Wednesday, January 23, 2013

School Links

I taught in a traditional classroom for a few years before my own kids entered my world.  I cringe at my expectations and methods in those early years.  Now, a more seasoned mother, I approach education from a different perspective.  One area that has changed culturally that has affected how I teach is technology. 
At each turn, there seems to be a new app, a new website, or a new gadget that promises to make teaching and learning explode with excitement and effectiveness.  How that all works in a large classroom, I am still figuring out.  However, I am blessed to have my own school house in my kitchen and school room.  Technology takes on a slightly different hue when dealing with smaller classes. 
We use technology quite a bit.  Too much maybe.  Our home is residence to a desktop, four laptops, two tablets, and a Kindle Fire.  My challenge is to find ways to use this resource as that, an immense resource, rather than a gallery of games.  Believe me, there are many days when I have to place a moratorium on anything with a screen and pull out the board games or kick the kids outside.  However, we have found many sites that have been both helpful and fun to supplement our curriculum.
Here are a few:
Reading   Here you will find a treasure of free lapbooks on all levels for many literature and special day units.   This goes with our vocabulary curriculum.  Review games take some drudgery out of memorization.     This site was extremely helpful in teaching the elements of a short story to my 7th grader. 
Writing     We use these for many subjects.
If you search you will find many sites that offer daily journal posts as well as blog ideas if your child is a writer.
Math   Great for timed facts review.   Here you will find games, reinforcement, and tutorials. -   This coincides with our math curriculum, but you may also find it helpful with online quizzes, tutorials, and e-worksheets.
Language  We have used this for language concept review in early grades.
Science  I have this as a free app also. We have used it as a help for those difficult to understand higher level science classes.  Other topics are available as well.  We found plant/animal cell diagram games extremely helpful.  Many subjects are available.
Geography - This site helps with both American and World geography, though there are many other subjects offered. 
General   Make your own review sets in any subject or use what has already been posted.  Unfortunately only the trial period is free.  The site is amazing, but I have not brought myself to pay the price for the membership.  Maybe someday.  This site is loaded with help for many subjects.  I did pay for this membership, but it was minimal. 
These are only a few of the resources that make our learning more interesting and time spent more effective. 
Technology in our home has been used to enhance our education.  I would love to hear how you use technology in your family.  What are some sites or apps that capture your kids in a good way?  How has the computer been your friend and not your nemesis?

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