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3D Toad- 360* images worth more than a thousand words

What it is:   3D Toad is a site I learned about from @rmbyrne‘s fantastic blog, Free Tech for Teachers.  This is like hitting the lottery of educational image libraries.  It goes beyond your typical image library and has 3D images that students can spin all around and explore from every angle. ...

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Woot Math: Adaptive learning for fractions and decimals

Posted by admin | Posted in 5Sigma, Analyze, Anastasis Academy, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Math, Primary Elementary, professional development, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 24-02-2016

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Woot Math- adaptive fraction/decimals

What it is: Woot Math uses adaptive technology to personalize the math learning experience in new ways for 3rd-6th grade students. With a focus on fractions and decimals, Woot Math allows students many inroads to understanding. Flexible implementation options mean that Woot Math can be used in any classroom configuration whether it be 1:1 devices, shared devices, whole-class, or as intervention. The Woot Math system works on the web, iPads, or Chromebooks seamlessly…it truly is a great option for any classroom! It is super user-friendly, and gives teachers the ability to customize for each student in the class as a starting point. Woot Math is adaptive, as students use it, it gets “smart” and creates learning pathways based on the specific needs of the student. Beginning with foundational rational math concepts, Woot Math makes these necessary foundational skills accessible for all students. It is like having a personal tutor sitting beside them as they work through new learning. If a student doesn’t understand a problem, the program adapts to approach the learning in a new way. The illustration of concepts is brilliant! Woot Math gives students a solid understanding of fractions, laying the necessary ground work for algebra, geometry, physics, chemistry, and statistics. Sign up TODAY, Woot Math is totally free for the 2015-2016 school year!

How to integrate Woot Math into your classroom: To begin with Woot Math, decide how you will use it in your classroom. Do all of your students have access to a technology device? Do you have a bank of devices that they can rotate through? Do you have a projector/interactive whiteboard? If you are using Woot Math with limited technology access, beginning with the Interactive Problem Bank is best. Here you can quickly access thousands of hands-on fraction and decimal problems for students to work through together. You can project the problems on a whiteboard or use an interactive whiteboard. Problems can be selected by topic or standard and then by model type. Students can either work together in community solving problems, or as a center in a math rotation. If you have better access to technology, and students can work independently on a device, the Adaptive Practice is the place to start. Here you can print out student login cards, assign an initial topic, and the program will adaptively generate and assess thousands of interactive problems. This is also the place where you can track student progress and understanding through concepts and skills. The visual examples and leading through problems is fantastic, it is truly an engaging process for students to learn with! This is the best way (in my humble opinion) to use Woot Math, because it allows students to work in exactly the way they need to increase understanding and build a solid foundation of understanding. Be sure to go through Woot Math independently of your students to truly appreciate the interactive learning modules and visual representation of concepts…they are brilliant!

Tips: Be sure to sign up soon, take advantage of this timing when Woot Math is 100% free! There are some great teacher resources to download to help you as you implement Woot Math.

Hat Tip to @yourkidsteacher for sharing this awesome resource with me!

SumBlox: explore number relationships through visual/kinesthetic play

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Anastasis Academy, Apply, Create, Evaluate, Fun & Games, Inquiry, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Math, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain) | Posted on 10-07-2015

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** This is not a sponsored post, I’m just super excited about this product and can’t wait to see what our students do with it!


What it is: Why yes, this is a technology blog. But no, this manipulative is not a technology product. I’m writing about SumBlox here anyway because technology led to the happy discovery of SumBlox and is a great reminder of why it is important to be a connected educator! I learned about SumBlox just a few weeks ago on Twitter as a share from ISTE from @michellek107 and @sumblox. This also isn’t a free tool (like I normally share), but I’m already so impressed by the brilliance of this tool, that I’m sharing it anyway!

SumBlox are a wooden block set of numbers 1-10. What makes those blocks and numbers super amazing: each block size corresponds to the number that it represents. (1 being the smallest and 10 the biggest). Even more super amazing, when the blocks are stacked, they represent the equivalent number. For example, when the 2 and 3 blocks are stacked, they are the same height as a 5 block! GENIUS!! These blocks are a visual and kinesthetic representation of our base-ten number system.

