Season 5 Finale: Summer Skills Practice

Summer is here and it’s time to celebrate all of your hard work and dedication that you have put into the school year! To conclude this season of learning on a high note, we’re diving into some fantastic and free tech tools that will keep the educational flame burning during break. So, sit back, relax, and let’s explore two amazing websites, KidzType and Home Spelling Words, along with an interactive app called Hello History!

KidzType

Summer is a great time to help kids practice their typing skills, as this is becoming increasingly vital in our digital age. KidzType comes to the rescue with its interactive and engaging typing games and practice exercises. This website not only makes typing lessons enjoyable but also helps children improve their accuracy and speed. By utilizing KidzType, students can brush up on their typing skills, ensuring they are well-prepared for the upcoming school year. So, let the games begin!

Home Spelling Words

Another skill to practice over the summer is spelling! To keep these skills sharp over break, Home Spelling Words is a must-visit website for educators and students alike. This platform offers an array of games and activities that make spelling practice exciting and interactive. Whether it’s games, tests or printable sheets for younger students, Home Spelling Words has a lot of helpful tools. With this resource, students can enhance their spelling and vocabulary while having a blast.

Hello History

Lastly, we have a super fun app for you or your students. 🙂 With the Hello History app, learning about the past becomes a thrilling and interactive experience. This captivating app takes students on an immersive journey through time, offering conversations with important historical figures using AI. From exploring ancient civilizations to reliving significant historical events, Hello History brings the past to life in a way that’s both entertaining and educational. This summer, let your older students embark on a historical adventure they won’t forget!

While summer break is a time for relaxation, it doesn’t mean the learning has to stop! These are just a few tools that can help support your students and slow down the summer slide. So, enjoy your well-deserved summer break, recharge, and get ready for an even more fantastic year ahead! Take care everyone!

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Shanna Martin 0:19
Thanks for listening to the Tech Tools for Teachers Podcast for each week, we talk about a free piece of technology that you can use in your classroom. I’m your host, Shanna Martin. I’m a middle school teacher Technology and Instructional Coach for my district.

Fuzz Martin 0:31
And I’m her producer and husband Fuzz Martin and I beach you didn’t know this is the last episode of the season, as we head into summer. It was good. I was alternate was “summer” not gonna believe this, but this is the last episode of the season. Season Five coming to an end and it is one episode 155

Shanna Martin 0:53
cracked. So you know, we always like the numbers so lineup last summer, we ended on episode 123 of season four. Season Five is ending with episode 155.

Fuzz Martin 1:06
so amazed when the stars align numerology. Yeah. So yeah, anything doesn’t work out.

Shanna Martin 1:14
I can do cool things with numbers, by the way. And mething

Fuzz Martin 1:18
Congratulations on finishing your 19th year teaching.

Shanna Martin 1:22
Yeah. Isn’t that crazy? It is, like sitting there thinking and counting. Because after a while, they all just kind of run together. And I was like, Is it the end of your 18th? I’m like, no, wait, let me go back to No, it’s the end of year 19. I will be starting my 20th year of teaching next fall. Yeah, that’s a lot of teaching is a lot of teaching. And I have always been I’ve been teaching middle school for 19 years.

Fuzz Martin 1:48
Wow. Yeah, amazing. Middle School,

Shanna Martin 1:51
and mostly eighth grade. I’ve talked a little sixth grade or seventh grade, but mostly eighth graders for 19 years.

Fuzz Martin 1:56
And through all that. No wrinkles, no gray hair. It was great. Tell us your secrets, Shana. I

Shanna Martin 2:05
don’t know. Good genetics. My mom. That you know, coffee and a lot of water and Yep. Other things. That snacks donuts on Fridays, you know, any snacks and the word? He stresses chocolate, whatever gets you through. So yes, we are ending at season five, Episode 155. And at the end of summer at the end of summer, whoo. No,

Fuzz Martin 2:34
don’t get too far ahead. The end of the school year.

