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 Science Kids

Website:  http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/

A CONTENT
“Science Kids is the home of science & technology on the Internet for children around the world.

Learn more about the amazing world of science by enjoying our fun science experiments, cool facts, online games, free activities, ideas, lesson plans, photos, quizzes, videos & science fair projects.”

This site is dedicated to many different types of sciences like astronomy, geology and chemistry and how, through the use of varying support materials, children can be both educated and entertained at the same time.

A AESTHETICS
This site is very pleasant in it’s presentation with a very organized layout – colorful link bars across the top and boxed sections with different colored backgrounds throughout. Wiht a nice blend of colors and graphics the site does just enough to relay a pleasurable environment while not making it seem too busy. It has a more visitor friendly appeal without having to be to commercialized in trying to keep attention.

A ORGANIZATION:
A site with a strong organizational design that is one of it’s many strengths. Most any science subject may be found on the home page of the site through which the subject can be thoroughly explored with ease. Any visitor would have no problem making use of the various tools available here to access the immense amount of information and educational strategies present

A REVIEW:
Recommended. This is an excellent site for both the beginning youth and those already peaked with a love for science – one of the better children’s educational sites available.



 Turtle Diary

Website:  http://www.turtlediary.com/

A CONTENT
Turtlediary is a site full of educational material for grades toddler through 5th. Each age group is carefully enriched with a multitude of types of material from worksheets to multimedia presentations to games – all focusing on a specific subject.  If that is not enough to entertain you they have stories as well. Turtlediary has enough material to keep any visitor entertained for a very long time.

A AESTHETICS
This is a very nice site to visit and is pleasant to the eye. With just the right type of color scheme ( not loud but soothing ) and graphics that only enhance both the subject matter and navigation the site was carefully designed and is easy to appreciate. Kudos for the cute turtles that slide up the topbar of the site – it is a cute enhancement.

A ORGANIZATION
This is one of the sites strengths – it’s organization. Coupled with the pleasant aesthetics, the site is organized in such a way that it does not have a commercial feel, is quite user-friendly and is not too busy and distracting and easily navigated no matter what the reason for visiting. Regardless, whether  you are visiting for a specific grade or subject, the material is both easily accessible and even easier to find.

A REVIEW
This is an excellent site. For all the material it covers and the range in grades it has focus on everything about this site lets you know that it was carefully put together for what it it intended to do – educate young children. It is a great source of learning support for educators, parents and children and does what it was intended – make an educators job easier.



 Kidsknowit

Website:  http://www.kidsknowit.com/

A CONTENT
Information! Information! Information! What can be truly said about this site that will do it justice as far as what it offers? Not only are the various subjects relatable to any educational subject but even the methods of presentation take advantage of various multimedia tool with which they present material. Would you like to learn about the Giant Fruit Bat? or hear a catchy tune about climates? How about watching a video concerning absolute values? It even has a section for various educational games, subdivides the site into various topics – like biology, math, etc. There is even support material to enhance the visit in the form of worksheets.

A AESTHETICS
It has a pleasant color-scheme about it, bright where it needs to be and dark when it wants to draw attention. it’s use of pictures enhance subject titles. While the site does seem somewhat “busy” it is to no fault as it does an admirable job considering the massive amount of subjects it attempts to give the visitor to choose from.

B ORGANIZATION:
With the absolutely massive content it presents there could be an issue with the material becoming overwhelming just in it’s sheer amount but the site does do a decent job trying to keep visitors focused and not get lost. While it is possible to get overwhelmed amongst the links it is also very easy to find yourself back to a good starting point. The homepage for the site is a good starting point for any particular subject that you wish to visit the site for as most of it’s general topics can be further investigated for more specific materials. So, if you visit to learn about animals or math reviews or even worksheets you’ll be pleased that you can find your topic immediately.

A REVIEW:
This site comes very strongly recommended. For whatever materials you are seeking as an educator, a parent or a student of any age Kidsknowit offers an endless supply of subject matter and materials that will enhance any project, curiosity or focus. From the multiple multimedia tools, simple worksheets or presentations this site does what it is require to do – make the educational experience a good one.



