Qball – The Throwable Microphone

Qball - The Throwable Microphone

WHO: Teachers that are looking for an exciting way to engage their students in the classroom.

HOW: Set up on the Qball is very easy.

First, plug in the receiver to a power outlet.

Plug receiver into speakers

Turn on the receiver (hold button for three seconds)

Turn on microphone (hold button for three seconds)

Microphone will flash while it syncs with receiver, when the light goes solid, you are all set.

Insert the microphone into the Qball.

Make sure the volume on the speakers is up, and start the fun!

WHEN: The Qball is great for question and answer sessions, reading aloud, review games, and much more!

I have featured the Qball on this site before, but now that I actually have one, I can tell you that students love to use it!  I walked into one classroom with it and overheard a student say “Oh, it’s the magic ball!”. The Qball captures students’ attention and engages pupils that want to answer and participate in the classroom.  It is durable, easy to use, and eye catching. Students not only benefit from being able to hear the teacher better, but they can also hear their classmates responses loud and clear through the classroom speakers.  The Qball has a sensor in it that shuts off the microphone while it is flying in the air, to prevent a loud whoosh sound every time it is tossed (and not blow out your speakers).  If you will be at OETC, be sure to stop by their booth to learn more! To order one, head over to http://peeq.us/

Bloomz: Fantastic App to Communicate with Parents

WHO: Teachers looking for an engaging way to interact and communicate with parents, while sharing information in a private and secure setting.

HOW: Teachers create an account and set up a classroom. Next step is to invite the parents.  This can be done via e-mail or printing invitations to be sent home.  Parents can create an account online, or download the app on their phone to get started.

Once in Bloomz, teachers have a plethora of options to update their parents.  Some useful examples include adding pictures to share from the class, adding calendar events, sending reminders, creating a volunteer sign-up, and scheduling parent-teacher conferences.

WHEN: Bloomz is a great addition to a classroom at all times.  Teachers can capture special moments in class and upload for the parents to see.  It is great when teachers need help with purchasing materials or bringing supplies in for an event.

 

Here is what one Grade 2 enjoys about using Bloomz in her class:

EASY to add a post, reminder, calendar event, picture, etc
QUICK just a couple clicks
PRIVATE because it is Secure for just your group, and private messaging is also available if you want to talk with an individual parent
FUN because I want to add and share pics and the parents love it too
FAMILIAR because it reminds you of “facebook” with the layout, and you can even “like” and “comment” like FB
KEEPING TRACK is easy because you can see exactly who viewed your post.  Parents can’t say they didn’t get the message!
Parents have really enjoyed it for a lot of these same reasons.  I even have a grandparent that is on because she wants to help and volunteer and wants to be able to see when events are coming up.

Wheel Decide: Spin the Wheel to Pick a Random Topic

Wheel Decide - Spin the Wheel to Pick a Student, Topic, or group
Wheel Decide – Spin the wheel to pick a random answer, person, or topic

WHO: Teachers looking for a fun and fair way to let students pick topics at random for class work.

HOW: Visit  http://wheeldecide.com/, click to modify the wheel, add topics, give the wheel a title, and pick advanced options. Choices can removed after they have been landed on, color scheme can be changed, seconds to spin, and more.

WHEN: Wheel Decide is great to have student pick topics for presentations and projects. Teachers could also use it to pick topics for review games in class.  Another option would be to randomly call on students during class time. Wheel Decide is also very useful to studying vocabulary or even assigning teams. After creating a wheel, teachers can copy the embed code to their classroom LMS or website.

Below is a wheel for countries involved in World War II.

 

BreakoutEdu Digital – Engaging Digital Activities

WHO: Teachers looking for an engaging activity to build skills including critical thinking, problem solving, team work, persistence, patience, internet research and more!

HOW:  I tried activities with grades 7-8 on laptops, and grades 5-6 on iPads.  While we were in a 1:1 environment utilizing small groups, these could be done in groups of 3-5 students with one device or as an entire class together.

Visit http://www.breakoutedu.com/digital, I suggest starting with “Og’s Great Adventure” for yourself.  This will help you understand what the students will be looking for.  In both of the events I helped with, the students worked on “San Diego Vacation“.

During these events, locks will be listed on the left hand side. These locks could be words, numbers, directions, colors, etc..  Students need to search on the screen for links.  Many will be hidden and users need to pick up on subtle clues to find where to click.  These will take you to clues, hints, puzzles, or riddles. These answers could be the locks, or could give you something to search for in order to unlock the code.

