Tech Tip Tuesday ... GAMEUP (from BrainPOP!)

If you're anything like me, BrainPOP is already one of your favorite educational resources. I started hearing rumors (and then even confirmed rumors) last year that BrainPOP was working on something new ... GAMES!

Each game (I used to make my kids call  them "educational activities" so it didn't sound like we were having TOO MUCH fun in class!) ties directly into curriculum. There are also links with each of the games to other BrainPOP resources about the subject matter. Since we are lucky enough to have a district subscription for our K-8th graders, all of the suggested videos will be accessible with the click of the mouse!

GameUp has categorized the games into Science, Math, Social Studies, and Health right now. There are even a few student-made games available on the site. These games look like they're most appropriate for our older elementary and middle school students.

For our younger kiddos, be sure to check out the BrainPOP Jr Games site. There are already more than 225 games that fall into Science, Health, Reading & Writing, Social Studies, Math, and Arts & Technology.

Check out this sequencing game about email.

After I drag the pictures to the correct order, Mobi gives me a "thumbs up" and then gives me the opportunity to play again or learn more. By clicking Learn More, I go right to the BrainPOP Jr. E-mail video and all of the other tools that go with it.

I'm excited to see how much our students enjoy BrainPOP's newest feature, GAMEUP! Let me know what you think. =)


Tech Tip Tuesday ... Story Starters

Looking for fun ways to get your students excited about journaling? Let them "help" come up with a story starter! Scholastic (one of my FAVES!) has an interactive Story Starter that might just be what you need!
Let one of your students enter their name, pick the grade level, then spin the wheels to come up with the story starter of the day.

Check out the story starter here ... leave a comment with your favorite journal topic!


Format Painter: The Most Helpful Tool You've Never Used

The Format Painter may be one of my favorite tools in Microsoft Office applications. Simply stated, it copies the formatting of text or an image, and allows you to paste that formatting onto other text or images.

When working in a document, you should spend the majority of your time working on the content. When the content is complete, go back and decide the font, font size, font color, and any other styles you want apply. If there are headings in your document, you may want them to be a little larger than the rest of the text or you may want to make them bold. Do this on the first heading, but then you can use the Format Painter to copy that style onto the other headings in your document or even into a different document.

This video demonstrates how the Format Painter works.


Tech Tip Tuesday ... Arcademic Skill Builders

Arcademic Skill Builders combine arcade-style games with academics to equal fun learning!

The first games I played on this site (years ago) were all math games, but I was happy to see that there are plenty of activities for a variety of subjects. (Some of which include: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fraction, geography, language arts, and even typing!)

Students who simply want the practice can play single-player games. Students who enjoy (and benefit from) a little friendly competition will love playing the multi-player games. They can either join a game and compete against other students, or they can create their own game and compete with each other in the classroom. 

This video is from a couple of elementary schools in Olathe, Kansas, that tried out Arcademic Skill Builders:

I certainly haven't tried them all, but my favorite games so far are Penguin Jump Multiplication and Furious Frogs. What are your students' favorites?

Check out Arcademic Skill Builders today! 


Tech Tip Tuesday ... Screen Shots/Clippings in Word 2010

There are lots of ways to take a screenshot of your computer screen. There are many third-party programs that you can download to use and there's even a button on your keyboard that will do it! However, Microsoft has added a super easy way to take and insert screen captures into a document.
In Word 2010 (or even PowerPoint or Excel!), click Insert Screenshot from the Insert tab.

You will see a preview of any open windows on your computer. If you want to insert a full screenshot, just click on the one you want. If you'd rather take a smaller "clip" of something, then select Screen Clipping. The document you are working on will immediately minimize, and the computer screen will fade a bit. With the new cursor, draw a box around the part of the screen you want to use. When you release it, that image will be inserted in your document. 

It's really easy ... give it a try!

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