Post #4 Featured Five
Welcome to #4 blog posting. The purpose of this blog is to highlight apps and/or websites that can be used to enhance teaching and/or student learning. This week features a math app/program for middle school through college age, a science simulation/competition, ideas for online learning activities, 53 possible formative assessment techniques, and ideas to motivate students to write during the summer vacation.
For each entry, I will answer the following questions:
- What is the app or website?
- Who is/are the primary users?
- How can it be used in the lesson? Or, how could it be used as professional development?
Sometimes, I will also include a tutorial to show you how to use the app or website. This may be a YouTube video, a pdf handout, or a screencast that I have created. I want this blog to be as user-friendly as possible. I know teachers do not have a lot of time to learn new technology and use it to create new lessons.
Finally, I encourage feedback. Please let me know if and how you use the featured apps or sites. It is only through continued conversation that we can try to keep up with the ever-changing world of education. Also, if you have any websites or apps that you would like for me to investigate, find, or create tutorials please let me know.
1 Geogebra (Created by Judith and Markus Hohenwarter, this is available as an app for iPad or Android tablets, website, and soon will be available as app for Android and iPhones. It is also possible to download the program to your computer. Help and materials can be found in many languages. Many videos are located on the Geogebra YouTube Channel)
This video (by Andrew Martin) provides a basic overview of the Geogebra program/app:
What: An open source software for teaching and learning math. The user interface has the following views:
- Algebra view
- Graphics view
- Spreadsheet view
- CAS view
- 3D graphics view
- Probability calculator view
Each view has:
- Predefined functions and operators
- Materials (Teacher created worksheets)
- Books (Teacher created presentations/demonstrations)
- Forum (Ongoing discussions about new ideas, troubleshooting issues, ect.)
- Tutorials and Materials for experts
Who: Teachers and students (Middle school through college)
- Class presentation/introduction of material
- Small group
- In class formative assessment
- One-on-one help
- Check for understanding
- Visual aid
1. For Web and Tablets:
2. For Desktop:
2 ECybermission (Student competition in science for 6th thru 9th grade students)
Instructions on how to get started:
What: Students choose a Mission Challenge and must complete the Mission Folder. Registration begins in Early August and students have until April to finish the activities in the Mission Folder. The possible topics (Mission Folders) to explore include:
Food, Health, and Fitness
Forces and Motion
National Security and Safety
Who: Students must be in 6th thru 9th grades. They register in groups of 3 or 4. All team members must be in the same grade and must live in the same state.
How: You could choose to do this with all your students or make it an enrichment program for Honors students. Some highly motivated students could actually enter on their own. See the Introduction on how to get started above for more
Example of 6th Grade student project:
3 Possible Learning Activities for an Online Course:
What: Graphic that displays possible activities for the following areas:
Who: Teachers (of online and flipped courses) of middle school through college classes
1. Online instructors:
- Use the online tools in the LMS for these activities
2. Face-to-face instructors:
- Flipped lessons
- Assignments (These activities require higher order thinking skills)
4 “Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding ” (Post from Edutopia blog by Todd Finley that gives 53 alternative formative assessments.)
What: 53 ways to check for understanding. They are considered alternative assessments because they are not traditional quizzes. The purposes of the formative assessments are:
- Identify learning needs
- Adjust teaching accordingly
- Identify students’ strengths
- Identify learning gaps
Who: Used by teachers of all levels
How: These assessments can be used at various times during a course/or even at times during a class period to make sure students are understanding the content. Others might be used as an alternative summative assessments as well. The National Language Resource Center has made the following recommendations for using alternative formative and summative assessments:
- Integrate gradually
- Walk students through the rubrics (assessment tools) and discuss expectations
- Introduce students to self-evaluation
- Teach students how to thoughtfully give each other feedback for peer-response
5 “How to Motivate Students to Write During Summer” (Post by Janelle Cox on TeachHub.com: K-12 News, Lessons, & Shared Resources by Teachers, For Teachers.)
What: Ideas for encouraging students to write during the summer vacation, including:
- Summer writing journal
- Favorite summer activity
- Describe your ideal picnic
- How would you spend your summer without technology?
- Describe your new invention
- Where would you like to travel and why?
- Summer blog
- Write daily posts
- Pose questions to classmates
- Writing bingo game
- Write your own story
1. ELA teachers for K-9 students
2. World language teachers
3. Special education teachers of all ages
1. Students decorate their journal covers before leaving for summer vacation.
2. Teachers prepare summer learning packet filled with ideas for writing. These are sent home with students.
3. Students are asked to bring writings to their teacher in the fall.