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Xtranormal Text-to-Movie

What it is:  Xtranormal Text-to-Movie is another outstanding site that I learned about from @danreeve on Twitter.  This site lets students create and direct their own animated movies.  Students can choose a set, actors, and music for their videos.  Xtranormal allows students a huge amount of control of exactly how their movie will look, they can choose camera angles, animations, expressions, looks, points, and sounds.  The site is very intuative and user friendly for students in third grade (with a little guidance) and up.  I was able to create a movie without reading any instructions in about 5 min. How to integrate Xtranormal into the classroom:  Xtranormal is a great way for students to express what they know creatively.  Students can use Xtranormal to create mocumentaries on any subject, students could interview historical figures, report on geographical occurances, or create public service announcements.  Xtranormal would be an excellent alternative to the traditional book report.  Students could interview one or several characters from the book or create a little review show about the book.  The Xtranormal interface is intuative enough that the focus will be on the learning, not on the tool.   Tips:  Xtranormal is a great way for students to create movies.  Many times schools are restricted from putting videos featuring students online, this is a great way for students to put their creations online without their actual picture being out there.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Xtranormal in your classroom.

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Yummy Math! Best Math Blog EVER

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Evaluate, inspiration, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 18-10-2012

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What it is:  Yummy Math is an absolutely fabulous blog/site dedicated to helping students and teachers understand how math is relevant to the world.  What a great mission!  The blog was started 2 years ago…bummed that I am only JUST discovering it.  Brian Marks and Leslie Lewis are the creators of Yummy Math.  They have worked together to make an easy way for teachers to bring real-world math into the classroom.  Math (like everything else) should be taught within a context.  I believe this is key!  When understood in context, students can make connections to their learning and, as a result, really learn it.  The goal here is to engage students in math so that they yearn to reason, think critically, problem solve, question and communicate…in short: DO math!  Each week, multiple activities and ideas are added to the Yummy Math site.  This means that you are in constant supply of real-world math problems for your students to engage in.

Categories include:

  • Algebra
  • Data and Probability
  • Geometry
  • Number Sense
  • Sports
  • Holidays/annual events
  • Math and Science
  • Math and Food
  • Math and Social Studies
  • Math and Art
  • Movies and Entertainment

How to integrate Yummy Math into the classroom: You know that dry math curriculum that you feel TRAPPED by?  Yummy Math exists to free you (and your students) from the endless memorization and unconnected practice.  This is the perfect supplement to any math program.  Use these activities a few times a week to really get your students thinking outside of the (math) box.  These will stretch your students, and help them grow exponentially in their understanding of math and all of the cool things it makes possible.

These are not your typical “real” world word problems.  None of that, if train a is traveling north at x, and train b is traveling south at y what time will they meet? Garbage.  This is…what is the real cost of owning an iPhone 5?   or  The House of Representatives passed a law in 2007 to increase the efficiency of light bulbs, what is the real energy savings that can be realized with CFL and LED.  Not only relevant, but really interesting!

Tips: You know what is EXTRA helpful?  That Yummy Math has already done all the leg work to tell you which Common Core Standards these project are meeting.  Yes. They are awesome!

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

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