Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 6 -- Professor Garfield

Today's post is provided by guest blogger Bob Levy with Paws, Inc., with an introduction to Professor Garfield. Paws, Inc. is the parent of Professor Garfield and Garfield, created by Jim Davis, a native Hoosier.

ATTENTION TEACHERS! Imagine having access to millions of dollars worth of the finest interactive educational content for your classroom for FREE! Well this is exactly what is available to you through a collaboration between Ball State University and Jim Davis (Garfield’s creator), at the Professor Garfield learning portal. The web site has some of the finest online academic curricula that children love to use and is designed for grades kindergarten through 8th grades. has won numerous awards and was recently named by the American Association of School Librarians as one of the 25 best web sites for Teaching and Learning in the US.

There is a wide variety of content that can be accessed online which include:

English Language Learning - The Indiana Department of Education has partnered with the Professor Garfield Foundation to create an English Language Learning site called “English for Your Future.” This new section on the Professor Garfield web site will feature conversational dialogs in a video format where students can access language learning videos and toggle back and forth between Spanish and English. A unique aspect of this ELL site is the inclusion of robust spiraled science content that has been aligned to Indiana academic standards in both English and Spanish. The “English for Your Future” web site will launch in the summer of 2012.

Animated Learning Modules – As part of a strategic partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, the Professor Garfield Foundation has created a series of animated educational modules called the Infinite Learning Lab. This section of the site is presented using humorous instructional videos which cover a wide assortment of topics such as:

Internet Safety - Online Safety, Forms of Media, Fact or Opinion, and Cyberbullying.

Character Education - Self-Esteem, Self Control, Peer Pressure, Listening, Giving Back, and Diversity.

English - Root Words, Summarizing, Main Idea, and Possessive Pronouns.

In the near future there will be additional modules that will cover math and science topics. Supplemental materials are provided which include: teacher guides, posters, certificates and iPad apps. Each lesson is designed to work perfectly into a normal class period. (ADD, ADHD, and Dyslexia) - This section of the Professor Garfield web site is geared towards helping children 8-12 years old with learning differences. It was developed over a 10 year period by the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation before being given to the Professor Garfield Foundation to oversee. promotes self-awareness, self-advocacy, and a positive self-esteem. Children learn that it is okay to learn differently, that everyone has their own strengths and challenges, and that their talents can help them achieve their dreams. allows children to get help from their peers or from special education experts. All user generated content on the site is reviewed by adults prior to being posted online. is one of the largest and most robust web sites providing assistance for this demographic.

Phonemic Awareness, Phonics and Literacy Skills - The Professor Garfield web site has many activities that address phonemic awareness, phonics and other early literacy skills. Phonemic awareness is the conscious awareness that spoken words consist of sounds. It also includes the ability to manipulate sounds or phonemes. Young readers must understand that words are made of sounds in order for phonics instruction to make any sense at all to them. On Orson's Farm, Orson and his friends on the farm offer engaging, academically sound activities at each level that will give children the opportunity to practice phonemic awareness tasks in a fun way. Here you will find activities in rhyming, sound matching, blending and segmenting syllables, and phoneme deleting and substituting. There are many other sections on the site that cover phonics and comprehension skills.

You won’t find another web site that is so rich and academically sound! Take some time and visit the web site.

The Challenge

Have you heard of or used the Professor Garfield learning portal? If so, share your experiences. For those new to Professor Garfield, how could you use it in your classroom?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this site. Today we watched a read to me story. I can't wait to check out the phonemic awareness section. I like the printable page of all the resources available on the site. I will share with my Kdg team.