Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tried it Tuesday -- Spring Cleaning & Researching with Fact Monster

I'm excited to link up with my sweet friend, Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper, for Tried It Tuesday.  It's been awhile since I was able to join in, but I'm happy to be here this week.
I actually have two "Tried Its" for this week, one teaching related and one that isn't.

First, the "isn't"...

So my two kids left Sunday morning for the band trip to Florida.  I was looking forward to spending the day relaxing and catching up on blogging.

Then I made the mistake of going into my daughter's room to find her fish food so I could feed her fish while she was gone.  BIG mistake on my part.  After I pushed my way through her door (she apparently told me she "cleaned" on Saturday before she left....), I was overcome by the need to do a little straightening.  (Anyone with teenagers will recognize the irony in referring to any teenage mess as "little".)  So....one day, six bags of garbage, two bags of clothes to donate, and 12 loads of laundry later, her room is "clean."  Needless to say, my relaxing day turned out to be not-so-relaxing after all...but at least she will come home to a clean room.

I consider this experience a "tried it" because we are NOT going back to the theory that as long as the door is closed, you can choose to keep your room any way you want to. We tried it her way, but it didn't work. Sorry, honey (if you are reading)!

Now for the teaching "Tried It"...

You may remember that my students have been working hard on researching and writing their biography projects.  I have received a few requests (thank you!) for more information about websites that I have used. The one website that my students enjoy using is www.factmonster.com.
There is TONS of information on this website, which makes it great for research.  Here's the page we used for researching our famous American heroes.  I love the search bar option too!
There is also a handy encyclopedia page.
Need help with homework?  There's a page for that too.
I think it would be fun to let the kids look around the "Cool Stuff" page.
(Even the "Dating and Marriage" section has some interesting facts about dating/marriage customs around the world.  Maybe a project for Valentine's Day???)

As with any website, you need to teach your students how to use it safely and responsibly.  Most of the links stay on-site, but there are banner ads that may distract some kids.

What have you tried lately?  Head on over to Fourth Grade Flipper to check out more ideas!


  1. Oh my goodness...I am laughing at your sweetie's room. I used to be the same way. As soon as I moved out of my parents' house I all of a sudden became a neat freak. I know it irritates my mom to no end to know that for 24 years I was a messy hoarder and then quickly changed my ways. Lol! I haven't used Fact Monster a whole lot, but I need to now. Thanks for all the pics. That will be helpful! Sorry you didn't get to come to Florida too! xo
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. This post makes my heart smile! I feel the same way with my daughter's room, except she's only 2 and a half. I clean in there every day of my life and oh my goodness it never ends! I haven't used the Fact Monster website because we have 2 computers and 1 lab in the school that is frequently occupied for testing, so that makes any technology use rare. So sad! I'll keep the option in mind for the homework part, though. Thanks for sharing!

    The 4th Grade Journey

  3. I have never heard of fact monster. My students will work on research again in May, so I will give it a shot. Thank you!

    Fit to be Fourth

  4. Thanks for sharing Fact Monster...I've never heard of it, but can't wait to put it to use in my classroom! As for the day of catching up and blogging, it always seems the best laid plans tend to go awry!

  5. Your story of your daughter's room had me smiling! I can only imagine what I'm in store for as my kids become teenagers. There are so many toys now that we don't need right now. I am counting down to spring break to be able to tackle it. I've never heard of Fact Monster but it looks great! Thanks for sharing and linking up sweet friend!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  6. My kids are probably going to do some research after the break. I need to check out this site.
    Third Grade Galore

  7. LOVED the story of your daughter because that was me...good news...I hate ANYTHING on my floor now! LOL! She must be a clothes horse like I was with all the donations and load of laundry! (A girl after my own heart!) And, the Fact Monster looks incredible! Thanks for introducing such a valuable resource!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  8. My daughter just turned 13 and I am amazed at what I find in her room and where!! I am thinking we have a rought few years ahead of us. Since I am revisiting non-fiction texts and writing next week I am super excited to learn about Fact Monster - thanks!!

  9. FactMonster is a new one for me. I'm always looking for site like this.
    Congrats on the clean room. I'm afraid my girls are headed that direction...

  10. Thanks so much for sharing this with us! You've inspired me to create my own routine. :)

    Leather Cleaning Brisbane & Flood Restoration Brisbane


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