Inspire Students to Become Game Creators with Tynker

9 Oct

 

Tynker LogoComputer science skills are essential for students who want to be college and career ready when they finish high school.  Tynker is a new online curriculum that you’ll want to check out!  It uses professional game studio quality content and tools to inspire kids to create projects.  As they learn computer programming they’ll have fun creating projects.  This includes games, quizzes, and animations that can explain a math or science concept.

TYNKER boys collaborating hardware (2)With Tynker kids can enhance their own learning while creating learning experiences that can be shared with others.  Tynker uses a fun and game-like approach that will grab the attention of your students right from the start.  They provides an easy introduction to programming with interactive self-paced courses.  Tynker is perfect for schools that have adopted a PBL (project-based learning) model.

Visit their website to learn more!

 

SNAP Close Reading Portfolio for Common Core ELA Support

8 Oct

image001If you’re trying to align your English Language Arts instruction to the Common Core State Standards you’ll want to check out the new Close Reading Portfolio from SNAP.  It’s a reading product for students in grades 2-8 that helps kids with close reading.  There are interactive exercises that push students to think about the meaning of words and sentences and how ideas are developed over a text.  Students will focus on sequence and arrangement of sentences as they dive into grade level passages.

slide2SNAP Learning also offers a Guided Reading program that includes books and lesson plans to help teachers who are providing instruction on comprehension and oral fluency skills.  This program includes over 130 books for students in kindergarten through first grade which can be accessed on tablets.  Giving students access to digital text is an important as they’ll be expected to read from this medium more and more in the future.  I like how SNAP Learning offers tools that promotes 21st century skills and makes it easy for teachers to distribute to students.

Visit their site to request a demo of SNAP’s Close Reading Portfolio or get a quote for your school!

Chalkup Now Available for iPhones!

7 Oct

discussionLast month I shared a fantastic course platform that has been used in K-12 and higher ed classrooms.  Chalkup makes it easy for students to collaborate, stay on task, and access course materials.  They have just released an app for iPhone users to make it simpler to keep tack of assignments and course expectations while they’re on the go.

chalkup-iphone-2With the iPhone app students can check in on assignments for all of their classes.  They can access a dashboard that outlines their tasks for the day with one glance at the screen.  There is also the option to set up notifications so that students can know when a new discussion has been started or an assignment has been posted.  One of the great new features in this app is the option for students to add their own “to-dos” to their list of things they’d like to accomplish each day.  Chalkup helps students stay organized when they are out of their desk chairs and away from their computer.

Learn more about Chalkup by visiting their website or read about their iPhone update on their blog!

Beyond Cats! Math Pack for K,1 & 2

6 Oct
5EngKTabletYou may have heard that one of the new features in iOS 8 is the opportunity to get a deal by purchasing a bundle of apps at once.  App companies have grouped some of their favorite apps into bundles so users can grab them all at a discount.  Beyond Cats! Math Pack for K,1 & 2 includes three different apps.  With hundreds of different questions they cover all topics outlined in the Common Core for each grade level.  Questions get more difficult as students work through the app based on their responses.
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3Eng1TabletThese apps push student’s critical thinking skills with a self-checking mechanism that makes sure they are spending time tackling each question.  The goal of Beyond Cats! Math Pack for K,1 & 2 is for students to go beyond multiple choice practice as they learn and review content.  Kids can choose which topics to focus on and there is even a language translation option for non-English speakers.
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Check out the bundle on the Apple App Store!

Free App to Teach Fire Safety Skills

5 Oct

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 9.23.16 AMNational Fire Prevention Week starts today and if you’re looking for an app to engage students with this important topic you’ll want to check out The Case of the Missing Smoke Alarms.  This app from the National Fire Prevention Association teaches fire-safety school with a kid-friendly app.  Students can access the iOS or Android app and follow along with the story book.  Teachers can access extra resources online including a PDF version of the tale.

Missing-Smoke-Alarms

Teaching students about fire prevention is an essential life skill.  This straightforward and engaging app is the perfect way to introduce the topic to students.  It’s a great jumping off place for conversations about making smart choices and staying safe.

Download The Case of the Missing Smoke Alarms for iOS and Android devices or visit their website to learn more!

Using Scannable Technology to Reach Parents Year Round

4 Oct

Here’s a preview of my new post for Edutopia – click on the link below to read more!

The beginning of the school year is often a time when teachers stop and think about the best way to communicate with their students’ parents. We all know how important it is for caregivers to stay informed about everything happening in your building. Making sure that parents are aware of upcoming events, homework assignments, and the new strategies you’re using in their child’s classroom can have a big impact on how students perform in school.

Scannable technology can be used throughout the school year to put all of the information that parents need right at their fingertips. Teachers can use QR codes and Augmented Reality triggers to keep families in the know from Using Scannable Technology to Reachthe first to the last day of school. As more families have access to a smartphone or tablet in their hand, in their pocket, or as backup, teachers are in a position to leverage this technology to make sure that students and their parents are aware of expectations inside and outside of the classroom.

Getting Started

First, you should explicitly introduce how you’ll be using scannable technology to put information in the hands of your parents. Just as you…

…Click HERE to read more!

Download my book on QR codes and enter to win a new document camera!

Drawp for School: A Collaborative Classroom Tool

3 Oct
Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 11.48.54 AMStudents of all ages need to learn to work together and there is a fantastic app that promotes collaboration in elementary school classrooms.  Drawp for School is a powerful app for tablets that works on both iPads and Android devices.  It’s easy-to-use and contains tons of great features for promoting a collaborative learning environment in your classroom.  Students can work with their peers by easily swiping across their screen.  This action lets them share their creations with anyone in their class.
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Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 11.48.59 AMThe Common Core State Standards places an emphasis on collaboration and providing real world learning experiences for your students.  Drawp for School gives kids an opportunity to work with their classmates whether they simply share their work or leave feedback through voice stickers as an alternative to traditional peer editing.  If you’re looking for a way to manage the workflow of your one-to-one tablet classroom, Drawp for School is worth checking out!
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If you’d like to learn more about Drawp for School visit their website and download their iPad and Android app!
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