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Showing posts from 2015

Google Chrome Add On: Speak It

Do you have students who need text read to them? If so, there is a Google Add On that can be found in the Chrome Web Store called SpeakIt!. 

SpeakIt! allows a student to highlight text while on the Internet and have it read to them. This is a great tool for students who have difficulty with reading comprehension, who may be slow readers, or students who have dyslexia. This tool is a quick way for your student to help themselves instead of waiting on someone else to solve the problem, or worse yet, don't complete an assignment due to their reading difficulty.

If you are a Google school or if your students have a personal Google account, they can use this Add On. 

Watch the instructional video to learn how to add this to Google Chrome.

The Art of Reflection

As many of you have begun to try new and creative ways to engage your students with your curriculum by using technology, I wanted to offer encouragement. There will be times when lessons fail: because the technology doesn’t work, because the lesson wasn’t completely thought out, because the idea was good, but the execution left something to be desired. Whatever the case may be, when you are being creative and takings risks, failure will happen. Robert F. Kennedy said “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”. He wasn’t saying we should embrace failure, rather embrace the purpose of failure, which is to learn from it.

I came across a three part article written by Michal Eynon-Lynch, the second of which is titled, “Failing Toward Success”. In this article, she address how as educators, we should respond to students work, especially when they do not reach the standard set. However, I also think the article relates to how we should respond to our own teaching methods …

NASA Challenges Students to Design 3-D Space Containers

I discovered yesterday, that NASA is having a container design contest for students age 5 to 19. I have introduced the contest to my students and shared the information with a few others. I am including a link here for anyone who would like more information.

NASA Challenges Students to Design 3-D Space Containers

In my class, students will be using SketchUp Pro to create their 3-D drawings. We have just started using this software at my school and the students really seem to enjoy it. I will be working with the math and science teachers in the Fall of 2015 to implement 3-D drawings in their classes. I can't wait to see what we can create!

As a public school, the company provided us the software free of charge. There was some paperwork to fill out but it was a simple process.

So far, the students have created houses, golf courses, tanks, and boats.

For more information about SketchUp Pro, simply click here. 

Online Discussion Boards in Math

I like to talk ideas out; it helps me gain a better understanding of what it is I know and what it is I don’t know. Also, when others express their ideas, I am able to learn  and approach an idea from another point of view. When students discuss their ideas and explain their reasoning, they gain insights into their own thinking. Also, by hearing a peers explanation of a topic can increase understanding. I may not fully understand the way a teacher explains a concept with academic language but a peers language may make complete sense to me.

Class time is a very limited commodity. One way to include class discussions in your math class is with digital discussion boards. The use of digital discussion boards has many benefits. First, it gives every student in the classroom a voice. Second, student misconceptions can be identified and addressed more quickly as well as allowing students the opportunity to evaluate others’ mathematical thinking. Third, all students are held accountable for t…