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Story Top

  What it is:  Story Top is a simple comic strip creator.  Students can create an account on Story Top where they can save, share with classmates, and print out comic strips that they create.  Students can choose from a set selection of backgrounds, images, and text bubbles (they aren’t able to upload their own images).  Using the Story Top clip art and backgrounds, students can create a fun comic strip about almost any topic with a simple drag-and-drop interface. How to integrate Story Top into the classroom:  Comic strips are an outstanding way to get your reluctant writers writing (especially boys!)   The comic format usually isn’t as daunting as a blank piece of paper.  With just a little guidance, your students will be writing and creating comic strips in no time!  Use Story Top as a classroom computer writing center where students can take turns publishing their own comic strips (these are fun to use in a class newsletter home at the end of the week or on a classroom website).  In the computer lab setting, give students a topic and have them create a comic strip based on the topic.  Story Top would also be excellent to use with a projector or an interactive whiteboard.  Instead of giving your students a bulleted list of notes to copy down on a subject, why not make it fun and create a comic strip that includes all of the notes.    Comics are a fun way to mix up the classroom routine and students are much more likely to remember the material if it is presented this way.  Happy creating!   Tips:  To use your comic strips on your classroom website or in a newsletter, take a screen shot of the strip to save it as a picture file on your computer (on a Mac it is command+shift+4).    Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Story Top 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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