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21 Mar 2012
Comments: 2

Mind-Boggling

After setting up iPads for each of the Math teachers at Krueger Middle School, I met with two teachers in particular (Mrs. Vela and Mrs. Trevino) to review a few of the district policies involved with the iPad and explore some of the 50+ FREE Math apps that I had loaded on the devices.

Mind-Boggling Integration using Visual Poet

While perusing the available apps, they had inquired if it was possible to get Boggle loaded. Intrigued…I inquired as to how they intended to use the app with their Math students. Had to share their app-tastic ideas and a few that I added:

  1. Probability of choosing a vowel or a consonant.
  2. Solve proportions based on their scores (e.g. if you found 12 words in 3 minutes, how many could you find in 4 minutes?)
  3. Calculate the percentage of words you discovered (e.g. 6 words out of 107 possible is what %) or calculate the number of words you would need to receive a passing score.
  4. Set up a problem to solve for difference in score or percentage of change (e.g. you found 12 out of 107 words on the first trial and 15/125 in the next trial) playing the same game or a different game (users have the option to replay with the same letters).
  5. Calculate the Central Tendency of the class’s scores (e.g. mode, range, median, and mean).
  6. If students are playing the same game or replaying the same game within a group, determine what the most popular words chosen were. (Each student could play individually, set the game to replay and have the next student replay with the same arrangement of letters.)
  7. If students are playing different games, they could hypothesize how certain arrangements of letters may be easier to form and locate words with than others based on their scores for each game.
  8. Have students create an infographic (see examples of EDU infographics) with all of the data they have collected.

 
Know of any other FREE game apps that lend themselves to being used in mathematics or another content area, please share…

Check out other Math iLessonsiLesson involving probability, and App-tastic Mathematics Part 1 and Part 2 on “Appy Hours 4 U“.

 


09 Mar 2012
Comments: 5

What's Cooking in your iClassroom?

While educators know that math is all around us, sometimes students have a difficult time grasping its impact on our every day activities. Though the apps listed below may not inherently scream proportions, rate, sequences, and percentages, they very easily lend themselves to providing creative and engaging connections to real world problem-solving activities. Some of the apps can be used as hooks and others to provide data for further problem-solving or to spark discussion. (App Screenshots added to and displayed with XNote app with customizable graph paper background).

Real-World Math meets Edutainment curated with XNote app

 

  1. Farmers Market: This tool provides users with 4 different vendors and 4 different customers. Vendors sell anything from vegetables and glassware to shoes and coats.
    1. Elementary students could create basic multiplication and addition sentences and then solve them, as seen with Ms. Carnazzo’s classor compose and check problems based on change and currency.
    2. Middle School students could create word problems involving unit price, tax and mark up/markdown or research and discuss the difference in price and impact of buying local vs. buying from a corporation.
  2. Kidz Kitchen: Provides users with an option to make pastas and pizzas as well as cook lunch and dinner. In the “making pasta” segment, users guide the chef through the kitchen to complete the steps of making a series of different meals.
    1. Early elementary students could utilize this tool to learn order and sequence of a task.
    2. Middle School students could create word problems that involved proportions, fractions, and conversions for recipes, how much food would need to be ordered so there was the least amount of food waste based on the dishes ordered, or research and map out times for when the chef would have to start prepping and cooking each element of a meal to complete it by a certain time.
  3. Lil’ Kitten Shopping Cart Game: Lil’ Kitten is given a specific amount of money ($25) and a list of items he has to purchase for his family (e.g. butter, guava, ice cream cones, yogurt, bacon). First he has to locate each item in the store, and then he has to choose which brand of item to purchase (e.g. one brand of bagels may cost $3.50, another $3.00, and another $2.50). The goal is to purchase all of the items and still have money left over. While Lil’ Kitten’s list typically only has 4-6 items, he can actually dump up to 10 items in his cart (including items that are not on the list). When he has put all of the items on the list in his cart, he can check out and is provided with a write-up of his original budget, money spent, money saved, etc.. If he has money left over, he can buy a toy from the store as well.
    1. Elementary students could practice creating and solving word problems that involve change, multiplication situations, repeat addition, etc..
    2. Middle school students could again create word involving unit price, tax and mark up/markdown or research and discuss then and now prices of grocery stores.