I purchased the Educational Set for our classrooms which comes with 100 solid hardwood blocks including: Thirty 1 blocks; twelve 2 blocks; eight each of the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 blocks; two 10 blocks and four teaching manuals. The purchase was right around the $300 mark with free shipping and a 10% discount with the code “sumfun.”

SumBlox- Explore number relationships through visual/kinesthetic play

How to use SumBlox in the classroom: These blocks allow students to visually represent and discover math relationships. Students can stack blocks to explore and visualize addition equations, if the stacks are the same height, they also have equivalent values. Students can stack multiples of a number to represent abstract math concepts like multiplication grouping or addens of ten. Students can also explore the concept of fractions and of the mathematics behind adding fractions with different denominators by stacking and scaling fractions. SumBlox also are a fantastic introduction to algebra concepts.

The educational set comes with 4 guides that lead you (the teacher) through exercises and lessons to do with your students. While these are extremely well done, because we are inquiry based, my excitement comes in seeing how students will explore these independently first. I’m excited to see students discover the number/size relationships and number patterns.

At Anastasis, we have a 1:1 iPad program. I anticipate that students will use these blocks for stop-motion animation projects as they explore (iMotion HD is the app they use), capture their discoveries of number relationships in their eportfolio (we use Evernote), and even in Explain Everything videos.

Tips: If you are an administrator purchasing these for your school, go ahead and purchase a few of the educator kits. I only purchased one and am already going back to order one for each classroom. These are going to be popular!

BBC Bitesize: Converting fractions into decimals

Posted by admin | Posted in Knowledge (remember), Math, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 23-02-2012

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What it is: BBC Bitesize consistently has wonderful games and activities for the classroom.  The Converting Fractions into Decimals activity isn’t one I have come across in the past, but it is a winner none the less.  This is a great place for students to gain some practice with fraction to decimal conversion.  The activity is set up like a secret mission.  Students get their briefing on the mission (including a short description of how the conversion is performed) and must solve a series of problems to unlock secret doors and compartments.

How to integrate BBC Bitesize Converting Fractions into Decimals into the classroom:  I appreciate that BBC Bitesize didn’t just create another boring drill practice game.  Instead, they surround students with story and give them a secret mission to complete that puts their newly learned converting skills to use. The activity takes about 10 minutes (more depending on your students) and could be completed independently in a one to one or computer lab setting, as a center rotation in the classroom, or using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer as a class.  If you complete the mission as a class, make sure that each student has the opportunity to solve a problem to help complete the mission.  With young students I always like to make a big deal of these type of activities if we are completing them as a class.  I might hand out “Top Secret” folders before we do the mission with reminders about how to convert and a few practice problems to jog their memory before completing the BBC Bitesize activity.
Tips:  BBC Bitesize has links under the activity where students can read more about converting fractions to decimals and an online quiz they can take.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using BBC Bitesize Converting Fractions into Decimals in  your classroom!

Super Math World

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 22-02-2012

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What it is: Super Math World is a site that has been around a LONG time… I mean, it is on my tenkely.org site for crying out loud! I made that site a good 8 years ago.  I took a look at it again today and am very impressed with the updates and changes that have been made.  Super Math World isn’t a totally free site but it does have a LOT of free content that kids can access.  To utilize the free portions of Super Math World, login as a guest by clicking the “Guest” button.  There are math games that teach and reinforce concepts for kindergarten through twelfth grade.  Free topics include: adding, measures, number patterns, percentages, place value, area, estimating, fractions, negative numbers, set theory, venn diagrams, and series.  The kids will enjoy the arcade-like practice area.


How to integrate Super Math World into the classroom:  Super Math World makes a great computer center activity during math.  The games are quick-enough that students can filter through classroom computers for their turn over a few periods.  The games would also make fun whole-class interactive whiteboard games.  These are intended to be one player, so you can split your students into teams and have them take turns at the board.  Keep a tally of the correct responses to find out which team is the “winner”.  My students always really enjoyed this type of friendly competition.
Of course, the site also makes a great practice area for kids in a computer lab setting.  Some of the games are multi-player so kids can team up on computers to play.
If you want a look at how I rotated students through centers on classroom computers, this post explains it.
Tips:  The paid subscription brings you LOTS more games (and concepts).  If your students enjoy the site, it may be worth getting the subscription.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Super Math World in  your classroom!

