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.

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.

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:

Triventy: Interactive Quizzes For Classroom Or Events

Triventy

WHO: Teachers looking to engage students with classroom content in an interactive and engaging atmosphere.

HOW: Create an account at http://www.triventy.com/, create a quiz, and play with students.  While making a quiz, the teacher can add a quiz image as well as individual question images.  Teachers also have options for how long each question is given (5-60 seconds), making the quiz public, posting top 3 players during game, and sharing via social media after quiz completion. When making questions, teachers can invite others to create the quiz with them (great for student collaboration), and enter hints and “Did you know…” facts. Teachers can also make a question a “survey question” for in class polling.

WHEN: Triventy is a good option to end class for the day or week.  Students will be engaged during the quiz and enjoy competing against their classmates.

 

The downside to Triventy is that it does not collect quiz results for the teacher to use later.  This could be a great formative assessment tool if this feature were added.  It is not the perfect tool for class, but it is a fun change of pace.

Code Combat: Learn Coding While Playing A Game

codecombat

WHO: Teachers looking for a way to engage students in learning how to write code.

HOW: Students can sign up and start playing on their own, or a teacher can set up a class with student accounts and track progress. Code Combat teaches students to actually type code, the next step after the drag-and-drop blocks you see on most websites to teach code. Code Combat teaches students can choose from the following languages:

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 2.29.33 AM

WHEN: This is a great activity to kick off the Hour of Code December 7-13, an enrichment course, or a full computer science course.

Class Compete – Game Based Assessment

classcompete

WHO: Teachers looking to help ease students who suffer from test anxiety.

HOW: Teachers create an account, create a class, and have students sign up via class code.  Teachers then assign challenges to their classes.  Students take these challenges and compete against each other.  Questions are put into a game, correct answers give students a boost.

WHEN: This is a great tool for test prep, extended lessons, and extra practice.

Some students need a game based environment in order to be engaged in the content.  Class Compete also captures students attention by allowing them to customize their characters.

 

Here is an introduction to the teacher’s dashboard:

And here is a demonstration of the student view:

SumDog: Interactive, Engaging, Competitive Math Games To Master Common Core Standards

sumdoglogo

WHO: Teachers looking for a way to engage students in practicing math.

HOW: Sumdog can be used independently by students.  However, teachers can also create an account, class, and view student progress.  Students are able to compete in a variety of games that allow them the practice they need to strengthen their math skills.  Students also are rewarded with coins that can be used to purchase “pets”.  Click here to learn more about how Sumdog builds these math skills.

WHEN: Sumdog would be great for enrichment, after a lesson, or at-home practice.

Sumdog uses the “Freemium” model, while they do offer many great tools and games for free, you will want to take a look at their pricing page to see what else is available.

WEO: Digital Assignments With A Social Media Feel!

WEO

WHO: Teachers looking for digital activities in the classroom.

HOW: Sign up for an account on https://www.weo.io/, create a class, add students (or they can add themselves via class code). Teachers can either create activities/assessments on their own, or search what other teachers have created.  Lessons that are Common Core aligned are easy to search for.  When creating activities, teachers can add a variety of items:

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 1.20.50 PM

To find activities made by other teachers, just simply click on the search icon in the corner, and type in the topic you are covering.  Teachers can create boards, “pin” activities to save for later, or assign to a class.

WHEN: Teachers could use WEO as a Bell Ringer/Exit Ticket, Formative/Summative Assessment, or for an entire lesson.  Teachers can be up and running with their first activity in a matter of minutes.

Quick introduction from WEO:

All Can Code – Run Marco: Engaging Activity Teaches Coding To Anyone

All Can Code Run Marco

WHO: Teachers, parents, and students interested in learning the basics of coding.

HOW: Simply go to https://www.allcancode.com/, click on Play Demo, and get started! It is also available on iOS, Android, Chrome Web Store, and Kindle Fire.  All Can Code is also working on a comprehensive system that will allow schools to create their own levels, publish to students, and assess performance.

WHEN: This is great for technology classes looking to teach students the basics of coding.  It will help students develop the skill set to solve problems logically, as well as teaching algorithms, loops, etc.

When I started to play the game myself, I found that before I knew it, I was playing level 10, counting steps, and fully engaged on how to solve the task at hand.  Head on over to https://www.allcancode.com/ and give it a try yourself!