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Keyboard Climber

What it is: Keyboarding is a necessary evil in the computer classroom.  I say this because truly mastering touch typing takes practice, a lot of it.  However, I don’t want to spend all my class time in the computer lab teaching kids to type.  There is SO much more that our brand new iMacs can do.  To use them as typewriters feels ridiculous.  Combine that with my 35 minutes once a week with students and keyboarding really becomes a necessary evil.  In my classroom, I focus on typing practice very little.  I encourage my students to practice keyboarding at home with fun online typing games.  Keyboard Climber is one of these games.  It is a fun little game that helps students build those touch typing skills in or out of the classroom.  In Keyboard Climber, the goal is to help a monkey climb up a tree and score bananas by typing letters.  If the student types the incorrect letter, a coconut falls on the monkey’s head and he falls down to a lower level.  There is fun music and sound effects that accompany the game, kids love it, I find it a bit too monotonous.  The only other thing that I don’t love about the game is that all of the letters are displayed as capital letters.  However, students never have to actually type a capital letter (with shift or caps lock). How to integrate Keyboard Climber into the classroom: Keyboard Climber is a fun little game to help students practice typing.  Use it in the computer classroom as a short warm up and see how many points students can accumulate in a set amount of time.  Hopefully this number will increase throughout the year.  Encourage students to play Keyboard Climber at home to practice typing.  I have students take a screen shot of their highest level and points to post on one of my bulletin boards. Tips: I learned about Keyboard Climber from @techfacil, thanks for the tip Julie! Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Keyboard Climber 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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