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

Class Dojo: Engaging Positive Classroom Management

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Who: Teachers looking for an interactive and engaging avenue for classroom management.

How: Teachers create classes and student accounts.  Students can create their own avatars and earn points.  Teachers can use their computer or a smartphone to address student behavior in the classroom.  Students will recognize the positive point and negative point sounds over time.  Students will strive for positive behavior to gain points and badges.

When: Teachers can use Class Dojo throughout the entire day.  The addition of the app allows teachers to address behaviors while escorting their class through the hallway, or outside at recess.  Class Dojo takes the classic behavior scale on the wall and digitizes it.  Teachers can also use the program for parent communication.  Another option many teachers do is reward the class when they reach a certain point total.

Class Dojo is a great tool for teachers at all grade levels.  While the avatars may seem geared towards younger ages, older students will enjoy the “game-like” atmosphere this adds to the classroom.

Introduction video from Class Dojo:

Curriculet Announces 2015 Summer Reading Challenge

View the entire description by Curriculet here

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Announcing the 2015 National Summer Reading Challenge from USA TODAY and Curriculet! We’re 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.

USA TODAY and Curriculet have partnered to provide a free, turnkey summer reading program that motivates students to read while giving teachers, administrators, and parents a way to encourage and monitor student reading. The 2015 National Summer Reading Challenge is not your typical summer reading program. It’s engaging and fun for all students; and it beautifully enhances your existing program with engaging access to informational texts.

For more information, visit Curriculet’s site by clicking here.

Memrise – Engaging courses for students and teachers.

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Who: Teachers and students looking to extend learning and supplement classroom content.

How: Memrise uses the freemium model.  Teachers and students can sign up for a free account in which they can log in and take courses.  The courses also feature “mems”.  These are visual clues created by users to help remember answers.  There are many different courses available, including basic languages, GRE vocabulary, and SAT/ACT vocabulary.  The premium version ($9/month or $59/year at the time of this post) gives the user data to help with focus, best times, and difficult words.

Teachers can also create groups to utilize their free multimedia flashcard game.

When: This would work great as supplemental material for classroom assignments.  Memrise would also function well as a booster for students in need of extra help.  Memrise would also be great for extended lessons for students who would like to work ahead. This would also work really well for students and parents that are looking to continue learning throughout summer break-time.

About Memrise:  Memrise was created around three principles: Science, Fun, and Community.  The founders of the website are experts in “Brain Science”.  The program engages the user with quizzes that make them feel like you are playing a game.

Websitehttps://www.memrise.com/

After trying out the course in German (a language I studied years ago in high school), I found myself engaged and wanting to do more.  At this point I decided to try a course I knew nothing about, the Korean Alphabet.  In less than 5 minutes, I found myself engulfed in learning a new language, even if it were simply the alphabet.

This program is great as schools are heading into summer break and would be something to recommend to your students.

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/

#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

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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