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10 Science Online Game Collections Kids Can Play in Their Free Time


10 Science Online Game Collections Kids Can Play in Their Free Time

Science in particular has a great many subjects which benefit from visual models and animated examples.  Furthermore, kids of nearly all ages naturally gravitate to things that resemble games since they understand and respect their mechanics and rules.  Take advantage of this match made in heaven and look over these curated collections of web-based science games that kids can play at school and at home to reinforce what they are learning in class.  Since science often gets less time in the limelight than subjects such as language arts and math, these games are also a great way to get in some extra practice that you may not have freedom to devote direct teaching time to.


Use the grade level categories below as a loose guide, as many of the collections also include games for adjacent grade levels!


Primary Science Websites

Turtle Diary 

Over eighty games, the vast majority of which are for students pre-k through grade 2, on a surprisingly wide variety of science topics appropriate to the age group.


PBS Kids 

Character themed science games about weather, gardening, ecosystems, basic physics and more.


Middle Elementary

Science Kids 

Almost thirty games subdivided into three sections: living things, physical processes & solids, liquids and gases.  


Sheppard Software 

Twelve chemical element games, six nutrition games and fifteen more science games on various subjects.


Upper Elementary

Mr. Nussbaum 

Over thirty different science-themed games, along with instructional activities and/or videos for each one.


Middle School

NASA's Space Place 

Space, weather and tech themed games, with some videos and craft ideas in the educator section.


Legends of Learning 

Earth and space science, life science and physical science games. Legends of Learning games align to national Common Core and NGSS standards for Math and Science, with thousands of games and assessment items for middle and elementary school.  


Game On Learning - Middle School Science 

Energy management, microbiology, physics and more can be explored in seven games and links to three more websites that host multiple games.


Early High School

Game On Learning - High School Science 

Chemistry, biology, physics, ecology, and more feature in this list of nine games.


Late High School

Science Game Center

Botany, biology, ecology, meteorology and more!  The game mechanics also offer enough complexity to engage older students.  Some of these games have to actually be downloaded onto your computer, so be sure to check the “Available on” part of the game profile if you only want to use web-based games.


If you’re having trouble finding what you need to support your teaching on one of these lists, try opening up Google and typing in “[[subject] or [standard]] game for [grade level]“ to find something aligned more closely to your unit. 


10 Science Online Game Collections Kids Can Play in Their Free Time


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Brittany Washburn
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8 Ways Non-Techie Teachers Can Incorporate Technology in the Classroom


 8 Ways Non-Techie Teachers Can Incorporate Technology in the Classroom



Here are some user-friendly, innovative ways that even non-techie teachers can integrate technology in the classroom. These things that don't have a big learning curve, and that can be implemented without adding stress.

But first, survival tips when trying any new technology:
  • Don’t worry about mastering everything. Pick one or two things to focus on getting better at this year.
  • Don’t compare yourself to the teacher down the hall. There will always be someone who is doing more with technology, or doing it “better”. So what?
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If there isn’t someone at school, get connected with an online community like my Facebook Group.
  • Expect to work some bugs out. I don’t know about you, but most new things I try need some polishing.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop using something that doesn’t work for your classroom (just be sure you’ve given it a fair chance).

Some easy-to-use tech you can try:

Canva



An amazing tool packed with templates for non-designers to create graphics, presentations, flyers and more. Both you and your students can find a myriad of uses for this eye-catching technology. It is free to use, though they do also have a paid option with additional features.

Google Slides



A little more updated than PowerPoint, cloud-based and ideal for collaboration. Convert a lesson or two per week that you would normally present in a less visually appealing way to Slides, or have your students use them to create their next report.

Prezi



Another presentation platform, but non-linear and with some serious pizzazz. If your kids aren’t paying attention during the presentation of creation of one of these, no visual technology is going to engage them.

Animoto



A way for you or your students to make video slideshows. The advantage of this type of “presentation” is that you set the timing and then it plays automatically, without the need to click through each slide as you go.

Google Classroom



An online learning management system may seem like a big step, but Classroom is a great place to get started even if you just want to begin posting announcements, assignments, grade-able quizzes, etc.

Kahoot



Host live events where students answer timed questions or give student-paced challenges. You can create a quiz from scratch, use their question bank to mix and match questions, edit a template, or reuse existing games. Visual reports help you assess how the class performed, and identify difficult questions. This is the most fun your kids can possibly have reviewing for a quiz.

