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Math Mania Back to School Challenge

What it is: Math Mania Back to School Challenge is a FREE 48 hour math competition hosted by Voyager.  Voyager also holds the World Math Day competition each year, Math Mania is a similar competition. Students compete against other students in real time using the Vmath Live math program.  This challenge is limited to 2nd through 8th grade students in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas who are registered by September 14th.  Other Math Mania challenges will follow (different dates depending on US state) so if your school isn’t in a state listed above, check out the Math Mania website to find out when your challenge will take place.  Although the official competition is September 15-16, students can begin practicing on VmathLive as soon as they are registered.  Prizes include student and school trophies and plaques, on-site pizza parties, visits from Vbot, and a champion hall banner awarded to the top overall performing school.  Awards will be given to the top 10 students overall, the top 5 classes,  and the top 3 schools. How to integrate Math Mania Back to School Challenge into the classroom: You have never seen students so excited to practice math facts!   Students face off with other students from around the world practicing their math facts.  The live competition with students from around the world is highly motivating and has students asking “can I play this at home?”  When have you ever had students ask to practice their math facts?!  Reserve a computer lab for September 15th and 16th so that your students can take part in the competition.  In the mean time, students can be practicing for the competition by playing on VmathLive in a computer lab setting or as a center activity on classroom computers. Tips: If your state is not listed above, be sure to visit the VmathLive site to find out when your Math Mania challenge will be held.  Print out the fliers from the VmathLive and post around your school to raise interest and excitement about the competition. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Math Mania Back to School Challenge  in your classroom.

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Claco: United We Teach, build lessons collaboratively

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 19-09-2012

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What it is:  Claco is a new website that makes it simple to build, organize and share lessons. Your lessons can be dynamic including weblinks, embed codes, online videos, files and more.  In addition to creating and uploading your own lessons, you can also search and use lessons that other teachers around the world have built.  There is no better way to stretch and grow professionally than to learn from each other!  Claco makes it easy to work with other educators in a collaborative environment to streamline the lesson planning process.  I love the vision behind Claco, they have even created a movement called “United We Teach” that encourages educators to share and enhance each other’s resources.  I learn SO much from my PLN, creating a place where this is encouraged as part of the process is fantastic!

Another feature I love about Claco: no need to download lessons, you can view and use all lessons directly from your Claco profile.  That means that lessons are available from anywhere (because they are in the cloud) and can be used from computers, iPads, and smartphones…super handy!

How to integrate Claco into your curriculum: Use Claco to save yourself time.  I tend to get lost in the OCEAN of amazing lesson ideas and resources on the web.  I like that Claco can be a one-stop shop for resources and lessons.  The ability to organize all of my findings in one easy-to-use place that can be accessed by all of my devices is also very helpful.

Aside from the time saving, Claco makes it possible to collaborate on lessons with other teachers in the building, or from anywhere in the world.  Lessons can be constructed with teammates and enhanced by anyone.  Lessons can also be easily shared with students, parents and colleagues.

Tips: You may recognize some features of Claco.  Class Connect (which I wrote about here) has morphed into Claco. The genius behind Claco, Eric Simons who created the sites after some frustrations with his own school experience.  Instead of being disenfranchised, he set out to make it better.  You gotta love that!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Claco in your classroom!

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