 PBS Kids

Website:  http://pbskids.org/

A CONTENT
This site is chock full of educational presentations and content about multiple subjects ranging from cartoons based on bloved pbs characters from the PBS channel to games based on subjects like math, music and spelling, etc.

A AESTHETICS
PBS kids is a very pleasant site to visit. While it may have various topics from which to choose it is nicely spread out and does not overwhelm or appear too busy. It is very colorful and it’s sue of the many pbs kids characters from its channel will keep any kids attention through their visit.

B ORGANIZATION:
Upon visiting the site any person will immediately be made aware of it’s rather simplistic method of presenting material. This, in of itself, is a strength in that it will allow the youth visiting to find whatever they are looking for with ease. From the videos of the various PBS kids characters from it’s channel to the many games it offers involving multiple educational subjects like math and spelling any visors attention will be drawn in for hours at a time.

A REVIEW:
One word comes to mind when visiting PBS Kids – fun. This is a fun site to visit. If you’ve spent any time watching the PBS channel and know it’s beloeved acartoon characters then you will be instantly taken in. Couple that with the educational materials that are foudn throughoutt he site and you just can’t lose here.



 Seussville.com

Website:  www.seussville.com

A CONTENT
Many people, young and old alike, will know about Dr Seuss and his nonsensical cast of characters such as the Cat and the Hat or the Grinch and Whoville from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. In Sueseville, parents and children are able to interact with a host of the familiar faces from the Seuss world as they educate themselves in various subjects throughout the site. There are an abundance of activities and game that the children can play, enhancing their spelling and rhyming. Not to be overlooked is the section for educators that help provide materials for lessons, lesson plans, printable activities and projects and the section for parents that provides a way to divide the site by age, gives reading tips and even has a newsletter that the parents can receive to keep them informed of the sites support means and of any changes that may occur to the site material.

A AESTHETICS
Two things come to mind when you first enter the Seussville site – that it is extremely colorful and very busy. There are a host of characters that are moving at any time amidst the home sites initial page and it is, if anything, very colorful. Very youthful visitors may find the initial page a bit distracting but still very engaging. It is, after all, a fantasy wonderland and will do a marvelous job of keeping visitors attention, though.

B ORGANIZATION:
Again, the busy nature of the entrance page deserves some discussion here. In some cases it may prove to be a bit distracting and even somewhat difficult to “motor” around the site if you have a specific mission when visiting. While the toolbar at the top of the page does provide considerable directional help, the initial pages has clickable links throughout it that are not very clear as to what they do. I think that, perhaps, it would have been better served to have a tool tip cloud of some sort to appear whenever the mouse hovers over a link would provide extremely valuable help here

A REVIEW:
Anyone who has ever encountered Dr Seuss and his beloved nonsensical cast of characters will know what a special place they occupy in their growth from childhood. Such odd fantasy characters have served to provide many children with a “far away place” to visit as any fantasy cartoon should. The home site for this fantasy world is just as full of wonderment as the books and cartoons for which Dr Seuss has become famous for. Apart from the few organizational shortcomings, the site has the wonderful feeling of page 1 of any of Dr Seuss’ fantastic books and will keep the visitors attention as well as the books kept it’s readers.



 KidsReads

Website:  http://www.kidsreads.com/bookertworm.asp

A CONTENT

Kidsreads.com is a site that provides a wealth of information about all things pertaining to reading, books, authors and any support material concerning that subject matter. The sites “guide” a character called Booker T Worm, acts as a guide in explaining sections of the site. The is something of a database of sort on materials that children may read – any book – and even discusses various authors and provides audio material as well.

A AESTHETICS

The site has a very basic nature about it. With its enormous amount of material, it does not try to distract or engage visitors with any moving parts and allows anyone to seek out whatever information they desire with little or no distractions. The coloration is very basic as well.

