MathDoku

Apr 1, 2015 by

MathDokuMathDoku is similar to the traditional Sudoku number puzzle but it has a twist.  Users complete mathematical challenges in order to fill in the “cages” and solve the puzzle.  The puzzles can be increased in difficulty by increasing the size of the grid.  Like the traditional Sudoku, the numbers can only be used one time per row and column but must also solve the math challenge.  MathDoku follows the same rules the KenKen  number puzzle.  MathDoku is a way for students to practice critical thinking while practicing their computation.  Make math practice fun with MathDoku.

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Backchannel with Today’s Meet

Mar 31, 2015 by

TodaysMeetA backchannel is a communication tool that is used in the background while a lecture or activity is taking place in a class, a professional development session, or any kind of meeting.  TodaysMeet is a website that can be used to set up a “room” for backchannel discussions to take place.  Today’s Meet doesn’t require users to log in to set up the room or to post in the room and it is very simple to start up on the fly.  TodaysMeet will generate a QR code so students can scan to enter the room.  Once in the room, participants just have to enter a name and then start typing a comment or question.  Students can ask questions via the backchannel and their peers can answer them without stopping the instruction taking place.  TodaysMeet can also be used as a way for students to create a collaborative study guide by posting key comments throughout instruction.  The room creator can export the transcript for the participants and, voila, a study guide.  Backchannels have a number of instructional uses and TodaysMeet is just one of the possibilities.

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Monday Success: Backchannel Discussions in Class

Mar 30, 2015 by

Today’s Monday Success comes from Denise- a teacher I have been lucky to work with many times in the last 2-3 years at various seminars.  Denise had never used a backchannel discussion until our most recent seminar but that didn’t stop her from trying it in her Honors English classes.

Denise created two channels in Today’s Meet for her students.  One was for discussion about the novel they are reading in class and one was created for questions about their current research assignment.  Denise quickly discovered this was a useful way for her to learn some new teen slang along with giving her students a great place to share their ideas and feedback.  While Denise’s backchannels didn’t fill the exact purpose she had originally intended, she did get positive feedback about how much students enjoyed her class that day and she immediately noticed how engaged they were by the activity.

Denise now knows that prior to starting a backchannel discussion with her classes, it is a good idea to establish some guidelines and maybe even attach a grade to the backchannel participation.  She tried, she laughed, she learned, and she will now tweak.  Denise is a great example of how we should all approach technology- one step at a time.

Thanks, Denise for this perfect example of diving in and trying something new!  And remember, the brain loves laughter!

Please keep sharing your Success Stories!

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Tellegami

Mar 26, 2015 by

TellegamiTellegami is fun mobile app that can add a new twist to your lessons.  Users can create an animated “gami” and use it to share information in a new way.  Tellegami has multiple backgrounds to choose from or users can upload their own images.  The avatars can also be customized in clothing, appearance, and size.  The avatar can be moved around the scene and text can be added to the background.  After customizing the background and avatar, users can record their voice or type in text for the character to speak.  The “gami” can be shared with others through the app or a URL.  Love this tool and kids love it too!

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One Click Timer

Mar 25, 2015 by

OneClickTimerOne Click Timer is a Chrome Browser extension that is handy for both teachers and students.  You can find One Click Timer in the Chrome Web Store. Teachers can quickly set a timer for short activities or longer activities with two clicks.  One click on the icon in the Chrome Browser and one click on the time that you want to set.  The timer can be viewed like the image or minimized in the Chrome Browser.

Students can use this timer to monitor their own productivity, set the length of time they want to read, or practice automaticity of skills.  Setting a number of minutes to work for and then taking an intentional break can increase productivity.  One Click Timer is a really handy, easy-to-use Chrome Browser Extension.

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TED ED

Mar 24, 2015 by

Many of us have been awed, inspired, and amazed by a speaker with a profound message shared at a TED conference and then uploaded to the TED YouTube Channel and the  TED Website.  Smaller, independently organized TEDx events give that same platform to share ideas in local venues.  Now, there is TED ED.  TED ED hosts Lessons Worth Sharing, a platform specifically designed for teachers to build lessons around TED talks, TED-ED originals, or any YouTube video.  Check out the TED ED Tour and get started creating new lessons for your students.

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RefME

Mar 23, 2015 by

RefME Citing references correctly is one of the most difficult things for writers, both new and experienced.  RefME is a great tool for helping writers to get those citations listed properly no matter what the document or the citation style.  RefME has both Android and iOS apps in addition to the Website.  The mobile apps allow users to scan the barcode of the material they wish to reference to automatically generate the citation in the correct form.  RefME has over 7,000 citation styles including school specific styles.  RefME also integrates seamlessly with other online tools such as Evernote, Microsoft Word, and EndNote.

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Friday Photo: What Makes You Come Alive?

Mar 20, 2015 by

Part of our job as teachers is to help our students find their passions- what makes them come alive.  How can we help our students do that everyday?  How can we do that ourselves?  Maybe sharing this quote will help our students along the way.  Have a great weekend everyone!

ComeAlive

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Pocket Code

Mar 19, 2015 by

Pocket Code is an  Android app that allows kids to create games, animations, art, music and more while learning to code with Catrobat, a visual programming language for mobile devices.  Pocket Code is a building block style language game which helps kids visualize the actions in their program.  Pocket Code also has a Website  with a guide to help students and teachers get started with the app.  Coding is a great exercise in critical thinking and problem solving and Pocket Code is an easy way for kids to get started.  Take a look at this video to learn more about Pocket Code.

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HSTRY

Mar 18, 2015 by

HSTRYHSTRY is a free tool that allows users to create truly interactive timelines.  Timelines are accessible via iOS app or can be web-based.  Users can be creative with their timelines and add images, audio, and video as well as text descriptions to the timeline.  In addition to media-rich timelines, users can add quiz questions to check for understanding.  If you’re not quite sure you want to create your own timeline, you can still use HSTRY and grab a shared timeline from the community.   Another great feature is the option of creating a class and adding students with a class code so that you can track student progress through the content.  Students can also use HSTRY to create their own timelines as a study guide or evidence of learning.  HSTRY is a fun and flexible tool for learners of all ages.

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