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Storybird

What it is: Storybird is a fun new collaborative storytelling website.  Storybird makes it easy to create and tell stories digitally.  Students and teachers can create stories together by combining imaginative artwork and text.  The final product can be printed, watched on screen, played with like a toy, or shared in an online library with the world.  “Storybird promotes imagination, literacy, and self-confidence.”  Creating, sharing, and reading Storybird stories is free. How to integrate Storybird into the classroom: Storybird is an excellent way to get your students enthusiastically writing.  The imaginative artwork will have your students creating stories in no time.  Storybird stories are meant to be collaborative.  Students can work together in teams to create stories.  This type of learning through play reminds me of the “lets pretend” stories that students create on the playground.  Students will feed off of each others ideas, creating more creative stories and learning together.  Storybird is also a fantastic place to create a classroom story, each student can contribute pages to the story.  The final product can be easily shared with families and friends in the online library.  Storybird can be used by teachers to make ‘special’ stories for students.  They can include students as characters, emphasize classroom themes or curriculum, and be created for specific reading levels.  Encourage your students to create and share their stories on Storybird, open up your classroom computer during DEAR time for students to read stories their classmates have created. Tips: Storybird is currently in an open Beta version.  Right now all features on Storybird are free.  Storybird plans to keep story creation, reading, and sharing as free features.  Premium (pay-for) features will be added. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Storybird  in your classroom.

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Media 4 Math: Math in the News

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Math, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Video Tutorials, Websites | Posted on 10-12-2012

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What it is: Media 4 Math: Math in the News helps students view current events through the “prism of mathematics.”  Every week features a new story that makes headlines and the underlying mathematical story gets extracted.  The Math in the News site is a little bit confusing to navigate at first (it isn’t really clear where to find each issue of Math in the News).  Scroll down to see an archive of stories.  Each entry has a Slideshare version of the presentation, a YouTube version or the Math in the News app version.  These presentations are full lessons with embedded background knowledge articles and videos, data  sets, current event explanations and a walk through of how to solve.

In addition to Math in the News, Media 4 Math also has Math Tutorials, Promethean Flipcharts, Powerpoint slideshows, Math Labs, Print Resources, a Video Gallery, Math Solvers and more.  I really like the Math Solvers, students can choose a problem type, input their own data and see a breakdown of how to solve the problem.  The Math Labs include PDF worksheets and YouTube Videos that lead them through real-math problem sets.

How to integrate Media 4 Math: Math in the News into the classroom: Media 4 Math: Math in the News is a fantastic way to help your students make the connection between the upper-level math they are learning and life. I’m fairly certain that every math teacher in history has heard “what are we ever going to use this for?”  This site helps students not only see that math is everywhere, but also walks them through how to think mathematically.  There are plenty of resources that walk students through common mathematical functions.  This site is a great supplement to any math curriculum!

With new content weekly, your curriculum will be fresh and relevant!  Share Math in the News using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer, as a math center on classroom computers, individually with laptops or iPads, etc.   Flip your math class and have students explore a Math Tutorial to prepare them for the next day of learning.  Then they can test a few scenarios in Math Solvers and come up with their own explanation of the concept.  In class, students can work with you to solidify and practice the learning.

Tips: Sign up for the free weekly newsletter to have Math in the News delivered right to your inbox.  Do you have a classroom iPad?  Math in the News now has an app!

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

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