Shanna Martin 2:37
I always like to give a few tools that are helpful for summer. I know some teachers are not done yet. They’re still pushed until the end of June. Some are not done yet. Some are done. Yeah. Man. Some of you like parents, I have a lot of parents will say hey, what some stuff my kids can work on the summer, or how can they stay busy. So today’s sites are just to kind of help out with some summer skills practice. And you could recommend them to parents kids can work individually on them. Or if you have a summer school and you have activities to work on. So that’s just what we’re going to help him out with today. So a couple of different sites that would be helpful. And one app that I found that’s kind of cool. And yeah, so we’re there. So let’s talk about some skills practice. So the first skill that we are going to talk about the first website we’re going to talk about it is called Kids type.com. And it’s a typing website. And why I think like I recommend typing over the summer is a lot of kids oftentimes will like be on tablets and stuff during the summer. And those typing skills are always needed to be worked on. Yeah, especially with younger students. Now, they’re very good on computers, but don’t necessarily know their typing skills. And for all of our favorite thing of standardized testing, they have to type. So if that’s always interesting that like kids aren’t necessarily always assessed on their abilities, because sometimes it’s the typing it like it’s on the way. This is a fun way for kids to practice typing throughout the school year and throughout the summer. And it’s KidzType, KIDZTYPE.com. So kidztype. And there’s all kinds of like, fun typing games and keyboarding games, and they’re super engaging. So if you just if you can click cross topping, and they have the usual like they have lessons so you can have formal typing lessons like to make sure like home rows, top row, you know, the usual bottom row space keys, number row, so teaching basic skills practice of typing, and now you’re gonna start typing aren’t you? I can hear you like the loudest clicking ever? Yeah. For the speaker, click, click. So anyway, so skills type like J F and space keys. So it’ll load in the game and it like teaches you just normal typing skills, which is great. So it walks you through the law. then shows you what you need to do. Then they have exercises. So typing exercises built in, they have practice, they have the finger chart that is super important for our young kids that don’t know where things are supposed to go. And it’s a great way like just teaching you step by step, what that needs to look like I love that they have a little map. And like each finger has a color. So pinkies are blue and ring fingers are yellow. And then on the keyboard, it shows you what colors should be where so where your fingers should actually be. So we’re not hunting and pecking things. There’s typing tests, but of course, there’s games. And the games are fun. They have flappy typing, which is like a version of Flappy Bird for typing skills. And so you can choose your bird, because there are several options. And once you choose your bird, then you can choose easy, medium hard or insane as you’re typing level, and they’re super engaging, it’s just gonna tell you and it just like rip as it and so you get to be a little bird cruise into the ocean and, or wherever, whichever bird you choose. And again, just fell in the ocean and game over my speed was horrible. My accuracy was horrible. But it gives you exactly how many correct you are and the usual like information for typing. So it’s really engaging, and kids can have fun with it and learn some skills and just keep working on those typing skills because a whole keyboard is different in their hands. From elementary, even to middle, I still have kids, you know, this typing skills thing doesn’t always get into the regular curriculum. So it’s a great way for kids to practice their typing while playing a game in the summer. And it’s great to have parents, they can just click go right to the website, and there’s not a sign in or anything like that. They can just jump in and start practicing typing. So kids type.com And what are you playing right now?

Fuzz Martin 6:51
There’s a like a little Thor looking guy and I’m just typing along getting to the end. Are you playing

Shanna Martin 6:57
insane?

Fuzz Martin 6:58
No, I just level three it was it Whack a Mole? No. It’s like

Shanna Martin 7:02
Ninja boat rush. Jungle racing. By the way. These are the games vampire hunter. Ninja vs. Zombies typing car writer, keyboard booster. Typing knights,

Fuzz Martin 7:11
cute jumper 98% accuracy,

Shanna Martin 7:14
nitro racer, typing pilot, keyboard boosters.

