Game #3 Super Mario Run (Nintendo)

Cost: Free with in-game purchases

Platform: Google Play Store

Genre: Action

Requires Google Play Games app download.

Peach writes a note to invite Mario to a castle for a party. Before he could get there, Bowser kidnapped her and destroyed the castle she was in. So now Mario has to save her. That is the object of the game.

I found this game frustrating. I died a lot before I got the hang of it. It’s not like playing Super Mario Bros. on a game console. The last time I played Super Mario Bros. I remember having to jump over a the little turtles. This time, I didn’t have to. The game automatically takes you pass them. You have to jump to get coins though and you have to jump to avoid falling down a pit (which I did many times).  In between screens, you get hints, which are helpful.

I finally got the hang of it by world 1 (my 3rd go round). After that I played with some of the other game features, like Toad Rally, a race for coins and extra toads. It was fun, but I wouldn’t play it again myself.

As far as educational value, I can’t think of any specifically for ELA. It’s fun. You do have to make decisions quicklyScreenshot_20170623-165326.png and  your hand-eye coordination has to be sharp. I also feel it’s appropriate for a wide range of ages.


Game #2 Design Home (Crowdstar Inc.)

Cost: Free (contains ads & in-app purchases)

Platform: App (Available in Google Play Store)

Genre: Simulation

This is a game that is more like a challenge. There is no time limit. You’re an interior designer. You have to furnish rooms with furniture and accessories. You can earn points by furnishing rooms. Some pieces are required. Some pieces are optional. You have a budget from which to purchase items. If you sign up through Facebook, you can borrow from your friends (other players) to save your money.

The real-world application here is a look into the job as an interior designer and an adult. This could accompany a financial literacy lesson. This could also accompany a character lesson and would allow students to design a space for a character. With the budget built in, students could work in pairs to complete the challenges and explain design choices. images.jpg It is appropriate for any age.


Game #1 Wordful-Word Search Mind Games (Smart Up Inc)


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Rating: E (Everyone)Screenshot_2017-06-12-22-11-04.png

Cost: Free (with ads)

Platform: Android app

Genre: Word

This is the first game I’ve played. I downloaded it on my tablet. I usually gravitate toward word games myself. I have a few student who might like this game because they like words like I do.

The premise of the game (as far as I can tell from playing it) is to let your eyes find the hidden words within the nine squares. I use my finger to swipe across the letters to actually form the words, which are between two and seven letters long. Each time I make a word, the letters move down and I form another word. After I make the two words, I move on to the next step in that level. The levels are named after international cities. I’ve been through Vienna (tutorial) Washington, D.C. and Hollywood. The letters get a little less easy to see as I go on.

This would be a good game for ESOL students perhaps. I could see them working in groups to find words they have learned in their ESOL class. If they work in teams at a station setting perhaps, they could discuss the words they know and help explain or show what they are to their team members.

I would use this game in a station setting because I cannot see how this would support direct instruction in my classroom. I do see how this game could support and reinforce word recognition and decoding skills. These aren’t prescribed skills for juniors and seniors in Common Core.

I want to be a designer.

In my dreams, at night, I want to be a designer. I’ve recently been drawn to the wonder that is Project Runway. Oh my goodness. Tim Gunn, I love.  I’m regretting missing him at the book festival a few years back. I would love to have met him.

I started on season seven on Hulu. I made it to season fourteen. My co-worker gave me seasons two and four. I hope we have a snow day (or two) this week so that I can binge some more.

I can’t believe I didn’t post all of 2015.

I guess I was supremely busy. And I was. I started graduate school finally. And I have somewhat of a social life. In other words, I don’t stay home all the time and sometimes I’m not all by myself.

This year is shaping up to be something special and crazy so far. I’m grateful for each day I get to teach my children (though they’re high schoolers, they’re not all grown up just yet). I have my family and friends. I am overjoyed to have my fur-niece in my life. She gets so excited to see me! Hopefully, this won’t be my last post this year. Happy 2016!

It’s October. Finally.

I love fall. I love the colors of leaves as they fall. I love the brisk air. I love that it’s chilly and not freezing cold. I can wear sweaters and start to wear  boots. And oh, how I love wearing knee socks! It’s the perfect time for hot chai tea lattes. My students aren’t complaining about the extreme heat in our building or the extreme cold. It feels just right. And I love it.

*I saw on IG a post that counted the number of Saturdays left in the year: 12. Make them count!

Thinking about my job…

I love teaching! The women in my family are (were) in education. My love of the classroom and schoolhouse (yes, schoolhouse) probably comes naturally.

This year, I feel like I love teaching the most. I have finally been allowed to teach seniors. I don’t know what the grade-level criteria is for each grade, but I’m glad to be working in a different way this year. I taught ninth grade for at least 11 of my 14 years of teaching. That was tough. It’s been tougher lately because the rearing of children (if they are reared at all) is constantly changing and not always for the better. Society changes. What’s acceptable and important and valued changes constantly. Education and showing intelligence or a want to learn do not always seem to be what matters most in American culture unless that intelligence relates to pop culture.

I feel I may be given ninth graders, decidedly the most difficult population in my school, because I have mostly mastered techniques in classroom management and everyone knows “Ms. Edwards doesn’t play.” While I don’t play, I’d like my talents and gifts and passion to be shared with different students. I’ll be advocating for a few more years of teaching upperclassmen like there’s no tomorrow. Some teachers in my department have managed to NEVER teach A ninth grader. (Side-eye to the “powers that be”.) I’m mustering up that same gumption to say “no” as well.

Back to planning, lesson planning, studying, preparing for another week of teaching and learning.

Best to you, my readers. Happy Saturday!