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Showing posts from April, 2015

Math Learning Center

(All images in this post are animated. Hold your cursor over them. iPad and Android users will need to touch the image.)
Math Learning Center has been providing quality math learning resources for several years. They have been providing digital math manipulatives for the iPad that many of my teachers already utilize. They also have web tools that would work fantastic for teachers that have an interactive whiteboard or touch enabled PC or Chromebook. If you hover over the image at the top, you can quickly see how to find the free web tools Math Learning Center has to offer. (Either that or you could just click here, but I'm proud of my animated pictures.
Geoboard When East Noble School Corporation first adopted iPads, teachers loved the Geoboard app. The most annoying part of using real geoboards is that students (much like myself) like to take the rubber bands and have flipping contests in the middle of class! The digital version was a revelation as there were fewer behavior pro…

Sumdog

Sumdog is a free learning resource that numerous teachers in East Noble School Corporation have found to be very useful. It initially started as a mathematics skill and drill gaming platform and has since moved to the subject areas of reading and writing. I do not typically make a big fuss about skill and drill resources, but Sumdog is the exception.
I was originally introduced to Sumdog by Michelle Yoder four years ago. The topic came up because she was implementing it with her first graders when they would visit the computer lab. (Sumdog was not available on the iPad at that time.) By providing students and parents with their usernames and passwords and promoting it on her website/newsletter, parents began having students log in and play from home. She had a first-grade student answer over 1,000 math facts on Sumdog in a week...all on his own time from home.
What makes Sumdog unique that a student would want to answer so many math facts on his own time? The games are actually fun. T…

Kindergarten Punctuation Project

Kindergarten just made punctuation videos using #ShadowPuppet and #hellopencil. Now they are watching their friends' videos on #GoogleDrive A photo posted by Lance Yoder (@edgaged) on Apr 17, 2015 at 9:45am PDT
Mrs. Kuehnert's kindergarten just wrapped up a little punctuation study. For a week or so, they studied the period, question mark, and exclamation point. She was also looking to get her students familiar with an app they had never used. I recommended Shadow Puppet for this idea since it lends itself well to combining multiple ideas. The purpose of this activity was to create sentences using periods, question marks and exclamation points, but also to work on those vital speaking skills.

For this project, I met with the students several days so that they could get plenty of practice with Shadow Puppet before the big punctuation project. We started the punctuation study with the question mark and discussed what it is and shared quite a few examples as a class. The kinderga…

Thinglink

Thinglink is a resource I've had on my blog list for a very long time. It can be utilized on multiple platforms as well as in multiple ways for both the teacher and the student. With Thinglink, users can create interactive images with targets/hotspots where other pieces of information can be imposed on the image. Students could use it to label items, provided extra information about an image, insert videos, and attach links.

Thinklink is a "freemium" product. They give teachers quite a bit of free access as they can have one group and up to 100 student accounts. This works well for elementary classrooms. However, I imagine that teachers that have multiple classrooms would like more groups available to better organize. At $35/year, it might be worthwhile for a middle or high school teacher to consider purchasing or go begging the PTO for a subscription. The cost is reasonable and gives more access to various features.

In the example embedded above, I cover various aspects …

Kidblog for Math

Kidblog.org is a great way to promote online communication and creating a culture of sharing within a classroom. Students can utilize it to post about any topic whether it be of choice or designated by their teacher. The collaborative nature of students sharing their thinking and responding through comments provides a powerful learning opportunity as learning is documented.

Recently, I met with Mrs. Jackson's third grade. Her students have been using Kidblog quite a bit this year as a platform to practice communicating online and publishing writing. This week I thought it would be a good idea to pose a problem-solving question on the blog and give the students a choice as to how they demonstrate the strategy used to solve it. They could either write their solution on paper/dry erase board and snap a photo or use a drawing app with the image of the problem on the background. It was interesting to see the dynamic of student choices as the class was pretty split on which tool they ch…

OneNote iPad App

OneNote for the iPad has recently been updated with the ability to draw! I'm excited about this opportunity for students, especially at the elementary level, as it will be a tool that will help them be more organized in all aspects of student life. Students can use it for research purposes, note taking, organizing writing, collaboration, and so much more. OneNote can be the "one man band" of iPad tools.

