Illuminations: Excellent Online Resources for Teaching PK-12 Math

Illuminations

Who: Teachers looking to integrate web-based technology into their mathematics classroom.

How: No account needed, visit the Illuminations website and look around!  This site is loaded with resources including: games, lesson plans, activities, brain teasers, and interactives.  All resources are aligned through NCTM PK-12 Math Standards and Common Core K-12 Math Standards.

When: Resources on this site are useful at any point in the lesson.  Teachers can use a brain teaser for a bell-ringer,  the lesson plans to help with the content, and even games/interactives for homework.

Websitehttp://illuminations.nctm.org/Default.aspx

Curriculet – Embedding Assessment Into Reading Assignments

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Who: Teachers looking to create interactive lessons with online books.

How: Teachers create an account on Curriculet, search for a book in the library, and assign readings to their classes. After adding a book to their library, the teacher can use “Available Curriculets” which are assessments that have already been created. Teacher have the option to edit those existing assessments, or create their own. To create an assessment in the writing, the teacher just holds down the mouse button to highlight a part of the text. After the text has been highlighted, the choice is given for: “Annotate”, “Add Question”, or “Add Quiz”. Annotate allows teachers to place in thinking points for students. Add question allows teachers to add in either multiple choice or open-ended questions. Quiz allows teachers to make a multiple question section for students to answer a series. These questions also have the option to be tagged to Common Core standards. Once an assessment has been made the teacher can assign it to their classes. Students will need to have an account created as well.

When students view the curriculet, they view a plain text version as like any eBook they may use. Throughout the text, they will see icons on the side where questions, annotations, and quizzes are located for them to take. Students can also hold down and select a difficult word to be given a definition.

When: Great for language arts classrooms! Use it for reading public domain books or the option to purchase/rent books is available. Teachers also have the option of creating curriculets from online news articles or uploaded files of their own. This is a great option for online news sources as the text is displayed in a clean format without advertisements and other distractions.  A short news article could be a great way to start class while the teacher takes attendance and does other necessary administrative tasks.

This tool is easy to use. In a matter of a few minutes, a teacher can have a lesson based off a classic book ready for students to view. The system tracks student progress and also records reading time. While it is nice to read aloud as a class and ask questions during class-time, this allows the teacher to see where each student is at with key parts of the text.

Websitehttps://www.curriculet.com/

Below is an introductory video from Curriculet:

 

*Special thanks to www.wickedgoodtech.net for sharing this tool on their page.  Great resources are there for teachers!  I found out about the page at EdCamp Ohio.  I highly recommend checking out an Ed Camp if there is one in your area!  For more information on Ed Camps, check out http://edcamp.org/

EdPuzzle – Make Any Video Your Lesson

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Who: Teachers looking to create blended or flipped lessons.

How: Teachers create an account on edpuzzle.com. Teachers then create lessons with questions, voice, and notes in the video itself.  Videos can come from a variety of streaming video websites.  Teachers can add multiple choice, extended response, or just have a comment at any point in the video.  To distribute, the teacher can create classes with student accounts or share a link or use the embed code to post it to the web.  When assigning a video to a class, teachers have the options to disable skipping ahead.

When: Useful options include blended/flipped lessons, snow day work, etc. Another great use is as a bell-ringer while the teacher takes attendance.

This tool is easy to use.  In a matter of a few minutes, a teacher can have a lesson based off a youtube video ready for students to view.  The system makes it easy to get to the embed code for teachers to add the lesson to their LMS of choice.  Below is a lesson I made off of a video made by Calvert Catholic Schools.

Website: http://www.edpuzzle.com

Formative – Interactive Formative Assessments w/ live results

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Who: Teachers looking for interactive, live results from formative questions given to the classroom.

How: Teachers create an account on www.goformative.com, add questions, and assign to the class to respond. Teachers can add classes, students can create accounts, or students can just put in their name to answer. Formative has pre-made questions that are great for exit tickets. Teachers select the question and give the students the “quick code”. Students open a web browser, go to the Formative website and enter the code in the top right corner. Students are given a text box for written answers, or a whiteboard for questions that they may need to draw something for. This is a great feature for Math teachers! The teacher can select “Live Results” and watch as all the students logged in answer the questions. This system looks similar to Google Drive, but the teacher is able to see ALL responses as they come in. As the answers come in, the teacher can give a grade using a sliding scale and also give short comments back to the student.

Teachers have the option to upload existing assignments in .pdf or .doc format to goformative.com

When: This tool is great for formative assessment, as the brand name suggests. Use it as an exit ticket, quick comprehension check, or as a back channel discussion.

There are many tools out there that allow the teacher to do quick checks of comprehension. This tool is the first I have encountered that allows the teacher to see live results as they are written. This is great for math teachers in particular. While Students draw and work out the problems, teachers can stop incorrect procedure at the beginning. This is beneficial and time saving as the student no longer has to wait to turn in an assignment before getting feedback.

 

Here is a demonstration from the folks at GoFormative.com

Arcade Game Generator – ClassTools.net

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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!

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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!

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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/

Plickers – paper based clickers!

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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

Socrative – Many options for quick informal assessment

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Who: Teachers looking to incorporate interactive informal formative assessment

How: Teachers are assigned a classroom number after creating an account. Students are then instructed to log in to their specific room on any web connected device.

When: Bell ringer, Exit ticket, or quick check on comprehension

Socrative can be used on any web connected device. There is an app made for the iPads or it can be used through a web browser on laptops.

The teacher creates a quiz/activity from a variety of styles including:

Mutliple Choice – Ask a MC question and display results

True/False – Ask a T/F Question and display results

Short Answer – Open-ended questions, display responses

Start Quiz – Run a quiz made prior to class time

Exit Ticket – Get an end-of-class pulse-check

Space Race – Run a quiz as a game

Each of these options are easy to create, but you will need to budget 10-15 minutes to create quizzes before class time. Quizzes are saved in the system so you can reuse and modify at a later date.  You can also create quick one question activities to check on how students are progressing through a lesson.

Kahoot! Engaging interactive informal formative assessments

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Who: Teachers looking for interactive informal assessments and ways to engage students.

How: Students need web-connected devices

When: Bell Ringer, Exit Ticket, Quick checkup.

Grade-level: K-12

Kahoot! is a free online resource for creating quizzes, discussions, and surveys. Students log into a classroom and answer the questions that the teacher asks.  Using a multiple choice style question, the students select their response.  Correct answers receive “Kahoots!” and the quicker the student answers, the more “Kahoots!” they receive.  It runs much like the trivia games you see in some restaurants such as BW’s.  The students love to compete with each other and it adds an element of fun to assessing student learning.

Sign up for your free account and start building quizzes today!  https://getkahoot.com/