Brain Rush: Adaptive Games to Engage Students in Content

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WHO: Teachers that are looking for ways to engage students in classroom content.

HOW: Sign up for a free account (you can use your Google account), add students, assign games, and enjoy!

WHEN: These games would be great as a formative assessment tool, interactive classroom activity, homework, or for extra material for students looking to get ahead.

It took less than 1 minute to have me engaged in an activity on the western United States.  The game I played was perfect for recognizing the geography of the western United States.  The game kept track of my mastery, and invited me to step up to the next level when it deemed I was ready.  The library of content is quite extensive:

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Brain Rush is worth your time to check out, many students will find in fun and exciting!

Go Soap Box: Versatile Formative Assessment For The Classroom

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WHO: Teachers looking to gather formative assessment data from their students.  This is a great option for 1:1 and BYOD classrooms.

HOW: Teachers sign up for an account, create an “event”, select which setting they wish to use, and then direct students to log in via event code.

WHEN: This tool is great to gather data before class begins, during class, or at the end to gauge student understanding.

Go Soap Box has a “Confusion Barometer” allowing students to select if they understand or are confused on the topic.  This gives the teacher a clear view at the class as a whole.  Each event has it’s own Moderation Panel, allowing teachers to turn on/off a good amount of features.

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Another great feature is “Social Q & A”, which allows students to select what questions they have.  The teacher can then see most common questions from the class and address what they need to.

While scrolling through the Go Soap Box Twitter page, it appears that customer service with them is fantastic as well.

STEM Sheets: Online Resources For STEM Courses

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WHO: Teachers with courses including Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Math.

HOW: No need to sign up for an account on this site.  Simply go to http://stemsheets.com/, select which content area you are looking for, and browse around to see what is available.  Resources include Games, Customizable Worksheets, Graph Paper, and more.

WHEN: Teachers can use this site while planning lessons, or offer materials for extended learning.

No Red Ink: Grammar and Punctuation Practice

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WHO: Teachers looking to save on red pens and markers (just kidding). Teachers who are looking for digital practice for grammar, punctuation, and more.

HOW: Teachers sign up for an account, create a class, have students join class via code, and assign “diagnostic, practice, or quiz”.  There is a plethora of content for grades K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.  Students are able to identify pop culture icons that they are interested in, No Red Ink will then use those names in questions to help keep students interested.  When a student answers a question incorrectly, they are given a hint, another incorrect answer will give them a break down of their mistake.  After this tutorial, students will then be given another question to apply what they were just refreshed on.  Premium membership is also available here.

WHEN: This tool is great for in class, formative assessment, supplemental work, or differentiation. The assignments on No Red Ink are interactive and more engaging when compared to the same work on pen and paper.

PrepFactory: Engaging SAT/ACT Test Prep for Free!

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WHO: Teachers with SAT/ACT Prep Courses, Guidance Counselors, students, and parents looking for a way to make SAT/ACT Test Prep more enjoyable.

HOW: Simply sign up for an account, take the 10 second tour, and get started!

WHEN: This is a great option for SAT/ACT Test Prep courses, enrichment classes, free time, and study halls.

I visited http://www.prepfactory.com/, took the tour and immediately tried out the Word Play game.  The system will match you up with another person for a head-to-head matchup of test vocabulary.  The website also has videos and practice questions that change the scene from the regular pen and paper style practice.

Purpose Games: Engage Students With Digital Review Games

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WHO: Teachers looking to create and incorporate digital review games into their classrooms.

HOW: Teachers create an account on http://www.purposegames.com/, create games (Image Quiz – Dots, Image Quiz – Shapes, Matching Game, Multiple Choice Game), and direct students to play.  Games can be made public and shared with the online community, and there is also the option to have a tournament among your students.  Interactivity helps to engage students and repetition helps with facts memorization.

WHEN: This is a great option for additional repetition and as a review game before assessments.  The teacher could also have students create their own games as a way of demonstrating mastery of content.

