Thursday, December 8, 2011

Catching Up

I have a lot to catch up on. Here's a cool feature of the iPad.  I typed up the bulk of this post on the plane flying from Philly back home.  I typed it in Notes and transferred it to Blogger when I got home and could use the Internet again.  Sure, you can do this on a laptop too, but using an iPad in public just feels cool.

On to the post...

I recently posted about WebQuests, and I wasn't impressed.  I found another quest on pioneer colonial life which was a ton better.  It was quick and easy and informative...but not exhaustive.  One problem.  In order to advance to the next level you had to answer yes or no.  That meant that in theory very little reading had to be done.  Make a guess. If you're wrong, no big deal, pick the other choice. So, I'd like to think that my students read every bit of the quest, but let's be realistic.  I didn't. Maybe for next year I can find something in the middle.  Till then, my faith in WebQuests is not entirely dashed forever.  Here's the link I used.  It even worked well on the iPads.

My kids love QR codes.  I use them in lessons now, and you would think I just gave them ponies for Christmas.  Attached below is one QR code I used to introduce an activity.  It will take you to a video of me introducing the activity.  My wife refused to watch since I didn't look happy.  Oops! I'll plaster on the smile next time.

You'll notice I used Vimeo not YouTube.  Why?  Ease of access in school.  Our school doesn't block YouTube, but it is quirky.  Vimeo was easier for me.

I'm struggling for a math app on a sixth grade level.  I find apps on blogs and download them.  However, they either seem to drill and practice facts below them or hit topics above their heads.  Do you have ideas?  I think I'm going to download a massive amount of math apps and give the kids a solid hour to explore and find their favorites.  From there I can come up with a plan for the future.  I welcome your input if you have something good for me.

My fifth graders tried Toomtastic for the first time a little while ago.  The response was overwhelmingly  good. they only had 8 minutes so they didn't produce anything to get giddy over, but I plan to have a Toontastic week soon. What I figure is that I'll give them time to plan, then to draw, then to animate.  One complaint kids had was that they had a hard time recording their voices in a loud room.  We'll have to have a "recording studio" room set aside for making that aspect of the production. More when that happens.

Thanks for reading.  If there is a topic you want me to hit, let me know.  I'll see what I can do.

1 comment:

  1. Checkout MathBoard as an iPad app that is very adjustable.

    You can show students how to change the settings to make the problems harder or easier.