Fuzz Martin 7:19
I will say this rocket. I will say this glider kits when it Be careful. There are ads on the ads. Yep. And they’re all appropriate ads. But when you click to start a level, it doesn’t pop over. And sometimes you get these misleading things like have a start. That’s flashing, but it’s really just an ad. So yes.

Shanna Martin 7:36
So just be aware that there is like a thing. But it’s not. Yeah, like the ads look fairly. Like school appropriate. Yeah. General Supervision or older students or show them how to do it. But yes, so yeah, so a little practicing some typing games, some practices and lessons, kids type.com. Give your kids little, little summer refresher as you’re going along. And be totally engaged in a game. And you look like you have a question?

Fuzz Martin 8:09
Yeah, no, I, I didn’t do well with Flappy Bird. But there was a capital letter. So I didn’t realize that. It’s okay. I’ll, I’ll take some typing lessons. Over the summer. Do they actually do? Do schools have keyboarding classes?

Shanna Martin 8:24
It depends on the school and the district and all those things. So some schools have computer class where they’re still learning computing schools, some schools have computers classes built in to classes, so kind of just a bit. Okay.

Fuzz Martin 8:38
I remember, like long days. Oh,

Shanna Martin 8:40
I know. I mean, you’re relating.

Fuzz Martin 8:42
Remember my teacher very well, because her name was Mrs. Raisin. And it always felt like a cartoon name to me. Gotcha. And, and she was super sweet and all that, but I

Shanna Martin 8:52
Do you spend a lot of time in the sun?

Fuzz Martin 8:57
Grape joke.

Shanna Martin 9:00
We’re doing really good today. All right. So besides working on typing skills, spelling is another one that is practiced over the summer or needs to be practiced over the summer oftentimes. So a spelling site that is helpful. There’s a lot out there like spelling city and things like that we’ve talked about before, but home spelling words like H o m e, s, p e, Ll, I N G words.com

Fuzz Martin 9:26
W ARDS? Oh, no, it’s wo rd. I just last a life

Shanna Martin 9:31
day is a fun way they have a bunch of spelling games that you can play. And I we’ve talked a little bit about like spelling city and stuff before to use in your classroom. This would be great for just spelling practice at home with their like pre made lists and things like that. So what you can do is you’ll see home and then they have a list of all these like spelling tests and spelling practice and spelling worksheets and kindergarten spelling and first through ninth grade spelling. They have so many spell Like things to practice, spelling S P E ll ing your work. And so what’s cool about this is there’s just a lot of options. So when you’re looking at it, if you’re looking for like principal things, so I know some families when they’re at home, they want to print things because the kids aren’t on the computer all of the time. And they want to be able to have access to stuff for, you know, summer practice, they have all kinds of spelling worksheets. So if you click on spelling worksheets, they have them through kindergarten, first grade, they have a little bit older all the way through second, you know, they have different spelling worksheets. They also have like noun worksheets for kindergarten. So there’s a lot of practice for younger students, for principals. And those, you can just print for free and you have access to them. And kids can they’re like PDF, so you can go ahead and print all kinds of spelling, basic spelling practice, if you’re looking for that. And then they also have grade based spelling. So first through ninth grade. And if you choose, like I was picked seventh grade, you can look at their lists to see like, what words are available to practice. And then there’s a collection of games just like 12 Different games that you can play. When you go to the games, you’ll notice that you can choose from a list. So say like, first through, like I’m in seventh grade, right now, there’s like list 30, there’s a lot of spelling lists. Be aware that if you go to click too far down the list, then they’re going to ask you to like pay to subscribe and pay. So if you’re looking for some of the earlier on lists, like you know, like seventh grade spelling, and just click on the game, then you can go ahead and just play the spelling games, you swap out the lists, then you aren’t able to necessarily play the games unless you pay for it, which you’re more than welcome to do. But usually I highlight the free things on websites. So

Fuzz Martin 11:41
if you Yeah, if you click just scroll down, because it’s going to try to get you to subscribe. If you scroll down like spelling lists 30 here in seventh grade, it shows up lower on the page, but it tries to make it look like you need to subscribe.

