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Alien Scavenger HuntAlien Scavenger Hunt The website:  http://www.earobics.com/gamegoo/games/alien/ash.html Classroom Applications: Partner Activity:  Use the above website as an individual or partner...


Techniques for Engaging All StudentsTechniques for Engaging All Students When using interactive online resources, often you may want students to respond to a question you have displayed with your LCD projector or on your interactive whiteboard. ...


Ordered Pairs StoriesOrdered Pairs Stories   The websites:  http://resources.oswego.org/games/BillyBug/bugcoord.html (Copyrighted by Mark Cogan) http://resources.oswego.org/games/BillyBug2/bug2.html (Copyrighted...


Justification for Teaching with Interactive ContentJustification for Teaching with Interactive Content In this age of accountability, it is more important than ever to be able to justify the tools and techniques we use in our classrooms with solid research.  So, not only am...


Categorizing Interactive ContentCategorizing Interactive Content After I had been teaching with online resources in my classroom for a few weeks, I began to notice that the interactive content I was searching for fell into four distinct...


A New Year, A New Location

Posted on : 31-12-2012 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : Uncategorized



movingThank you for your interest in the Interactive Content Corner!  My blog has re-located!  Please join me for the same informative posts over at StarrMatica’s blog:  blog.starrmatica.com


Construction Problem Solving

Posted on : 04-10-2011 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : Problem Solving


The websites:

  • http://pbskids.org/fetch/games/dishitout/game.html Rube Goldberg Machine
  • http://www.inventionatplay.org/swf/gravity/gravity.swf
  • http://pbskids.org/zoom/games/goldburgertogo/rubegame.html

Engage your students’ problem solving and spatial relations skills with these construction challenges.  Each challenge involves placing a series of parts in the correct locations and/or adjusting parts to result in a functioning machine.  Each functioning machine completes a task such as directing a ball into a bucket or focusing light through a magnifying glass.  Students are able to test their machines anytime during the building process to help them revise their machines.  Several levels of difficulty are represented, and Dish It Out even allows students to create challenges for other students to complete.

Implementation Ideas

These challenges would be most useful for individual student problem solving and/or for small group cooperation at a center.


Have students bring in materials such as cardboard boxes, tin cans, string, empty milk cartons, etc. and move these online activities into the classroom by setting up an area for students to practice hands-on construction and problem solving by creating their own machines that complete tasks.

Hurricane Interactives

Posted on : 26-08-2011 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : 3-6 Science


Whether you will be directly impacted by a hurricane or your students are just inquisitive, these websites will help you explore this weather phenomenon.

Hurricane Explanation Video

Hurricane 1

http://www.montereyinstitute.org/noaa/lesson14.html – Click the “Play” button to begin the Hurricanes video. Click the “Global Impact” tab for another video.

 Hurricanes Animations

Hurricane 2

http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_4020000/newsid_4022100/4022129.stm – Click “Next” button to navigate through the animated guide about hurricanes. 

Hurricane 3

http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/natural_disasters/hurricanes/hurricanes101.swf - Use the steps at the bottom of the screen to view hurricane animations. 

Hurricane 4

http://www.yourdiscovery.com/earth/hurricanes/Huricane_Seasons.swf - Click next to view animations of a forming hurricane.

Hurricane 5

http://www.curriculumbits.com/prodimages/details/geography/hurricanes.swf - Explore the formation of a hurricane with this animated guide.   

Hurricane Lab

Hurricane 6

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/pdf/canelab.htm – Explore the factors that influence the formation of a hurricane.   Click on the up and down arrows to adjust the winds, atmosphere, latitude range, and temperature (score of 80).


A Hurricane’s Path

Hurricane 7

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/kids/movncane.htm – Can you direct the path of a hurricane?  Drag the hurricane to one of the locations in the Atlantic.  Drag the “L” and “H” to a place to test on the map. Click “Start” to see how the weather patterns affect the hurricane.

Prepare for a Hurricane

Hurricane 8

http://www.getreadyac.com/flash/pack.aspx - Click the gold star on the door to start.  In each room of the house, click and drag items needed to survive a hurricane to the right side of the screen.


Fraction Action!

Posted on : 23-05-2011 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : Fractions


The websites: 

Two of my fakids-and-cookies-screen-shot-1vorite websites for exploring fractions concepts with students are Kids and Cookies and Find Grampy.  I share Kids and Cookies often at conferences and during webinars.  I was honored two years ago to meet one of the creators of Kids and Cookies when he introduced himself after attending my interactive resources presentation at PCTM in Pittsburgh.

I used Kids and Cookies to introduce fractions to my students.  The open-ended manipulative allowed them to explore the concept of fractions in the context of a real world problem.  I would choose three kids and four cookies and ask my students how they could divide them equally and “still be friends” when they were finished.  The manipulative then allowed us to cut the cookies into equal parts which would be the springboard for our discussion “What Is A Fraction?”

Being able to choose different numbers of students, different numbers of cookies, and different shapes of cookies opens the manipulative to future uses for exploring equivalent fractions and mixed numbers.

I used Find Grampy to practice visualizing the size of fractional parts of a whole with my students.  Students are used to larger numbers representing larger quantities, so a difficult fractions concept for them to grasp is the fact that the denominator increases as the size of the fractional part decreases.  Find Grampy helps students practice visualizing the size of fractional parts in the context of a fun hide-and-seek game.  I often used virtual ink over the top of the interactive and asked students to divide the hedge into the equal number of parts indicated by the denominator before answering online.

Both Kids and Cookies and Find Grampy are included in StarrMatica’s Teaching Beginning Fractions Concepts ebook that can be downloaded for free here.


Magnetic Poetry

Posted on : 07-04-2011 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : Poetry


magnetic-poetryIn honor of national poetry month, here are five sites for creating masterpieces with magnetic poetry. 

Classroom Applications:

Magnetic poetry can be a wonderful tool to encourage students to begin exploring poetry who may be reluctant writers or who just aren’t interested in the genre.   Sometimes it is helpful for students who have trouble getting started or making decisions to have a closed set of words to work with.   And magnetic poetry can expand a student’s writing by providing word choice options that may not be part of his/her everyday vocabulary.  Furthermore, simply using technology is often a motivational tool.

If students are working with the same set of words, having students share their poetry can provide an opportunity to compare and contrast and can inspire a discussion of word choice.

While magnetic poetry is not a substitute for writing a poem from scratch, it can be a tool to gain student interest in the genre and to encourage guided exploration of the craft.starrmatica-banner-ad-38001