WHEN: Breakouts are great activities for team building and can be used to leave lasting memories with your students here at the end of the day. The students I worked with were deeply engaged, focused for the entire time, and had huge smiles on their faces, even when they were frustrated.  The best part is being around the students when they have the “a-ha” moment of solving a lock on their own.

FlipQuiz: Online Review Gameshow

WHO: Teachers looking for an easier way to make gameshow style review games in the classroom.

HOW: Sign up for an account at http://flipquiz.me/, then either start creating your own board, or search for the topic you are covering.  After creating an account, the user can choose between the free version or the paid version.  Upgrading allows the user to copy other boards, have the game keep score (must do this manually with free account), upload images, create flashcards for students, and more.

WHEN: FlipQuiz is a great option for weekly/semesterly review.  Students enjoy playing gameshows, working in teams, and competing with each other. FlipQuiz makes this process much easier, and is saved online for future use.

Mission US: Immersive Games for U.S.A. History

WHO: Teachers and students looking for a way to bring US History to life.

HOW: Students need a computer (I haven’t tried it out on an iPad at the time of writing this post), an internet connection, and register for an account.

WHEN: Mission US is a great option to use in class or to have students play at home.  Currently there are four options to choose from.

Mission 1: For Crown or Colony, set in 1770 as a 14-year-old in Boston.

Mission 2: Flight to Freedom, set in 1848 as a 14-year-old enslaved in Kentucky

Mission 3: A Cheyenne Odyssey, set in 1866 as a Northern Cheyenne boy.

Mission 4: City of Immigrants, set in 1907 as a Jewish 14-year-old from Russia.

Front Row: Adaptive Math and ELA Practice

WHO: Teachers looking for skills practice for students K-8 in Math and English – Language Arts.

HOW: Teachers create an account of their own, add in classes and rosters, then direct students to log in.  When creating accounts, teachers can identify if students are primarily English or Spanish speakers.  Upon logging in and trying different domains, students will start with a diagnostic test.  Front Row is adaptive, so it adjusts to the students level.  This allows students to focus on what they need to learn first, in order to build upon previous skills to grow.  There are over 20,000 questions aligned to Common Core State Standards, and when students need help, there are videos to help guide along.  On the ELA side, the main focus appears to be comprehension, and the articles provided can be adjusted to a variety of grade levels.  Front Row provides teachers with great data in order to drive instruction.  Tracking mastery of content through standards are laid out in the reporting tool.  Front Row also works science and social studies into the questions allowing for cross-curricular connections.

WHEN: Front Row is great for independent practice or as an exit ticket option at the end of class.  Teachers may also find Front Row useful to assign as homework.  Front Row is a great tool to allow for parent involvement in the educational process. Printable instructions for creating parent accounts connected to students are a simple click away for teachers.

 

Here is an introductory video from Front Row:

Quick Start Video Tutorial: Quizizz – Engaging Digital Formative Assessment

quizizz

Original post regarding Quizizz was created on February 3, 2016.  View it here.

WHO: Teachers that are looking to move away from worksheets and paper based exit tickets.

HOW: Sign up for an account on Quizizz and get started!

WHEN: Quizizz is great for formative assessment, engaging closure to lessons, or even as homework.

Here is a tutorial video to get started with Quizizz in your classroom:

Quizizz: Engaging, Entertaining, And Competitive Formative Assessment

quizizz

WHO: Teachers in 1:1 or BYOD classrooms that are looking for formative assessment that captures students attention.

HOW: Teachers sign up for an account at http://www.quizizz.com/, choose a public quiz, or create their own, and begin!  When creating a quiz, teachers can search the public bank for quizzes and copy individual questions over to their own.  The quizzes can also have media embedded to base questions on. Each question can have up to four potential answers.  After a teacher starts a quiz, they direct their students to open a browser and go to http://quizizz.com/join/.  The students will then enter the teachers quiz code, enter their name (they will be given an avatar), and wait for the quiz to begin.  Once all of the students have entered the room, the teacher begins the quiz.  Students are able to see both question and answer on their screen instead of looking back and forth between device and projector.  Each correct answer gives the student points, and quicker answers net higher point values. After answering a question, the screen displays a humorous meme to let them know if they were correct.   At the end of the quiz, the students are given their rank for that particular assessment.  Teachers are given a graph with student scores and an option to download the results in a spreadsheet.

WHEN: Quizizz is a great formative assessment tool.  It could be used at the beginning or end of a class, or as a weekly checkup.  Teachers could also have students create their own quizzes as a way of demonstrating mastery of content.