Shanna Martin 11:54
So just be aware that you can get to stuff just, you don’t have to subscribe. If you just look for what you need. Just keep scrolling down the page, and then you’ll find what you need. You also are able just to click on the game directly. So let’s say I’m in first grade, I want to do the play word, the word scramble. Scramble, SCRAMBLE. You can so there’s a subscribe to home, you can or you just click play on the game. And then you can go ahead and play the game than the chicken game I want to spell asleep. So there’s just different things that you can do. So there’s a lot of activities here to practice some spelling and then those principles that are great. And it’s just helpful. Like if you got some kids in a few minutes that they want to practice spelling every day. And then you’re not just doing regular flashcards all the time. It’s a way for kids to practice spelling, and play some activities and games, things like that, you do need to make sure that you’ve got their volume all the way up, because it will say the word out loud for them to type. So for a lot of the games are different activities. So volume headphones are great if you don’t want to listen to words be read out. Or you can go ahead and listen to the words being read out loud. It’s absolutely up to you. But poem a spelling words is a helpful activity to practice those kids with spelling. So we have some typing help some spelling help last summer. Oh, we’re gonna go back to Episode 123. If you’re interested in some math practice, I talked about I highlighted a bunch of different math activities in that episode. That would be helpful if you’re looking for some math practice over the summer. And also way back in episode 50. I talked about I excel, which is also an awesome website that is free and a great way to practice math over the summer, too. So there’s just different things I’ve highlighted in my last summer episodes for a math, but spelling typing it definitely those practice skills that students need over the summer. So those are all the websites. But there’s an app that I found that I just had to talk about, because I think it’s fun. It’s definitely it’s an app, and that needs to be probably on your phone. Yeah, and now the tablet because it’s like it’s a phone. And it’s definitely like upper middle school, high school, or you as an educator, because it’s fun. But also, it’s aI driven. And so this is one that it could be fun to play around with. But also, they even warn you at the beginning of the app, like the accuracy of this isn’t necessarily going to be from these dead people. So it’s called Hello history. Do you want to look it up? It’s just Hello history.ai Er, but you’ll find it on any app store. And you can chat with anyone from the past. So this morning, I had a conversation with Maya Angelou and she gave very inspirational information for women. And I think it’s kind of cool. I’ll put mine in the in the blog. So you guys can see by chat with Maya Angelou, which is pretty good. And so basically you can chat with anyone from the past. It’s an AI driven app, and you could have lifelike conversations with historical things. errors. And what a fun way. I don’t know, to me, it’s just, it’s, it’s fun to play around with, you definitely have to like just take it with a grain of salt, like, like there’s real information there. And they’ll it will say like pulled from, it’ll tell you what websites are pulling the information from, but also just, you know, pulling information from things online and then making it having a conversation. So it’s fun to play around with. I will tell you that you get 20 chats for free, let’s like 20 chat boxes, so you’re aware. So like my chat with Maya Angelou used up my first five and everything. It’s amazing. Like just I talked about, you’ve inspired women, what is some advice in my dear to inspire women, it’s a great honor. But let me tell you, this inspiration comes from within, you must have the courage to listen to your own voice and follow it wherever it leads you. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes through. They are a part of your journey towards discovering your true self. Oh, thank you, Maya Angelou

Fuzz Martin 16:05
like she is how did you get her number?

