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Category Archives: Learning Experiences and Assessments

Take 5 to Make Math Meaningful

START with a QUESTION

Mathematicians, researchers and teachers support a constructivist/problem-solving mathematics classroom. This design engages students in critical thinking, individual and collaborative thought and builds upon and improves on their current knowledge while solving the task in front of them. Check out the resources, in alphabetical order, that will help you in asking questions in the math class:

STUDENTS need TIME to STRUGGLE

YOU are NOT the ANSWER KEY

SAY YES to YOUR STUDENTS’ IDEAS

PLAY!

General resources for math teachers:

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Get Techy w/Student Creations

Becoming and developing into a creative thinker is a way for students to devise new ways to carry out their learning, to problem solve and to meet challenges. A variety of perspectives and ideas are part of this creative process. Teachers support this through structuring the learning environment to encourage this type of thinking, doing and learning.

 

Here are some tools that you can use to develop creative thinking skills like understanding, analyzing, open mindedness, problem solving, organization and communication. These tools offer opportunities for creative thought in the classroom from the most obvious artistic standpoint to a more highly technical one.

 

  • Students can compose a dialogue for a TV/radio commercial, a phone script, a talking poem or even a memoir. Flipgrid is an online video response platform. Teachers can post topics, videos or links and students respond to the prompt through video reflections. From this, using criteria, peers could choose their top 10 responses and teachers can then create MixTapes that highlight some of the creative thinking over a certain period or concept. Showcase Student Videos with Flipgrid MixTapes.

  • Storyboarding with purpose-built services like Storyboard That and Make Beliefs Comix provide good models for students to create meaningful and impactful storyboards. Watch this video to learn how to print a storyboard in Google Slides (if you want students to use paper) and then transfer it to an online environment. There are also a lot of storyboard templates found at Boords. From these templates students can then create a video speaking to this with Screencastify.

  • Once a student has brainstormed and developed a script, check out the new Screencastify for Slides add-on to create video reflection. Go to Slides > add-ons > Manage.

 

Get Techy w/Goals, Logins and Videos

Start the school year off right with having students share their passions, interests, hopes, and dreams while also being able to log into their online space easily. Check out this week’s Get Techy items!

  • Hopes and Dreams

Goal setting can be done anytime throughout the school year. It is also great to revisit it on a regular basis. Below are three resources that will help teachers create some goal setting opportunities for students.

Hopes and Dreams Hyperdoc example for early years.

The Art of the Selfie for middle years and high school.

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Student Perspective forms and surveys are found in the Alberta Education Inclusive Ed Library. Knowing your students–who they are and how they learn–makes differentiated planning and instruction possible. Students need a variety of opportunities to share what is important to them and their learning. This could include one-to-one interviews, small group discussions, written reflections, drawings, and completing inventories and checklists. Use the forms in this section to gather information about your students.

myBlueprint: All About Me (K-6), Education Planner (7-12) – some of our schools are using these subscription-based tools that bring in many research-based and current resource tools for students to build up their portfolios. There are ready-made lesson plans and many opportunities to link to the curriculum.

  • Effective login procedures

Yes, with close to 1:1 access in our schools, teachers, and students are needing time efficient logging in procedures. Take a look at the Student Login Cards – template. As well, I know of other teachers that have the student logins put on stickers and stuck to an index card on a key ring so that they are ready and handy for students. Find more ideas with this blog on Classroom management.

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  • Use Video to Tell a Story

Read through the 5 Ways to use Adobe Spark Video in your classroom and you will be able to instantly add these ideas throughout the year for any student-centred projects. A great opportunity to work on refining thoughts and ideas while also producing something unique and a showcase of what a students knows!

 

UDL Series: Resources for All Subjects

 

people-woman-coffee-meeting.jpgThis post is the sixth of a six-part series dedicated to the educational technology resources available for teachers and students to use to offer the best universally designed learning environment possible. There will be resources to provide multiple means of engagement, representation, action & expression.

For more information on universally designed learning environments (UDL) please check out the UDL guidelines site.

ENGAGEMENT – the goal is to have purposeful learning and motivated students.