Living Math Book List: Fiction for (almost) every math concept

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Math, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools | Posted on 03-01-2012

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Happy New Year!!  You may have noticed…I took a tech break for the holidays!  There may not have been an abundance of posts and sharing happening, but I was still collecting away and have more resources than ever to share in 2012.  Thank you all for making my 2011 such a wonderful year to be a part of!

What it is:  You know what I love?  Reading and books. Particularly fiction.  Living Math Book List is a fantastic site that introduces books (mostly fiction) for every math concept (okay, almost every math concept!).  The site is SO easy to use, just click on the “Search categories” tab and choose the math topic your students are working on.  A list of books with links to Amazon is at the ready.  The site is being updated regularly so new books pop into the different categories on occasion.  Isn’t it great to stumble on a new jem-of-a-book that you can use in your classroom? I love teaching through story, and Living Math Book List makes it easy to bring stories into your math class.  Including books in math gives students who struggle with math concepts a new vantage point and understanding.  It makes math meaningful by showing students why they learn the math concepts they do and how math really is all around us.  You have to love that!  Topics include: addition, angles, area, calendars, capacity, combinations, comparisons, counting, skip counting, data collection, division, doubling numbers, equal sets, equations, estimation, even/odd, fractions, graphing, making predictions, matching, measurement, metrics, money, multiplication, negative numbers, opposites, ordinal numbers, patterns, percentages, perimeter, place value, positional words, probability, problem solving, proportions, ratio, reading a schedule, regrouping, rounding, sequences, shapes, sizes, sorting, subtraction, symmetry, time, and weight.  So yeah, something for everyone!
How to integrate Living Math Book List into the classroom:  As I said, I am a big fan of reading and books.  Any time you can tie learning back to story is a win in my book.  Use the books you find on Living Math Book List to introduce new concepts, to enrich students interaction with a concept, as a launching point for writing their own math-related fiction, or just to expose students to a new way of thinking about the math they are learning.  The books make a great classroom read-aloud or can be used as a math center during a unit.
At Anastasis Academy, we made sure to have plenty of these types of math books available to students during silent reading.  They really enjoy reading them with a partner and pointing out the math concepts they recognize along the way.

Tips: Embed the link to Living Math Book List on your class website or blog, this will make it easy for you, and your students, to find math-related books any time.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Living Book List in  your classroom!

Thinking Blocks: Model math word problems with virtual mantipulatives

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 19-09-2011

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What it is:  Thinking Blocks is a great find by @matthewquigley who was nice enough to share his find and let me take the credit (I may have made up that last part…).  Thinking Blocks lets students model and solve math word problems by using online virtual blocks to visualize the problems in new ways.  Thinking Blocks includes blocks to model addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, and ratios.  On the Modeling Tools tab, students will find modeling tool videos on addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, ratios, decimals and percents, and algebra.  These thinking blocks were developed by Colleen King as she worked to help her students in their Singapore Math program.  While the concept of modeling word problems with the blocks is most closely associated with Singapore Math curriculum, it can be used to support any math program and is especially helpful to use with visual learners.  Students can use virtual blocks to model known and unknown quantities.  By modeling in this way, students are better prepared for moving from arithmetic to algebraic thinking because they learn how to break complex problems into their simplest form.   The activities on the Thinking Block website includes guided and independent practice opportunities.  The tutorials can be used for guided instruction.  Videos show worked examples from each section (addition, multiplication, division, fractions and ratios.  Progress tracking is built-in (currently this is only per session but the site notes that sometime in September this should be included for multiple sessions).  The Modeling Tool lends itself to independent practice.  Students can choose from hundreds of built-in word problems or enter their own.  Dynamically generated models let students check their own work.  A full screen option is included for use on interactive whiteboards.

How to integrate Thinking Blocks into the classroom:  Thinking Blocks is a wonderful website for exploring and demonstrating understanding of word problems.  Visual students will be keen on the ability to visualize math in this way, using the virtual blocks to represent word problems.  Because Thinking Blocks addresses so many different math disciplines, it is a great way to differentiate instruction for students at a variety of levels.

