MY Access! Home Edition (above) picks up where the classroom version leaves off, so kids can hone their writing skills outside the class. On top of providing instant feedback on their writing, the program provides helpful lessons on organizing a future wordsmith’s thoughts and putting them on paper.
Why should K–8 teachers draw weather maps or electrical diagrams on the board when they can use AccuWeather’s science curriculum to help with a variety of lesson plans? The topics range from anatomy and botany to geology and motion, and each is tuned to many state-curriculum standards. Each includes complete activity guides. A trial of the service is available. http://science.accuweather.com; 215-540-5681
Crick Software’s ClozePro can help any class improve its reading skills and vocabulary with activities that range from picture matching to parsing complex passages. Teachers can track student progress through a series of scripted activities supplied by Crick or created by the teacher.
If all work and no play is making the class ornery, try Crazy Machines, a unique program that lets kids combine gears, levers, cranks, and other simple devices to create contraptions that stimulate learning and creativity. With 70 interchangeable parts and more than 200 brain teasers, it’s sure to keep the class engaged.
With clips, documentaries, and primary sources, any social studies class can be made more engrossing with a little help from the History Channel’s classroom division. In addition to thousands of programs, there are teaching guides that include online links, vocabulary lists, and discussion questions.