  • Accessibility Settings – chrome environment, chromebook, laptop (Mac or PC), smartphone (iOS or Android) – all of these have accessibility settings built-in so make sure you go into the settings areas to see what they have to offer from speech-to-text, text-to-speech, magnification, font and color, size, and so on.
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality – A.R., V.R. check out the K-12 spreadsheets where I have vetted various Augmented and Virtual Reality resources per grade level (according to Alberta Program of Studies)! See Get Techy with AR/VR as well.
  • Chrome add-ons – Doctopus (S), Flubaroo (S), Orange Slice:Teacher Rubric (Doc) – students need to install Orange Slice: Student Rubric, Flippity (S) – website
  • Chrome apps – Google Calendar – students can use their calendar to input class schedules, exams, etc. or if they are in a Google Classroom, due dates will be automatically shared within a Calendar.
  • Chrome extensions – These are to make your day more efficient and informative: 
    • Add to Google Classroom
    • Doctopus
    • EDpuzzle – upload a video, add Q&A
    • Google Cast for Education – allows you to turn your computer into a wireless projector for screen sharing from another device.
    • Google Arts and Culture – breathe a little culture into your day whenever you open a new tab. Can use visuals as discussion and writing prompts.
    • Google Keep – on the computer as a great note taking tool, goal setting, checklists and on a mobile device the added bonus of audio + transcript.
    • Google Tasks – keep your lists close-by.
    • RW4GC for GDocs (Voice, Talk&Type, Highlighter, Voice Note), RW4GC for Web (Voice, Talk&Type, Highlighter, Screenshot Reader, Simplify), RW4GC pdf Reader (Voice, Text, Pins). Read&Write has a variety of tools – text to speech, talk&type, dictionaries, highlighters, PDF reader, website reader, vocabulary list builder, etc. A subscription is required.
    • Remote for Slides – if you use Google Slides for your presentations and have a mobile device, this extension allows you to move away from the laptop while still have access to your presentation (and speaker notes).
    • Screencastify – a great screen recorder. Easy to use and saves directly to Google Drive and even YouTube.
  • Digital Presence 
  • Feedback/Exit Tickets/Assessment
  • Gamification
    • Classcraft
    • Kahoot
    • Quizizz
    • Quizlet
    • BreakoutEDU – an immersive learning experience like an Escape Room experience but set up for the classroom. The experience can be hands-on or digitally interactive whereby groups of students must solve various riddles and find clues to complete or “breakout” of the experience. Teachers can buy Breakout EDU kits and the platform of lessons. There is also a great template for teachers to create their own learning experiences (and students can even create ones too!) Great for any age, any subject area and even for staff. If you really like this type of learning I highly recommend joining the BreakoutEDU Facebook communities as well.
  • HyperdocsEdgaged with Hyperdocs
  • Mood Meter app
  • Reinforcing Effort examples
  • Setting Objectives – goo.gl/rr2Tzq
  • Videoconferencing – Google Hangouts Meet, Skype (Skype in the Classroom, Mystery Skype), Webex, Zoom….
  • YouTube PlaylistsCrash Course, Mental Floss

REPRESENTATION – resourceful and knowledgeable students.

  • Accessibility Settings 
  • Blogging – use blogs as math/science journals, to showcase learning. Use specific blog sites like Kidblog, Edublogs or reflections in GDrive, on GDocs, on GSites.
  • Chrome add-ons
  • Chrome apps – PicMonkey, Pixlr Editor
  • Chrome extensions 
    • Announcify – reads aloud any website.
    • Google Keep
    • Mercury Reader – removes ads and distractions from websites.
    • Open Dyslexic font
    • RW4GC for GDocs (Dictionaries, Voice, Talk&Type, Highlighter, Voice Note), RW4GC for Web (Voice, Talk&Type, Highlighter, Screenshot Reader, Simplify), RW4GC pdf Reader (Voice, Text, Pins)
  • Classroom Screen – https://www.tcea.org/blog/classroomscreen/
  • Discovery Education: SOS
  • Flocabulary – Resource Link
  • GDocs – File>Page Setup, Explore features for research of sites, information and images.
  • GClassroom will keep assignments, resources and information altogether in one area. Great to use as a subject tool/LMS.
  • Identifying Similarities and Differences examples
  • InfographicsPiktochart
  • Instructional Strategy Templates
  • Templates, new Templates from Google
  • Knowledge Search Engine WolframAlpha
  • Non-linguistic Representation – post
  • Online Reference Centre (Alberta access only)
  • Public Library Card – Tracpac > Cloud Library, Hoopla, Overdrive

ACTION & EXPRESSION – strategic and goal-oriented students.

