Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An App Called Three Ring


Yesterday I tried out a new app called Three Ring on my iPad.  Three Ring is used to quickly and easily digitize student work and keep a portfolio of student work or classroom resources.


Here is how it works.  First I signed up for an account at www.threering.com.  Once I had an account, then I set up my classes (math, reading, etc.) and entered my students' names.  


Then I downloaded the app onto our ipad.  It is FREE!


Once I had opened the app, I chose a subject   
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and student.  Then I clicked on Capture Student Work.  

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The iPad's camera opened and I took a picture of the student's work. 

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I also took some pictures of students working together to help keep a record of assigned partners.
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I could then view the work I had captured by going to the website on my browser.  From the website I could add more students to the work that was captured and I could add a note like the one you see in the above capture.  I could also upload a file if I wanted to.


This app is so easy and useful.  I'm planning to use Three Ring to capture things even beyond student work.  Perhaps bulletin boards, project samples or desk arrangements.  Anything I want to keep a visual image of.


There is currently no way to share the information in a Three Ring account.


If you would like to read more about Three Ring, click here to see a blog post by Richard Byrne.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Money Activities

Here are three sites to use with your students if you are studying money.


#1 - The Lifespan of a Dollar Infographic




#2 - Festisite -Put your photo onto money.  Look at money from around the world.
#3 - Presidential Portraits - Show what you know about the Presidents on money.


And a bonus:
#4 - A collection of links on Delicious by one of the people I follow, jmillot.


Enjoy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Prezi Worth Sharing

Today, I just have to share this Prezi presentation by Clint Stephens.  The Prezi is about Educational Apps and it is so well organized and full of great apps.  Here is the Prezi:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fact Monster

Fact Monster is a site I recently discovered full of fun facts and information for students and teachers.





Find facts about many topics including sports, science, people, etc. Also there is a great reference section with a homework center, atlas, dictionary, almanac, timeline and encyclopedia.  


Here are a few things I found while searching through Fact Monster:









A huge collection of U.S. facts and info.






















Profiles on each state.




















A really nice atlas of



The world














A continent




















A country













Biographies from all over the world!


There is so much more to discover at Fact Monster.  I highly recommend using Fact Monster with your students.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bookwinks

It was time for our Scholastic Book Fair this past week.  Students always love exploring the new books available.  


Bookwinks is a site that introduces books to students through video book talks.  The videos are very well done.  A person can search for books by subject, grade level, title or author.  Not every book has a video.  My reading students really enjoyed watching these videos and looking for the books at the Book Fair. 





I highly recommend sharing a video book talk with your students.  It peaks their interest in new books and gives them great motivation to read.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I Flipped My Math Class

 
For about seven months now I've been wanting to Flip my Classroom!  What am I talking about?  The Flipped Classroom.  If you have never heard of the Flipped Classroom before, click here to see what it is and some examples of classrooms using it.
 
When you flip your classroom it means that students are watching videos created by the teacher to learn a concept.  In a true Flipped Classroom, the learning is done outside of the classroom and then class time focuses on having better interaction and engagement among the students through collaboration and creation using what the students have learned.  


I was not able to implement a true Flipped Classroom since we have several students who do not have computers or Internet at home.
 
So I have started a Partial Flipped Classroom.  Here is how I'm doing it.


We started with a Google Presentation that helps students to understand what they would need to do in order to be successful in the Flipped Classroom.  I incorporated information I had gathered from blog posts about the Flipped Classroom into this presentation.






After students understood what they needed to do to be successful, we were ready to get started.


Students first watch a video tutorial, created by me, that teaches a lesson in our Math Expressions text.


I use an app called Educreations to make the tutorials on our iPad.  


The tutorials are embedded into a free LMS (Learning Management System) called Schoology.  


Here is an example of a tutorial I created on solving multiplication problems using Rectangle Sections.


During the video, students are encouraged to start and stop the tutorial and practice the problems being taught.




After students watch the video, they work collaboratively with their classmates to practice what they have learned.  I have made it very clear to the students that working together is a must and that watching the videos many times is essential.   






As the teacher, I monitor behavior, mentor those who need help, assist those with questions, and coach those who need encouragement.  


So far the feedback from my students has been great!  I had a student say to me, "This is my new favorite way to learn!"  


Here is what I like about the Flipped Classroom:

  • Listening to the "math talk" among my students has been proof they are learning.
  • There is less pressure to teach the lesson since I have prepared the videos ahead of time.  
  • I am better prepared for our math class since I have taught the concept in a video tutorial.
  • My students are using the videos over and over again and are really learning from them.
  • Several students have accessed the videos from home and shared them with their parents.
  • My co-teacher uses the videos to prepare for her lesson and will soon be making her own videos to add to my lessons.
  • My students are becoming better at collaborating with each other and helping one another to learn.
My goal is to get other teachers on board with using a Flipped Classroom approach and to work together as a grade level to make video tutorials for other units in our math series.  

I hope you might consider flipping a lesson or unit for your students.




Thursday, March 15, 2012

Language Sites Presented with Simple Booklet

I made a Simple Booklet to share some language sites with you. Enjoy!




                                             

      Click here to Check out this Simplebooklet 




You can make your own Simple Booklet by clicking here.

Two Nice Drawing Sites

Sometimes the best way to explain something is through a drawing. 
Today I'd like to share two drawing sites that have some great features.  One feature that they don't require a registration.  


The first site is FlockDraw.  Here are some of the features:




I especially like the fact that students can work together on a drawing.  


If you use the embed code to embed the drawing on your site, you are actually sharing the link to your drawing and then people can join you and draw with you.  For example, here is a drawing embedded onto a wiki.  If you type in a nickname, you can draw on my picture.  This could be a bit risky with privacy.  I wouldn't use this in my classroom.

Here is a drawing I made using Flockdraw to demonstrate my understanding of classifying triangles.



The second site is called Drawzit.  This site has some really nice features as well.  

  • There is no registration needed 
  • There are how-to videos
  • The ability to upload a picture
  • Fun tools like stamps and shapes
  • Help tips
Here is a drawing, again showing my knowledge of triangles, using Drawzit:


Create your own drawings at http://www.drawzit.com!


In this case, I used the embed code to place my drawing right into my blog.  This site doesn't allow for collaboration, so you are not able to draw on my drawing.


I hope you can use these great drawing sites with your students to allow them a new avenue for demonstrating their knowledge of concepts in the classroom.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A QR Code Science Lesson

 

This past week I used QR codes in my science lesson.  This is a lesson I created last year to supplement what my students had learned about the Circulatory System. 

 


It worked somewhat like a scavenger hunt in that the students were using the QR codes to take them to a website and then they needed to answer some questions or fill in some information from what they had learned from that site.  The QR codes and questions were on small bookmarks.





QR codes were a great way for our students to use the Internet and gather information.  The websites they visited included an interactive site showing the scale of objects, two videos, an informational site and a virtual microscope.  My students were certainly demonstrating the 21st Century skill of digital literacy within this lesson.


Click here to see the bookmarks that I created.  Feel free to make a copy for yourself and adapt this lesson to your needs and content.


Click here to see a previous post about QR codes.  This will explain the download I use on our student laptops to scan the QR codes.


Here is the Google Presentation I used to introduce QR codes to my students earlier in the year.




I hope you can find a way to introduce QR codes to your students and let them experience this amazing technology in an educational way!