Monday, November 25, 2013

8 Classroom Photo Sharing Ideas Using Yogile

Yogile is a simple to use clean photo sharing service perfect for the classroom.  To begin sign up for a free account, create an album, and choose between a couple of settings.  

Albums created under the free account status will be automatically deleted after 14 days. It's perfect as they clean up the photo projects. You just need to remember to download the photos you want to save.

Yogile provides a random URL to access your album, or you can create your own.  

With this URL others can send photos to the album using the created email address, or upload them directly from a computer.

Another nice setting perfect for the classroom is to approve all photos before they are added to the album. This is perfect if you have students emailing a variety of photos for a particular assigned task.

There are no ties to social media, so you aren't playing photo roulette with "suggested" photos appearing on the webpage while you open the website in front of your classroom.

Ideas of how you can implement a shared photo album in your classroom:
  1. Primary students can use iPod Touch's or iPads to take pictures of items that begin with letters of the alphabet and email those photos to a shared album.  It's best if the teacher types the email address the first time so that the email auto pops up for all following emails on an iDevice.  Other topics could include different shapes, different colors, or different sets of numbers.
  2. Students could take pictures while on a field trip and upload their photos to a shared folder.
  3. Students can email photos of whatever they want, and at the end of the week students can use the photos as writing prompts.
  4. Have students take and share selfies to be used during class projects.
  5. Students working on projects can have people from other parts of the world take and email photos into one shared folder, rather than have them arrive in many different emails.
  6. Keep a photo record of different lab experiments conducted by students from various periods or classes in a district to be compared with each other at the completion of a unit.
  7. Students can demonstrate an understanding of a vocabulary word by taking photo of them or someone "doing" the word, then store the photos in a shared folder to be reviewed later.
  8. Have students take pictures of iconic images around town, like buildings, parks, murals or sculptures.  Then use a shared folder to place them all in one location accessible by anyone in class.
Please suggest other ideas how you could use a shared photo album with your class.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Happy Numbers - Learn Addition or Subtraction Algorithms

Happy Numbers is a nice online site, iPad compatible, used to allow students practice opportunities towards mastering the traditional addition and subtraction algorithms.

While working on problems, students are guided through the process of completing the algorithm.  Each step must be completed correctly without an error to get the problem "correct".  Once the student has answered 10 questions complete "correct" they have completed the level for the day.

Data is stored online showing progress of students throughout levels that are available to them.

As a teacher you create your free account.  Then create a class.  After the class type in your students name.  Happy Numbers will assign a class number to your class, and a password for each student.  You can change passwords if you would like.

For students to login, they type in the class number, click their name, type their password, and proceed onto their practice for the day.

This site is quick to set up for you and your class, saves data about your students daily practice, and provide students practice opportunities while mastering the standard addition and subtraction algorithm.

Monday, November 18, 2013

K-5 Math Teaching Resources

How often do you find yourself asking, "isn't there another way I can demonstrate a particular math topic to my students because they aren't understanding what I've been doing thus far"?

Try finding a suggestion at K-5 Math Teaching Resources.

This website has loads of ideas to peruse through.  You can filter your search by grade level, strand, Mental Math Concepts, Interactive Whiteboard ideas, or Centers.

When looking into a grade level of activities, ideas are separated by standard, with links to printables if necessary.

The links to Interactive Whiteboard Resources take you directly to the IWB activity that relates to the concept. 

There are many activities ready to use in a centers based environment, providing you have or create the manipulative for the activity (note, they do provide links to download these interatives).  For example these are a few of many ten frame and dot card activities you can use in a number sense center.

There are many Mental Math Activities available, including a nice overview of using empty number lines in your classroom.  And don't forget to check out the ideas for your 100th day of school

This website has been a golden goto resource for k-5 math ideas and activities for several area teachers.  Aren't we all looking for additional ideas?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Non Fiction Reading with Newsela

Virgina Petit shared a great resource yesterday for non fiction articles that connect directly to the ELA Anchor Standards of the CCSS.  The clincher with Newsela is the ability to change the Lexile Reading Level of the article, customizing it for the class or the student.  Signing up was easy as a teacher.  It gives a class code to give to the students to sign up for the specific class.  No emails are needed for the students.  Google sign in is also an option.