  • Chrome extensions 
    • Bitmoji – create your own avatar! Drag those images into GDocs as part of your comments on student work. Use them on top of other images/text in a Google Slide. Make a visual story, spruce up an email or grab attention in a newsletter.
    • Google Keep
    • RW4GC for GDocs (Dictionaries, Voice, Talk&Type, Highlighter, Voice Note), RW4GC for Web (Voice, Talk&Type, Highlighter, Screenshot Reader, Simplify), RW4GC pdf Reader (Voice, Text, Pins)
  • Cooperative Learning examples
  • Digital Sign Generators – https://goo.gl/EJ8pNi
  • EduMemes – https://goo.gl/Rdk9td
  • Green screening
  • GSuite – GDocs, GSlides, GSheets, GDrawings, GClassroom
  • Image Responses
  • Interactive video assessment 
    • EdPuzzle
    • FlipGrid
    • Thinglink
  • Summarizing and Note-taking – post
  • Video Responses
  • Voice Responses
    • Chatterpix – make an image speak using your voice and lips.
    • Fotobabble – similar to Chatterpix, only available now on the computer (hope their iOS app is fixed soon).
    • Thinglink – annotate images, video and 360 content. Freemium.
    • WeVideo
    • RW4GC – use voice note.
 

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UDL series: Social Studies

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This post is the fourth of a six-part series dedicated to the educational technology resources available for teachers and students to use to offer the best universally designed learning environment possible. There will be resources to provide multiple means of engagement, representation, action & expression.

For more information on universally designed learning environments (UDL) please check out the UDL guidelines site.

ENGAGEMENT – the goal is to have purposeful learning and motivated students.

  • BreakoutEDU is an immersive learning experience like an Escape Room experience but set up for the classroom. The experience can be hands-on or digitally interactive whereby groups of students must solve various riddles and find clues to complete or “breakout” of the experience. Teachers can buy Breakout EDU kits and the platform of lessons. There is also a great template for teachers to create their own learning experiences (and students can even create ones too!) Great for any age, any subject area and even for staff. If you really like this type of learning I highly recommend joining the BreakoutEDU Facebook communities as well.
  • Chrome extensions 
    • 1-click-timer
    • Bitmoji – create your own avatar! Drag those images into GDocs as part of your comments on student work. Use them on top of other images/text in a Google Slide. Make a visual story, spruce up an email or grab attention in a newsletter.
    • National Geographic Photo of the Day – have some powerful conversations and or writing prompts with this!
  • Comparisons 
    • Dollar Street: TED Talk, Website – Gapminder visited 264 families in 50 countries and collected 30,000 photos. One can sort the homes by income, from left to right. Watch the TED talk for the introduction.
    • If It Were My Home – use the country comparison tool to compare living conditions in your own country to those of another.
  • RW4GC – Read&Write for Google Chrome has a variety of tools – text to speech, talk&type, dictionaries, highlighters, PDF reader, website reader, vocabulary list builder, etc. A subscription is required.
  • Rubrics
  • YouTube Playlists – curate a collection of YouTube video clips for students to watch and replay whenever they need.

REPRESENTATION – resourceful and knowledgeable students.

 

  • Book Creator – this infamous book creation tool for iOS is available in Chrome. Free teacher account has 40 books in the library that can be used. Students can add text, images, audio, and video. A fantastic way to showcase student learning.
  • Google MyMaps – Examples
  • Online Reference Centre (Alberta access only)

ACTION & EXPRESSION – strategic and goal-oriented students.

  • Big Huge Labs – create motivational posters, magazine covers, pop art, etc.
  • Civic Mirror simulation – great to have students see the results of their actions in an economy. Also nice for CALM for financial literacy.
  • GSuite – opportunities to use a Science template for experiments, writing prompts, collaborations, data collection via Google Docs, Sheets, Slides.
  • Historical Fakebook Template
  • Videoconferencing – opportunities to connect with other schools, experts, and events.
    • Mystery Skype – become a member of the Microsoft community for free and then have access to Skype programs.
    • Global Encounters is an international student video conference program, offered through a partnership between the Centre for Global Education (CGE) and TakingITGlobal (TIG). We’ve hosted dozens of events on critical global issues such as child soldiers and armed conflict, women’s rights, mental health, climate change and many more.
 

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UDL series: the Sciences

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This post is the third of a six-part series dedicated to the educational technology resources available for teachers and students to use to offer the best universally designed learning environment possible. There will be resources to provide multiple means of engagement, representation, action & expression.

For more information on universally designed learning environments (UDL) please check out the UDL guidelines site.

ENGAGEMENT – the goal is to have purposeful learning and motivated students.