Thinking Blocks can be used with the whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  Students can take turns working out word problems on the whiteboard while students at their seats work to arrive at a common solution.  Students at the board can “phone a friend” if they need a little extra help or guidance.

Thinking Blocks would make a fantastic center activity on classroom computers.  Students could visit the center to practice some word problems and record a reflection about how the blocks enabled them to visualize the problem differently.

Be sure to bookmark Thinking Blocks on school computers and let parents know to bookmark the site at home.  I suspect this site could be a life saver for MANY students (I would have been one of them!)

Tips: You can adjust the difficulty of each model by adjusting the numbers addressed before students begin an activity.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Thinking Blocks in  your classroom!

Study Jams!

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Math, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Video Tutorials, Websites | Posted on 03-11-2010

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What it is: Scholastic Study Jams is a fantastic collection of over 200 learning resource collections. Study Jams are videos, slide shows, and step by step explanations for science and math that will have your students discovering everything from invertebrates to the water cycle and the rule of divisibility.  Each Jam includes a teaching video/step-by-step/slide show, key vocabulary, and a test yourself section where they can practice what they have just learned.  Each Jam also suggests related jams where students can expand their learning and dig deeper on a subject.  To be honest, this is more like the textbook of the future that I envisioned.  I love that each concept is introduced in the context of a story.  Students learn the concept from fun Study Jam characters and can pause and rewind the learning as needed.  In the test yourself section, students can check for understanding and receive immediate feedback on their learning.

How to integrate Study Jams into your curriculum: Study Jams is a truly incredible collection of learning opportunities for students.  Use Jams to introduce your students to a new concept, or reinforce learning.  In Math students can learn about numbers, multiplication and division, addition and subtraction, fractions, decimals and percents, algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis, probability, and problem solving.  Each topic has several sub-topics for students to explore.  In science topics include: plants, animals, the human body, ecosystems, landforms, rocks and minerals, weather and climate, solar system, matter, force and motion, energy, light, and sound, and scientific inquiry.  Again, each science topic has several sub-topics.

Study Jams can be used with your whole class as an anticipatory set for learning using an interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer.  After viewing the step-by-step, video, or slide-show check for understanding by having your students complete the “test yourself” as a class.  This can be done with personal whiteboards where students write down their answer and hold it up, a raise of hands, or student response systems (clickers).  Use this as formative assessment to guide your lesson.  Study Jams can also be used as a center activity in the math or science classroom.  Students can visit the Study Jam as part of a larger group of related activities.  In a center, students can visit individually or in small groups and self direct their learning.  For those students who have already mastered the concept, they can view related Study Jams to extend their learning.

Study Jams is ideal for students in a 1 to 1 or lab setting.  Here students can explore at their own pace, pausing and rewinding as necessary.  They can also extend their learning based on their personal interests by choosing a related Study Jam.

Can’t find a Study Jam that fits what your students are learning? Ask students to create their own Study Jam video, slide show or step by step.  Students can use tools like Animoto, Voice Thread, or Domo Animate to create their own.  Students can create their own “test yourself” using a Google Form or survey tool.

Tips: I learned about Study Jams from someone in my blogging alliance (sorry I didn’t make note of who!) If you aren’t already following these amazing blogs, I highly recommend them (alliance #1, alliance #2).  I learn SO much every day from each one of them.  If I learned about Study Jams from your blog, leave me a comment so I can thank you here!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Study Jams in your classroom!


MathMovesU

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Evaluate, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 22-09-2010

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What it is: MathMovesU is an interactive virtual world where middle school students can interact with algebra, geometry, decimals, fractions, and word problems through topics they are passionate about like sports, music, and fashion.  As students navigate through MathMovesU they will encounter math problems delivered through games, polls, and fun facts.  The site is a great supplement to curriculum and will help students practice and improve their math skills in a fun, engaging manner.

How to integrate MathMovesU into the classroom: MathMovesU is an innovative approach to math practice that shows kids how math is used in real life.  As students explore the MathMovesU virtual world they will collect points by discovering math and tracking solutions.  This site truly encourages students to discover more, dig deeper and think critically about math.  Start your own MathMovesU class competition for the school year where students work to earn the most points.  MathMovesU is a great alternative to worksheet practice.  It is best to use MathMovesU in a one to one scenario where each student has their own computer to work on.  If a one to one experience isn’t possible, use classroom computers as a center.  Throughout the year students can rotate through the center to earn points and practice.

