Following on from the selection of rhyming games post a few weeks ago I have put together a list of short vowels and phonic CVC online games for teachers to be able to easily access in lessons. There are three of mine on there, mainly because, I hope not arrogantly, it seems there are a lot of older games out there that are starting to look very dated. I will let you judge that for yourselves. It has however inspired me to make some more to try to get some better ones out there.
Also as something to note depending when you access this page, the majority of games online like this use Flash, which will cease to work at the end of this year (2020). Mine are built in HTML5 (that doesn’t have to mean anything to you) but it does mean they will work beyond this year. I will revisit this page at the end of this year and double check links. However if you discover one has disappeared just leave a note in the comments and I will get it. If we can keep this up to date it can be a useful resource for all of us!
This is both a pretty and pretty useful game. It asks students to listen and then find the medial vowel to complete the word. It has pictorial clues as well as the spoken word, however the voice could certainly be clearer. It is big enough to be played with a projector and a white board. It also has two levels the first asking you to listen and put the vowel in and the second asking which vowel completes the word. It is one of the better ones out there for CVC, Vowels and Phonics. It is not just CVC though, it uses words like clock, cash and dust. Just as a heads up.
Well this is mine so of course its fantastic, at least in my mind. I made it originally as a mobile app, which it still is on both Apple and Android. However i have made an online version with out those pesky ads and uploaded to itch.io. At some point when I work out how I will host it here. You have two games in this, Panda Pop and Birdy Hop ( excuse the names) but before you get to play both you have the choice of what kind of words you would like. I have made 9 different categories, ABC, CVC, Blends, WhChSh, Syllables, Sight Words 1 and 2, Magic E and Vowels. You click on that and then you can go to the game with just those words
Panda pop is easier, it is pop the floating words that are displayed so it can help to build confidence with young learners. Birdy Hop is a little more complex. They have to listen to the word and jump to the correct cloud. I have made a video at the top of this with strummy guitar music so you can check that out as well. I think it works well and i do use it in my school, the online version is well received.
This is a useful tool for changing the onset and rime of words and to teach rhyming words as well. It allows teachers to change the letters and ask the students to decode the word. It is a flash game so may disappear later in the year, so i am looking to make something similar but a little more updated. Once i have done i will post it here. It has some functionality but i use it mainly as a CVC generator.
This is a basic but functional set of games. It has a spelling test, with nice sounding out of the sounds. Students have to spell the word to progress, it also has a matching game with word to picture which words pretty well. It is basic looking and on flash however so it remains to be seen if it is around next year.
Is it bad to put my own games in these type of lists? I don’t know actually, what i do know is that i did actually make them as i couldn’t find ones that suited by purpose and what i needed as a teacher. I put that down to, with no research at all though, the fact that there were not very many Teachers who could make mobile apps or HTML games. Now I’m no expert but i can put together something simple. Which is exactly what i have done here. Three games, a matching picture to words, a quiz that has some long vowel in it but it mostly CVC, and a scrambled CVC game. This is very popular in the USA as an app, i guess for Kindergarten so I’m grateful for that. but it is simple, which in a classroom is a plus point. Again, i have a video of the game play so you can check it out and at some point i will host it on my site, rather than someone elses. I also use this in my year one classes. This again is on both Apple and Android for free.
SO this is the last one of mine, and it is a remake of a sentence game i have but with three letter words. Students can have a text hint, a picture hint or a timed mode. They have to rearrange the letters to spell the correct CVC word. It is helpful, in a classroom setting the students watching will shout out the word and be actively engaged while a student plays. Just to be clear though all my phonics games are actually free on Android ( with ads cos you know I gotta eat!) For the life of me i can’t actually remember why it is not on Apple! So if you want a more personal experience for them you can get it for free on Android at least as well. This is the simplest game i have made.