  • Chrome extensions 
    • 1-click-timer – quick and easy to use.
    • GIF creation with Animated GIF capture or GIFit!. Here’s where making a 3 – 10-second rotating clip from a video or screen can capture a student’s attention.
    • Bitmoji – create your own avatar! Drag those images into GDocs as part of your comments on student work. Use them on top of other images/text in a Google Slide. Make a visual story, spruce up an email or grab attention in a newsletter.
    • RW4GC – Read&Write for Google Chrome has a variety of tools – text to speech, talk&type, dictionaries, highlighters, PDF reader, website reader, vocabulary list builder, etc. A subscription is required.
  • YouTube Playlists

REPRESENTATION – resourceful and knowledgeable students.

  • BioInteractive – multimedia resources, including apps, animations, videos, interactives, and virtual labs, to bring the excitement of scientific discovery into your classroom.
  • Book Creator – this infamous book creation tool for iOS is available in Chrome. Free teacher account has 40 books in the library that can be used. Students can add text, images, audio, and video. A fantastic way to showcase student learning.
  • NASA Live stream of Earth seen from space powered by NASA HDEV cameras aboard the International Space Station.
  • Online Reference Centre (Alberta access only)
  • Periodic Videos – Tables charting the chemical elements have been around since the 19th century – but this modern version has a short video about each one.
  • PhET Simulations – interactive simulations available for any device.
  • Sciencium 
  • The Concord ConsortiumSTEM repository for K-12+.
  • The Physics Classroom – includes a large collection of HTML5 interactive physics applications.

ACTION & EXPRESSION – strategic and goal-oriented students.

  • Big Huge Labscreate motivational posters, magazine covers, pop art, etc.
  • Google Science Fair
  • GSuite – opportunities to use a Science template for experiments, writing prompts, collaborations, data collection via Google Docs, Sheets, Slides.
 

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UDL Series: Mathematics

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This post is the second of a six-part series dedicated to the educational technology resources available for teachers and students to use to offer the best universally designed learning environment possible. There will be resources to provide multiple means of engagement, representation, action & expression.

For more information on universally designed learning environments (UDL) please check out the UDL guidelines site.

ENGAGEMENT – the goal is to have purposeful learning and motivated students.

  • Battlesheets – take the traditional Battleship game into the 21st century with this template.
  • Cathy Yenca – tutorials from Cathy that share how she uses different edtech tools in the math classroom.
  • Chrome extensions:
    • 1-click-timer – for the timing of work time, lessons, etc.
    • Bitmoji – to add to math explanations, math comments or just for fun.
    • Equatio – free for teachers (students need a subscription) and takes digital math to a whole new level.
    • Google Keep – the mobile version allows for audio > transcription plus images that can have students explain their process.
  • Dan Meyer has phenomenal engaging lessons for students to sink their mathematical teeth found at Three-Act Math
  • Desmos Lesson: How Long Does it Take to Charge a Cell Phone? Lesson, Desmos
  • Estimation 180 – a variety of challenges
  • Jim Wilson – has many resources, take time to scroll down to Problems section
  • Ozobots – these little tiny robots can be used in K-12 math classes easily. Check out the lessons, ideas.
  • Robert Kaplinsky – always has engaging and authentic lessons.

REPRESENTATION – resourceful and knowledgeable students.

  • Chrome Extension – Equatio – as mentioned above, it is a digital math area. What I really like is that students can speak out their equations or expressions and Equatio will transcribe it which can then be inputted into a Google Document. The mathspace is also an amazing area. I highly recommend you watch an intro video or attend a webinar.
  • Google Graph Paper
  • Put Music and Math together with Incredibox and talk about patterns, sequencing, and even algorithms. Oh, and make some pretty funky music tunes too!
  • Online Reference Centre (Alberta access only) 
  • Interested in collaborative and omnipresent slide shows that allow student input? Check out Pear Deck and its TemplatesResource Link
  • The UofWaterloo Problem of the Week is designed to provide students with an ongoing opportunity to solve mathematical problems. Each week, problems from various areas of mathematics will be posted on the website and e-mailed to teachers for use with their students from grades 3 and up.
  • Youcubed‘s main goal is to inspire, educate and empower teachers of mathematics, transforming the latest research on math into accessible and practical forms. Create by Jo Boaler and team. There are many resources and ideas for all grade levels.

ACTION & EXPRESSION – strategic and goal-oriented students.

Use whichever tool that would fit your needs at the time and then tuck away a few more for future uses.

 

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