Reviewed Site: ChoosyKids (http://www.choosykids.com/CK2/)
Site Content Area: Health, Health-related, and Active Lifestyles
To hear the movies, your sound card should be functioning and the volume turned on.
This site features a variety of sections, which I�ve listed below under the Features section. ChoosyKids focuses primarily on the younger children and their teachers and families. Their goals or objectives are right on the money, increasing activity time, making good food choices, prevention of obesity and cardiovascular disease, and giving children the power to choose.
They have a pretty cool looking mascot to help get their message across to the youngsters-you�ll have to visit the site to see for yourself! They have music that students would enjoy and ideas for teachers on how to incorporate this into your curriculum.
Since they do have a commercial side, there are many items they want you to order and most of their services are on a fee basis. Although this is true, there are many resources available for free on their site.
The site uses one of my favorite colors, lime, mixed with purple; very dazzling. The top navigation is easy to understand, however you must enter each section to find further sections within the website. There is a newsroom on the right-side which consists of the latest posts to their blog.
Features of the Site:
About Us: You�ll find their mission, �premises�, beliefs, and more. Definitely a good read to ensure you agree with their philosophy prior to accessing their other sections, content, and materials.
Products: I did not spend much time here since the purpose of these reviews is to focus on sites which assist educators in finding and using excellent resources. ChoosyKids does not really have that large of a product line, however they do have a few items I would have liked to have a hands-on experience with to determine if they truly are good products, such as the music CD. Some of the items you cannot order on-line, but most of them are available. Be sure to check out the store before purchasing since it opens a new window, and takes you to a different site.
Training & Certification: There is the option to have their illustrious team come to your school and train your teachers. You can review each of their team member�s bio by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.
News & Events: This is their blog which has the latest posts on the front page. They do have a box at the top to search by category, but I found when clicking on one of these links that the posts were identical, so not real helpful for a search.
Kids Club: There are several audio stories read by children, however I found them difficult to listen to and they seemed to cut in and out. Your students can submit stories and drawings to the site for publication. There is a link to the Games and Activities page, which takes you on a journey of coloring pages, recipes, and a memory card game. I did find that the coloring sheets and game took quite some time to download.
Music & Video: This section has several broadcasts that you can watch, various videos on health and wellness, song lyrics you can print out and, of course, the CDs can be purchased right from this page. I did have a hard time downloading, it took too long for my liking.
Parents & Teachers: Most of these resources are the same links you found in other sections, however there are three PDFs with information about infants, babies, and toddlers.
Resources & Links: This page does have a lot of great links to educational materials, articles, outside websites, PDF downloads such as snack ideas, and templates for documents such as a monthly meal menu. This is a good resource for teachers to locate specific information on health and wellness.
Choosy Community: The Kid-napping Saga at first glance concerned me, however after reading it thoroughly, it is just a spoof. Stretch with Choosy is a very cute handout with their mascot doing various stretches. One the main page, you can post any comment you desire, start a new thread, or comment on someone else�s post.
Although this site does have a lot of free resources and wonderful links, I would have liked to see more educational information discriminated here, as well as audio clips of the songs. It is hard to purchase music without having heard it. I do appreciate that this program was put together by educators with a varied team of professionals. So often we run across websites, programs, materials, or equipment developed by non-educators trying to �sell� us on whatever it is they are peddling. I also just loved their little mascot; I think the youngsters will really like �him� and will be able to relate to him easily. Take a look at the site, see if there is anything you can use, try it with your students, and then let us know how it went. Have a great time surfing this site and we look forward to seeing you next time!
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