This app is awesome, it has online big board readers for students ( the app is paid) but online its free. So you can run a reading session with Short Vowel Phonics and they also incorporate games that use words from the stories. They go all the way through from AEIOU to the longer vowels and r controlled vowels as well. It really is a good resource for emerging readers and phonics instruction. I use this more than i use my own! As i said the app is paid and has more to it than the online version but the online version is just great as well. The video is from the app, I will make a website screen one later.
If you know of any other decent games please leave a not in the comments and i can add them up here. I aim for this to be a resource so we don’t have to wade through Google every time.
Although we are not quite at the stage where teachers can click a switch and hologram versions of dinosaurs, or Earth can appear in the middle of the classroom just yet. ( one day maybe) We are at the stage where we can put them in the classroom through a screen. Virtual, Reality, Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality all hold exciting, but as yet unrealised, prospects for education. I am writing a post on some of the better apps out there, but as i use a lot of these books i thought it might be of use to explain why.
Although the links to take you to Amazon its not a sales pitch, the books are great for students, especially visual learners, to picture sometimes difficult concepts and subjects.
If you use anything like this in your classroom please leave a comment below, I am always interested in seeing more!
Bugs is not for everyone’s taste. the book has loads of information about habitats, diet and life-cycles but in a junior classroom full of 8 year olds the sight of a spider walking across their desk and up their arm is not what they expected when they walked into school that morning. To calm them down the book does contain less scary insects like butterflies and beetles though.
The Augments insects are really well done, and controllable by the reader through the free companion app. I use this when reading an insect book and allow them to choose an insect they would like to see more closely. The insects can also be made bigger and smaller. Then, even the butterfly, looks a little scary when its the size of you and flying around your head!
I will talk about these two books together as, at least when i use them, they complement each other very well. The first I Solar book covers near space. So our nearest neighbours including the Inner and outer planets, you can drive the mars rover around the classroom, use the space elevator and visit a moon base ( we are still waiting for these in reality though!) and take a look at the dark side of the moon, without Pink Floyd unfortunately.
Deep Space travels further afield, and discusses galaxies, nebulae and black holes. The highlight being, in my lessons anyway, being able to put a black hole in the middle of the classroom. It adds something to the lesson to be able to look at one while being told, or finding out for yourselves what these massive compressed stars are. ( we think!) Other experiences in the book include a speeded up zoom through the milky way, life cycles of stars and a close up look at the Hubble space telescope and what it does for astronomy.
If you are doing units of work on Space these fit in really really well, there are also apps that could be used as a companion to these books, they cover a little less than the books, but it means you can send the students home with the planets in their pocket!
This title kinda explains its self, it allows readers to bring life size ( and bigger) animals into their classrooms and homes. Like most of the newer AR books in allows you to both Video and take photos of them in your home so you can get a picture with a lion without it trying to eat you. The animals inside include, lions, wolves, bears, eagles, rattlesnakes and a great white shark! Although there are plenty of books about animals there are not so many that let you come face to face with them and my students love this one. Similar to the Space themed books there are other free apps on the app stores that allow you to do this for free or cheaper than this book, so if you wanted to use those and send the students home with some animals that is entirely possible. The images in this book are better made, its commercial, but sometimes budget is a factor in classrooms.
This was the first Augmented Reality book i bought quite a few years ago. I read books on oceans and ocean creatures with my students quite often and i was looking for a way to help them visualise these. This book fulfilled that. It is one of the older ones so could do with an upgrade visually at least, but it still works, and having a Great White or a Killer Whale swim around your classroom is a great experience. I also use the Ocean Rift VR experience in these lessons, so they can come face to face with these animals under the sea as well as in the classroom!
Carlton have made four augmented reality dinosaur books in the last few years. I understand why, its an easy hit. Kids love dinosaurs, even big kids like me, and with the new Jurassic World movies being released every couple of years its the gift that keeps on giving.
