“Fall Fun for Fast Finishers” is a free packet of 20 open-ended task cards from Rachel Lynette at Minds in Bloom. Her packet is available for free download from Teachers Pay Teachers. You do have to be a member in order to receive the download, but it is free to register.
I love one of the sample cards that Rachel displays in her blog post, which asks you to pretend you are Autumn (the season) and you are running for president against the other three seasons. What a creative idea!
On a side note, Teachers Pay Teachers can be a goldmine for lesson ideas. There are many, many free activities available. It is well worth registering.
Considering that the first part of its name is “Boo”, Boolify should probably have been yesterday’s Halloween post. It is still a timely site, however. Boolify is a simple tool for teaching students how to do web searches using basic Boolean Search Operators. There is the tool, itself, on the home page, as well as a few other resources under the “Lessons” link. The search results come from Bing, so this is not a “safe search” tool. However, it would be good to use for demonstration purposes with younger students. Older students may enjoy the simplicity of the tool, as well. This might be a good tool to use with Kentucky Virtual Library’s “How to do Research” site.
Math Apprentice is designed for students in grades 4-7. According the producers of this site, “the goals of this project are to connect math with real world careers, introduce students to more advanced mathematical ideas, and provide additional opportunities to apply math concepts they have already learned.” If you have a student who asks you, “How will I use this in the real world?”, you will probably want to give him or her this link. The activities will definitely appeal to tweens, and there is a great guide for teachers to facilitate using this in the classroom.
This site from the Science Alberta Foundation describes itself as follows: ”Wonderville is a fun, interactive destination for kids to discover the exciting world of science. This award-winning site encourages exploration and curiosity, while helping kids discover how much fun science can be.” The site include videos, games, comics, and other activities about topics such as “Milk Mystery” and “Tree Cookies”. This would be a great link for a teacher to suggest to parents, or to use as a supplemental resource in the classroom.
This is an awesome site brought to you by author Judy Waite. It is designed to immerse students in the writing experience through interactive experiences that introduce them to: plot, genre, character, and settings. In her own words, “I wanted to utilise all the benefits that image, sound and animation can bring, connect this with creative exercises that have been proven to enhance children’s creative writing skills, and package it with a work of fiction that would support all these aspects.” I guarantee it will appeal to your students’ imaginations and enhance their writing.
I actually found the link to Beth Newingham’s blog post on another blog, KB Connected. When I clicked on the link, I was immediately impressed by the creative ideas and the higher order thinking skills each activity included. In addition, Beth Newingham provides photos of each activity and printables that are simple but attractive. It has links to her website showing several of the fiction genre lessons in action. This is the kind of classroom in which kids thrive!
This great resource from the Kentucky Virtual Library is a fun-looking map that graphically outlines the steps a student should take when doing research for a project. Each part of the map is a link to a new page explaining that particular stage in the process. The graphics are appealing to kids and the information is very readable. This is a good site for students who are doing independent research projects.
Wonderopolis is a very engaging site that elementary school students could use to find out more about their interests. It features a Wonder of the Day, but also has a catalogue of “Wonders” listed by category. For example, under “Animals”, there is an article called, “Why do Cats Like Catnip?” This site encourages curiosity and independent research. It includes videos and fun facts that are sure to entertain and educate. There is a widget teachers could embed into their own sites and blogs.