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Giveaway – Sphero & iPad!

16 Apr

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Last week I shared the new educational tools available for teachers using a Sphero in their classroom.  This smart toy lets kids explore STEM concepts like programming as they interact with a rolling robot ball.  If you don’t have a Sphero in your classroom and want to try one with your students, check out this special offer.

In April, Orbotix is giving away an iPad and a Sphero to four lucky classrooms! Entering the contest is simple. Teachers just need to take a photo of their classroom and upload it to Instagram using the hashtag #SPRKscholarship. Then encourage friends, faculty and family to vote on your photo by visiting the contest’s website and clicking on the picture you submitted.

The contest ends April 30th so make sure to snap, tag, and share your photos soon!

Free Writing Guides from Academic Help

15 Apr

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If you’re looking for an English Language Arts resource for your middle school and high school students, Academic Help has tons of guides to help young writers.  Their website provides free writing guides and samples of different types of papers.  This includes examples of critical essays, narrative essay, application letters, and even tips for creative writing.  The resources on Academic Help are totally free and work for a range of age levels.

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Academic Help can come in handy for students looking for answers to their questions related to writing.  There is a section of their site dedicated to general writing tips and do’s and don’ts for each type of writing assignment.  Teachers can use the samples on this site as mentor pieces for a writing unit or direct struggling students to Academic Help for extra examples.  Explore their website to see everything that Academic Help has to offer.

10 Tech Tools to Boost Vocabulary

11 Apr

There are tons of apps, websites and tools to help students acquire new vocabulary words.  With these resources you can help students learn and practice new words through games and traditional study routines.  Click on each post to read more about using these tools with students of all ages across the content areas!

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  1. Word Clouds for Predictions (examine new words in an article)
  2. Math Vocabulary Cards (flashcards with models)
  3. Vocabulary with World’s Worst Pet (new words through storytelling)
  4. Vocabulary Notebook (study tool)
  5. Interactive Science Glossary for iPads (domain specific words)
  6. gFlash+ to Build Study Skills (customizable flashcards)
  7. Membean for Vocabulary (web-based tool)
  8. Futaba to Teach Vocabulary (multi-player app)
  9. Just 2 Words (puzzle game)
  10. MindSnacks: Kids Vocab (learning tool)

Bonus: Frolyc (create vocabulary lessons to share with students)

Check out these two app lists:

Happy Numbers for K-2 Math

10 Apr

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Teachers working with elementary school students will want to check out Happy Numbers to support Common Core Math instruction.  Happy Numbers has interactive activities directly aligned to the K – 2 standards.  Children will move objects across their screen as they learn to count,  bundle groups of tens, practice addition, and more.  The activities address the math concepts outlined in the Common Core State Standards and give students an opportunity to practice what they’ve learned in a traditional math lesson.

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Happy Numbers lets teachers set up their own account with logins for each students.  There are lots of math activities to choose from and teachers can pick which ones their students have access to.  Happy Numbers makes it easy to find activities that align to your curriculum and keeps track of student progress.  Happy Numbers can be accessed from any device with a web browser!

YoouKids to Manage Videos for Students

8 Apr

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YouTube is a terrific resource for teachers looking for content to share with students.  There are tons of videos that will reinforce key concepts and help kids get excited about what they are learning in the classroom.  Since there are plenty of videos on YouTube that are not kid-friendly, YoouKids has developed an iPad app that helps teachers organize which clips they want to share with their students.

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Teachers use their existing Google/YouTube account to create and maintain playlists directly on YouTube, that contain only the educational videos they want their students to see.  With a one-time set up, kids can open up their YoouKids app on their iPad and access only the videos that have been hand picked by their teachers.  This app provides a safe space for students to watch educational videos chosen by their teachers.  Instead of sharing links of YouTube videos with students, teachers can simply add new videos to their own playlists on YouTube.  The video clips will sync automatically to student’s iPads. Learn more about YoouKids by visiting their website and watching this video!

K-12 teachers or school technology directors who are implementing 1:1 iPad programs, can contact YoouKids at hello@yooukids.com to receive help with starting a pilot program at their schools.

Word Clouds for Predictions

7 Apr
Check out this word cloud for ClassTechTips.com

Check out this word cloud for ClassTechTips.com

I’ve shared some ways that word clouds can be used in the classroom, and here’s another activity that works for all ages and subject areas.  Find a website that you are planning on sharing with students.  This could be an informational text on a science topic or simply a current events article.  Copy and paste the website URL into the online tool Tagxedo.  This website will create a word cloud using text from that website.

Continue reading 

TocoMail for Class Email

4 Mar

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 2.38.41 PMIf you are looking for a way to help children connect safely with classmates, friends and family, TocoMail is worth checking out.  Originally designed for families to use, this app is starting to make its way into classrooms.  It provides a closed network that a teacher is able to monitor.  Kids can learn about digital citizenship and apply their communication skills with TocoMail.

IMG_0614This app gives teachers control over the contact list for each child’s account and gives students the power to write emails to anyone on their contact list.  TocoMail can be used to teach students about writing in the real world as they use their English Language Arts skills to create meaningful communication between classmates.  Kids can access their email using the iOS app or simply logging into the web platform.The basic plan is totally free and the upgrade is based on a subscription service.

Visit TocoMail’s website and watch their video to learn more!

Read this post in Spanish!