There is something about dinosaurs that just captures students imaginations. I work in ESL and my students may not be able to say the word cat, but they can all say the word dinosaur in English, a lot of them can list of names of dinosaurs in English, something most of their teachers cant do! It is for this reason i use the subject in my English lessons. Dinosaur names are multi syllabic, full of phonics rules, and fun to say. So i often have competitions, asking students to try to learn the names, and break them down into sounds or number of syllables. The prize is to be able to take one of these books home for a week and play with it. In reading lessons, apart from a slightly gimmicky use of VR, i use these books, and a collection of fossils i have acquired over the years, to show them how big, how many teeth, how they ate, how they moved and a why you can’t see them today ( yes i do talk about birds as well!) This just works, to sit next to a 6ft tall velociraptor or a 20 foot tall T-Rex is a lovely experience for both student and teacher and to hear the students sitting and trying to decode names is great for an English teacher.
These books have been around for a while, and the first two, Battling dinosaurs and IDinosaur are starting to show their age a little now, though perfectly usable they are not as good as the two Jurassic world ones pictured here. Well, not as good visually. The information about dinosaurs is better in the older books as they don’t have the Jurassic world franchise to market inside them, however i use these with other books to add the AR element to the lesson, so its not a huge issue for me. The have all the favourties in, though cheekily and they haven’t done it since, there was an upgrade that you had to buy in the Idinosaur app to get access to all the dinosaurs in the book. It was only a dollar, but still if you buy the book you don’t expect to have to pay for the dinosaurs inside it as well! To my knowledge they only did this once so i guess it wasn’t just me who felt this way. Some examples of the AR in the Jurassic world book below.
Battling Dinosaurs allows you to pick to dinosaurs and pit them against each other, its great on paper but to set it up in a classroom of kids is less great, so if you what it for home and your children it should be OK, if you want it for school i would think a little first and prehaps go for the newer Jurassic World books.
The two Jurassic World books are great visually, both have numerous augmented dinosaurs in them including favorites like, the raptors, the T-Rex, Triceratops and others so students can pick which dinosaur they would like to see really easily, with the added bonus of the Indominus Rex being added in the first book for a bit more fantasy.
These dinosaurs can be recorded and photographed so there is the opportunity of making a little classroom movie included as well. (I’m trying this at the moment) The Raptor Rescue book focuses more on Blue the velociraptor star of the second movie and allows you to train her to follow commands, I can see this being more developed in the next book,(there will always be a next book!) but its a nice addition in this one as well.
Which ever you go for, or if you go a little crazy and buy all four like i did, they will be a hit in your classroom. For the price of about 10 dollars i have found it a great investment. My school library even picked up a set after the students kept asking for them!
Clearly Carlton books knew they were on to a winner with these and produced a book of post – dinosaur animals as well. I actually think this is a great idea, there is so much information for children about dinosaurs but considerably less about what came next, admittedly quite a few million years after. So taking control of a Sabre Tooth cat or a Woolly Mammoth is something of a rarity in any classroom. It also is good as an informational text as it is written for children, although again in my ESL classroom it is a little beyond them so some adaptation needs to be made. Since the Ice age cartoons these animals have entered the imagination a little more and this is a good way to reinforce that with fact rather than Pixar animations. (As good as they are) They is also a Giant Ape in the book if you wish to try to recreate those old King Kong movies!
These two I haven’t used so much as i deal mainly with key stage 1 students. However, they are still borrowed fairly often from my English room. Science explores and teaches in AR, with options to play and to explore within the book and the App. This is the better of the two in my opinion and it offers science concepts and topics in a more accessible way. The brain is too specialized for the purposes i use these, but i may suit your students better than mine. Both are well made and well written, just a little high level for Junior levels.
THis is a great one, All those horrible looking things that live in our beds or under the sofa or even in our eyelashes that usually we can’t see are now made thousands of times bigger and able to crawl around our living rooms and classrooms. I have some mini Micro scopes in class and run a lesson on what small things look like when they are made bigger so this book fits in perfectly with that. It also offers an opportunity to introduce students to the the Tardigrade, they are in the Marvel movie Antman as well btw, and are the strongest, hardiest living things we know! they can survive in space, in the depths of the ocean, almost anywhere in fact. I use it to show them that small as something may be it can still teach us alot! Just not how to win beauty pageants.
