#TWIMA Project – The World Is My Audience

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Who: Teachers looking to engage students with writing by taking part in a worldwide project.  Jon Smith (@theipodteacher) is looking for classes across the globe to take part in the second iteration of collaboration to create an iBook/ePub of student writing.  The theme for #TWIMA2 is The World Is My Audience 2: Dreams Around The World

How: (Copied from http://thetwimaproject.weebly.com/about.html)

Below are the general guidelines for the project along with time frames.  We are going to focus on dreams in this version of #twima.  We will be using iBooks Author this time to increase the interactivity and ease of transferring your  work to the book.

Part 1:
Have your class discuss dreams.  The dreams they write about could be personal dreams, actual night dreams, dreams for the world, dreams of their culture or dreams that relate to academic areas they currently are part of (I can envision students writing about dreams of solving problems or placing themselves in historical events).

1. Have your class discuss dreams.  The dreams they write about could be personal dreams, actual night dreams, dreams for the world, dreams of their culture or dreams that relate to academic areas they currently are part of (I can envision students writing about dreams of solving problems or placing themselves in historical events).

2. Submit these written dreams to me via google drive, word document or pages document.

3. These written dreams may include artwork or photos your students create if they wish.  Please make sure students use their own artwork and photos.  I would like to avoid any copyright issues.  If they choose photos from the internet, please make sure they are acceptable and copyright free.

Part 2:

Once the dreams are submitted, we will pass the written work on to another group of teachers and students who will take those written dreams and turn them into multimedia for the iBook.  This media could be videos, photos, widgets and much, much more.  The sky is truly the limit.

Part 3:

The final piece of this project will be taking all the written dreams and multimedia pieces and weaving them into one big story.  Justin and his students have agreed to make the larger story based on the dreams your students develop.  Don’t worry!  Your student work will not be changed in any way.  Their work will simply be woven into a larger story.

 

When: #TWIMA2 started March 1, so now is the time to get involved!  Visit http://thetwimaproject.weebly.com/ for more information, contact info, and how to join!

 

I love the idea of this project.  It combines writing, technology, and dreaming!  Let’s help Jon reach his goal of representing each state in the #TWIMA2 iBook! You can also visit #TWIMA on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/twima

Arcade Game Generator – ClassTools.net

classtools

Who:  Teachers who are looking to make assessments interactive and engaging for students.

How: This is another wonderful tool from ClassTools.net.  Teachers simply add in their questions.  Then students choose from 5 game types to play.  These games are better suited for word bank style questions.

In Manic Miner students are given a question at the bottom of the screen.  Possible answers are bouncing around the screen. The goal for students is simple.  Avoid obstacles, hit correct answers, collect a key, and jump into a toilet.

In Wordshoot the question is displayed at the bottom of the screen.  Students must shoot the correct answers with a limited amount of ammunition.  Answers will move around on the screen, becoming more difficult as the student progresses.  Each level becomes increasingly difficult.

In Cannonball, a question is given at the bottom of the screen.  The answers are on separate platforms.  Students must move a cannon into position.  Then change the angle, hold down space to build up velocity, then fire.

In Matching Pairs, students have a tabletop with upside-down cards.  In Memory game style students must find the question and answer cards that match.

In Flash Cards, the students are displayed two cards and a “give up” button.  As if they were using flash cards, students answer before looking.

When: These activities are fantastic for a multitude of classroom options.  Teachers could use the games while they take attendance.  If there is time at the end of the period, teachers could use it to review.  Teachers can embed the game on their class webpage or LMS for students to play at any time.

The tools over at ClassTools.net are outstanding.  During your planning period, it is worth your time to check out all the site has to offer.  There is certainly something for every classroom!

Direct Link: http://www.classtools.net/_mobileQuiz/index.php


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Pac-Man – Transform your test questions into an arcade game!

classtools

Who: Teachers looking to make their assessments interactive and engage their students.  Also great for students to demonstrate their knowledge by creating a game.

How:  Teachers take multiple choice style questions and type them into the interface.  ClassTools.net then creates the Pac-Man game with your questions.  To begin playing, students must correctly answer a question.  Each time they lose a player, they must answer a series of questions correctly.  Students are unable to start their next turn without answering correctly.  The game ends when a student answers incorrectly, then their name is recorded and posted to the High Scores to compete with their classmates.

When: This tool is great for a bell ringer, review activity, or for student use on their own.   ClassTools.net provides a unique link and embed code for teachers to share.  Post the game to your class website, blog, or in your schools LMS.

Activities like these are fantastic tools to replace classic worksheets.  Students have engaged in the game and want to answer more questions to play more.  This is a great form of positive reinforcement with correct answers.  This also pushes students towards repetition of facts.

Direct link here: http://www.classtools.net/pac/

Here is an example of one using history questions:

eduCanon – Turn streaming videos into assessment opportunities!

educanon

Who: Teachers looking to create blended or flipped lessons.  Another great use is to connect with students on snow days.

How: Teachers create an account and set up classes through eduCanon‘s website.  After making an account, teachers create lessons (“bulbs”) by adding in video URL’s.  After linking the video, the teacher then chooses where to add questions.  There are a few different levels of membership to eduCanon viewed here: http://www.educanon.com/premium.

