#TechTakeout Goes to Donahoe

Today at Donahoe we focused on different math skills and had A BLAST! Stephanie Wright, the ITRT at Donahoe, met with the Title I math teacher to see which areas were in most need for 4th grade math. The Tech Takeout crew headed over to Donahoe to work on comparing numbers, rounding, graphing, fractions, and other great math concepts.

Stephanie kicked off the lesson with a Kahoot to get everyone’s math mind going! Kahoot is a great tool that teachers can easily integrate into their lessons because not only are Kahoots simple to make, but there are also a TON of teacher made Kahoots available to use!

Mr. Caratachea and Mrs. Green gave their groups a Google Slide template to compare numbers. They used a random number generator to choose two numbers to compare. Then the students used the snipping tool to take a snip of their numbers and put them on a slide. To show the inequalities the students took pictures within Google Slides using their arms to show which number was greaterl. Finally the students added some personalization to their slideshow with background colors and animations. The students did an amazing job!!

Mrs. Hues & Mrs. Robinson had their students make a copy of “On Target With Decimals” in Google Slides. Students logged into Google and made a copy of the presentation so they could edit it the slides to demonstrate their understanding of place value, rounding, comparing and ordering, and adding and subtracting decimals. The students were excited to see pictures of actual items on the shelves at Target!

Jim Covais and Julie Smith had their group use Scratch to program a sprite to move across a number line of decimals between 0 and 1. Students created their own background in which they had to generate their own number line with the drawing tools and divide it into fractional parts. They also were given a decimal card in which they had to correctly identify their decimal’s location on their number line and mark it with a hash mark. Students used the coding blocks to make their sprite move to different parts of the number line in which a recording of their voice saying the decimal’s name was included. Furthermore, students got practice typing the word form of their decimals into the speech bubble that they programmed to pop up. If you are interested in carrying out this same lesson with your students then click {HERE} for the step by step directions.

Check out these student examples:

Ms. Wright used the online collaborative tool, Padlet, to compare fractions! Students picked fractions that were prepared ahead of time and then went to http://www.abcya.com/fraction_percent_decimal_tiles.htm to work with digital manipulative fraction tiles. The students ordered the fractions so that they were easily compared. Once the students had everything in order they took a screenshot using the snipping tool and went to Padlet. Each student posted their fractions to share with their classmates. Check out some of their work below!

#TechTakeout Comes to Chamberlayne

Last Friday we spent the day working with 4th grade at Chamberlayne Elementary. The teachers wanted us to focus on vocabulary, specifically affixes (prefixes, root words and suffixes). We find that affixes is a weak skill across the board in grades 3-5 so we were excited to come up with some “techie” activities that would make this challenging skill fun and exciting.

To kick off our hour session, we launched a NotebookCast board.This new tool is still in Beta and is a FREE online collaborative board. NotebookCast has the teacher create a free account. You create a virtual board that you share out with students via a link. Students click the link, enter a “nickname” and click submit. I LOVE how the tool automatically inputs the board code so the students don’t have to type it in.

We had created THESE images in PowerPoint and saved them as jpegs to import into our board. Students saw the changes instantly/in real-time as we deleted and added new images to discuss. They used the chat feature to talk about possible definitions of the words I posted to the board. Next, we broke the words down together as we called on students individually to “stoplight” our words. We circled the prefix in green (this starts our word), underlined the root words in yellow and boxed our suffixes in red (this ends our word). The PRS letters serve as a visual to remind students the ORDER of the parts of the words which happen to be in alphabetical order: Prefix, Root Word, Suffix.


Would we use Notebook Cast again? Well, that’s great question. We ran into the issue of the site only accepting a certain amount of users. Oh well, you live and learn. We ended up partnering the kids and it worked fine. Would have we have liked all of the kids to have been on interacting? Of course. However, like all classroom teachers, we had to adapt. Notebook Cast might be a better tool to use with smaller groups.
After our warm up, we broke the students up into small groups to work on a mini digital project with the ITRTs.

Julie Smith and Gina Browne’s group used Scratch and the MaKey-MaKey to code a word that had a prefix, root word and suffix. Check out the final product in action:

The led from the pencil is a conductor which made the MaKey-MaKey work!

If you are interested in trying this out with your students, click {HERE} for the directions. You can still carry this out if you don’t have access to MaKey-MaKeys. Just use the arrows on your computer :)

Mrs. Green and Mrs. Robinson’s groups jumped on Nearpod and interacted together dissecting prefix, suffix and root words. Nearpod is an interactive tool that engages students, assesses their understanding and inspires success! When the teacher launches Nearpod as a live presentation the students are then given a code to “join” that Nearpod presentation. Today students reviewed five prefixes and five suffixes. They created their own words using the drawing tool within Nearpod, they watched short review clips online and even played two interactive games embedded into their lesson. Finally before finishing students were given words with both prefixes and suffixes and asked to circle the prefix, underline the root word and box in the suffix. The student’s favorite part was how Mrs. Green and Mrs. Robinson were able to control their computers!

