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Digital Citizenship Lesson Flow: Helping Kids Communicate with Teachers

Devices in the Classroom, Part 4

If we want to prepare students to be college and career ready, we have a lot of bases to cover. This includes giving students the tools and experience they need in order to be successful in the real world. Teaching students how to communicate effectively and appropriately with a variety of audiences is an essential skill.  Recently, the popular communication tool Remind added a feature that lets teachers accept messages from students and their parents (previously, Remind only offered one-way messaging, from teachers to students/parents). Remind Chat has security and safety features, so teachers and stakeholders feel comfortable while opening the door to increased communication throughout the school day. One reason I'm so exci....read more


EdTech Essentials: March 2015

Out of all the classroom tools our editorial staff reviewed in March 2015, these scored highly and stood out from the pack. They span subjects, grades, and platforms, and each offers innovative experiences that challenge learners to think in new ways.             Counting Kingdom: "Magical math game teaches addition, boosts problem-solving skills" Grades: K-3; Platforms: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; Price: $2.99   Plum's Photo Hunt: "Photo-finding missions get kids out to explore and enjoy their world" Grades: 1-4; Platforms: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; Price: Free   Listen Current: "Bring real-world storie....read more


7 Math Tools to Energize Advanced Learners

Advanced learners have a high level of curiosity about objects, ideas, situations, events -- everything! They're naturally motivated to learn. In the context of math, advanced learners crave a challenge. Once they've mastered one concept, they're instantly thinking about what’s up next. It can be difficult to satiate these math whizzes, who may disengage when they feel they’re not being challenged. To avoid this, try some of the resources on our list of the best math tools for advanced learners. Our list includes adaptive learning programs as well as games, graphing tools, and websites about the human side of math. DreamBox Learning Math and TenMarks are two great adaptive learning programs designed....read more


5 Ways Evernote Transformed Running Records in My Classroom

How tech made this commonly used reading assessment faster and easier.

I've never enjoyed the thought of giving up a week of instruction to complete reading running records. A running record, if you don't know, is an assessment tool for a student's reading progress and skills. For me, the thought of listening to the same passage over and over and trying to remember the precise symbol to mark used to send me into a panic. Would I hear them correctly? And what would the rest of the class be engaged in so I could actually listen and concentrate on what the student in front of me was reading? Then, a presenter at a technology workshop introduced a general idea for using Evernote. The presenter suggested using Evernote to record students reading instead of listening to them read d....read more


Webinar Spotlight: Fostering Meaningful Youth Dialogue in Digital Spaces

Educators want young people to participate in digital spaces in order to collaborate, communicate, share their voices, and learn from others. But digital spaces open up the potential for trivial or even uncivil and hateful exchanges. How can we encourage young people to have meaningful dialogue online?  In February, we welcomed Chris Sloan, high school teacher and PhD candidate at Michigan State University, who shared how to foster civil, meaningful, and respectful dialogue among young people in digital spaces. He discussed specific techniques such as "conversation moves" and thinking routines to support positive online dialogue, with a focus on middle and high school students. He showed examp....read more


20 Transformational Formative Assessment Tools

Formative assessment may not be new, but since technology came into the picture, it feels significantly renewed. With the increase in BYOD and 1-to-1 programs, the edtech market is abuzz with student response tools, online collaboration platforms, and other resources that gauge student understanding and foster collaboration. There are many to choose from -- but which is the best for your classroom? This week, we’re highlighting 20 tools that can help answer this question. If your classroom could benefit from more online communication, check out Collaborize Classroom or Today’s Meet. These social media-like platforms are great for extending classroom discussions and providing more thinking time fo....read more


Math Success for All

Use technology to customize learning in math centers.

At any one time, we, as educators, have many demands placed on our plates. Some we solve easily, and some we just can’t fix. We torture ourselves each day trying to make something work that isn’t working. Math can be a challenge to teach to a whole group. You can never meet the needs of all with one lesson. Here’s a solution to your math struggles: math centers. Now wait, before you stop reading -- consider the benefits of using math centers: All your students are engaged All your students feel success All your students are working at their skill level The steps to starting math centers are simple, but they require thoughtful planning. Assessment: Assess ....read more


Tips and Tricks for Managing Devices in the Classroom

Devices in the Classroom, Part 3

From seating charts to taking turns to supply bins, classroom management encompasses the rules, routines, and procedures that encourage a positive classroom culture. And now devices -- fancy, expensive devices -- are being added to the mix. With New York City's lift of its school cell phone ban, there's a renewed buzz about device management, not only at the district level, but also within individual schools and classrooms. As teachers know, setting and communicating clear expectations is half the battle! A successful approach is for schools to fold technology use into their existing missions and codes of conduct. While this landscape and the devices might be new, the behaviors around safe, responsible, and respectful use are ....read more


12 Math Apps, Games, and Sites Backed by Research

The number of apps, games, and websites dedicated to teaching math seems to be growing by the minute. But finding high-quality tools -- those backed by research on their effectiveness -- can feel much like finding a needle in a haystack. This week, we’ve found 12 of those needles.  To build a strong foundation in basic math concepts, younger kids can benefit from Curiosityville and Teachley: Addimal Adventure. These two tools focus on strategy, problem-solving, reasoning, and introductory topics like number sense and basic operations. For kids a little older, they’ll latch on to Flocabulary and BrainPOP's math lessons, which feature clever hip-hop songs and animated videos, respectively. And for t....read more


Peek Inside a Flipped Math Classroom

Hopes, fears, and trying new things

I’ve been toying with the idea of flipping my math class for a while now, and this summer, I took the plunge, planning out how to make it work. I had high hopes it would, as well as some fears, but I’m so glad I was willing to try new things. I want to share with you what I’ve done and what I’ve learned. My research and planning revolved around three questions. Here are my results. 1. Where would I get the resources to use for the video? If I'm going to have my students watch videos for homework, I need to make sure the videos are high quality and cover the specific concepts I need. I was pleasantly surprised with our district’s new math curriculum, envisionMath, which includes a short video fo....read more


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