22 11 2009

Storybook is a great website with games, word banks and videos about a collection of stories written by authors Scoular Anderson, Debi Gliori, Mairi Hedderwick and Frank Rodgers. It would be a prerequisite to have the books of course and the books in question are Never Keep a Python as a Pet, Katie Morag and the New Pier, My Little Brother, I Can’t go to Sleep, The Bunk-Bed Bus, Backseat’s Special Day, Oh No Peedie Peebles and The Snow Lambs. Teachers of the younger classes my well be familiar with some of these and hopefully have them in their libarary. If so the website is for you.

The sie has interactive activities for each of the stories including bright, fun games and choosing the correct letter to complete words from the story. There are also videos of the authors talking about their story and reading excerpts. If you have these stories I highly reccomend using this website. It is suitable for children from Junior Infants to possibly 2nd class at a push.


Tasts Buds – Safe Food

18 11 2009

The Safe Food website offer a collection of interactive presentations and activities on the origins of food, food safety and healthiness. There are 8 interactive sessions in all covering the food and nutrition element of the SPHE program. Each of the sessions consists of classroom slides, extension activities, teacher’s notes and homework suggestions. It is aimed at 8-10 year olds so I suppose could be used from 2nd class up to 5th. The positive messages that will be taken from the activities are about eating healthy food and living a healthy lifestyle.

Mapping Our World

11 11 2009

The Mapping Our World website was set up by Oxfam to educate children about mapping and globe projections. This is required material in the Geography curriculum for 5th and 6th classes, falling under the Maps, globes and graphical skills unit in the Skills and Concepts Development strand. The site is made up of 3 seperate lessons, each of which has around 40 minutes of material including videos and interactive activities. Teacher notes are supplied for each of the lessons, making using the website foolproof.  I really like this website and the children do too. The site has won a Geographical Association Gold award and a BAFTA award for primary learning so they must be doing something right.

Mapping Our World

Planet 10 – The Solar System

9 11 2009

The Solar System is a topic that children find interesting and are eager to learn and with the help of the Planet 10 website learning about the planets becomes even more fun. Children enter a virtual Solar System with accompanying eerie music, where they can take a tour of the Solar System, zooming in and out on different planets and changing the viewing angle. Children can also find out information about all the planets, the Sun, comets and asteroids.

The website also includes a great game where children create their own planet. They get to chose the size, tilt, chemical make up, position in relation to the sun and a whole host of others before launching the planet into the Solar System to see how it gets on.

While on the topic of the Solar System I recently discovered, thanks to a 6th class student, that you can explore the Moon and Mars using Google Earth and it is also possible to explore the stars using Google Space.

Lastly, if like me you are frustrated by youtube being blocked in school I have found a website called videojug which is not blocked in schools and has some educational videos including the following, relating to Earth and the Solar System:
All About Earth
The Planets Explained
The Seasons Explained

Planet 10

That Quiz

5 11 2009

I investigated a resource named That Quiz which was recommended by a Twitter user yesterday. At first sight it is a grey, boring looking, run-of-the-mill website but upon investigation I found out that it is far more than that. It may not be pretty but it is extremely effective at what it is trying to achieve and I will definitely be using it on an on-going basis in future.

The website is basically a one-stop assessment shop. Teachers can register their name and the names of the students in their class very simply, which I did yesterday in around 5-10 minutes. There are then a host of pre-designed tests which a teacher can create by selecting a few basic parameters (e.g. number of questions, level of difficulty, etc). While the interface is very uninspiring, by being grey, it is very easy to use. It took me only a couple of minutes to set a fractions test which comprised of 20 questions testing the children on addition and subtraction of proper fractions. Once the test has been set the teacher is given a code. Students then use this code to login, select their name from a list and complete the test. The tests could be completed 1 by 1 on a PC at the back of the room or all together using a group of PCs. When students complete the test they are given their result and it is saved for the teacher to login in and view later.

I have only started using the site and it is definitely a runner for testing Maths. There are also some English, Science and Geography tests which I have yet to check out. Another idea I have for using this site is to set up some sample tests and give the children the code in their homework notebook to practice at home. It will definitely reduce correcting time.

That Quiz


The Tomb of Perneb (Ancient Egypt)

4 11 2009

The Tomb of Perneb website is run by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and aims to educate children about the construction of the tomb and how it ended up in New York. The theme ties in with the Early People and Ancient Societies strand of History and would suit the children in the senior cycle (probably only 5th and 6th classes).

The website is split into 3 parts. In the first of these parts children learn why tombs were built, how they were built and what they contained. Children can view of virtual 3-D tour of the tomb and see what would have been in there. The 2nd part of the website deals with the discovery and excavation of the tomb and the eventual transportation of the tomb to New York. The final part of the website deals with the tomb today and children can watch videos of the museum curator and others speak about the tomb.

Also included in the site are an interactive crossword and details for an Art lesson on making a papyrus scroll with Egyptian Hieroglyphics on it.

The Tomb of Perneb

Badger Wood – Environmental Awareness

3 11 2009

Badger Wood is an interactive website which teaches children about the affects road building can have on woodland areas. It is another bright, colourful website with plenty of information. It focuses on the environmental damage and how the different species of the woodlands are affected. The site includes an interactive game where children search the forest to find the animals that live there and to ask them questions. So really the site works twofold – it teaches the children about protecting the environment and it teaches them about the different animals that live in a woodland. The site fits in nicely with the Environmental Awareness and Care strands of Science and Geography. It also ties in with the Living Things strand in Science. It is aimed more for the middle classes (1st-4th) as the older children will probably find it a bit too childish.

Badger Wood