Educational Games for Elementary School Science Lessons

Educational games can be useful in helping to reinforce concepts and content. A good game can keep students engaged while also helping them develop some thinking skills at the same time. You could create your own games on platforms like Kahoot or Metaverse, but those might not provide the depth of context that professionally developed games provide. If you’re an elementary school teacher looking for some games to use in science lessons, take a look at the following five games that I frequently share with other teachers. 

Peep and the Big Wide World, produced by WGBH, offers a great collection of online games, videos, and offline activities designed to help students learn and practice skills in math and science. One emphasis of the games that I tried is recognizing patterns. In all there are twenty-one online games available through Peep and the Big Wide World.

Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp is an educational game produced by the Smithsonian. The purpose of the game is to help children recognize the movements of animals. In the game children move through a virtual zoo with a zoo keeper. As they go through the virtual zoo the zoo keeper will ask students to take pictures of animals who are demonstrating running, jumping, stomping, and other movements. Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp can be played online. The game is also available as a free iPad app and as an Android app.

Habitats is a fun little game from the Smithsonian Science Education Center. The online game challenges elementary school to match animals to their habitats. The game shows students images representative of four habitats; desert, coral reef, jungle, and marsh. Students drag pictures of animals from a list to their corresponding habitats. Students receive instant feedback on each move they make in the game. Once an animal has been placed in the correct habitat students can click on it to learn more about it in the Encyclopedia of Life.

Aquation is a free game offered by the the Smithsonian Science Education Center. The game, designed for students in upper elementary school or middle school, teaches students about the distribution of clean water and what can be done to balance global water resources. In the game students select a region to explore its current water supplies. Based on the information provided students take action in the form of building desalination plants, conducting further research, reacting to natural events, and attempting to move water between regions. Aquation can be played in a web browser. It is also available as a free iPad app and as a free Android app.

Feed the Dingo is a fun game that teaches students about the importance of maintaining balanced ecosystems. In the game students have to build and maintain a desert ecosystem. The game begins with a blank slate to which students have to add plants and animals. The game plays out over twelve virtual days. Each day students have to add more elements in order to maintain balance in the ecosystem. At the end of each day students are given feedback as to which plants and animals are healthy, which are in danger, and which have died.

Educational Games for Elementary School Science Lessons syndicated from https://buyessayscheapservice.wordpress.com/

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Educational Games for Elementary School Science Lessons

Educational games can be useful in helping to reinforce concepts and content. A good game can keep students engaged while also helping them develop some thinking skills at the same time. You could create your own games on platforms like Kahoot or Metaverse, but those might not provide the depth of context that professionally developed games provide. If you’re an elementary school teacher looking for some games to use in science lessons, take a look at the following five games that I frequently share with other teachers. 

Peep and the Big Wide World, produced by WGBH, offers a great collection of online games, videos, and offline activities designed to help students learn and practice skills in math and science. One emphasis of the games that I tried is recognizing patterns. In all there are twenty-one online games available through Peep and the Big Wide World.

Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp is an educational game produced by the Smithsonian. The purpose of the game is to help children recognize the movements of animals. In the game children move through a virtual zoo with a zoo keeper. As they go through the virtual zoo the zoo keeper will ask students to take pictures of animals who are demonstrating running, jumping, stomping, and other movements. Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp can be played online. The game is also available as a free iPad app and as an Android app.

Habitats is a fun little game from the Smithsonian Science Education Center. The online game challenges elementary school to match animals to their habitats. The game shows students images representative of four habitats; desert, coral reef, jungle, and marsh. Students drag pictures of animals from a list to their corresponding habitats. Students receive instant feedback on each move they make in the game. Once an animal has been placed in the correct habitat students can click on it to learn more about it in the Encyclopedia of Life.

Aquation is a free game offered by the the Smithsonian Science Education Center. The game, designed for students in upper elementary school or middle school, teaches students about the distribution of clean water and what can be done to balance global water resources. In the game students select a region to explore its current water supplies. Based on the information provided students take action in the form of building desalination plants, conducting further research, reacting to natural events, and attempting to move water between regions. Aquation can be played in a web browser. It is also available as a free iPad app and as a free Android app.

Feed the Dingo is a fun game that teaches students about the importance of maintaining balanced ecosystems. In the game students have to build and maintain a desert ecosystem. The game begins with a blank slate to which students have to add plants and animals. The game plays out over twelve virtual days. Each day students have to add more elements in order to maintain balance in the ecosystem. At the end of each day students are given feedback as to which plants and animals are healthy, which are in danger, and which have died.

