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Category Archives: Differentiated Practices

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:

 

Harnessing Skynet for Good: Using AI in the Classroom

When we think artificial intelligence, it is very likely that we conjure up scenes from franchised science fiction thriller (Terminator) or complete infatuation with a computer (Her) or even autocorrect on our own smartphones.

Check out a basic video overview on Artificial Intelligence. (5:27)

Examples in Everyday Life article and more HERE.

 

How teachers can utilize AI in engaging student learning with next practice strategies?

AUTOMATION: assistance with grading. Here teachers can give quick feedback to students through a survey that is autograded. Opportunities for exit tickets, anticipatory knowledge gathering of a new concept/topic or just general interest will give both teachers and students a baseline of information to work from.

  • Chatbots like those found on Snatchbot (https://snatchbot.me/) can be created by students and teachers. Examples like Mitsuku, WestJet’s Juliet and Snatchbot gallery.
  • Chatbots for students – these at https://goo.gl/wtu7M6 can be used to get organized or to have a conversation.
  • Siri is found on an iOS device in Settings > Siri & Search. Allow “Hey Siri”.
  • Cortana is a digital agent for Windows 10.
  • A caution for teachers in using Voice Assistants like Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home in their classroom. Currently these smart speakers connect with a personal account which would not use a school division’s filtering system. Once these smart speakers are able to utilize or be connected to a hosted O365 or GSuite Apps for Education teacher account, they would be more secure and safe to use.

Such as text-to-speech or speech-to-text online systems that reinforce and provide tools to remove barriers for students so that they may demonstrate their learning.

 

Artificial intelligence resources in education are great in providing secondary sources of information and support for learners. The above examples are a small sampling of what teachers can do to provide students with access to machine learning in a purposeful way. Yet it is important to note that AI does not provide the humanity and emotional-social support that is so important in the classroom. School staff are an integral part of making a learning environment the most engaging, safe, imaginative and creative it can be.

 

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: English Language Arts

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This post is the first 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 – 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 such as
    • 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.
    • Grammarly for Chrome – the free version auto-checks for spelling and punctuation.
    • Power Thesaurus – a nice option when building vocabulary skills and searching for different words to use in writing.
    • 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 – a great rubric allows students the opportunity to strive for a target. Co-creation with students helps them take ownership of their work as well.
  • YouTube Playlists such as TED-Ed. Creating Playlists and sharing them on a classroom blog/website/GClassroom gives students the opportunity to rewatch key concepts whenever they like. TED-Ed has a fantastic set of video clips that teachers can utilize and also embed questions for student responses.

REPRESENTATION – resourceful and knowledgeable students.

  • Book Creator for Chrome – 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.
  • Differentiated Reading Sources such as
    • Newsela – differentiated reading articles in a variety of subject areas. Ability to change the reading level automatically (5 different levels). A great way to have ALL students reading the same information but at their level. Grades 3-12. Teachers create a free account and students sign up with a code.
    • Tweentribune is much like Newsela, however, its interface is a little busier and does have a few more articles in Grades K-2 (not many but it does have some).
  • Summarizers like
    • Litcharts – online literature guides with a summary, themes, chapter reviews, character information. A solid backgrounder for students. Mainly for middle and high school years.
    • Sparknotes is similar to litcharts. Advertising is a little annoying but the information is good.
    • 60 Second recap is the brainchild of a quirky librarian that recaps middle and high school years books in video clip format. Teachers can use this to introduce, to recap, to review.
    • Thug Notes YouTube Playlist – a raw version of how novels could be reviewed. Does contain inappropriate language yet the explanations are brilliant at the high school level. Highly recommend teacher preview.
  • Online Reference Centre (Alberta access only)
  • ReadWriteThink.org – supported by the National Council of the Teachers of English this site has a wealth of lessons, resources, student interactives, etc.

ACTION & EXPRESSION – strategic and goal-oriented students.

  • Booksnaps with Google Slides, images, Bitmoji chrome extension. Take a text and showcase important information, facts and/or gems.
  • Google Suite apps for education allow school divisions to provide a safe, collaborative, engaging and personalized environment.
  • Hemingway Editor is a desktop app that allows students to see how their writing can be analyzed in order to improve. The free version gives an overview.
  • National Novel Writing Month
    • In the month of November, students can work on their writing via nanowrimo.org. The goal is to write 50,000 words (or a novel) in 30 days.
  • New York Times Learning Network has an amazing array of resources from writing and image prompts to discussions to graphs to comments and even contests.
  • Screencastify chrome extension provides the opportunity for videoing content on display. Easy to use and it save directly into GDrive (and even YouTube).

Just try ONE of these resources in your next ELA class. It WILL make a difference to your students engagement.

 

 

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Behind the Music Video: Math

Image result for OK GO band image

OK Go is an American rock band based in Los Angeles, California. The band is composed of Damian Kulash (lead vocals, guitar), Tim Nordwind (bass guitar and vocals), Dan Konopka (drums and percussion) and Andy Ross (guitar, keyboards and vocals), who joined them in 2005, replacing Andy Duncan. The band is known for its often quirky and elaborate one-take music videos. And now that have taken the time to explain how their music videos are created, what kind of things going into making them especially the mathematics behind the scenes.

Further to this, they created the explanations specifically for teachers to use them in their classrooms!

Check their website out at OKGOSandbox. Feel free to share how you have used OK Go’s video clips as either resources or creative ideas for student videos.