 

Don’t take my word for it… Check out Carnazzo’s engaging uses of real world mathematics and edutainment app(s). She recently sent me a delightful iLesson involving students taking screenshots from the app My PlayHome (or My PlayHome Lite), composing a multiplication story and solving it using the app iPen (or iPen Free). Check out several other ideas for utilizing My PlayHome in the iClassroom.

 

Carnazzo's Multiplication Stories utilizing My PlayHome and iPen

 

 


07 Mar 2012
Comments: 0

App-tastic Middle School Mathematics

I had the pleasure of delivering a staff development workshop to 25 Middle School Mathematics teachers at South San ISD this past weekend. The workshop began with a Google Form Survey to model how teachers could gather data and information from students using Google Forms and the iPad (the form could be accessed from a QR code and a bit.ly address). The rest of the day broke down into several categories:

  1. Apps that support vocabulary (also check out Flashcards & Quizlet lesson)
  2. Using Math Games purposefully (see link for Math Game evaluation rubric)
  3. Tips on how to utilize Surprisingly Educational apps like Pizza Time! and Slice it! Begins
  4. How to build iLessons and apptivities around tools like Check Please Lite and PercentDiff
  5. How to utilize Infographics in the iClassroom
  6. How to create student apptivities that utilize note-taking, problem-solving, and product-based assignments in the iClassroom

 

Symbaloo of 60+ FREE MS Math Apps


 
The beauty of presenting to others is the collaboration of minds. As the day was designed to be a workshop, teachers had plenty of time to explore apps, collaborate with fellow teachers, create apptivities for their students and their classroom, and share their resources with the rest of the class. One teacher had used a pairing of three different apps that I had never thought of linking together to create a grid on a map that could be measured and annotated. She opened the Maps app (resident on the device), took a screenshot of an area on the map, opened the screenshot in Tracing Paper Lite to create a grid on top of the map, took a screenshot, and then opened that screenshot up in Skitch to annotate it. What a great testament to how the iPad can be used to piggy-back on resources and create unique iCreations.

Create Griddable maps using a combination of Maps, Tracing Paper Lite, and Skitch


24 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Math-tastic iVocabulary

After taking a look at the 8th Math Benchmark Exam and perusing the student data, a few things became abundantly clear: Much of the test involved vocabulary AND successful problem-solving was based on the knowledge of that vocabulary and the ability to assimilate the given terms and information in order to draw an object, produce a table, or complete a graph.

While this is not really a shocking revelation (especially to those who teach Math as I did), I instantly began thinking of apps that could support math vocabulary in engaging ways.

All of our Math classrooms at Ed White have access to a class set of iPods. Thus, I focused on three FREE iPod apps that could be used in small groups and stations.

Doodle Buddy: The Math Facilitator had mentioned an activity where students work in pairs. One student would have a vocabulary word (e.g. isosceles right triangle) and the other student would have a dry erase board. Student 1 would be provided with a word and a sample drawing/representation or definition for that word. Student 2 would then draw the word without looking at the representation. Students would take turns reading and drawing.

  1. iPodsibility: Student 1 would use teacher-created Quizlet vocabulary deck imported into Flashcards* app to provide the words and definitions (pictures can be included in the deck for $15/year). Student 2 would then draw the figure using Doodle Buddy (with Dots & Boxes background). Doodle Buddy app can be shaken to clear the board for the next object much like an etch-a-sketch. (More iClassroom Examples of Doodle Buddy: Apps for the Classroom & Techchef4u.)
 

Doodle Buddy

 

StoryLines for Schools: This is a surprisingly educational app and a modern day app-ification of the telephone game! The classroom application would be vocabulary.

StoryLines for Schools: Student 2 View

 

  1. iPodsibility (1 iPod): Students could work in small groups of 3 with 1 iPod. Using 1 iPod: Student 1 would type in the definition of a word (e.g. “a triangle with two equal sides”) and then pass the device to student 2. Student 2 would draw an example of this definition and then pass the device to student 3. Student 3 would then write the word that is associated with the picture (they would not see the definition).
  2. iPodsibility (3 iPods): This idea is very similar to using 1 iPod but each student would enter in a definition and then pass the device. Thus, there would actually be three vocabulary words going around at the same time.