The last one i own is Istorm. Which i bought early on as well. It does more than weather, though of course it has that as well, it has volcanoes, earthquakes, tornado’s and more. It is useful if you are covering a general studies topic and want to show students the power of the Earth visually. It is also a little old, but it is the only AR book i have found that covers these subjects so it is still a useful addition to my collection.
I wrote a while ago about using Virtual Reality in the classroom, and i really do enjoy its effect and impact on students, motivation and excitement wise at least. However, to set it up so its a whole class activity is seriously expensive and, as much as i love it, i don’t think as of yet it brings enough to the table to warrant going in that direction for all students
Augmented Reality however, if you have a half decent phone or tablet, and by that i mean not a Nokia 3300, then this is in fact way more accessible to classrooms. Especially for those of us who teach in more financially challenged educational systems.
So i am going to highlight some uses and resources ( books, websites and apps etc) that use Augmented Reality that may supplement or add to your lessons and bring a little WOW factor to your classroom. If you want to know more about Apps you can use it will be tomorrows post. I will link it at the end.
Teachers are always looking for ways to decorate walls in classrooms, and using AR to do this can be a useful and frankly pretty cool way of doing it. In my classroom, pictured , i have used AR images from two apps ( i teach primary) one is an animal alphabet app that pops up an animal when the tablet or phone is placed over it and the other is ZooKazam which has a large selection of animals and trigger images you can stick to the wall to make live animals come out or put them on tables and desks to have a mini version on their desks as well. one of the triggers is an image of grass which works really well if you print it out in colour. It means you can have what looks like a grassed area and have the animals walking on it. The video below highlights this quite well.
I used this with a group of young learners to help with a writing exercise. I had already printed out the triggers from the app above (AR Alphabet) and asked the students to pick one animal at a time stick it in the ready made book. They had to write about the animal, what it can do , what it ate, was it big or small, how did it make them feel etc. Once they had completed one they could have it checked by the teacher and then go and pick two more and do the same.
I have run this activity without the AR element before and without it the students produce about half as much in their books. The AR element also encourages them to take the book home and show and read to their parents. On the last page is a note to parents explaining how to use the AR in their children’s book.
An app like Zappar or Aurasma can be used to present students work, either hard copy, oral or video. You upload the work to the app and it generates a QR code, which then can be displayed on the wall. Parents can download the app and watch students present the work all around the school. I used this previously as we had a lot of parents waiting after school in the reception. I thought it would be nice to enable them to see what was happening in their students lessons. So i uploaded some worksheets, asked the students to make short videos introducing the school and some activities and let the parents watch as they waited. It is a great way to involve parents without needing teacher time!!
This is where i use it the most, I mentioned above I set my year 1 students the task of writing an AR zoo. This can be extended to other year groups. The apps mentioned so far, like ZooKazam have, in addition to the animal images, information about their diet, size and living environment. Students can be tasked to find this information in the app, read it and then video or write a report on their animal as it moves around them. Although basically substitution of a book for an app it is a great motivating tool for the students to be able to visually see the animal or subject they have to discuss or write about.
I use Carlton books a lot as they cover a lot of the subjects that I do in class, The only drawback as an ESL teacher is that the language in the books is a little much for my students so i have adapted that where needed. The Augmented Reality inside is really, really good though. Here is an example of the Raptor from the Jurassic world book. It is controllable from the free partner app.
These things cost money, not a lot but if your budget is less than ”not a lot” a search with A.R. on Apple or Google will find you free and paid apps covering many subjects. So even with no budget it is possible.
I use space, dinosaurs, animals, science among others. If you are reading or doing project work then some apps or books on these subjects and being able to put a black hole or a T-Rex in the classroom is going to be an experience they wont forget. If you have a projector or whiteboard then screen sharing the phone to the computer would be a great idea!
