Teach Geography with GEOGAMES

Last week I tried out GeoGames with my Middle School Students and they loved it. Geogames is a great little website that teaches students world geography. Students are timed as they put continents and countries on a world map.  This game has three levels and students can mark their improvement by reducing their time within the game.

As the game states on their website: “The game focuses on cognitive concepts such as spatial relationships (where the continents are in relation to each other and to the oceans), nesting (how a city is a unit within a country, a country is a unit within a continent, & etc.), and how countries, continents and oceans have vastly different sizes (scale).”

Check is out at the following address: http://reachtheworld.org/geogames/index.html

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Failure is How We Learn

I have always been struck by how education views failure.  Failure is how we learn!  So why is it that in education we punish students for failing?  We should encourage and motivate our students to try again, not punish them with a poor grade.  We live in a world that needs creativity and exploration of new ideas.  So as educators we should be trying to cultivate creativity.  Not every idea will be a success students need to realize that life is full of failures, but this does not mean to give up or just move on but reset and try again.  This fundamental idea really needs to be looked at in education.  Do current grading systems really work to cultivate creativity or are they pushing conformity?  As I begin a new year with my students I really am looking at ways to break this old mode of education and find ways to foster student creativity.  To accomplish this I need to keep students motivated and engaged this is my “One Thing” that I mentioned in an earlier post.  The world is changing and as educators we need to change with it to truly prepare our students for todays work force.

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