A ORGANIZATION

Kudos to the site for trying its best to organize the information in as easy to navigate a path as possible. The reviews section is blocked off into alphabetical order and also provides jump-points for each letter category. The sections for series, coming soon and even the author review are organized in a basic pattern which only serve to enhance the sites value because it makes it easier to find material and information.

A REVIEW

Kidsreads is a basic database site that parents, adults and educators will find a very valuable helping tool when considering a child’s reading material. Categorized into very help sections anyone can review a book or author and fins a wealth of information that can only help in any lesson plan or topical discussion on particular materials or authors. The creators of the site must’ve gone through some painstaking long hours to create the site but kudos to them for the help they are providing.

 



 ReadingRockets.org Widget!

Here is another great educational widget from ReadingRockets.org



By using this widget, you can get the “Picture Book of the Day”. Check back daily for recommended picture books. These books are chosen by Maria Salvadore, ReadingRockets’ children’s literature expert.



 Reading Rocket Widget

So you may be asking what a widget is.  Great question!

A widget is an on-screen tool that can be used within a website.  If you use a widget, you can eliminate the need to click on a link to engage in an activity.  You just simply go to the website and use the tool! Don’t have a website? That’s ok! You can install widgets on your Facebook page, Myspace page, or even on your blog!

 

Here is a great educational widget from ReadingRockets.org



By using this widget, you can get the newest resources to help you support your child in becoming a better reader and writer. Check in daily and see what new advice, articles or tips show up!

 



 SFS Kids

A screen shot of www.sfskids.comWebsite: http://www.sfskids.org/templates/home.asp?pageid=1

A CONTENT:
Music Music Music. The San Francisco Symphony Kids Site is a one way ticket to the wonderful world of Music. With its mission to better involve kids in understanding the beauty of music, SFS Kids does a marvelous job of explaining instrumentation, letting kids know what the symphony is currently involved in and even has a section where any visitor may make a tune of their own.

A AESTHETICS:
The site has very vivid coloration and it is extremely bright. It has the look and feel of a cartoon and does a very good job of not overpowering a visitor by getting too technical with the different aspects of its mission

B+ ORGANIZATION:
While the site is pleasing to the eye, its lack of diversity gives it a somewhat simplistic feel. This is not meant to take away from it but there is little content presented where there probably could have been. But, what it does show is direct linkage to various aspects and does a good job of explaining what each section does.

A REVIEW:
SFS Kids is a nice music site dedicated to the performing art of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. It does a nice job of explaining its mission to children and not in a boring way either. Here’s to hoping they add more content to what promises to be a growing portal for more than JUST for San Francisco but for ANY child interested in music.



 ZiggityZoom

A screen shot of www.ziggityzoom.com

Website: www.ziggityzoom.com

A CONTENT:
Imagination. The focal theme for this wonderful site is the encouragement to reach for the proverbial stars and let their imaginations soar. Whether through its use of videos, activities or reading, ZiggityZoom uses creativity as the engine that drives any visitor to explore the many resources that it offers – as a means to positive values and healthy living habits.

A AESTHETICS:
ZiggityZoom’s use of pastels provides a very pleasant environment for the eyes. Very colorful in design, the site does not overpower the senses with dark or powerful colorizations and, instead, uses coloring in conjunction with its theme to accentuate its goals.

A ORGANIZATION:
The sheer amount of content available would prove daunting to anyone attempting to create such a site and not let it overwhelm a visitor seeking information or an user in the creation of the content. However, the site makes use of subject matter into sections that actually provides easier direction. Aligned across the top are the major elements of the site – Videos, Coloring, Stories, Playworld, Games, etc while throughout the rest of the site are sections such as those provided for activities and resources.

A REVIEW:
As a site that intends to provide a direction for healthy fundamentals for living, ZiggityZoom does a masterful job of weaving  the complexities of imagination with the intention of obtaining and maintaining the interest of any visitor.  With such an enormous amount of information, ZZ cleverly employs many vehicles to creating a very positive place where a child’s imagination are only better served by their creativity. -kudos for doing such a wonderful job.