When: Teachers can use this tool at any point in a lesson.  Other useful options are blended or flipped lessons, snow day work, etc. Another great use is as a bell-ringer while the teacher takes attendance.

I recommend viewing the tutorial on the front page. In only a few minutes, I was able to create my first bulb and create a class.  The ability to embed bulbs is fantastic for teachers who are using a LMS.

Website: http://www.educanon.com/

Remind (formerly Remind101)

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Who: “A safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents.” – remind.com

How: Teachers sign up for a free account. Then create a class and have students/parents join the group.  Teachers can have up to 20 groups/classes.  Creating an account is simple and quick.  Teachers can be up and running in under 5 minutes, ready to send their first reminder. Teachers can use the web interface or download the Remind app to their smart phone.  Students can sign up to get reminder through their phone or via e-mail.  Remind gives the teachers print off instructions to give their class.

When: Snow days, assignment reminders, motivational quotes, etc.. Anything a teacher would like to pass on to their students and parents.  Students need to be 13 years or older.

Remind (formerly Remind101) is a great tool used by many teachers.  This allows the teacher a safe way to communicate with their students.  Using a LMS is fantastic, but if the student doesn’t log in, they may miss something.  Remind allows teachers to send a message to a students cell phone.  We are sure they will be checking that!

Prodigy Math Game – Engaging Math Activity

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Prodigy Math

Who: Teachers looking to engage students in Common Core Math curriculum.

How: Prodigy Math works on any web connected device.  Teachers create an account for themselves, then create students accounts.  Teachers then can create assignments by selected the Common Core standard they are covering.  Students log in and create their character, learn how to play, and start playing.  Students battle with other characters and can only attack when they answer correctly.  Prodigy gathers data from the answers to report back to the teacher.  Student achievement and target areas of growth are displayed for teachers.

When:  Prodigy math is perfect for enrichment, station work, or even as homework.  As long as there is a web connected device, students can play the game.

The interface to Prodigy is user-friendly. Teachers can be up and running with their first assignment in ten minutes or less.  While the game is free, students will be informed that they will level up quicker with a premium account.

According to Prodigy:

“for every minute a child uses Prodigy at school, the average student will spend an additional 1.5 minutes at home, voluntarily! That’s 150% more practice, without using up any extra time at school.”

Create your classroom account today at: http://www.prodigygame.com

Hemingway App – Drafting tool for any writing assignment

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WHO: Teachers looking to have students pre-draft writing before sending to peer/teacher edits.
HOW: HemingwayApp.com is a website designed to help with editing writing assignments. After pasting in their writing sample, HemingwayApp identifies areas for potential improvement. Examples of these areas are hard to read sentences, use of adverbs and use of passive voice. It also identifies the number of paragraphs, sentences, words and character. Identified areas for correction are color coded for easy recognition. By moving your cursor over there error, the program gives suggestions for revision to the user. The program also gives the user an identified grade level readability to assist with your target audience.
When: Regardless of the assignment type, this free tool helps students to build their writing skills.

I have used this tool many times and found it to be useful. Hemingway App may not pick up on spelling mistakes and incorrect uses of words (their, there, they’re). However, it is still a powerful tool for teachers and students both. Use it yourself for classroom communications, or checking readability of assignments.

LINK: http://www.hemingwayapp.com/

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Would You Rather? Writing Prompts for Math Class

Would you rather

Who: Teachers looking to incorporate writing and critical thinking skills in their math classrooms.

How: This blog posts new writing prompts on a regular basis. Teachers can use a variety of writing techniques with their students to make this usable in many grade levels.

When: Teachers can use these as a major writing assignment, a weekly journal, or even as a thought provoking question of the day.

One of the things I have heard from math teachers over the years is “How do I incorporate writing into my Math classes”. This website creates a great opportunity to incorporate writing in this content area. While working on their math skill sets and critical thinking, students can see math in daily life. Whether you decide to use it for a weekly, quarterly, or daily assignment, Would You Rather Math is a fantastic tool.

Link: https://wyrmath.wordpress.com/

Plickers – paper based clickers!

plickers

WHO: Plickers are ideal for PK12 teachers who are looking for an interactive clicker system. This system does not require web connected devices, so it functions well in a classroom without computers.

HOW: Teachers first create on account on the Plickers website. Next, teachers print off Plicker boards and assign a numbered board to each student in their classroom. The teacher then poses a multiple choice question (A, B, C, D), the students find their selection on their Plicker and hold it up in the air. The teacher then stands in front of the classroom and scans the classroom using their smartphone and the Plickers app. The app collects the data from each card the students hold up and reports it back to the teacher. An immediate picture of classroom understanding.

WHEN: Fantastic for quick review of previous lesson material, at segue points in a lesson, or at the end as an exit ticket.

This resource is ideal for any classroom in which all students can identify A, B, C, and D to match with the choices given by the teacher. To create your account or print off cards, be sure to visit https://plickers.com/

Lamination can make the cards hard to read on smartphones due to glare from classroom lighting. You can buy laminated cards from Amazon (restocking in March). Another option would be to print your cards off on card stock making them more durable for long term use. To view options for cards visit: https://plickers.com/cards