I've lost count of how many times I've attended FETC. All I know is that it's already on my calendar for next year (January 23-26, 2018 in case you wanted to know). Since I started my teaching career in Orlando, Florida, this conference was a easy choice. Since then, they have changed the name and focus to fit the global attendance it had anyway. I come back with so many ideas & resources, I have to take some time to process and pick the ones to focus on for the rest of the school year. This post is to help me process and share these amazing resources!
This post is really for those who are just now getting around to using a smart device of some kind (it was also supposed to have been posted in January). Those of you who are on your 6th version of an iPhone will probably already aware of the apps I'll mention, but we try to cover all knowledge levels, right?
So, now that the holidays are over, you've gotten used to your new devices, unwanted gifts have been returned and you have app store gift cards burning a hole in your pocket. It's hard to decide what to actually spend your money on, so I thought I'd share some that I've seen in action or use myself. When it comes to games & entertainment, you know what you want and it's easy to get. The focus of this post is on productivity apps, because most people don't know what they need until they get it. I'll also share some resources to help you search on your own for apps worth the money. Enjoy!
Kahoot! is one of the coolest ways to take a "test"!
Is it a game or is it a test, you ask?
Kahoot! is a web-based student response system that is highly engaging and has many educational purposes. Students can use a phone, computer or tablet to answer questions. No app needed, just the web.
Check it out!
In my search for sites to help my students with disabilities, I found this gem!
It's called A Maths Dictionary for Kids.
The site has two sections. One is an alphabetical math dictionary with colorful, interactive demonstrations or explanations of the words/skills. The other section is for math charts. Did I mention that it's FREE ??? Oh, and the charts are printable!
When I was in school, you had to make flashcards in order to study vocabulary... not anymore! My students have to learn "stems" in our district (latin roots, prefixes, etc.). I realized that a lot of my students don't even have the materials needed to make flashcards or support at home to help them study. I decided that I needed to help them study vocabulary, somehow.
This is when I found http://www.cram.com ! It's the easiest thing in the world to create flashcards! Even better, once you create the flashcards, you can practice by playing a couple of really cool games. My kids love it! If we have a few extra minutes at the end of class, we'll put it up on the SmartBoard and play as a group. Another bonus, they can get to them at home on a computer, tablet or cell phone. No more excuses! Saying I forgot my list at school isn't going to cut it anymore. Check it out. :)
I love Edmodo! I just started using it this school year and I have learned so much from the communities and groups of teachers who use it. I'm trying to convince other teachers to join, but they feel they have so much on their "plate" that it's not a priority. I understand the hesitation, but like Facebook, you have to decide what its purpose will be.
I like to use the Library as my mobile bookmarks for awesome educational websites. I also like to ask questions directly related to education that most people would be BORED with if I asked on Facebook. The communication tools and APPS available are SO worth trying it in your classroom!
My favorite APP right now is the ClassCharts, which is very similar to ClassDojo. Since I have middle school students, ClassDojo felt a little young for them. Being the end of the year and all, I needed something to motivate my students to keep up their good work. I was amazed that my kids actually want to earn points to beat their classmates...for what? An extra piece of candy, snack or a mechanical pencil? Okay, whatever works!
I could go on about Edmodo, but I'll leave it in your hands to try it out for yourselves. Go to http://www.edmodo.com and join today. Just so you know, I don't work for them in any way. I just love it that much!
If you already use it, find me. :) Pam
I'm an Instructional Coach at Daniel Island School in Berkeley County South Carolina.