It is that time of year when the students are anxious for spring break to arrive. Teachers feel pressured to get the semester requirements met and try to find small activities to occupy student time. Well, here is one web based application that will ease the stress on teachers to create an activity that students can collaborate on or solve on their own. The web application is Discovery Education‘sPuzzlemaker.
Puzzlemaker provides several options for teachers to integrate into a lesson or a fun activity. The puzzle options consist of word Search, criss-cross, double puzzles, fallen phrases, math squares, mazes, letter tiles, cryptograms, number blocks, and hidden message. Click on its name upon deciding which one is best for your activity. The selected puzzle screen will provide you step-by-step instructions to successfully create and print your own puzzle. Another option to printing it directly from the web is to save it as a web page to your desktop. By saving the puzzle as a web page, teachers have the advantage of re-printing the puzzle at anytime.
I have created a demonstration video of Discovery Education’s Puzzlemaker site using ScreenToaster. ScreenToaster is currently in the early stages of development. I have found it fairly easy to use. There is no software to download. The recording is all done via a web browser. ScreenToaster will be on one page and the recording will actually take place on a different window or tab. I recommend using “tab” options for recording. The tabs permits the user to transition from the ScreenToaster tab to the recording screen.
In closing, I encourage everyone to try out Discovery Education’s Puzzlemaker site and create their own puzzle from the variety of styles provided. For those of you looking to create tutorial videos of web site applications take ScreenToaster out for a test drive.