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Isle of Tune: Create a musical journey

What it is: Isle of Tune is a site that has just significantly impacted my productivity today- I can’t stop playing!  Thanks to @Matt_Arguello and @dancallahan for this share today on Twitter!  Isle of Tune lets students create musical journeys out of street layouts.  Roadside elements act as instruments and cars are the players.  Students can create whole islands of music by creating a street layout, adding objects that generate different sounds and adding cars to play the music.  Each object has an object panel where students can adjust the sound, volume or clone the object.  Students can determine when a sound will be played based on the ground lighting up when the car passes.  Junctions change the course of passing cars or can “loop” a sound.  It is easy for students to get started, they just click “Create a new island” and away they go.  Students can name their island anything and save to return to it later.  No need for registration, the Internet browser they are using just needs to have cookies enabled (this is a bit of a problem for shared classroom computers with a single account). How to integrate Isle of Tune into the classroom: Isle of Tune is an enchanting place for creation.  The sky is the limit as students create music based on visual creation.  Aside from teaching some great music principles, Isle of Tune would be a fantastic way to teach students pattern.  Students can use Isle of Tune to construct patterns of objects and actually experience the connection between math and music as they “play” their pattern tune. Isle of Tune would also be a fun place for students to learn about maps and ordinal directions and basic graphing.  Students can start with oral directions about where to lay their street “Four street squares North East, two street squares West”.  After directions are given, students can customize their islands with trees, houses, lamp posts, etc.  You can quickly tour the room for some formative assessment while students complete their island.  Let students take turns listening to each other’s Isle of Tune, noting similarities and differences based on the patterns made. Use Isle of Tune as a creative writing prompt.  Students can create an island and tune and write an imaginative story about the island they created.  The saved island makes a nice visual-aid and soundtrack for their finished story. Isle of Tune makes a great interactive whiteboard, or projector-connected computer activity.  Students can work together to create a giant island of tunes.  Use the annotate over the desktop feature to label directions, coordinates and patterns. The shared songs are pretty incredible- many of the “top” shares are popular music that has been created using Isle of Tune. Tips: Isle of Tune is currently available on the web, keep an eye out for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad versions coming soon!  If Isle of Tunes inspires your students to want to become architects or engineers, point them toward online CAD Drafting classes. Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Isle of Tune in your classroom!

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Hooda Math: math fact practice that feels like fun

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 09-06-2014

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Hooda Math: Practice math facts and have fun

Flappy factors: learn math playing games

What it is:  Hooda Math is a fantastic collection of math games that give students the opportunity for math fact practice while having fun. The games are based on other addicting games like Flappy Birds and 2048. Instead of just playing the games to see how far they can get, students also get some built-in fact practice. For example, in Flappy Factors, students maneuver a bird through a maze of pipes. Each pipe has an integer on it, students must fly through the correct factor of a target multiple that is given. Students must avoid the pipe with the incorrect integer. As students advance through the game, a progress report is generated that can be emailed to a teacher or a parent. The Hooda Math site has been created for a variety of platforms…perfect for a BYOD classroom!

How to use Hooda Math in your classroom: Hooda Math is organized by category types: Mobile games, Shopkeeper games, Geometry games, Logic games, Number games, Physics Games, Growing games, Building games, and Escape games. The games can also be organized by grade level, subject, or category. There are over 500 games in all, ensuring something for everyone in kindergarten through high school.

Students at Anastasis LOVE mobile games. When Flappy Birds came out, they were often spending hours (truly!) playing these games in their free time. Hooda Math games are a great way for students to practice math facts and skills while they are playing. Math becomes significantly less challenging when facts become second nature. Hooda Math games are a great way for students to practice their math facts without hours of flash cards. Math practice becomes fun and the challenge is not just in figuring out the trick to the game, it is also unlocking the building blocks of math.

When I taught a computer class, I often had students lament that they would NEVER be able to learn to touch type. I often asked these students, “do you play video games? Do you have to look at the controller when you play to see what to press next?” They always answered, “No! I would lose if I had to look at the controller.” I would follow-up by asking them how they memorized what to do to the controller to win. Light. Bulb. Moment. The same is true for these math games. Students can play these games like they would other popular games, if they know their math facts, they are more likely to “live” longer and win the game.

I learned my math facts when my third grade teacher made up rhymes and a Chinese jumprope game where you had to know your facts to stay “in.” We learned our multiplication tables in no time! (If anyone knows this game, I would LOVE to remember how to play it, leave the link/directions in a comment below.) I suspect that Hooda Math games could have the same outcomes for your students. When the facts are the key to winning, there is a different motivation to know them (beyond just completing the worksheet/test).

In a one to one device environment, students can play the games that build skills where they need them. Students can play at their own level. In the one or two computer classroom, use Hooda Math as a math center rotation. Students can travel from center to center in small groups and take turns playing the games that meet their individual needs.

Be sure to pass on Hooda Math to your student’s families. It is a great way to practice at home and over summer break.

Tips: Don’t forget to have your students send you the progress report at the end. This helps you keep track of their progress without the need for worksheets.

Are you using Hooda Math in your classroom? Leave a comment below and share the ways that you use it with students!

Rodan + Fields Consultant

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