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Kerpoof: Update

What it is: Kerpoof is one of my favorite creation tools for elementary students, it allows them to draw, create pictures, cards, books, and even movies.  My original post about Kerpoof can be found here. Kerpoof has added some new features that make it worthy of another post.  Students can now save their pictures, cards, stories and drawings locally (on their computers).  On each canvas is a JPEG icon that will allow any picture to be saved to the computer locally.  They are working on making it possible to download the movies locally soon.   Kerpoof also introduced info bubbles.  In the Make a Picture object library, students can drag out a picture onto the canvas.  Now there is a new question mark button that shows up on an object.  When students click on the question mark, a little bubble of information pops up.  Students will gain all kinds of information from these little fact bubbles.  They can learn everything from: who wrote Treasure Island, to learning the national animal of Australia. How to integrate Kerpoof into the classroom: Kerpoof is an outstanding creativity program for the classroom.  With there education accounts and these new features, it is even more useful in the classroom setting.  Now that students can save their pictures created on Kerpoof locally, they can use their Kerpoof creations in new ways.  Upload the saved JPEG to the class website, blog, or wiki, or add illustrations to a word processing program. Use the new information bubbles to start a Kerpoof scavenger hunt.  Ask students specific questions ahead of time or instruct students to research broader topics like “dinosaurs” or “Mexico”.  After students have found answers to their assigned questions, they can do more in-depth research using library or Internet resources.  After research is completed, students can come back to Kerpoof to create a picture, story, essay, or movie including information that they learned. Tips: Be sure to check out Kerpoof’s lesson plans, they have just added a new lesson called “Programming Wizards” designed to teach students about how computers work and how to build, design, and test a program.  Very cool. Leave a comment and share how you are using Kerpoof  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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