Educational Games for Elementary School Science Lessons syndicated from https://buyessayscheapservice.wordpress.com/

Camp GoNoodle – Four Weeks of Fun and Educational Summer Activities

Camp GoNoodle is a summer program offered by the folks at GoNoodle. The program is designed for elementary school age students to complete over the course of four weeks. It can be used in a summer camp setting, summer school setting, or at home setting. There is a different theme for each week. Within each week there are five thematically connected activities. The themes of Camp GoNoodle are friendship, superheroes, world, and space.

The activities in Camp GoNoodle include learning camp songs, learning about and trying healthy foods, a fun exercise activity, and some art or craft activities. Students can receive a printable, digital badge for successfully completing all of the activities in a week’s program.

Applications for Education

If you’re looking for activities to suggest to parents to keep their kids active and learning throughout the summer, take a look at what Camp GoNoodle offers each week. I don’t love all of the activities, but I do like the spirit of Camp GoNoodle.

Camp GoNoodle – Four Weeks of Fun and Educational Summer Activities syndicated from https://buyessayscheapservice.wordpress.com/

The Most Important Search Skills and Attitudes According to SearchReSearch Readers

Dan Russell’s Search ReSearch blog is my go-to resource for learning new strategies and for ideas on teaching search. His search challenge blog posts always provide a new way to think about search. At the end of May he conducted a survey of his readers. The survey was to determine what readers of Search ReSearch think are the most important search skills and attitudes toward search. The results of the survey were posted last week.

The survey results are noteworthy to me because the readers of Search ReSearch tend to be people who are skilled researchers and are often people who spend time teaching search skills to others. The survey results are divided into four sections. Those sections are most important skills, most important attitudes, how to ask good questions, and other advice. I encourage you to read the full survey results right here. The top tips from the first three categories are copied below.

Most Important Skill

Query formulation (and reformulation)

Most Important Attitude

Persistence

How to Ask Good Questions

Be specific / be clear about what you’re asking

The Most Important Search Skills and Attitudes According to SearchReSearch Readers syndicated from https://buyessayscheapservice.wordpress.com/

Camp GoNoodle – Four Weeks of Fun and Educational Summer Activities

Camp GoNoodle is a summer program offered by the folks at GoNoodle. The program is designed for elementary school age students to complete over the course of four weeks. It can be used in a summer camp setting, summer school setting, or at home setting. There is a different theme for each week. Within each week there are five thematically connected activities. The themes of Camp GoNoodle are friendship, superheroes, world, and space.

The activities in Camp GoNoodle include learning camp songs, learning about and trying healthy foods, a fun exercise activity, and some art or craft activities. Students can receive a printable, digital badge for successfully completing all of the activities in a week’s program.

Applications for Education

If you’re looking for activities to suggest to parents to keep their kids active and learning throughout the summer, take a look at what Camp GoNoodle offers each week. I don’t love all of the activities, but I do like the spirit of Camp GoNoodle.

Camp GoNoodle – Four Weeks of Fun and Educational Summer Activities syndicated from https://buyessayscheapservice.wordpress.com/

The Most Important Search Skills and Attitudes According to SearchReSearch Readers

Dan Russell’s Search ReSearch blog is my go-to resource for learning new strategies and for ideas on teaching search. His search challenge blog posts always provide a new way to think about search. At the end of May he conducted a survey of his readers. The survey was to determine what readers of Search ReSearch think are the most important search skills and attitudes toward search. The results of the survey were posted last week.

The survey results are noteworthy to me because the readers of Search ReSearch tend to be people who are skilled researchers and are often people who spend time teaching search skills to others. The survey results are divided into four sections. Those sections are most important skills, most important attitudes, how to ask good questions, and other advice. I encourage you to read the full survey results right here. The top tips from the first three categories are copied below.

Most Important Skill

Query formulation (and reformulation)

Most Important Attitude

Persistence

How to Ask Good Questions

Be specific / be clear about what you’re asking

The Most Important Search Skills and Attitudes According to SearchReSearch Readers syndicated from https://buyessayscheapservice.wordpress.com/

Despite A Revamped Focus On Real-Life Skills, ‘Home Ec’ Classes Fade Away

“Sometimes we take for granted that kids know how to wash dishes,” says Susan Turgeson, president of the Association of Teacher Educators for family and consumer sciences. “I never thought I was going to have to explain, step by step, how to put the drain plug in, the amount of soap to be used.”

Yet in many family and consumer sciences (FCS) classes in the United States, once known as “home economics,” teachers are instructing students in basics such as how to keep countertops clean or tell a teaspoon from a tablespoon. In 2010, the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act sought to address the rise of childhood obesity. But despite the renewed interest in showing children how to eat well, FCS classes haven’t gained traction along with that movement.

These courses haven’t gone away entirely, but their presence in schools is dwindling. In 2012 there were only 3.5 million students enrolled in FCS secondary programs, a decrease of 38 percent over a decade. Many blame an ongoing shortage of qualified teachers, while others worry that continued focus on testing, along with budget slashing, will make it hard to bring FCS electives back into the curriculum.

