Friday, February 21, 2014

Make it - Create Interactive iPad Games

Make It

"Make It - Create and share your own educational games and activities with anyone, anywhere" (longest name of an app ever!) is a free app for teachers or students to create their own interactive iOS presentations and games.  For each game you create, there are 8 possible slide types:  
  • Connect (for matching)
  • Drag to Container (for sorting)
  • Memory (match game)
  • Paint (for drawing)  
  • Find Me (matching)
  • Quiz (a single question)
  • Fill With Letters (a question with an answer that you spell out)
  • Text (a blank slide for instructions or information)




Be sure to tap the wrench icon for additional settings and options for each slide type.


You can use your own images from the iPad camera roll, or the app comes with some built in clip art (you can even download additional packs for free!)


Final products can be shared via email.  Students can create their own games to show what they know and trade with each other to practice!

What's a Mystery Skype?



What is a Mystery Skype?
A Mystery Skype is a Skype conversation between 2 classes.  The teachers arrange the Skype call in advance but the students do not know where the other class is located.  Students ask and answer pre-determined questions about their city/state to learn about where the other class is.  Students research the answers and guess the location of the other class.

What themes can be learned through Mystery Skypes?
Social Studies: geography, climate, landforms, natural resources, economy, cultures
Math: data collection, graphing, estimating, measuring
Science: weather, seasons, landforms
Thinking: research, organizing data, critical thinking, problem solving, compare/contrast
Listening/Speaking: notetaking, communicating via written, oral and visual information

What equipment do I need to do a Mystery Skype?
Either a computer with a webcam, microphone and Skype software loaded or an iPad 2 or higher with the Skype app installed.


How do I do a Mystery Skype?
I've put together a Mystery Skype checklist with reminders and resources to keep you on track. 
http://goo.gl/xJCSuu 

For more information about Mystery Skypes or other ideas for using Skype in the classroom, visit my Pinterest board http://www.pinterest.com/amypintx/school-skype/





Student Learning Journal - Google Template

At the TCEA (Texas Computer Educators Association) Conference in February I learned about a great free template for students to use in their Google Drive account.  It's a student learning journal created by Tammy Worcester Tang.  This would be a great tool to help  students become self-regulated learners. 

The template can be accessed here: 
http://tammyworcester.com/student-learning-journal-template/ 


Students would click the link on the page above and login to their Google Drive account to create the journal in their Google Drive.  

Note:  On a computer, the link will automatically ask them to create a copy in their drive.  On an iPad, students will need to choose "Go to Spreadsheet View" and choose "Continue to Desktop Version".  Then they can choose FILE and MAKE A COPY to create an editable copy in their own drive. 

Once the copy is in their drive, students can edit it using the Google Drive app, on an iPad in Safari or by going to their Google Drive on a computer.  The spreadsheet has 4 tabs:  a cover page, Assignments (for tracking due dates), Journal (for recording "what I learned" reflections) and Class Notes.

Students can also share the document with the appropriate teacher(s) so that anything the student writes can be automatically viewed by the teacher.  







SAS Read Aloud - Books for Pre and Early Readers

SAS Read Aloud

SAS Read Aloud is a great, free app for pre and early readers.  The app comes with 2 books but more books can be added (for free!) from the "Bookstore" by tapping the magnifying glass in the top corner. 


Each book has 3 reading modes:  Read to Me (reads the story aloud), Help Me Read (reads the story aloud as students tap on each word) or Read By Myself.  Students (or teachers) can also record themselves reading the book.  Additional users can be added by tapping the "voices" icon so it's great even for shared iPads.




Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kid's Journal

Kid's Journal

Kid's Journal is a free app that allows students to create a journal (or even multiple journals) for reflecting on their day.  Students can choose their emotion (happy, okay or crazy), their location (home, school or away) and the weather (sunny, cloudy or windy).  Then they write a short paragraph to answer the question "What did I do today?"  They can also upload a picture from the camera roll.  Individual journal entries or a range of entries can be exported to PDF and opened in a variety of other apps like Edmodo, Skitch, Evernote or Google Drive.  Another option could be to screenshot the entry and insert into an app like 30Hands for students to record audio narration.


Leave Audio Comments on Google Drive Files with Kaizena!

Kaizena is a free resource that let's you leave audio comments, text comments or links to resources on Google Docs.  What a great way to give feedback to your students!  Students can share their work with you through their Google Drive account. Then you open the document in Kaizena (on a computer) and quickly and easily record comments.


Here's how to get started:
  1. Go to https://kaizena.com.
  2. Click Connect to Google Drive.
  3. Login to your Google account and click Accept.
  4. Pick a file from “My Drive” or “Shared with Me".
  5. Highlight desired section to add a comment.
  6. On the toolbar that pops up, click the microphone to add an audio comment, click the quote bubble to type comments or click the tag to add a resource (link to video, lesson, game, etc.)
  7. Send the comment to the creator by clicking their name on the left hand side.
  8. Choose to send via Doc Comment.
  9. When the student opens the document, he/she will get a link to listen to or view your comments in Kaizena.  (They will be asked to "Accept" the Kaizena to Google Drive link the first time they connect.)
Note: Kaizena works best on a computer.  Comments can be accessed on an iPad using Safari and "Desktop Version" following these steps:


  1. Open the document
  2. Tap the Edit button
  3. Tap the down arrow button next in the top right hand corner and select "Use Desktop Version".  
  4. Wait for the document to fully load and tap the Comments button.  Ignore the yellow bar warning about an "unsupported browser".
Kaizena will not work within the Google Drive app on an iPad.

    Schoolkit Math- Great Tools for Elementary Math!

    Schoolkit Math

    Schoolkit Math is a great free app with lots of math tools/virtual manipulatives for elementary students.  This would be a great app to layer into other apps to have students demonstrate their learning.  They can use the tools in this app to model their thinking and then take a screenshot of their model.  Insert those pictures into another app like 30Hands or Tellagami and have the students record their thought processes.  They could also organize their pictures into a Thinking Map using the Popplet Lite app.  So many possibilities!  

    Check out some of the screenshots from the app below and download it today!



    Number Lines:

    Money!

    Arrays

    Ten Frame

    Fraction Kit

    Number Houses

     Number Tiles






     
     
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