 

StoryLines for Schools: Student 3 View

 

TypeDrawing Free: This app allows students to draw with words and is perfect for illustrating vocabulary in a beautifully graphic and memorable visualization.

  1. iPodsibility: This would be best executed at a station or with individual students. The idea would be to think of all of the components and words that make up a shape. For example, the following words could be associated with an isosceles right triangle: leg, right angle, height, base, hypotenuse, acute angle, triangle, etc… Students would generate a list of vocabulary words (on a sheet of paper or in the Notes app). These words would then be used to describe a shape and then illustrate the shape given those words.

 

TypeDrawing Free

 

 Hungry for more Math lessons, check out these

 


19 Jan 2012
Comments: 3

Yes, Technology CAN Transform Education!

After reading the Tech Crunch article “Can Technology Transform Education Before It’s Too Late”?, I was a bit shocked and surprisedShocked that there were 15 comments in less than 3 hours and 40+ comments in a span of 24 hours. Clearly the topic is popular. What surprised me was the vast spectrum of comments ranging from arguments between the importance of how and what is taught, lack of focus on critical thinking and need for tools that facilitate retention, lack of parent involvement, and the need for a influx of social media to correspond and collaborate. Some felt technology was a tool and others cited technology-driven innovations like Khan Academy as the answer.

Tech Crunch Article by Prerna Gupta

 

Mobile Devices are a Game-Changer: While I do agree how and what is taught is integral to student learning and achievement, I have to say that mobile devices (especially the iPad/iPod in particular) are a game-changer… paired with purposeful instruction and meaningful application. They are the vehicle for personal, differentiated, and global learning. So how do we leverage these devices to effectively meet the needs of all of our learners?

Katie Gimbar says it better than I can: Why I Flipped My Classroom?. While she does not focus on the iDevices as a vehicle for flipping the classroom, one can see how these devices could easily support delivery of content (and later… application).

Now, How Might this Look in a Real Classroom? Let’s let Aaron Sam’s classroom serve as a model. (Also check out Katie Gimbar’s explanation: “What Does Your Classroom Look Like Now?”)

Now what are the road blocks to this initiative? What if a student doesn’t have access to the videos? What if a student doesn’t watch the videos? Who creates the videos? How are the videos created? Again, we will visit Katie Gimbar for the solutions!

What About Students with No Access?

What If Students Don’t Watch the Videos?

Who is Creating these Videos? If a teacher doesn’t feel he/she has the time or expertise to do so, Khan Academy and other sites have wonderful video libraries. However, Katie Gimbar (and myself included) feel the best author for change is the classroom teacher.

The next question for me… How are these Videos Created/Produced? Katie (through her video series, I feel a unique familiarity with her… so perhaps we can be on a first name basis) chooses the Flip Camera and white board as her tools of choice. Others may opt for an iPod with a camera, an Avermedia Document camera (and/or A+ interactive software), the SMART recording feature built in to SMART software, or Camtasia Studio (Aaron Sams’ and Chris Groff’s choice), an iPevo, or even screen-casting tools like ShowMe, ScreenChomp, and Explain Everything. Choose a tool that is familiar to you and a tool that will deliver your content in the most appropriate way.

In closing…can technology transform education? No, not technology in it of itself. BUT, technology can be used to support initiatives like “flipping the classroom”, differentiated instruction, and personal learning. Utilizing these technology innovations is the key to empowering teachers to impact student learning and in doing so…transform education!


04 Jan 2012
Comments: 2

Glogster Learning Stations & iHybrids

Asked to develop a technology-integrated lesson for 5th Math, I naturally leaned to using the iPad. However, the lesson is being developed as a district resource and not every campus has iPads or iPods. Thus, I created a hybrid lesson. Since the elementary math specialists already had a bank of word problems that they had used in a “Words to Symbols” matching activity, we only had to spruce up some of the text and make it applicable or relevant to the apps we planned on using.

