Fact Monster

My daughter is having a lot of fun with the information and games at FactMonster.com, and doing her homework, at the same time. For example she has been studying her states and capitals, but the Geography Hall of Fame also has lots of interesting superlatives on it, like the highest and lowest elevation, longest river, deepest gorge, etc. This is a huge, rich, deep site put out by Pearson Education. I include it in the News and Events category because it also contains links to the Children’s version of British Broadcasting’s news.


First Black Woman Doctor

Early this month, walking up Joy St. toward the Boston Common, I noticed a small plaque marking a home where Rebecca Crumpler had lived and describing her distinction as the first African American woman to earn a medical degree. According to the African American registry, her medical degree was awarded on this day in 1864.

Index of Online Game Activity Posts, so far

It’s public school vacation here in Massachusetts, so I thought I’d just compile all our previous posts that link to online games or activities in case any children are home and bored:

The Scribbler

Make online animations

Nurturing Creativity

Online math games

Timez Attack

Virtual Math Manipulatives

Earth Sun Moon

Less game-like but still a fun source of activities:

Reading faces (Quiz)

National Geographic Sites and Sounds

Listen to Nature

Photo Safari

Journey South Animal Migration

Educational Games Some game links, some research about games, etc.

Tim Hunkin’s Experiments

And then there were a few simple games that kids could set up in the real world, or older siblings could set up for younger ones:

Multiplication Game

Alphabetical Order

Memory Boxes

If you have an older child who’s a true bookworm, or not a bookworm but bored enough, or broke enough to enter your books for you, she or he might log books into

LibraryThing – Social Tagging for Books

or an ambitious child might start researching college scholarships

Finding College Scholarships

Whatever you do, have fun!

Virtual Math Manipulatives

Even if it sounds like an oxymoron to you, check out the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives. It provides interactive online math lessons, activities, and assessments. Topics include fractions, functions, geometric transformations, integer arithmetic, patterns and sequences, probability, right triangle trigonometry, slope, triangle geometry, and writing equations of lines.
I was particularly pleased to see algebra activities for early childhood learners. TERC researchers have shown that young children who are encouraged to think algebraically have more success throughout school math. Read more about that research here.

Excellent Supplemental Learning Resource

Teachers and administrators who have yet to hear about ExploreLearning.com should take a few minutes to check it out. They offer the educator/parent/student interactive materials to supplement a child’s education. ExploreLearning calls their modules “Gizmos,” small Macromedia Flash-based computer simulations to help enhance math and science learning. Though these are correlated to state and national requirements for Grades 6-12, I found useful math Gizmos for my fourth grader in what they had for free on the site.

That’s right – there is a fee for unrestricted use of the 380 Gizmos plus teacher resources. I haven’t discerned how much that is, but it seems as though it would be calculated based upon your usage needs. Check it out – watch the demo movies on their homepage and browse some of the Gizmos. Educators will likely want to explore this option further in their own classrooms.

Plush Microbes

ThinkGeek.com offers cute little plush versions of several kinds of microbes. The common cold, salmonella, e. coli, lice all may be helpful for you to talk with your child about basic hygiene and preventive health practices. In addition, quite a number of sexually transmitted diseases are featured–possibly helpful for talking with your children about safe sex.