Shanna Martin 16:07
Oh, my gosh, I totally had a chat with her today. So like from Abraham Lincoln to they they haven’t categorized too. So you can do it’s like famous, like popular arts, entrepreneurship, business, they have all these different categories. So you can then find people from that category. And then search. Like, certain person you want to have conversation with Elvis? Yeah. So yeah, like just all kinds of there’s, it’s great. So yeah, like Martin Luther King. And there, you got Gandhi, you’ve got Einstein, it’s just Marilyn Monroe, there’s just really Yeah, it’s just so it’s fun. So if you got some older kids that want to play around with this again, or yourself, it’s worth finding some fun information. To me, almost the list alone, exposing kids to these people that they may never have seen or heard of before, is kind of cool. Like, you can have a chat with Shakespeare. And you can do it so that the whole class could see what you’re chatting. Or you could pre recorded or you could just again, older kids, younger kids, you get to first 20 for free. And then they also have like an education piece too. So like no polio, you can like if you go on the website, you can see Hello, history dot Yeah, but for education, like transform students learning with our programs for educators with a, our AI models do you have control over the content and factual information. So like, they do have a specific portion that you can contact them specifically for education purposes, if you want to, and they kind of do an experiment with, for example, with Napoleon Bonaparte here, and so you kind of can ask Napoleon about the French Revolution, and then he will give you information about it. So they also have an education piece, which I appreciate that that’s also acknowledged in this. So

Fuzz Martin 17:53
and they do have, so they they have, if you contact them, they can give you a free trial coupon so that your whole class can use it. Yeah, kind of neat. And, you know, I don’t know what the hook is after that.

Shanna Martin 18:04
But yeah, like what it is, but it’d be fun to play around with at least over the summer. And you kind of see Yeah, but every morning, you can get like some fantastic advice from a person.

Fuzz Martin 18:13
It’s a super neat idea. It’s great. And the evolution of AI and like tools that can be used. I think this is really one of those that’s being used for good. Yeah,

Shanna Martin 18:24
like a cool way to use AI. So anyway, that is Hello history. And it’s an app, like I said, and you can play around with it and see maybe how you could use it your classroom or just like it’s kind of fun to see what it comes up with. Which, you know, get a time in the summer. Go ahead and do so. Yeah. So yeah, so that’s summer skills, practice episode 155. The summer will probably check in like we usually do, but we take a little break here in the summer. And I don’t know. Do some more work. Yeah. Yes. Work in a different in a different rate.

Fuzz Martin 18:56
But you start your school year, a little earlier this year to see

Shanna Martin 18:59
Well, we started the end of very end of August. Yeah.

Fuzz Martin 19:03
Is that mean we’re starting? The season? Do we normally start in August, you

Shanna Martin 19:06
just start the week before school starts?

Fuzz Martin 19:08
Yeah. So this will be we’ll have a check in and then we’ll start again around the end of August early September is we’re correct. So just follow the show and your favorite podcast player. And then when a new episode comes out,

Shanna Martin 19:22
you should get a notification probably in July, and then we’ll start again. Yeah, with season six, season six. That’s so crazy. Yeah.

Fuzz Martin 19:29
After our humble beginnings in the kitchen counter, and now we’re sitting in the basement.

Shanna Martin 19:36
Well, sometimes we also do Hey, last week we were outside. Yeah, let’s take the show on the road. Exactly. We can we can we’ll take it on vacation with us this summer. Right. So anyway, I hope everyone enjoys their summer though. Even if you’re not quite done yet. Hold on. You’re almost done. And take some time for yourself. Thanks for tuning in. This has been the Tech Tools for Teachers Podcast. It You ever have any questions you can find me on Twitter @smartinwi. And if you want to get more information on the links to the technology discuss this episode, you can visit smartinwi.com. If you’d like to support the show, please consider buying me a coffee or to visit buymeacoffee.com/smartinwi or visit smartinwi.com and click on that cute little purple coffee cup. Your donations help keep the show going. New episodes starting in the fall. Thanks for listening, go educate and innovate.

Fuzz Martin 20:27
The ideas and opinions expressed in this podcast and the smart NWA website are those of the author Shanna Martin and not affirm employer. Prior to using any of the technologies discussed on this podcast please consult with your employer regulations. This podcast offers no guarantee that these tools will work for you as described, but we sure hope they do. And we hope you have a great summer thanks for listening

 

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