Tips: MathMovesU needs a robust network, the site is highly interactive but can crawl if you have a lab full of students accessing it at once.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using MathMovesU  in your classroom.

Math Live

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Math, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, video, Video Tutorials, Websites | Posted on 02-03-2010

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What it is: In honor of World Math Day (which takes place tomorrow 3/3/10) I decided to pass on a fantastic math website that I learned about from The Techie Classroom Blog (one of the amazing blogs taking part in the edublogger alliance).  Math Live has a collection of animated cartoons that teach students math concepts.  3rd through 6th grade students can learn about numbers, patterns and relations, shape and space, and statistics and probability.  These cartoons are extremely high quality and teach key math concepts through story.  Students can watch videos on place value, multiples, factors, primes, proper fractions, equivalent fractions, comparing and ordering fractions, comparing and ordering decimals, addition and subtraction of decimals, multiplication of whole numbers, division of whole numbers, multiplication and division of decimals, patterns, area and perimeter, volume, time, triangles, polygons, sides, tessellations, ordered pairs, displaying data, probability and estimating.  The videos show students real-world applications of math concepts.  The videos are chunked really well and stop periodically so that students can think about and discuss their thoughts on the math concept.  The videos have outstanding visuals that explain the concepts succinctly.  Each video is accompanied by an Activity Sheet (read worksheet), an assessment, and Teacher/Parent Notes.  The Teacher Notes include a great section with “Common mistakes students make” to help teachers avoid common pitfalls when teaching.  They also include great ideas for additional practice of the concepts.  Math Live gives students an excellent animated, interactive math glossary.  As students are viewing a video lesson, they can access either the master glossary (with all of the sites vocabulary) or visit the lesson glossary (with only the vocabulary from the lesson).  I am really impressed with the glossary.

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How to integrate Math Live into the classroom: Math is a hard subject for many students.  It can be difficult for students to understand how math relates to real life.  Math Live videos are a great way to help students break down math into manageable pieces.  It illustrates each concept very well.  Students who struggle with math are going to LOVE this site.  It allows them to pause, rewind, and revisit concepts as many times as they need to so that they can master a concept.  These videos would be an excellent way to introduce new math concepts to the whole class using a projector or interactive whiteboard.  They can also be used as a math center on classroom computers or individually in the computer lab.  Keep Math Live handy for students struggling with these concepts or to quickly access math vocabulary in the glossary.

The list of concepts covered is limited, as an extension activity, have students create their own math movie using a tool like Xtranormal or Kerpoof Movie.

Tips: Send Math Live home to parents, these videos could be a tremendous help for homework time.  Often parents struggle with explaining math to their children, this could be a big help!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Math Live in your classroom.

Fantastic Flexible Foldables

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 25-10-2009

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What it is: I love online activities that students can take part in, but because most of us don’t have the luxury of a 1 to 1 school setting, good old paper manipulatives are winners in the classroom.  Fantastic Flexible Foldables is a collection of mini math books and games that you can print out and create with your students.  You and your students can create a fraction mini-book, a factors and multiples mini-book, a fortune teller fractor game, a geometry tetraflexagon, an integer infinity square, Flippers (fraction, decimal, music), and lines trihexaflexagon.  These foldables help your students to interact with and practice math concepts that can be difficult to grasp apart from manipulatives where they can see the problems worked out.  The Flexible Foldables by Carol DeFreese are well thought out and have step by step picture instructions for folding and using these with your students.  Carol has also generously provided blank foldable templates that you can download and use to create your own foldables.

How to integrate Fantastic Flexible Foldables into the classroom: These foldable templates really are fantastic.  They are a wonderful addition to the math classroom.   Even if you don’t focus on any of the skills that Carol has created foldables for, download her blank templates and create foldables that will help your students learn difficult math concepts.  These foldables will help your students visulaize and interact with math in new ways.  This is an incredible resource and even more incredible that it is free!  Sometimes the best part of technology is the way it allows for the sharing of ideas and teaching methods… this site is proof of that!

Tips: Files on the Fantastic Foldables site are in pdf or .doc formats.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Fantastic Flexible Foldables in your classroom.