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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Gluing Students to Their Seats and Other Fun Activities

by Art Marmorstein
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 3.75 stars
Effectiveness: 3.75 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Jan 10, 2009 by Teacher Education
Overview: A Web site featuring a variety of contests, games, and activities designed to review and reinforce social studies lesson and to make social studies fun for teachers and pupils.
Learning Goals: 1. Provide teachers with activities useful in reviewing historical facts. 2. Provide teachers with activities that help students explore social studies concepts.
Target Student Population: Elementary, middle, and high school students and college level teacher candidates
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Teacher must provide the study material for each of the games. Only structures and rules are given by the contributors who are participants in the author's social studies methods classes.
Type of Material: Collection
Recommended Uses: The educational games and activities could be used in K-12 social studies classes. The Web site could also be a resource in college level social studies method courses in teacher education programs.
Technical Requirements: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: This Web site has a collection of over 40 fun and educational social studies activities. The activities include the directions for the teacher to implement in the classroom. Most of the activities could be modified by teachers for the level of their students.
Concerns: Many of the games are designed for fact recall rather than for higher order thinking. The author states: "Social studies games begged, borrowed, stolen (and occasionally created) by the students in SEED 415, Social Studies Methods." There are some excellent activities, but teachers need to be aware of the source of the activities.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: The educational activities could be used by social studies teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Teachers may have to modify the activities to fit the needs and levels of their students. This Web site could also be used as an online resource for teacher candidates in social studies method courses in teacher education programs at the college level. The educational activities could also be used by teachers candidates as examples or to spark their own creative ideas for educational activities.
Concerns: Few of the games can elicit higher order thinking from students who participate. Often students who give incorrect answers are eliminated from the games, making the review possibility for those students minimal.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: This is an easy to use Web site. All of the educational activities are posted on the main page and only need to scroll down to view them. Each activity has an interesting icon or picture to make it attractive for teachers and students. Games are of varying degrees of complexity. The user must provide the historical facts and materials that are required for implementation of the games.
Concerns: Potential teachers in the social studies need to be concerned about more than facts.