as well. (For example, a sci-fi book would also fit on the fiction shelf.) I love reading and lists with almost equal fervor, so this site makes me incredibly happy.

In addition to these basic functions, Goodreads provides various toys, quizzes, and other widgets relating to books. There are trivia quizzes about books and authors, lists on  which you can vote (i.e. “The best memoirs of the 20th century,”), areas for you to mark your favorite quotes by authors, polls, and so on.

You’ll notice I mentioned the social-networking nature of the site. Of course, you can add your friends to a list, and you can see the updates they post about their current reads, view their shelves, make comments on their posts, send messages, and so on. Goodreads also has virtual book clubs and other groups. I’m part of one called “50 Books a Year.” This is my second year doing this challenge; the last time I did was 2009. (I succeeded, too! 52 books that year. I’m on 29 now for 2011.)

I’m sure there are other features to the Goodreads site that I have not explored thoroughly, but those are the pieces I use. I’d highly recommend checking it out. It’s not particularly  helpful to me at school, but I wonder if it could be utilized in a high school setting.

If you join the site and would like to see my updates or friend me, the link is here.

I’d like to close with a quote from the list of those I’ve “liked” on Goodreads:

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” — Groucho Marx

July 11, 2011

Another Typing Game

by stryson

I mentioned the need for typing games back in this post. One of the games I mentioned in there was Typer Shark. I found a game that’s similar in concept, with different animals. I find it a bit cuter, probably because it’s easy to tire of Typer Shark after using it with your students for years at a time. Its easy levels are also a bit easier than those of Typer Shark. It’s called Super Hyper Spider Typer. What a tongue twister!

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July 8, 2011

Typing Monster

by stryson

As part of our computer program at school, we require the students to learn typing. We mostly use Type to Learn 3 and Typer Shark, but I like finding games to supplement those.  This one seems quite fun: Typing Monster.

March 28, 2011

Resource: WebRangers

by stryson

One of the resources I use regularly for my Social Studies class is WebRangers. It’s a site designed and maintained by the National Park service to educate children about history, geography, natural resources, the environment, and, of course, the national parks. The only time I run into a problem using this site is when my kids get a little impulsive and want to skip through the activity as quickly as possible, just to earn the badge without making any effort. In general, it’s a great independent learning experience for the kids, and it’s fun, too.