Top Ten Tuesday: Educational Games for Middle Schoolers

Top Ten Tuesday: Educational Games for Middle Schoolers

As an education major, some of our required assignments are nothing more than gathering materials to use in our classrooms.  In the present age, a list of web-based games is considered a necessary material.  Here are ten of my favorite games that I have found this year.


  • Analogies – Students must determine which word correctly completes the analogies.  Words will only appear twice, so they need to think quickly!


  • Guess the HomonymSum Some students have a hard thyme time trying too two to determine the write right  homophone or distinguish between homonyms.  This game can help.



  • Food Chain Game – As students learn about all the components of a biome’s food web, this game can help them review and practice putting producers, consumers, and decomposers in order.


  • Photosynthesis Respiration Game – This game leads students step-by-step through the process of human cell respiration and plant cell photosynthesis.  Students must truly understand both concepts to successfully play the game.


Social Studies:


  • America on the Move – Perhaps the greatest evidence of our world’s advances is in the realm of transportation.  America on the Move provides three different games that help children learn about the history of transportation.



  • Fruit Shoot Fractions – This game, reminiscent of Fruit Ninja, requires students to “shoot” the answer to a fraction addition problem.  Because there are many levels, students of many different grades can play the game.

fruit shoot fraction game

  • Pre-Algebra Addition Shootout – Children who love soccer will enjoy choosing their goalkeeper, jersey color, an skill level before solving a variety of simple algebraic equations.

shootout equation game


  • Arthur’s Lunch-o-Matic – This tray needs some Vitamin A!  Students must choose the food that fits the cafeteria worker’s description.  The game will help children learn the benefits of eating a variety of foods.


  • Blast Off! – Children’s bodies are just like rocket ships–they need fuel!  In this game, students fill their plate with a wide variety of foods to get enough fuel for an active day.

blast off game


Thanksgiving Bingo

Thanksgiving Bingo

I am not very good at playing Bingo.  You see, I never actually win.  I may get 24th-runner-up, but I never feel the pleasure of being the first to yell, “BINGO!”  Nonetheless, a game of Bingo is a great way to entertain students during a class party or family gathering.

If you need a time-filling activity for young children at an event, use the Thanksgiving themed Bingo game which I created to keep them busy!
thanksgiving bingo 1 thanksgiving bingo

Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad


I have had a serious disapproval of mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup my entire life.  As a result, I have only tried potato salad a handful of times; just the smell can turn my nose up.  I was in high school before I let my mom put sauce on meatloaf; there was always one dry square saved for me.  Furthermore, I was never able to fully help my mom make this recipe.


I could slice celery, chop apples, measure pecans, and open pineapple cans.  But when it came time to stir, I had to leave the room.  I simply could not watch her scoop a large dollop of mayonnaise into the salad.  If I didn’t watch her make that last addition, I enjoyed eating the salad.  Seeing the mayonnaise jar, though, ruined the whole experience.

Last year, I discovered that Waldorf Salad can be made with vanilla or plain yogurt rather than mayonnaise.  This discovery was one of the happiest of my life (okay, that may be a bit of a stretch).  Personally, the added vanilla flavor enhances the salad as a whole.

Whether you use yogurt or mayonnaise, this salad is a delicious addition to your cookout’s spread.

Waldorf Salad


  • 4-5 apples
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (or plain yogurt or mayonnaise)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 8-oz. can of pineapple tidbits
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  • Chop apples into small cubes (approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch)
  • Slice celery in half length-wise.  Then chop celery into miniscule pieces (since I don’t really like celery, I make mine super small).
  • Drain pineapple.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl.
  • Serve immediately or chill.
  • Eat and enjoy!


What food preferences have caused you to alter a recipe?

Happy Independence Day!

100 Ways to Show Your Love

100 Ways to Show Your Love


This semester, I took a class about physical, cognitive, and psychosocial growth from birth through the teen years.  In addition to our textbook, we were required to read The Five Love Languages of Children by Dr. Gary Chapman.

I loved the book, and I read it within only a few days (even though we were supposed to read it throughout the whole semester).  As I read, I started thinking of ways that people have shown me love throughout my life.  I also pondered how I show my love for them.  Parents, extended family, significant others, children, and friends all need to feel our love.  The problem is that the words “I love you” sometimes seem inappropriate or inadequate.  Thankfully, there are hundreds of other ways to tell somebody that you love them.



Acts of Service

1. Make supper

2. Clean their room Read more

Top Ten Tuesday: A Book A Year

Top Ten Tuesday: A Book A Year


Children are made readers in the laps of their parents.

-Emilie Buchwald

The truth is, I cannot remember a time before books were part of my life. My mom was an avid reader, and we made weekly trips to the library to fulfill her passion for books.  She would always let my brother and I choose a few books to peruse throughout the week, and she would read them to us over and over again. By the age of 5, I had my own library card (and my own overdue book fines).

Summer is approaching, and children will be spending more time at home.  No matter how old your child is, there are dozens of age-appropriate books that they will enjoy. Below, you will find a list of ten books corresponding with a child’s age.

Read to your children every day, and teach your children to read to themselves. Studious readers become sensational leaders.

Top 10 Books Every Child Should Read

1. Newborn: White on Black, Tana Hoban

2. One-year-old: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle

3. Two-years-old: Corduroy, Don Freeman

4. Three-years-old: If You Give a Pig a Pancake, Laura Numeroff

5. Four-years-old: I Can Read With My Eyes Shut, Dr. Seuss

6. Five-years-old: You are Special, Max Lucado

7. Six-years-old:  13 Words, Lemony Snicket

8. Seven-years-old:  No Longer a Nobody, Matilda Nordtvedt

9. Eight-years-old: Encyclopedia Brown, Donald, J. Sobol

10. Nine-years-old: Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein

Top Ten Tuesday: Daycare Staff

Top Ten Tuesday: Daycare Staff


This is my final week of working at a daycare for the foreseeable future.  While I will miss my kids and coworkers, I am looking forward to the adventures that await me this summer.  As I was reflecting on the past few years as a daycare staff member and supervisor, I realized that I have gained some odd habits because of my time with the kids.

Top Ten Signs that You Work at a Daycare

1.  Whenever you are with a group, you start counting bodies to ensure that no one has run away.

2. You accidentally tell your friends to quiet down and then realize that you are not responsible for them.

3. “Potty” is a common word in your vocabulary.

4. Your room is decorated with children’s paintings and drawings.

5. Animal crackers are your go-to snack.

6. Nap time is when you complete the most work.

7. Your bladder can hold a large amount for a long time.

8. You strongly emphasize the muscle- and bone-building power of milk.

9. You understand that a Hello Kitty or Power Ranger Band-Aid can heal any wound.

10. You greatly appreciate the fence around the playground.

Solutions to Four Bulletin Board Problems

Solutions to Four Bulletin Board Problems

Creative bulletin boards can be used to teach, entice, and amuse students.  However, teachers often encounter a variety of problems as they begin stapling together all the pieces.  Thankfully, most of these problems can be easily fixed.

Problem:  You do not have enough matching letters to spell out your sentence.

Solution:  Emphasize key words by using a different font.



Problem:  You cannot hang letters in a straight line.

Solution:  Purposefully and artfully hang them crooked.


Problem: You don’t have time to change your background paper.

Solution: Leave paper on the board from the previous board.



Problem:  You don’t have enough border.

Solution:  Use multiple borders or only place border along the sides.