Mr. Covais’ groups took to Dell Webcam Central and Movie Maker to make some videos about prefixes and root words. Students chose a word and identified the prefix and root word. After the identification they worked with partners to discuss how they would act out the prefix and the root word. The students recorded their acting in Dell Webcam Central in two short clips. The partners then took the clips and put them into Movie Maker in the form of an addition problem. Best part of all, the teacher can now use these short videos for review in class.

Students had so much fun making these videos. Check out a this awesome student example!

Acting out Prefixes from Jim Covais on Vimeo.

Want to do this activity?

Click the link below to get everything you need to get started!
Prefix Movie Folder

Mrs. Hues and Mr. Caratachea had a blast making raps with their groups! Different students approached the activity in a couple of different ways. Some students wrote a rap about prefixes and suffixes, while others just wrote a rap. No matter what the students chose to write their rap about they typed up their lyrics in Microsoft Word and highlighted all of the words using prefixes or suffixes. Once the students had their raps ready to go they went to an online drum machine to make their beats. We chose this particular drum machine because it is super easy to use. Students don’t need to have any prior knowledge on music production to quickly get the hang of using this tool. After the beats were made the students needed to record their track. We used Audacity to record the beat and then recorded their vocals on another track. Audacity is a great tool for simple multi or single track recording. The kids had some pretty serious rhymes going on! Check it out!

Example 1
Example 2

Google Tone for Easy Link Sharing

I’m beyond excited for Google Tone, a chrome extension that will make sharing links super easy. This extension is great for students because there is no need for email addresses in order to share a link.

Google Tone needs to be installed on the computer sending the link and the computer receiving the link. Just go to a webpage and click the Google Tone button on the top of the Chrome browser. The computer makes a chirping sound. The other computer receives this sound via the microphone, and a link pops up on your computer.

How will this change how you share out links in your class?

#TechTakeout Rocks Fractions at Ratcliffe

Last Friday #TechTakeout had the pleasure of going out to Ratcliffe Elementary. We had a blast doing computation with fractions! We first started off doing a Kahoot to get everyone warmed up. It was 5 easy fraction questions, just enough to get everyone excited. Here’s the link to the Kahoot if you want to use it in your classroom. The students then split into four groups and each did a different activity involving fractions.

While the students were working we had the 3D printer going! The students loved watching the printer work. Since our focus was fractions for the lesson we printed two fraction pies for each class. We downloaded the templates here, changed the colors of the pies, and then printed while in the class. Our Elementary Instructional Technology department wrote a grant last year to the Henrico Educational Foundation for the 3D printer. We have been using it in classrooms across the county in multiple curriculum areas with huge success.

Mrs. Green and Mrs. Smith used fraction manipulatives to solve fraction addition problems on this manipulatives website. http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/mathematics/ebook_assets/vmf/VMF-Interface.html
Then they took a screen shot of their work using the snipping tool and uploaded it onto http://www.abcya.com/talkify.htm to make their work talk. They added their mouths and recorded their voices. Here is an example.

fraction talk from Sarah Green on Vimeo.

Mr. Covais and Ms. Browne had students copy a Google Slides template to add fractions with unlike denominators. They worked in partners to find a common denominator and dragged stars to represent their problems. After that, they saved their pictures to their desktop and uploaded it to the website, Educreations. They recorded their voices explaining how they solved their problems.

Template 1

Template 2

Template 3

Template 4

Template 5

Mr. Caratachea and Mrs. Robinson’s group worked on simplifying fractions. The students all signed in as a guest to a newer resource called BoardThing. This resource is somewhat similar to Padlet but has some different features. Prior to starting the lesson Mrs. Robinson and Mr. C uploaded 5 images and placed them across the top. When the students joined the board they each picked a different colored post-it note to use for their fractions. Then they placed their names on the post it placed it under the flag they were racing to. Then we were ready to start our game. We found an awesome set of fraction task cards that we printed, laminated and took into the classrooms. Each kid started with one task card. Their job was to reduce the fraction to the simplest form and then create a post-it note on our BoardThing. Then they placed their post-it in their column and worked their way to the finish flag. We had an awesome time racing to the top! Check out one of our BoardThing walls!


Mrs. Hues and Ms. Wright did Nearpod on fractions.
Students had to fill in the blank, find common denominators, watch a video, and take a short quiz. Students watched a short quiz in Educreations on how to find the common denominator without multiplying the two fractions together.Students then practiced what they learned on Nearpod. At the very end students had a mini quiz for review.

We had a blast coming out to Ratcliffe! We can’t wait to bring #TechTakeout to the next school!

Video Organizer

I love having students make videos as a way to show their understanding of a subject. When I first started having students make videos I would often forget the planning piece to video making. I would think to myself, “Well they did all the research, we’re fine.” That wasn’t always the case.

I made a real simple graphic organizer to help students compose their thoughts. Older students can write sentences to describe what will happen in each scene. Younger students can draw simple pictures.

Click here to get the organizer!