Tutorial Video: Plickers – Tech Integration Formative Assessment Tool for the Low Tech Classroom

WHO: Teachers with limited access to technology in their classroom, but do have a smartphone.

HOW: Teachers create an account on plickers.com, print off plickers cards, create a class (add students), create questions and go!  The teacher will then open the Plickers App on their cell phone, select a class and question, then scan the room with their smart phone camera.  The app collects the data and automatically records it on the phone and computer.

WHEN: This tool is great for a quick poll or formative assessment.  Even if you have a classroom with 1:1 technology access, the students will enjoy this option as a change of pace.

Tutorial: Kahoot! Formative Assessment in a Game-Based Form

WHO: Teachers looking to engage their students in interactive formative assessments.

HOW: Teachers go to www.getkahoot.com, create an account, create an assessment, then start the game! The teachers then directs students to go to www.kahoot.it, enter in the game pin, and start playing.

WHEN: This tool is great at the end of a lesson to draw closure to the students and allow the teacher a quick snapshot to see which students understood the material, and who needs to revisit the lesson.

Kahoot! is an awesome tool to engage students in formative assessment.

 

MathTV – Videos for Flipping, Differentiation, or Extended Learning

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Who: Math teachers or tutors looking to help students understand math concepts.  The courses listed are: Basic Mathematics,
Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, High School and Homeschool.

How: Teachers or students simply visit mathtv.com.  There, they will be given a list of topics (or textbooks).  Then a list of problems will be listed in the middle.  Each problem has multiple videos from a variety of instructors.  Each instructor has their own style of teaching how to solve the problem.  This allows teachers and students to identify which style works best for them.

When: Teachers could use this tool for the flipped classroom model or offer it as a tool for extended learning.  Some of the videos allow the student to “read it” which shows notes.  They may also allow students to “explore it” which links to Wolfram Alpha to break down the question further.

This tool would be great for a 1:1 classroom to allow students the opportunity to see different approaches to problems.  The one downside is that the teacher is unable to embed the videos into their website.

This website is put together by XYZ Textbooks.

Website: http://www.mathtv.com/

6 Options To Make Sure Screen Time Is Learning Time This Summer

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1. Check with your school’s administration:

See if there are any summer enrichment programs hosted by the school or any they may recommend.

2. Curriculet’s Summer Reading Challenge:

USA TODAY and Curriculet have announced their 2015 National Summer Reading Challenge! Curriculet  and USA Today are challenging every student across the country to read at least 20 minutes every day over the summer. Students who don’t read over the summer can lose 2 months of school progress. This phenomenon is known as the summer slide.

Visit http://www.curriculet.com/blog/summer-reading/ for more details.

3. DIY.org Summer camps:

DIY.org offers 4 week long courses to students on a variety of topics that stimulate creativity and ingenuity.  First camp is only $10, after that the regular price is $39.  In order to participate a device with iOS 8.1 or later and a DIY Membership is required.

Visit https://diy.org/camps for more details.

4. Memrise courses:

Memrise functions on the Freemium model.  A premium account will give users a coach to help motive and guide, but the free account still allows users to complete courses.  There are many different options and many foreign languages that can be studied.

Visit https://www.memrise.com/ for more information.

5. IXL – Math and Language Arts

IXL offers family memberships at $9.95/month to help with Math and Language Arts skills practice.

Visit: https://www.ixl.com/ for more information.

6. Prodigy Math

Prodigy Math Game boasts that students who play for 1 minute at school in turn play 1.5 minutes at home.  Parents can set up home accounts for their student in grades 1-8.  Students will be engaged in the Prodigy Game while reinforcing math skills targeted at Common Core Standards.  Students can play for free and parents can access reports to see their child’s progress.  Premium version allows students to upgrade quicker, unlock more items, and a few other options.

Visit https://prodigygame.com/ for more information