Glogster Learning Station: 5th Math - Patterns, Relationships, & Algebraic Thinking

 

The resources:

  1. Word Problem Videos: Each word problem was created with apps (e.g. Talking Pierre, Talking WeeMee, Talking Ben, and Puppet Pals). These videos were then emailed from my iPad and uploaded to Glogster EDU.
  2. Recording Sheet: The recording sheet was created in Word and dropped into my public Dropbox folder which generates a unique URL which will allow anyone to access the document (as there is no feature to upload documents in the free version of Glogster EDU).
  3. Glogster Learning Station: The Glogster Learning Station is great and visually appealing way to house all of your resources for students to access during the learning activity. Within the learning station, I included teacher’s notes, student directions, the word problem videos (and text translation), and a screenshot of the recording sheet that hyperlinks to the actual sheet (available to download), and an extra activity (that could serve as an additional assessment).

 

While this is a teacher-created station, the idea is so simple that students could create their own learning centers or create resources for a classroom learning station (as featured by Ms. Carnazzo’s class). Her class worked in small groups to create content to teach facts about government.

Class Glogster Learning Station: 2nd Grade Government Facts

 

The beauty utilizing Glogster EDU as a learning station (see more Glogster Learning Station resources) is that it frees up the teacher from disseminating directions and materials and it frees up devices in the classroom. Many classrooms only have one iPad (or a handful) and a few computer stations accessible to their students. By using the hybrid model, students can visit the Glogster station and then use other tools to complete an extension or remediation (e.g. two or three groups of students are working at Glogster learning stations, one group may be creating their word problem video or Khan-esque explanation using an iDevice and/or Document camera, and another group could be using the SMART board notebook lesson (or laminated cards) to match word problems with equations). This is also a great idea for differentiated instruction.

How times have changed…I created the following learning station glog (“Don’t Underestimate Yourself”) for middle school mathematics less than two years ago and the video resources took me nearly all day to edit and prepare… on a PC. With the flux of mobile devices and the ease of media production on these devices, I was able to knock out the video resources for the equations glog in less than an hour (and that was only due to the fact that I am a bit of a perfectionist).

Glogster Learning Station: Secondary Geometry & Spatial Reasoning

 


13 Dec 2011
Comments: 2

Can iPads be SMART?

I will fully admit that I am not so smart when it comes to SMART. Yes, I can tell you where to find the best SMART lessons and I feel comfortable editing existing lessons using SMART’s suite of tools. However, I do not feel so comfortable creating a SMART activity from scratch.

SMART Sequence Sorting Activity

 
It all started a few weeks back when I was working with a Math Specialist to create an iPad Lesson for students to use in centers. The lesson focused on students utilizing the app iCardSort to complete a sequencing apptivity. The initial iLesson was exceptionally easy to create and disseminate (using the iCardSort public deck repository and/or the Beam/Blast option) on the iPad.

Original iPad Lesson using iCardSort app

 
When we finished, we discussed the option of creating a similar version of the activity using SMART (as some campuses do not have access to iPads and would still want to use the activity). Naturally, I brought the idea to my SMART certified ITS friend, Lisa Jackson, and she whipped up this SMART notebook that mimics the original iLesson. I will say that in looking at the SMART version (e.g. how it was created… and the process to edit/modify it), I prefer creating my apptivities in iPad…hands down.

Editing Existing Notebook File

 
That being said, SMART does offer multiple interactive and touch abilities that sometimes mimic various apps on the iPad. While the saying does hold true that “if you don’t have an iPad… you don’t have an iPad…”, I will say that SMART is definitely a nice alternative… in a pinch… when you can’t swipe.

SMART Notebook Sequencing Activity


18 Nov 2011
Comments: 2

Primarily iProbability

If you are looking for an elementary iPad lesson in the techchef4u kitchen, it was probably cooked up by the ingenious Chef Carnazzo. This probability iLesson is no different. Carnazzo and her second grade class used the app ScreenChomp (featured in “Screen-casting & Problem-solving 4 the Classroom“) as a culminating apptivity from a week of work on probability (e.g. “TEKS 2.11: Probability and statistics. (C) use data to describe events as more likely or less likely such as drawing a certain color crayon from a bag of seven red crayons and three green crayons.”)