These are high interest daily news articles focused around the topics war & peace, science, kids, money, law, health, and arts.  There are four different levels offered for each article, with the four ranges varying  from third grade to college prep levels.

Easily assign an article to a class.
 Here is a look at the beginning of the same article at two different reading levels.


Quiz adapts to the Reading Level as well.  
If a quiz is avaliable to take with the passage, it will show along the right hand side of the screen.  In the teacher view, it will show the question, the correct answer, as well as the standard the question is addressing.

 Both students and teachers have a binder at the top of the screen.  This allows for the students to see if a specific article has been assigned.  For the teacher, it gives a view of which anchor standards have been addressed, over all class scores, as well as being able to view individual student work.
Student View
This is just another site to add to your resource list.  This site is also iPad compatible, easily add the link to the log in page onto the iPad.
We can never have to many sources for non fiction!
Newsela is currently free and in BETA.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Online Assessments for Understanding Digital Citizenship

Common Sense Media is an absolute awesome web resource for obtaining curriculum addressing digital citizenship topics to your students. 

 There are 8 topic areas of content written in all four grade level stages; K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.  There are videos, questions, activities, and many resources to assist any teacher with integrating digital citizenship content into their classroom.  All activities are aligned to common core standards.

If you look into their scope and sequence of how these lessons are recommended being taught, lessons are broken into groups of approximately 5 lessons per unit.  At the end of each unit is a Unit Assessment.

I decided to take a couple of Unit Assessments to experience what the students will encounter.  There are a variety of question types similar to what you'll be seeing in a Smarter Balance test, that is to say there are very few multiple choice type questions.  Most questions involve higher level thinking like arranging an order of events, or placing items onto different parts of a venn diagram.

Students begin an assessment by typing in their name and an optional email address for their teacher, which will auto send the results to the teacher at the conclusion.  If a student incorrectly answers a question, the program will ask the student to try again, upon which if they miss a second time the correct answer will be revealed.  Only the students first answers are calculated and printed in the assessment results at the end. 

Allow for at least 30 minutes for students to complete the activity, as there are 15-20 questions they need to answer.  Students will be able to print the results of their assessment which shows the question, how the student answered, and the correct answer.

InCtrl - Empowering Students in a Digital Age

Here is a nice resource you can use to begin your digital citizenship discussions with your upper elementary and middle school classes from Cable in the Classroom, Be InCntrl!

They offer seven Lessons, which are basically units containing 3-5 half hour lessons.

  • Working Together Digitally
  • Living in a Digital World
  • Your Digital Footprint: Leaving a Mark
  • Media: Between the Lines
  • Stand Up ... Be InCtrl!
  • What's Mind Isn't (Necessarily) Yours
  • In-Credibly Informed

Each Lesson offers a Teacher version of the video, Student version of the video,  and Lesson Materials with Activities which include ready to use printable documents for your class.  Objectives are include along with an estimated time for each section, list of vocabulary terms, engaging questions to ask, and an outlined project. 

The activities provide high level creation opportunities for the students.  For example students create a "Stop the Drama!" campaign which includes writing and distributing a survey for others to complete, analyzing the responses, and putting together a reflection about the findings.  InCtrl provides ideas, links, and resources for all the activities.  All activities are aligned to common core.

This is a great resource you can use to integrate digital citizenship topics into your curriculum.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Digital Citizenship Lessons from FBI - Cyber Surf Islands

We need to be doing as much as we can providing resources for students so they can become educated online digital citizens.  The FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, has created a series of lessons for grades 3-8 in a flash-based game environment called Cyber Surf Island where students are to learn content and then take an exit exam demonstrating their understanding.

Students click into a grade, like Ice Island, and choose from 7 different lessons.  When they have mastered the content they can take the exam.

Lessons include a variety of tasks.  One lesson provide users with vocabulary words to learn and short check for understanding questions.  Another shows video segments from NetSmartz.  Students can complete a word search and learn their definitions.

These lessons might be great to do with one projector and whole class discussion.  Like lesson 6 where students can determine what is actually meant with a common online statement.

Teachers can sign up their school, so their kids take the test, and compete against other schools from around the country to determine if they can make their school appear on the Leaderboard.  Tests are half hour with different questions for each student. 

Who knows, if your schools does extremely well you can even have an FBI agent visit your classroom.