“Society couldn’t get over the stereotype of the home economics teacher,” says Gayla Randal, educational and program consultant for the Kansas State Department of Education, which is why the name was changed to family and consumer sciences. She says that the rise of testing and No Child Left Behind in public schools led to a dark time for home economics. “Anything that wasn’t about a test score was scrutinized.”

What is “women’s work,” exactly?

Though home economics started in the early 1900s as a way to professionalize domestic labor, giving women opportunities outside the home while simultaneously uplifting the value of “women’s work” in society, by the 1960s the field had become a feminist pariah. As Megan J. Elias writes in Stir It Up: Home Economics in American Culture, figures like Betty Friedan “rejected outright the idea that housework could be fulfilling and implicitly condemned all projects that offered to help women find satisfaction in traditional housewivery.”

While thinking of domestic labor as less important than professional careers — such as being a lawyer — is its own issue, there were real problems with mid-century home economics courses. There’s the memory of girls being sent to learn about childcare and cooking while boys took shop class — all in preparation to take on traditional gender roles in marriage.

“When my mom took her home economics courses in the 1950s, they learned every egg preparation there was,” Turgeson says. “The reason for that was, they didn’t know what kind of eggs their husband might want.” In today’s world, husbands are expected to make their own eggs, she adds. “When I’m teaching an egg unit, we’re thinking about the function of an egg in the recipe.” What do eggs do, what kind of nutrition do they provide, and how do you look at shelf after shelf of cartons and decipher through the labeling which kind is best to buy?

“There’s a lot of fake news about nutrition, so we promote how to get good sourcing of information,” Randal says of family and consumer sciences classes. Sustainable eating has become another important part of many FCS classes, which might now include subjects such as community gardening, composting and even hydroponics. As Turgeson says, “Those are things you would have never seen in a 1950s classroom.”

FCS classes also commonly address personal finance, healthy relationships, how to balance work and home responsibility, and child development. “In the good old days you got that at home,” says Megan Vincent, a FCS education specialist for the state of Montana. “But now you have two working parents … these courses fill the gaps for what parents can no longer do.”

Building confidence

Carol Werhan, an FCS educator and member of the board of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, explains that cooking taught through FCS courses is more about having the confidence to experiment in the kitchen than becoming a trained chef. “People don’t need to have perfection — you have to know what are the failures that are OK.” Burnt edges can be cut off. Overcooked meat can still be served. “Just because you have a flop in the kitchen doesn’t mean it needs to be brought up at the dinner table,” Werhan says.

Sometimes the skills taught in FCS can be directly applied to a career, yet what the classes are really trying to do is create balance in students’ lives. “Not everyone wants to be a chef or early childhood teacher or caregiver,” Werhan says, explaining that FCS classes make for “a well-rounded, world-literate human being, which makes a great workforce and a great community.”

Some states, such as Indiana and Pennsylvania, require some coursework in FCS in middle or high school. But it’s often offered as an elective. Vincent says 100 of Montana’s 170 high schools offers some type of FCS class. While it’s no longer the case that the vast majority of students in these classes are female, Vincent does share that every FCS teacher in the state is currently female — though one male teacher will be starting in the fall. As of 2012, students in middle school were split evenly between boys and girls, while in high school only 35 percent of students were male. The change is likely because most FCS classes are entirely elective at the high school level. Participation levels, however, are still a huge shift from 1959, when only 1.3 percent of home economics students were male.

The search for teachers

Unfortunately, even when states might want to offer more FCS classes, a good teacher can be hard to find. According to a 2012 study headed by Werhan, “Over half of all states continue to have an issue with hiring adequate numbers of highly qualified FCS teachers.” In Montana, some of the gaps in FCS education are being filled by organizations like Food Corps, which teach students about food and how it’s grown and processed.

“Agriculture is our largest economy, and yet you still have students that don’t know where our food comes from,” Vincent says. This is changing for children in lower grades, who are starting to get this exposure, but many are still “coming up the pipeline” as Vincent says, and it’s too early to tell what kind of effects this education will have.

It seems like one thing every FCS teacher will tell you is that their subject is one that, unlike calculus, students never wonder whether it will be relevant. “Wait five minutes in FCS, and you’ll use this information later this week and later in life,” Turgeson says. For some students, the classes are a break from their academics-heavy schedules and can be a place where lessons — say about fractions or chemistry — can sink in through exposure to those same concepts in the kitchen.

“Everything about FCS is really teaching resource management and employability skills, creative and critical thinking — we just do it through food,” explains Turgeson.

Tove K. Danovich is a journalist based in Portland, Ore.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Despite A Revamped Focus On Real-Life Skills, ‘Home Ec’ Classes Fade Away syndicated from https://buyessayscheapservice.wordpress.com/