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Class Charts Whole School is Free for Teachers

17 Apr

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Earlier this year I shared Class Charts, the behavior management tool for creating seating charts in your classroom.  They have recently launched Class Charts Whole School which uses student behavior profiles to create seating charts.  This happens automatically thanks to an artificial intelligence engine that monitors behavior trends and identifies which students are in need of interventions.  Now teachers using this free program can manage behavior in real time and synchronize their class’ data with the whole school.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 7.22.28 AMClass Charts Whole School gives your school community the opportunity to reward good behavior for students in every grade.  Not only could this lead to the development of a school rewards store, but this program can be part of a school-wide effort to promote good decision making.  Class Charts lets teachers have a visual of student performance and data ready to share with parents, service providers, and administrators.  Check out their website to learn more!

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.

Tocomail Launches Bullying Filter

14 Apr

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 8.24.12 AMLast month I featured a new tech tool that allows children to email safely.  TocoMail provides a closed network for student email that teachers can monitor.  This includes controlling contact lists so students can write emails only to their classmates.  With TocoMail students can learn about digital citizenship and English Language Arts skills.  Kids can practice writing emails as they collaborate with their peers on projects or simply share feedback or ideas.

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TocoMail has recently added a bullying recognition filter that is worth checking out!  The filter checks each student’s email for keywords and contextual phrasing that may signal bullying.  If TocoMail identifies a pattern of bullying, the email is redirected to the Quarantine box so teachers have to approve it before it is sent out.  TocoMail is addressing the concerns of teachers and parents who are noticing an increase in how bullying takes place through digital communication. Learn more about TocoMail by visiting their website!

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 

Microsoft Office is FREE for iPads

1 Apr

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You know how much I love high quality free iPad apps and there are a few new additions to the App Store that are worth downloading today!  Microsoft Office has released three new apps – Excel, Word, and PowerPoint completely free to download.  I’m a huge fan of Pages and Keynote but it’s great to have some new options available that will help bring all of your documents straight to your iPad.  If you use Dropbox or another file storing app on your iPad you can now open Microsoft Office files using one of their three new apps – this goes for opening documents sent as an email attachment too.  These apps are great for teachers working on the go or for students looking to access their work.  In order to create and edit new documents you’ll have to sign up for a subscription.  I don’t know if I’ll sign up for the full access since I’m such a fan of other iPad publishing options, but it’s nice to have a quick, free and easy way to open and review documents on the go – especially PowerPoint presentations.

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Looking for lesson plans to teach with mobile devices? Follow this link!

Read this post in Spanish!