Chef Carnazzo Cooks up iProbability

 

Here’s how she did it:

  1. Teacher Preparation: Ms. Carnazzo chose the background pics (clipart from MS Word) and imported them to Doodle Buddy.
  2. Student Choice: Students chose stickers in Doodle Buddy.
  3. Student Assessment: Students had to answer (in written form) teacher pre-generated questions in reference to their picture.
  4. Highly Engaging: Carnazzo originally created the apptivity for an intervention group and, of course, the rest of the class wanted to do the apptivity as well.
  5. Small Group: While Ms. Carnazzo was working with small groups to record their screen-cast, the rest of the class had completed independent practice assignments at their desk.
  6. Student Planning & Preparation: Students used the questions and their answers on the worksheet that Ms. Carnazzo had prepared to craft the narration for their screencast. Carnazzo found it was useful to do a couple of dry runs prior to hitting the record button.
  7. Student Reactions: Students loved the ScreenChomp final project. Carnazzo stated the students really liked the part where their drawings appeared on the screen in the final product.
  8. Other Applications: Carnazzo felt this tool had a lot of klout in the classroom as students do so much problem-solving in math. She plans on using it in the future to have students record and compare different solution strategies to a single problem.

 

Sample other iCreations from the Carnazzo Kitchen: Grammar & Literacy with Tacky Wales, short vowel sounds with Songify, Math fact families with Talking Tom and friends, classifying motion with iCardSort, integrating Math and literacy using Puppet Pals Director’s Pass

 


14 Nov 2011
Comments: 0

iModel iPad Lessons with Number Line

In building the “iTools for the 1 iDevice Classroom” workshop, we felt there was a great need for modeling how various game-like apps can be utilized in multiple settings (e.g. cooperative pairs, small groups, stations, whole class). We also felt very strongly that it wasn’t enough to just talk about classroom and curricular uses but to truly model and discuss how task cards and recording sheets would be used and what follow-up and extension activities would look like.

iModel with Explain Everything: I have used Explain Everything to model how an iLesson could be delivered using the resources that have been provided within the Number Line apptivity. (Check out KSAT’s iPAd Curriculum site for Number Line lesson and score sheet).


 
iNewsletters & Extensions: Consider sending home an iNewsletter for Parents so any student with access to an iPod or iPhone at home could utilize the apps at home for remediation or extension. ShowMe and ScreenChomp would be great iPad apps to use to have students create their own word problem or iLesson on fraction, decimal, percent conversion. If students didn’t have access to an iPad, consider using the video recorder to record themselves working out a problem or modeling a unique approach to conversion.

iNewsletters 4 Parents

 

Hungry for more? Check out NEISD’s “iTools 4 the 1 iDevice Classroom” SlideShare workshop as well as HOT Apps 4 Literacy (includes task cards and recording sheet for ELA game-like apps).



08 Nov 2011
Comments: 4

iSequence

In an effort to incorporate the iPads into small group intervention stations for middle school math, I spent a few hours collaborating with Cheryl Mutz, an NEISD district Math Instructional Specialist, to create an apptivity to support the study of sequences in 8th Math. The intervention apptivity would be used in a small group setting (two students to an iPad) and the students would have 30-45 minutes to complete the task.

iSequence: Terms and Rules

 Resources: I have included a iCardSort_Sequences_TaskCard (task card) and  iCardSort_Sequences_Recording Sheet (recording sheet). The recording sheet is intended for students to show work or record answers if teachers choose not to use the email function on the iPad. (If teachers choose to use the email function, students will want to layer each individual sequence problem so all of the cards overlap. This way iCardSort views the cards as a group, or one problem, when it emails the written outline of information above the screenshot.) Check out iCardSort’s public deck repository… This deck is now available for anyone to download and utilize to easily replicate the apptivity.

iModel with Explain Everything: I have used Explain Everything to model how the iLesson could be delivered and the resources that have been provided within the iSequence apptivity.


 
Hungry for more iCardSort apptivities?

  1. iCardSort Lite (website): visit their public repository for pre-created decks and check out their newsletter for integration ideas.
    1. Elementary Science Example
    2. MS Math Example using vocabulary with handouts and lesson
    3. Sorting example for “Words 4 Students”
    4. Getting iN Touch with Vocabulary (using iCardSort and Graphic Organizers)
    5. Videos highlighting basic use and how to integrate in a literature circle