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Name the Game – The Main Idea

Name the Game

Name the Game


VocabularySpellingCity is running a pretty clever contest right now. They are asking for help naming a new game.  And to make it clearly educational, they have published a lesson plan so that you can help your kids think through the question in naming the game of: “What is the Main Idea?”

Look, the idea of the main idea is core higher order thinking skill. What is the essay about? What is this play about?  What is he talking about?  The first step in naming the game is finding the essence of the game.

The second step is finding the catchiest way to express it. Like a headline, advertisement, or other clever use of words, it’s a particular challenge to pen a catchy pithy compelling title. Do your kids have what it takes? It’s not really a gift, it’s a learned skill.  So step right up, try out their new game, and see if you or your kids can name.  The prize is both the glory (a certificate) and free annual membership!

So, click through to play and then try to figure out a pithy catchy way to express the game’s main idea:  Name the Game!


Vocabulary App & Website Recommendation

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Does your family use VocabularySpellingCity.com yet? If not, you should! It makes word study- spelling, vocabulary, and writing – fun for kids. It simplifies teaching with automated grading and progress tracking.

VocabularySpellingCity provides 25 learning games and activities, many of which are printable. These games can be used with any word list.

How does it work? Just register for a free account to begin saving word lists that your students can use to take tests or play learning games. We offer over 45,000 words featuring 60,000 definitions, plus sentences read in a human voice.

Our Vocabulary Teaching Resources section includes Language Arts lesson plans, useful word lists (like academic vocabulary lists and literature-based word lists), articles and more!

Check out SpellingCity
Check out SpellingCity.com
What makes VocabularySpellingCity.com so popular?

  • The convenience – Once you start using it, you’ll wish you had discovered it sooner. It’s great for homeschool portfolios and record-keeping. For students in school, word study with SpellingCity leads to improved spelling and vocabulary skills and higher grades.
  • Breadth of use – You can save your own word lists or use those available through Teaching Resources. There are 25 different learning games and activities, including spelling, vocabulary, writing, and language arts.
  • Human voice – Students hear each word spoken clearly, which is great for pronunciation.
  • Definitions and context-rich sentences – Each word includes a definition and is used in a context-rich sentence to reinforce meaning.
  • It’s affordable – An annual family membership is only $29.99 (for up to 5 kids). Many families start with the free option, but soon upgrade to access Premium learning games (including vocabulary and writing activities), get automated student progress tracking, and eliminate commercial advertising on the site.

SpellingCity was launched in 2008 primarily as a spelling practice site of interest to elementary students. Since then, it’s been transformed into VocabularySpellingCity and is becoming increasingly popular with middle and high school students. The site has received numerous educational awards and endorsements. An iPad app is available and an Android app will be available in spring 2013.

Check out these resources:

I expect VocabularySpellingCity.com will earn a spot as one of your favorite sites. Visit the site and see for yourself why more than one million teachers and parents worldwide have become members of VocabularySpellingCity!

John Edelson, founder Time4Learning


Homeschool Math

While most homeschool  moms are thrilled to be teaching literature, they aren’t necessarily so excited about teaching math to their homeschooled students.

For many students, math produces feelings of dread and anxiety. In the classroom and on tests, kids fear being humiliated if they come up with the wrong answer or don’t know how to solve a math problem. They feel pressured by their teachers, parents, peers, and time constraints. Math anxiety is a common and sometimes serious problem: it causes students’ minds to go blank and their reasoning skills to be blocked by anxiety or even panic.

Use Technology to Overcome Math Anxiety

One way to present math in a non-threatening way is by using the computer. Time4Learning offers computer-based instruction that can help reduce or solve math anxiety.


  • Lessons are student-paced, allowing students to repeat lessons as many times as they want until they’ve mastered a skill.
  • Lessons are presented in a sequential order in small chunks. Each lesson within a chapter builds on the last, which helps reinforce skills.
  • Students have access to one grade above and one grade below, allowing them to flip back to lessons from the previous year if they don’t fully understand a concept.
  • Lessons are taught by animated characters in a highly visual, interactive manner. This helps bring the material to life and lets students engage with the material instead of memorizing it.
  • Activities provide alternative explanations, so if a student answers a question incorrectly the first time, the activity then will explain it in a different way.

Technology can open doors in a way that textbooks can’t, by creating an interactive learning experience that brings the material to life. And since computers have endless patience and don’t judge, fear of humiliation becomes less of an issue, and a can-do state of mind replaces resistance.

eady to end math anxiety?

When your kids develop a solid math foundation, you’ll be amazed to see the grades improve and the stress disappear. You might even hear that math is fun!

But, when a student has weak math basic skills, math appears confusing and difficult. You’ll likely hear no enthusiasm to learn math or that math is boring. You might even notice that your child starts to develop “math anxiety” and their confidence suffers.

Time4Learning.com is the answer. Build confidence and success in core reading and math skills for kids, PreSchool to Eighth Grade.