ClassDojo



This online behavioral management system lets you award student-created avatars with points for desirable behavior and take away points for undesirable behavior. It also lets you connect parent accounts which allow for private messaging between the teacher and individual parents, or class-wide parent announcements that can include uploaded attachments such as handouts, worksheets, or permission slips. If the platform seems too cutsie for your students, there is Classcraft for older students but it has a lot more features so it may be a bit overwhelming when you first get started.

Learning Games (such as Arcademics or Sheppard Software)

Flash cards, but in a game format that students will want to practice with.  What’s not to like?  Set aside ten minutes at the beginning or end of class, or let early finishers put their time to good use.




One final thought…


You don’t have to be the master of a technology to have your students benefit from it. Introduce something and let your kids do the integrating. Seeing you trying to figure it out alongside them can be a great opportunity to model learning as an adult.

Here are some user-friendly, innovative ways that even non-techie teachers can integrate technology in the classroom. These things that don't have a big learning curve, and that can be implemented without adding stress.    But first, survival tips when trying any new technology:  Don’t worry about mastering everything.  Pick one or two things to focus on getting better at this year.  Don’t compare yourself to the teacher down the hall.  There will always be someone who is doing more with technology, or doing it “better”.  So what?  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  If there isn’t someone at school, get connected with an online community like my Facebook Group.  Expect to work some bugs out.  I don’t know about you, but most new things I try need some polishing.  Don’t be afraid to stop using something that doesn’t work for your classroom (just be sure you’ve given it a fair chance).



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7 New Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom


 

Skype is a communication tool that allows you to video chat with people all over the world. In the classroom it can be put to many uses, such as practicing foreign language skills, touring a different part of the world, seeing animals you wouldn't normally see, interviewing notable figures, watching presentations and experiments, teaching on-the-go and more.

Skype is a communication tool that allows you to video chat with people all over the world. In the classroom it can be put to many uses, such as practicing foreign language skills, touring a different part of the world, seeing animals you wouldn't normally see, interviewing notable figures, watching presentations and experiments, teaching on-the-go and more.  


Practicing Foreign Language Skills

Help your students get hooked up with a pen pal who is a native speaker of the language they are learning.   Students of the World is designed specifically for connecting students, and there are also websites like Conversation Exchange, Language Exchange Community, PenPal World, or Speaky which focus on connecting people who speak different languages.


Touring a Different Part of the World

Video chat with someone from another place lets your students see sights and animals they wouldn't normally see.  Another fun idea is the “mystery call”, where you link up to a classroom in another region then have them offer up hints as to their true location, challenging students to guess where in the world their new friends live.  Virtual field trips are easily enabled using Skype too.


Interviewing Notable Figures

Find an industry expert through a website like Nepris or the Digital Human Library.  If you already have a subject matter expert in mind, you can just go ahead and contact them to set up a meeting!  


Watching Presentations and Experiments

You can use Skype to have your class tag along to any demonstration it isn't practical to take them to in person.  You can also plug into standard local presentations, like story hour at the library.  Skype in the Classroom is a free community that connects teachers with other educators and guest speakers from around the world.  Teachers have already created thousands of lessons on Skype in the classroom. Taking part in one of these is a nice way to start using Skype as part of your lesson plan.  Once you’ve found a lesson you like, simply click the ‘Register for this lesson’ button.  The community will notify the person running the lesson and you should hear from them soon.  


Collaborate

Hold a debate, build a band comprised of musicians who play and practice together over video, host a book club either as part of a classroom project or organized as an extracurricular, or even encourage your older students to use Skype for study groups.  


Teaching On-the-Go

Use Skype to teach from wherever you are.  Professional development through Skype lets educators themselves keep their career skills sharpened and broadened from anywhere too.


Parent-Teacher Conferences

Save time and energy by holding parent teacher conferences via video chat instead of in person.  This can be useful both at the regularly scheduled events and for issues that arise at other times.  You can also set up tutoring and office hours to help students who need help with their assignments. Special education classrooms might find this particularly valuable.


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Skype is a communication tool that allows you to video chat with people all over the world. In the classroom it can be put to many uses, such as practicing foreign language skills, touring a different part of the world, seeing animals you wouldn't normally see, interviewing notable figures, watching presentations and experiments, teaching on-the-go and more.



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