Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wake Your Class Up with Simulations!

Have students ever expressed that your class is boring? Have you ever wanted to show students an experiment but didn't have the equipment? Need a way to spice up your classroom? Well why don't you WAKE YOUR class up with simulations? I have complied a list of EXCELLENT simulations that I have actually evaluated (except one) for user-friendliness, design, cost, attractiveness, and effectiveness. This list will be updated regularly so continue to check back!

 

Social Studies

Science
  • PhET (University of Colorado at Boulder)- This has WONDERFUL  simulations for Science and Math. They are easy to use and only require that you download Java. It has versions into almost 20 different languages. You can even embed the simulations for students to play straight from your website or blog. These are SUPERB!  http://phet.colorado.edu/
  • Molecular Workbench- This GREAT site allows students to work thought simulations, asks multiple choice questions, and makes  to explain what happened in a short essay. You can even create your own simulations or change current ones to fit your individual class needs or state objectives. http://mw.concord.org/modeler/
  • Explorer Learning-  Now this exceptional site has simulations for science and math for grades 3-12. The best features about this site is that you go get activities specific to state standards or Common Core, and it comes complete with a student worksheet and a student vocabulary sheet. It does have a free samples and a 30 day free trial (which does give you full access to everything) but to get continued full access, you have to get the paid version. http://www.explorelearning.com/
  • Nobel Prize- The Nobel Prize organization has a whole section on education simulations that have been nominated and/or won Nobel prizes! They have some  SUPERB simulations for science, including chemistry, physics, and biology. http://www.nobelprize.org/educational/all_productions.html
Math
  •  University of Colorado at Boulder- has GREAT simulations for Science and Math. They are easy to use and only require that you download Java. It has versions into almost 20 different languages. You can even embed the simulations for students to play straight from your website or blog. These are SUPERB!  http://phet.colorado.edu/
  •  Explorer Learning-  Now this exceptional site has simulations for science and math for grades 3-12. The best features about this site is that you go get activities specific to state standards or Common Core, and it comes complete with a student worksheet and a student vocabulary sheet. It does have a free samples and a 30 day free trial (which does give you full access to everything) but to get continued full access, you have to get the paid version. http://www.explorelearning.com/
  • Illuminations- This site has over 100 simulations. They you can pick by grade level or standard. They also have lesson plans and a few assessment questions. http://illuminations.nctm.org/ActivitySearch.aspx
  • Shodor- This site has an interesting variety of simulations that are easy to use and don't require downloads. http://www.shodor.org/interactivate/activities/
Reading/ Language Arts
General
  • Google Advanced Search 
    • If you want to search and find simulations and games by topic (for example by a topic such as colonization, photosynthesis, solving quadratic equations, etc.), you can use Google Advanced Search. 
      1. Read my article on Using Google Search to Find Resources
      2. When you select the format, use  Shockwave Wave Flash (.swf)

This list is CONSTANTLY growing so make sure to check back often. Any suggestions kimberlyscott@gmail.com or @ingeniousteach

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