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Monday, April 13, 2015

SLAM!


Oh how I love a little competitive fun. Have you ever heard of an App Slam?  It's a friendly sharing of favorite apps followed by a vote to see which app gets the most votes.

Having an App Slam is a great way to have students guide and personalize their own learning and it also incorporates a lot of creative thinking and technology.

Here is how it works:

Students (or teachers) choose an app that they think is a winner.
They then create a demonstration (video, live demo, example or other)

The demo slam 

  • is short (1-3 minutes) in length,
  • highlights the features of the app,
  • demonstrates how to use the app, and
  • ends with the word SLAM.

Here is a Thinglink with some awesome examples of App Slams:

 

and here is a popular App Slam from two young ladies who are showing how amazing Google Translate is:



So as you can see, the idea is not just to share an app, but to do it creatively and convincingly.

In a classroom or school, teachers could use a tournament bracket creator such as this one to organize the app slam.  For voting on the apps, teachers could use Poll Everywhere or Plickers to collect the student's votes. 

What I love about App Slams is that students demonstrate how an application can be used to help solve a problem or take learning to another level.  

I highly recommend having a friendly App Slam with your students or even between educators to grow awareness of the amazing apps that are out there.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Personalized Learning - Three Different Models

Not everyone learns the same way. We all have our preferences of how we like to obtain and show understanding of content.  This is especially true of our students. 

Research shows that students who have choice over their learning can reduce dropout rates.  Click here for an example.

So why not use a different learning model and try and motivate students with a personalized learning experience? 

Here are three models to personalize the learning for your classroom.

#1 Project Based Learning - In this model, units and lessons are set up with real life projects. Students work their way through the project and usually comprise a final project to share.  PBL often is very motivating for the student and can involve team work.

Click here for more information about PBL.


#2 Peer Led Classrooms - In this model, the teacher is a facilitator and the students are instructors.  Students who have mastered the content first, help other students to learn the content. Students often learn better from their peers than from the instructor.  The teacher plays an important role of cheerleader and students need to be able to learn cooperatively.

Click here for more information about Peer Led Learning.


#3 Flipped Classrooms or Self Paced Classrooms - In this model the teacher records their lessons and students can work at their own pace to learn the material and demonstrate understanding. During class students are able to work in groups and also get one-on-one time with their teacher. 

Click here for more information about Flipped Classrooms.


Spring is the perfect time of year to spice up your instructional methods and give students some choice in their learning. I highly recommend giving one or more of the above three learning methods a try. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I Won!!

Recently I was a big winner at the WEMTA Conference in Wisconsin Dells.



My big winnings was a Wacom Intuos Pro Tablet. Honestly, I wasn't sure what I had won until I looked it up. 

Watch this Chat with Deb to see how this tablet can be used to create a flipped video:





Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this Chat with Deb. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Evernote - Students Can Create A Digital Backpack


Today's Chat with Deb shows the incredible app, Evernote.  This app will allow students to create a digital backpack with digital notebooks and notes. 

A mobile phone or tablet allows you to add images and audio to the digital notes. There is also the ability to share notes with others and set reminders for tests or exams.  Evernote Web Clipper makes it easy to clip any webpage directly to your Evernote notebooks.

Watch this Chat with Deb to see how it is all done:



If you have an idea of how students or teachers can put Evernote to use, leave a comment below.

Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this Chat with Deb.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

High School Math Sites with a Little Something for ELA and Science Too

Here are some websites that can be integrated into an existing lesson or provide a fully prepared lesson for High School Math Teachers. If you are a teacher of ELA or Science, check out #3 below.


#1 -Free Online Resources from Courseware- Brought to us by the CEMC.  




If you are a teacher of pre calculus or calculus, these are free online courses with videos, quizzes and exercises.  Parts of the site are under construction. Each lesson is broken into modules. Thank you to my colleague, Anthony, for sharing this with me.





#2 -Transum.org offers math games, puzzles, resources and much more for Upper Secondary and High School students.  There is an option to sign up for an account and create a class. Transum offers a large number of free games and puzzles.  There is a lot to explore on this site.


#3 - Better Lesson offers thousands of K-12 rich Math, ELA and Science lessons from high performing Master Teachers.


Math lessons

ELA lessons

Next Generation Science lessons


These lessons often include videos, group work, higher order thinking and integration of technology. 

Check out this lesson on writing equations of parallel and perpendicular lines given the slopes and points.



The lesson is broken into 5 modules. Here is a peak at module 2.



Each module has an activity and additional resources on the side. These lessons are tried and true for use in the classroom.


There are many resources for High School Mathematics and I recommend checking out the above sites to supplement your lesson plans and instruction.


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