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The 12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers

Here’s a collection of holiday and winter sites for kids and teachers that should help make your last week of school festive and productive, and give kids some fun places to go on those cold, wintry days.

1. Snow-Line

In this über-popular game from Mini-Clip, your mission is to help Santa Claus collect the presents and get them ready for delivery on Christmas Eve. To do this you need to draw a pathway of least-resistance, collect all the presents, and finish at the checkered flag.  EdTechIdeas: Although mostly fun, the rules of physics play a part here and students must think and plan out a pathway that does not defy gravity. Also a good game if you have students who have not completely mastered the mouse.

2. Video Message from Santa (Portable North Pole)

 

Young children love getting messages from Santa. Here’s a site that sends you kids a personalized video message from Mr. Claus himself! Add in information like, what your child wants for Christmas, what he or she needs to working on to improve, photos, etc. and your child will be blown away with happiness!

3. TheNorthPole.com

Journey to the Northpole.com for loads of great activities for kids. Students can write letters to Santa, read stories, have stories read to them, create personalized stories, and many other activities. EdTechIdeas: Beyond having students explore and learn with this site, there is the Elf Pal Academy, which connects teachers to a plethora of printable Google Docs geared to lower elementary students and English language learners.

4. Ice Breaker RC

Another great game from Miniclip. Your mission is to slice through the ice and save the frozen Vikings by getting them back to their longboat! You really have to contemplate and plan out your moves in this highly challenging game.

5. Ultimate Winter Resources for Teachers

There are tons of ideas, lesson plans, book activities, links tore-printable stories, teacher sharing ideas, and more. EdTechIdeas: The Ultimate Winter Resources for Teachers would be a good place to start if you’re looking for winter inspiration.

6. Winter Mad Libs

Who doesn’t like Mad Libs? Classroomjr.com has a collection of 3 winter Mad Libs, along with 3 Christmas Mad Libs, some winter word puzzlesChristmas math worksheets, and some printable Christmas mazes that’ll keep students productive all winter break.

7. Norad Tracks Santa

Each year, Norad tracks Santa by using four high-tech tracking systems – radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets. This site allows kids to watch as Santa is tracked as he delivers all of his presents. On Christmas Eve, students can click here to track his flight live in Google Earth.  EdTechIdeas: Norad Tracks Santa is a great site to learn about geography and places around the world. Students could chart the stops in Google Maps, calculate distances and speed required to make all of the stops possible, write a creative story about his adventure, compare and contrast Santa’s trips in the past using population data… I could go on forever!

8. ABC Teach

Great site for teachers, ABC Teach has downloadable bookmarks, border paper, word scrambles, coloring pages, some holiday book comprehension and activity pages, and more.

9. Education Place – Winter Theme

Education Place has a plethora of activities for teachers of grades K-8. Winter memory books, weather studies, seasonal comparisons, winter quizzes, word finds, snow sculptures, and more. If you’re looking for learning activities to do during the winter months, this is a good place to start.

10. Antarctica “Street” View

Google Maps Antarctica allows you to take a walk around parts of the white continent. A very small portion of Antarctica have been covered (for obvious reasons), but the views are amazing! In typical Google subtle humor, the normal yellow street view man in street view Antarctica is replaced by a penguin. EdTechIdeas: I realize it’s not “Christmassy” and Santa lives in the North Pole, not the South; but there’s some great images here not to be missed. Students could write stories about what life would be like if Santa lived in Antarctica. They could pinpoint where his home would be and find a suitable area for a landing strip.

11. Christmas Around the World

Students can learn about different Christmas traditions in several countries. While the title of the site sounds grandiose and all-encompassing, there are only 8 countries highlighted. However, for learning about some different traditions for kids, it’s not a bad place to start.

12. Storynory

Storynory is a site that lets kids listen to free audio stories that are read by storyteller, Natasha Gostwick. The stories can be streamed live, or downloaded to be played anywhere. EdTechIdeas: Storynory would make a great listening center and a place story starting ideas. Students can created their own audio recordings and turn them into podcasts for other students, parents, and teachers to enjoy.

Happy Holidays from EdTechIdeas!

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Google Sites in the Classroom

Thinking of creating a classroom website, or having your students create sites for themselves? Watch 9 year olds Grace and Sophie explain how easy it is to do with Google Sites.

8 Great Sites for Reluctant Writers

1. Storyjumper

Storyjumper allows you to create online books using a plethora of characters, scenes, and props. Teachers can, for free, create classes to register students so they each have their own account. As of this writing, there does not seem to be a limit as to how many student accounts you can create.

2. Read Write Think Printing Press

ReadWriteThink creates a lot of great educational resources. With Printing Press students can create a booklet, flyer, brochure, or newspaper fairly easily. There is a nice guide that walks you through the process and the focus is on writing. There is a place within each publication for a picture, but not one that you can add from your computer. This space is reserved for students to draw a picture after printing.

3. Kerpoof

Kerpoof is an online story and comic-creator which allows students to create comic scenes and stories, as well as animated movies, cards, drawings, doodles, and pictures.  Educators are able to sign up for a class account and assign usernames and passwords for each student to have their own individual accounts. There are no ads or inappropriate content and the art work is fun and lively.  Finished products may be saved, printed, or emailed.

