Thursday, September 6, 2012

This post sponsored by Starbucks

During the school year, my body is about 10% Starbucks or Dunkin's iced coffee, so I am an authority on these places. Did you know that Starbucks offers a "Pick of the Week" app, book, or song? You can find the cards up on the counter or near the chaotic milk bar where I spill things. On the back of the card is a code you can redeem to get the item for free. Naturally you have to get to the store and get the card, since they want you to buy something. This week the pick is:

Scribblenauts Remix! I have been meaning to feature this app for sometime, and if you can't get your card, it is well worth the $.99.

Scribblenauts Remix is an iVersion of a classic Nintendo DS game that some of your students may have played in the past. It is basically a problem-solving game in which the character, Maxwell, is placed in various settings and faces a challenge.  You need to decide which objects from the app's HUGE library of items to place in the setting to help him meet the challenge. Objects are animated and responsive to your modifiers, so for example, a "huge bunny" will be huge and an "angry bunny" will be aggressive.

"Rainbow" was probably not necessary for this challenge.

The puzzles will be challenging (in a good way, requiring your scaffolding) for children with language difficulties.  Timing does not become a factor until late in the game.  When using games such as this with students, it is helpful for you to have a walkthrough (basically, the answers), so here is a good resource for that. BUT, one of the great things about Scribblenauts is the way it promotes creative thinking and problem solving; there is not just one way to solve any of the levels.

The app also has an open-ended mode called the "Playground"- choose from various settings, including a classroom, and add objects and interact with them. So, on to the...

Language Lens:
Scribblenauts is a great resource to target-
Description: adding attributes changes items, all items serve a function that can be described as well.
Story Grammar: the character of Maxwell is in various settings and faces problems, etc. The playground can also be used to develop the concept of setting and items inherent to settings.
Causality, Conditionality, Prediction: use language around why objects should be added, what would happen if they were added.
Social Learning: when kids work together to play this game, many "teachable moments" ensue!
[EDIT From Hanna B] Articulation- gear additions of objects around a particular sound.

Common Core Connection:

L.3.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. (Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions)

Relevant to use of and, or, but, because, so, if during use of this app

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