As i said i use Carlton books. In the collection i have are the following.
There are quite a few more, and truthfully in my role i don’t use the science or the brain ones but i got a deal on them and i like new things as much as the next teacher!
For most holidays or festivals there is an activity planned for primary schools. So for my lessons I try to make it a little cooler. For example at Christmas we make an interactive Christmas card to the parents. This card does something a little different. If you use the app Quiver it will bring those cards to life. It does need a little preparation with you cutting and pasting the Quiver, colouring sheet on to a PowerPoint so its card shaped. There are Fireworks, Christmas trees, ice skating penguins, Valentines hearts and loads more. Most of it is free from their website, with only a few paid options.
What i have done previously is to cut and paste the free ones so four fit on an A4 page then cut them out and store them in my classroom. These spare ones are stored as after the students have completed one of these they will definitely want more. SO they can come back at recess and choose some more to colour and complete.
I also have a note prepared in my students native language to explain to parents what it is their child is handing them! For other sujects they have made a Quiver education app which has Science and General studies Augmented reality inside it. I have used these for year 4 GS lessons. Subjects like the Earth, Moon and volcanoes are some of the topics covered there, and it can all be viewed on their website QuiverVision.
It is so popular i have older brothers and sisters coming to my English room to take them as well.
Popular and free! cant fault that.!
How do you use A.R in your classrooms, are there any other ideas you have? If so please share them in the comments below.
I have had this website for about 8 months now, and in the last couple of weeks i have taken it way more seriously. With pretty good results so far (thanks for that!) My monthly viewers have gone from about 300 people to about 15,000 with a little bit of marketing and promotion. Something i am not particularly good at, but with effort and some learning it seems to be improving. You can read what i tried here. It worked for me in my niche of education, so might be worth a little research in yours.
Once i started with WordPress i was on the premium plan which came with Word Ads included. I thought i would give it try, its always nice to see money coming in. I knew it would be small, but I didn’t expect it to be quite as small as it turns out.
This is my graph. You can see that so far i am still below buying a can of coke or a cup of tea for the year so far. Now my views were pretty low for an great deal of that time so i kinda expected it. However, if there are no ad bidders on your ad space they will fill it up with in house ads, for which you dont get a penny.
At first i didn’t mind as I thought ads (I was new at this!) made it look more established, but the longer this has gone on the more i think seeing these empty, or in house adverts actually detracts from my website. Especially now i have more content and resources appearing daily. So I am in two minds.
I spoke to the WordPress staff, who are the most helpful customer service i have ever encountered!!, and they explained that although traffic is a factor and a fairly big one, they also look at website content as well.
Well mine, if you have been on other pages is fairly family friendly, but still an RPM of 0.01 even for CPM income is pretty poor. my viewers come from all over, USA, Europe, India, Philippines so even with lower RPM from some countries it should have been better.
I spoke to them and said i will leave them for another month, as my traffic has jumped a lot in the last couple of weeks. However, i have had Adsense on the site for about 4 weeks and that is pulling in about 8 USD a day from the new viewers, and it seems a little crazy to have so much real estate on my site occupied by Word Ads for what works out as about 0.01 a month! In December there were 4000 ads impressions and i earned literally not even that 1 cent.
I will update this post exactly one month today, so if you are reading this after February and there is not an advert right above this you know that i left WordAds and have stuck, for the moment at least, with Adsense. I know, as i have seen others results that it has worked for them and similar viewing numbers to me have brought in a dollar or two CPM. Maybe i am just unlucky!
I will be honest though, i am not hopeful!
**update** I just had a 3800 view day (26th January) that had a RPM of 0.00 there will be an updated posts quicker than a month from the date of this. I am giving it one day in February to see if its a monthly bidding process and if its not, well i was lucky enough to get some traffic through so i will be moving onto pastures somewhat greener!
What ad network have you found that works for you, maybe Mediavine or others if your traffic is higher than mine. Let us know in the comments below.