4. Story Starters

Story Starters is a fun activity to inspire students to write. They first spin the story starter wheel (they can then spin individual wheels to adjust their story starter), choose a format (notebook, letter, newspaper, postcard) and then begin writing. There are options to print and draw a picture as well. There is a nice teacher section that lists objectives for the lesson as well as several ideas for integrating the activity into your current RLA focus. Being that students can’t save their work, I often just have them spin the wheels to create a starter and then simply have them write their stories in Word.  This would also be a good site to have projected on the screen (or on a classroom computer station) first thing in the morning. Each day a new student can spin the wheel and you could have a quick morning creative writing session, comparing and sharing stories.

5. My StoryMaker

My Storymaker allows students to create a story book with fun characters and settings. When complete, you can print, or save to the public gallery which allows you to download the file as a pdf. I recently introduced this to a 5th grade class and it went extremely well. The students created epic and creative stories and had a really fun time writing! The one drawback I found is that there is no option to save and come back to edit, so students have to start and complete their story within one class period. One idea I’ve come up with is to have the first session be an explore session where the students learn about the site, the characters, setting, etc. Then, they can write out a rough draft before the second session so that when they access the site the second time, they are ready to roll, and time is not as much of a factor.

6. Writing With Writers

Part of the larger Scholastic site, Writing With Writers provides an excellent resource for writing. There is an excellent section for kids called, Computer Lab Favorites (Teacher View Here |Student View Here), that has a variety of writing tools like Story StartersMyth Brainstorming Machine, and Poetry Idea Engine; as well as learning games like, It’s Greek to Me (great for Real Spelling connections), and Fish Up Word EndingsAlong with all the great writing tools and activities, there are also sections for MathScienceSocial Studies, and Spanish that require no prep and can be completed in 15-30 minutes.

7. Zoo Burst

Zoo Burst is a digital storytelling tool that allows you to create lively 3-d pop-up books with sounds and actual pop-up effects when you turn the page.  You first create a free account, and then use the simple interface and tools to begin creating your book.

8. Bitstrips

My favorite comic creator, Bitstrips allows students to create fun comics on any topic of their (or your) choice. Students can use Bitstrips for free, but the $78 annual subscription allows teachers to create a classroom with individual student accounts and create assignments that students submit to you when they are finished.

EdTechIdeas: These sites can be great tools to help struggling writers, as well as kids who love to write.  I’ve seen my students so excited about story writing with StoryJumper and Kerpoof. The Printing Press makes it quick and easy for elementary kids to create nice looking publications. Story Starters is a quick go-to tool when you’re in need of prompts.

12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers – Day 12

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: StoyrnoryStorynory is a site that lets kids listen to free audio stories that are read by storyteller, Natasha Gostwick. The stories can be streamed live, or downloaded to be played anywhere. EdTechIdeas: Storynory would make a great listening center and a place story starting ideas. Students can created their own audio recordings and turn them into podcasts for other students, parents, and teachers to enjoy.

Storynory

For the previous days of Christmas sites, click here to see day 1, here to see day 2, here for day 3, here for day 4, here to see day 5, here for day 6, here for the 7th day, here for day 8, here for day 9, here for day 10, and here for day 11. 

Happy Holidays from Ed Tech Ideas!!!


12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers – Day 11

On the 11th day of Christmas, my truelove gave to me: Christmas Around the WorldStudents can learn about different Christmas traditions in several countries. While the title of the site sounds grandiose and all-encompassing, there are only 8 countries highlighted. However, for learning about some different traditions for kids, it’s not a bad place to start.  UpdateChristmas Celebrations Around the World is a great alternative and covers a lot more countries – thanks to @baibbb for this recommendation! 

Christmas Around the World

 

For the previous days of Christmas sites, click here to see day 1, here to see day 2, here for day 3, here for day 4, here to see day 5, here for day 6, here for the 7th day, here for day 8, here for day 9, and here for day 10. 


12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers – Day 10

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Antarctica “Street” View! Google maps Antarctica allows you to take a walk around parts of the white continent. A very small portion of Antarctica have been covered (for obvious reasons), but the views are amazing! In typical Google subtle humor, the normal yellow street view man in street view Antarctica is replaced by a penguin. EdTechIdeas: I realize it’s not “Christmassy” and Santa lives in the North Pole, not the South; but there’s some great images here not to be missed. Students could write stories about what life would be like if Santa lived in Antarctica. They could pinpoint where his home would be and find a suitable area for a landing strip.

Antarctica “Street” View

For the previous days of Christmas sites, click here to see day 1, here to see day 2, here for day 3, here for day 4, here to see day 5, here for day 6, here for the 7th day, here for day 8, and here for day 9. 

12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers – Day 9

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Education Place – Winter Theme!  Education Place has a plethora of activities for teachers of grades K-8. Winter memory books, weather studies, seasonal comparisons, winter quizzes, word finds, snow sculptures, and more. If you’re looking for learning activities to do during the winter months, this is a good place to start. 

