Showing posts from October, 2013

Thinking Blocks Math Apps and Website

Thinking Blocks Interactive Website- iPad Apps-

Many of you have probably used the Thinking Blocks online interactives from Math Playground but did you know they are now free apps too?  They are an awesome resource for helping students understand how to solve word problems by using online manipulatives in a step by step manner to create concrete models of their solutions.  
Both versions (online and apps) offer word problems in 4 categories:  addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, fractions, and ratio/proportion.  
Each app is set up the same way:
1.  Students are presented with a word problem.
2.  First they use the blocks to label the known and unknown parts the problem.

3.  Then they fill in the known and unknown numbers.

4.  Finally, they solve the problem.

Check out this great resource today online at (computers only) or …

Infographics: A Creative Assessment and Attention-Getter

Infographics are intriguing.  Infographics show what our brains are programmed to see. They are bright and colorful visual representations of information presented in e-posters, printed, and digital documents that grab student attention. Additionally, they  provide a creative way to assess student learning while incorporating the 4C's: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and curation.  Check out a wall in your classroom or your bulletin board. That area in your classroom is presenting information in one place, with cutouts, colors, letters and artwork. Think of the infographic in the same way, as an informational bulletin board.

Infographics are a great instructional/learning tool. Infographics can be great instructional tools but they work best as learning tools as they incorporate most of the traditional teaching elements of research, planning, writing, and process. Teachers can create their own or find an array of infographics online to share with students on int…

Infuse Learning


Infuse Learning is a great (and free!) tool for formative assessment that works on every device.  There's no app!  Just go to the website on your iOS or Android device or computer and choose the appropriate login in the top corner.  Teachers create an account and students join the teacher's "room".  There's no need to create student accounts. 
Teachers can ask questions "on the fly" or create quizzes ahead of time.  There is a wide variety of available question types including multiple choice, true/false and even a draw response where students can work a math problem or draw a diagram.

The "Interactive Tools" give teachers even more options.  InfuseDraw allows the teacher to send a picture to the students to label or annotate and InfuseLink sends a website URL for students to simply click to go to the website. 

For more information, check out this video (if reading this via email, click this link to view the video ht…

GoneGoogle Story Builder: See Writing Come to Life!

Google has made writing and collaboration easy and fun with the GoneGoogle Story Builder.  Anybody can create a quick animated video of the writing process with the look and feel of a Google doc.  The process is simple: choose your characters and your music. Write. Then grab the link to watch and share.
Using Story Builder No login required. Navigate to and get started. You can also view some great samples before you begin.Customize and Personalize: Choose up to 10 characters that you create.You may have up to 10 dialogue exchanges of your own creation.Watch the writing process unfold as you add and edit to the conversation between characters.Create your own title.Publish and share your writing video. Ideas for Classroom UseAttention Getter: Introduce a lesson in a different wayAs a warm up activity - have students review the previous lessonHave students create a conversation between two characters.Write a new introduction or ending to a story, so…

IPEVO Whiteboard

Draw and annotate directly onto real-time video using an iPad and the Juststand, document camera or iPad camera. IPEVO Whiteboard can also be used as a whiteboard to draw onto a blank canvas using the default white background or annotate an image from the iPad photo library. In whiteboard mode, you can make a screen recording and save it to the camera roll. Multiple boards can be created. No login is required.

Add text boxes, shapes and lines to emphasize and highlight key points or parts of an imageUse different color pens and line thicknessesUndo and redo functionsPointer tool and a clear all functions toolRecord the screen In whiteboard mode and save to the camera rollSaving options: Save to the iPad camera rollSend to EvernoteEmail image

Viewpure - YouTube without the Ads


Today's post comes to us from Patrick Lollis, music teacher at Cannon Elementary.  Patrick writes: I found a great tool called Viewpure that I really like to view YouTube videos without ads, other search results, or suggested videos.
Here's how to use it:

Go to http://viewpure.comDrag the "purify" button to your browser's shortcut bar.When you locate a YouTube video that you want to use, press the button.Create your QR code to the new ViewPure page.What the button actually does is change the web address from a YouTube address like this one:
to a ViewPure address like this one:
You can use the button, or just remember what to change and do it manually.

Thanks for the tip Patrick!  Do you have a great tip to share?  Fill out the "Tips from our Readers" form on our blog or click this link:

SpeakPipe - Voice Mails for Your Blog

Do you have a class blog using Blogger, WordPress, Weebly, Tumblr or Joomla?  If you do, SpeakPipe is a cool way to connect with your readers.  SpeakPipe add a "Send Voicemail" tab to the side of your blog that readers can click to record a voice message to your class.  The free plan allows you to receive up to 20 voice messages a month (90 seconds max per message).  

