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Math manipulatives

What it is:   I’m actually doing a two for one post today because both sites have a great math manipulative tool.  The first is an online analog clock.  Students can explore the clock by moving the hour and minute hands in five minute intervals, minute intervals, 15 minute intervals, and hour intervals.  There is no associated game with the clock, it is simply a tool to help your students get familiar with the analog clock.  The second site is all about rulers and measurement, The Ruler Game.  The Ruler Game teaches students how to read a ruler.  Students can also practice their ruler reading skills with this game.  Students can practice reading the ruler in sixteenths of an inch, eighths, quarters, halves, and whole inches.     How to integrate Analog Clock and The Ruler Game into the classroom:  The Analog clock site is a great one for students to visit when they are learning about the analog clock.  In the computer lab or projector classroom, have the students interact with the clock and make observations about what happens as they click the different increments.  Talk about the way the clock works as a class.    Call out a time and have the students match the time called with the clock on their computer.  If you have access to a projector, play as a whole class and have students come up one at a time to demonstrate different times as a class.  Bookmark the Analog Clock on your classroom computers as a math help center.  The Ruler Game is a great way to help students understand how to read a ruler.  Use it individually in a computer lab setting or use it as a math center in the one or two computer classroom.  In either setting, this game will have your students reading measurement in no time.  They will love trying to beat the clock!   Tips: The ruler game is not compatible with some web browsers, test it on a student computer before using in class… no one likes introducing a cool new tool to students only to find out that it doesn’t work at school!   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Analog Clock and The Ruler Game  in your classroom. window.google_render_ad();

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Piktochart: Create your own infographics

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, Create, Evaluate, Geography, Government, History, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Technology, web tools, Websites | Posted on 09-10-2012

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What it is:  Piktochart is a great web app that makes it easy to create your own infographics.  Piktochart has free and premium options.  With the free version, there are a handful of themes to choose from.  Premium themes are also available, if you are so inclined.  After you choose a theme, the next job is to change the mood and edit the information on the chart.  Students can add shapes, graphics (uploaded), theme graphics, and text to the infographic.  Students can add a chart where they manually input data or upload a cvc file.  This is especially helpful if they have been data collecting in another program.   There are some features that are only available to pro users.  Not to worry, there are enough available for free that you can make a pretty rockin’ infographic that gets the point (or data) across.

How to integrate Piktochart into the classroom: Piktochart is a superb way for students to work on those statistics/probability standards.  Being a visual learner myself, I love the way that infographics seem to make data easier to digest.  Piktochart can be used to display any type of statistical or mathematical data in new ways.  Students can show what they are learning in history, about the world population (miniature earth), science, in the book they are reading, geography statistics, etc.

The way that infographics allow students to blend learning across the subject areas is fantastic.  It isn’t just math; it is math, and art, and science/social studies/history/geography/technology.  Any time we can help students recognize the overlaps that exist in learning and subject area, it is a win!

A few weeks ago, students at Anastasis discovered that America’s biggest export is trash. They started digging and found statistics about the amount of trash Americans throw away each day (7lbs/person) and how much was recycled vs. what ended up in a landfill.  They also looked at statistics of what receiving countries like China and India did with the waste being imported.  It was fascinating!  Students created infographics showing what they had discovered in their research.  It was eye-opening when they translated that trash per person into a year’s worth of trash and figured out how many football stadiums that it would fill.  When they could see it graphically, it had an impact on their thinking.  The result was: “it is up to us to change this…”

Pretty amazing when the conclusion to learning is transformation…change.

Tips: In the free version:  Basic themes, 5 image uploads, Piktochart’s watermark. Pro version ($29.00/mo): 80 themes (and growing), additional customization, more image uploads, no watermark.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Piktochart in your classroom.

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