Want to practice your grammar and you ninja skills at the same time? Grammar Ninja can help. This interactive site gives students allows students to work through three levels of mastery by throwing ninja stars at different parts of speech within sentences. The beginning level focuses only on nouns and verbs. The Skilled Ninja level adds in pronouns, articles, adjectives, and adverbs. Finally, Master Ninjas identify all eight parts of speech. Each level ends in a Mission Complete screen that displays the student’s time, number of incorrect answers, and rank, so even when they have completed a level, they can also go back to try to master it more quickly and accurately.
Site of the Week picks are selected from the top edtech tools reviewed by Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best edtech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly.
Summary: Superb real-time assessment tool a fit for BYOD, 1-to-1
Learn about the conservation of energy with this learning activity from the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder. Students can build tracks, ramps, and jumps for a skater and view the kinetic energy, potential energy and friction as they move. They can also take the skater to different planets or even to outer space to investigate with the effects of gravity on these physical phenomena. With this highly engaging sim, students not only explore the conservation of mechanical energy concept using kinetic and gravitational potential energy, but have fun in the process.
Summary: Uplifting one-stop shop for social and emotional learning resources
Pros: Activities are age-appropriate, direct, and powerful and vary from one-minute to unit-long projects.
Cons: The accountability piece may be missing for teens who use the website independently.
Bottom Line: inspirED delivers exactly what it claims: empowering, easy-to-search content for social and emotional learning.
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This interactive map with timeline links will allow students to explore the history of Hispanic people in the Americas including South America, Central America, Mexico, California, New York, Florida, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Students just click on any map area to open the timeline. Then students can click on each date along the timeline to read about the Hispanic history that took place. Use these timelines to trace Spanish influences in the Americas more than 500 years into the past. Printable versions of timelines are also available for classroom use.
An interesting look at a city block in Atlanta from different scales with photographs generated by several satellites.
Summary:Puzzler's use of real code fills niche in crowded learn-to-code genre
Pros: Charming art mixed with serious programming challenges.
Cons: Limited range of covered concepts, and tough puzzles could use a better hint system
Bottom Line: A great introduction to coding with solid teacher support that gets kids using a real programming language and digging into some meatier concepts than other early coding tools.
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Valerie Bourbour is a certified educator and past Co-Director of The Academy of Ormond Beach. Ms. Bourbour has experience in online learning platforms and aims for student success.