For the previous days of Christmas sites, click here to see day 1, here to see day 2, here for day 3, here for day 4, here to see day 5, here for day 6, here for the 7th day, and here for day 8. 

12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers – Day 8

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: ABC Teach!  A great site for teachers, ABC Teach has downloadable bookmarks, border paper, word scrambles, coloring pages, some holiday book comprehension and activity pages, and more. For the previous days of Christmas sites, click here to see day 1, here to see day 2, here for day 3, here for day 4, here to see day 5, here for day 6, and here for the 7th day.

ABC Teach

12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers – Day 7

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Norad Tracks Santa!  Each year, Norad tracks Santa by using four high-tech tracking systems – radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets. This site allows kids to watch as Santa is tracked as he delivers all of his presents.
For the previous days of Christmas sites, click here to see day 1, here to see day 2, here for day 3, here for day 4, here to see day 5, and here for day 6.

Norad Tracks Santa

On Christmas Eve, students can click here to track his flight live in Google Earth.  They can also watch a video of him flying.  There’s also a fun game area where kids can help light a Christmas Tree, help a snowman ski down a hill, put a puzzle together and more. EdTechIdeas: Norad Tracks Santa is a great site to learn about geography and places around the world. Students could chart the stops in Google Maps, calculate distances and speed required to make all of the stops possible, write a creative story about his adventure, compare and contrast Santa’s trips in the past using population data… I could go on forever!

12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers – Day 6

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Winter Mad Libs!  Today’s site is from classroomjr.com and features some great winter and Christmas Mad Libs.
For the previous days of Christmas sites, click here to see day 1, here to see day 2, here for day 3, here for day 4, and here to see day 5.

Winter Mad Libs

Who doesn’t like Mad Libs? Classroomjr.com has a collection of 3 winter Mad Libs, along with 3 Christmas Mad Libs, some winter word puzzlesChristmas math worksheets, and some printable Christmas mazes that’ll keep students productive all winter break.

12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers – Day 5

This is the fifth day of 12 days worth of fun Christmas sites for kids and teachers. Here you will find a variety of games, activities, teaching resources, and places to go online to get the Christmas season rolling. Today’s find features a nice site for teachers to gather ideas for the season called the “Ultimate Winter Resources for Teachers.” The name says it all.
Click here to see day 1, here to see day 2, here to see day 3, and here for day 4

Ultimate Winter Resources for Teachers

There are tons of ideas, lesson plans, book activities, links tore-printable stories, teacher sharing ideas, and more. EdTechIdeas: The Ultimate Winter Resources for Teachers would be a good place to start if you’re looking for winter inspiration.

12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers – Day 4

This is the fourth day of 12 days worth of fun Christmas sites for kids and teachers. Here you will find a variety of games, activities, teaching resources, and places to go online to get the Christmas season rolling. Today’s find features a great physics-based game that kids love to play called Ice Breaker RC.
Click here to see day 1, here to see day 2, and here
to see day 3

Ice Breaker RC

Another great physics-based game from Miniclip. Your mission is to slice through the ice and save the frozen Vikings by getting them back to their longboat! Students really have to contemplate and plan out their moves in this highly challenging game. Different angles will cause the ice to fall differently, and the need to judge and predict gravity pulling momentum will be important. Ice Breaker RC is the sequel to Ice Breaker.  

12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers – Day 3

This is the third day of 12 days worth of fun Christmas sites for kids and teachers. Here you will find a variety of games, activities, teaching resources, and places to go online to get the Christmas season rolling. Click here to see day 1 and here to see day 2.

TheNorthPole.com

Journey to the Northpole.com for loads of great activities for kids. Students can write letters to Santa, read stories, have stories read to them, create personalized stories, and many other activities. EdTechIdeas: Beyond having students explore and learn with this site, there is the Elf Pal Academy, which connects teachers to a plethora of printable Google Docs geared to lower elementary students and English language learners.

12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers – Day 2

This is the second day of 12 days worth of fun Christmas sites for kids and teachers. Here you will find a variety of games, activities, teaching resources, and places to go online to get the Christmas season rolling. Click here to see day 1. 

Santa Flibriks

Here’s a challenging game from Kaboose which is kind of like a mash-up between Tetris and Concentration.  In Santa Filbriks, students are to help Santa find the matching tiles without hitting the bottom of the game area.

12 (Days of) Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers – Day 1

Over the next two weeks before we depart for the winter break, I’ll be listing 12 days worth of fun Christmas sites for kids and teachers. Here you will find a variety of games, activities, teaching resources, and places to go online to get the Christmas season rolling.

Snow-Line

In this über-popular game from Mini-Clip, your mission is to help Santa Claus collect the presents and get them ready for delivery on Christmas Eve. To do this you need to draw a pathway of least-resistance, collect all the presents, and finish at the checkered flag.  EdTechIdeas: Although mostly fun, the rules of physics play a part here and students must think and plan out a pathway that does not defy gravity. Also a good game if you have students who have not completely mastered the mouse.

Check back in a few days to see some more of The 12 Days of Christmas Sites for Kids and Teachers!

                                                               

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