In this post, I have numerous videos breaking down the use of OneNote on iOS. Through these tutorials, users will get signed in, organize notebooks, input data, and share notebooks with others.
Sign In Keep in mind that you need to have a OneDrive account either personally or through your organization. Most school districts considering the use of OneNote in the classroom will have an organizational account through Office 365. If you have an account, here is how to sign in: 
Notebooks, Sections, and Pages In this video, you will learn how to create notebooks, sections, and…

OneNote 2013

OneNote has been around for quite some time. It is a powerful note-taking resource provided for free by Microsoft. I will be posting multiple times on the topic of OneNote as the amount of uses is vast and can feel overwhelming. These posts will give a quick overview of how to navigate and get started. I will also chat a bit about different ways it can be implemented in the classroom.

This post will completely focus on OneNote 2013 for a Windows machine. It integrates very well with the rest of Microsoft Office and can provide an easy way to store and organize important bits of information on any topic you like. The key is just getting started. As you tinker around with OneNote, start with something small. Try using it to organize emails on a specific topic or person. Since you can make multiple notebooks for various purposes, there is no harm done if you decide you want to start fresh after practicing and finding a purpose.

Signing In and Creating Notebooks When you open OneNote 2013…

TodaysMeet: Reading Groups Continued

Ms. Zolman's first grade @romecityschool rocked #todaysmeet today. What a fun way to discuss about a text. #primayrocks! #ipaded A video posted by Lance Yoder (@edgaged) on Apr 7, 2015 at 11:26am PDT
This is a continuation post about utilizing TodaysMeet for reading discussions in first grade.  I decided to post on this topic again as I worked with a different set of students and a different text. In this post, the first graders used their iPads to chat about a story with a lady that laughed about everything!

I love the exciting opportunities todaysmeet.com provides for students to converse online about any designated topic. I've promoted other platforms like Kidblog.org for similar activities. However, the format of TodaysMeet lends itself more to a specific conversation much like a Twitter chat. Why not use Twitter? Simple answer...first graders can't have Twitter accounts.

I have more information on how to set up a TodaysMeet here. In this scenario, I had a QR code to th…

Zamzar: PDF to PowerPoint

Zamzar.com  is a great resource for converting file formats. It is easy to use and will notify you by email when your file is converted. I use it frequently has staff members like to send Microsoft Publisher files to post/advertise on the school website. If I'm on my Chromebook, that is a problem as it does not read Publisher files. I just use Zamzar and convert it to a PDF file. I could ask them to send me a PDF version, but ultimately it is faster if I just do it myself. 
Mr. Cary, the music teacher at Rome City Elementary, asked a question about putting a multi-page PDF file into PowerPoint slides. He wanted it on slides so that he could flip through sheet music quickly while helping students or sitting at a piano. He didn't want to be tied to his computer/interactive board to flip pages. He was taking screen shots of each page and inserting each one into a PowerPoint presentation. This could be time-consuming depending upon the length of the file. 
To save a little time, on…

Flipagram

Using Shadow Puppet to tell how much money we have on our desks in Mrs. O'Neill's first grade. @waynecenterelem A video posted by Lance Yoder (@edgaged) on Apr 6, 2015 at 7:16am PDT Teachers need to tell their story. They also need a time-efficient to be able to accomplish the task. Parents need convenient ways to receive communication; a little glimpse of what is happening in the classroom goes a long way. It is the nature of today's culture as Internet users are so accustomed to having so much information piped directly to them in short bursts through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. I encourage teachers to join into the realm of social media as it provides information to parents on a platform that they already utilize. If teachers are telling their story, less fiction can be created. The slideshow above is an example of how Flipagram for iOS and Android can be an asset to the teacher in sharing their story.

I've posted quite a bit recently on the use of Instagram in …

Baby Toys Should Have Bluetooth Too

One of my favorite electronic toys at home is my JBL Power-Up bluetooth speaker. It produces incredible sound out of a small device. Not only that, but I can pair it with my phone just by laying my phone on top of the speaker. It will make a connection, kick on my music and wirelessly charge my phone simultaneously. I absolutely love wireless charging.

My wife recently sent the photo of this baby toy phone setting on top of my speaker. (Of course, I had to add a little of my own treatments to it.) My son thought that by placing his little sister's baby toy on top of the speaker, that it would project the sound out of it. He's seen me do it hundreds of times with my phone. He obviously is missing a few pieces to the puzzle as the toy phone does not have bluetooth capabilities nor does he know how to pair a device. He lacks the know-how. However, he's witnessed what it is capable of doing. He doesn't try this anymore as he was left unsuccessful. Nor does he even seek h…