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.
Then they took a screen shot of their work using the snipping tool and uploaded it onto 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!

Comparing Numbers with ChatterPix

I recently had the pleasure of working in Ms. Clark’s kindergarten class at Pinchbeck Elementary. During our planning meeting we talked about a way for students to compare numbers that wasn’t the same old thing. We started to explore ChatterPix and quickly found that this would be the best tool to use for our lesson.

Ms. Clark first gave the students baggies with 2 different types of pasta. The students separated and counted out the pasta of each type. Students then grabbed an iPad and opened the ChatterPix app. They took a picture of the pastas and recorded a simple sentence comparing the two quantities.

We used this app in a very simple way, mainly to introduce the students to the app. The real excitement is what they do next with it. Now that they know the app they can use it during their math stations. They can take a picture of a math problem they completed, and then use the app to explain their thinking.

ChatterPix may seem like a fun app to pass the time, but it is going to make the students in Ms. Clark’s class reflective learners. How awesome is that?

Student Example of ChatterPix from Jim Covais on Vimeo.

#TechTakeout Brings Word Study Fun to Montrose

Today the #TechTakeout crew headed over to Montrose Elementary to work on language arts! Mrs. Hues, the ITRT at Montrose, met with the Title I Reading Teacher, Kathy Rohr, to find the grade level and topic with the greatest need. The winners of the #TechTakeout party were 3rd grade! We came in to focus on different activities that the students could do during stations. So many teachers are looking for ways to spice up their word study stations, and that’s where the #TechTakeout crew comes in! We shared four different station ideas and tools that the students will be able to use independently after today.

We opened the day with an awesome Nearpod activity that Mrs. Hues created. Montrose, was just awarded a HEF grant for Nearpod licenses and iPads, so we were eager to learn more about the full possibilities of Nearpod.
This is an awesome interactive tool that allows teachers to completely engage their students in every lesson using a variety of teaching tools. If you Google “What is Nearpod”, here’s how they describe what Nearpod is: “Nearpod is an interactive presentation and assessment tool that can be used to amazing effect in the classroom. The app’s concept is simple. A teacher can create presentations that can contain Quizzes, Polls, Videos, Images, Drawing-Boards, Web Content and so on.”

Mrs. Hues and Mrs. Green had the students work on word sorts using Promethean flipcharts on their own computers and on the Promethean board. They used the word sorts that they downloaded from this site. When they were done sorting the words, they used the sound recorder to record themselves saying the words and why they are in each sort. The students did a great job with this activity and were rewarded with a fun game! Scrabble Slam is a popular card game, but the students today played it on the Promethean board. They challenged each other to make words using the tiles, but they had to follow the word feature that they are studying. The students loved trying to make the most valuable word by adding up the value of each letter to determine the total value of the word.

Download and listen to this awesome student work sample:

Ms. Browne and Ms. Wright used Tumblebooks and Padlet with their groups. They focused on CVC and CVCe word patterns. First, the students listened to a pre-selected story called Toopy and Binoo: Toopy’s Story by Dominique Jolin on Tumblebooks. Afterwards, they opened a Padlet wall and typed words they found in the story that fit the word patterns mentioned above. This activity challenged their brains since they had to find all of the words themselves within the text.

Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Robinson used a new tool, Board Thing, with their groups. Students all jumped on the same collaborative board and added their word study words to this digital bulletin board. When the students clicked on the link for their board they didn’t sign in but clicked on the “sign in as guest” button. This allowed them to enter their name and join the board as a guest. Once on the board, the students each added a post-it with their name on it. Board Thing allows you to make each post-it a specific color. Each child picked a color and added their name at the top of the board. Mrs. Robinson and Mrs. Smith added the headings that matched their word study words from this past week. Students then raced to see how many words they could add under each heading. We could see who was typing what words because of the colors they had picked. Once we added as many words as we could think of we went to Britannica Image Quest and found pictures to go with our words. The students uploaded their images to a new post it. We even discovered that if you drug your picture over your text post-it, it linked them together as one post-it. If time allowed we used the chat feature in the bottom right hand corner to write sentences using our word study words. Check out one of our boards from today:

Mr. Covais and Mr. Caratachea worked with Britannica Image Quest in tandem with Windows Movie Maker. First, the students used Clever to get to One Search. One Search is a great hub that we use in Henrico County for the students. Today we used it to get to Image Quest. The students chose some of their word study words and found images that represented those words. The students then saved the images to their desktop so they could easily be imported into Windows Movie Maker. Once the pictures were imported into Movie Maker, the students added a title. Each student added the pictures of their first word and then we added a title where the students typed their word study word. When the students shared out what they did they turned it into a game with their classmates trying to guess what their words were.