To get started, just go to and create a free account.  Choose your blogging platform on the setup window and it tells you exactly what to do to put it on your blog.  Very cool!

InstaGrok -- More than a Search Engine. It's an Interactive Answer Engine

Have you had a chance to Grok with your class? Grok means to understand thoroughly and intuitively. InstraGrok is an intense, interactive discovery, learning, search and answer engine designed specifically for the classroom. A "grok" can be created by simply entering a topic in the site search box. Answers are returned in six different categories: key facts, websites, videos, images, quizzes and a glossary instead of a static list of links.  Understand, a blog post does not do this tool justice. You have to experience it. Try a quiz. Find a video. Review terms.
The Wow FeaturesNo login required. Students can create and share a Grok without logging inIt is interactive and it is not flash-based so it works on the iPadThe Quiz tool provides classroom ready questions on your search term. Have the students take the quiz or use the questions yourself to add to your own quizzesResults can be customized to have as much or as little detail as you want. Just adjust a slider from an AB…

Aurasma - Like QR codes But Better!

Aurasma App
Aurasma is a super cool augmented reality app.  Teachers and students can use Aurasma to create "Auras" that allow you to hover over an object or image (like a poster on a wall) and another image or even a video will appear on the screen to give you more information.  Sound confusing?  Imagine this:  A science teacher wants to teach her students about lab equipment and safety.  An aura is created so that when the student scans eye goggles with the Aurasma app, a video about eye safety will begin to play on the iPad.  Check out this example for making posters come to life (if you're reading this via email, click this link to watch the video: )

The possibilities are endless:

Talking word walls or alphabets - scan a word or letter and a video starts to play talking about the word or letter.Campus tours - place markers throughout the building that, when scanned, play student created …

App Category: Drawing

Drawing apps are perfect for creating student artwork to be layered into other apps.
Some examples in the classroom might be: Math- Use as a whiteboard to work out math problems. Science- Illustrate the moon phases and save to the Camera Roll. Use pictures to create a digital presentation in Keynote, 30Hands or another Presentation app. SS- Create a map replicating a classroom or school campus. Draw examples of hieroglyphics. Illustrate different types of housing Indians in Texas lived in.ELA- Illustrate idioms, metaphors or other parts of speech. Recreate the setting of a story. Other- Draw a self-portrait for Art class.  My Favorite Drawing Apps

Doodle Buddy -
Doodle Buddy is the most common basic drawing app. Students can choose from a spectrum of colors to draw with a brush, chalk or even glitter. There are some built in stamps that are great for creating patterns or modeling math problems.  Students can choose from several built i…

App Category: Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling is a wide and diverse category. Many apps that we've placed in the Presentation, Screen Recording or Photo Project categories could also be considered Digital Storytelling apps. For our purposes here, I'm included apps that allow the student to create animated movies or cartoons that tell a story... any story. It could be a documentary or a fictional story to explain a topic or an actual story to show their knowledge of literary elements. Some examples in the classroom might be: Math- Explain the steps used to solve a problem or explain a concept such as rounding or estimatingScience- Create a story explaining the 3 forms of matter or telling the hypothesis and result of a lab experiment; create lab safety videosSS- Create a story using characters to represent two or more historical figures and have them discuss or debate an historical topic relevant to their era.ELA- Create stories to present various grammatical topics in a conversation or to demonstra…

Blog with via Evernote

If you or your students are Evernote users, you are going to love this new blogging resource. Log into with your Evernote account and select a notebook to use for your blog posts. Create a note in the notebook and tag it as "published" in order to publish the note as a blog post.  It is that simple!

Note: Commenting on the blog posts is through a third party site called Disqus. The terms of service for Disqus prohibit use for children under 13.

App Category: Presentations

Presentation apps create slideshows that students can present live or can embed on a blog or website. Presentation apps are a great place to combine products from other apps, especially those in the Photo Project apps category. For example: the visual for a particular slide in a 30Hands video might be an annotated picture from Skitch or the background of a Haiku Deck slide might be a PicCollage image
Some examples in the classroom might be:

Math- Create an explanation of problem solving or math vocabulary.Science- Create audio explanations for science experiments or topics.SS- Create a presentation to explain historical events, people or places.ELA- Create book trailers or reviews and visual poetry
My Favorite Presentation Apps
I have 2 favorites for this category because they each have a slightly different product.
Haiku Deck-

Haiku Deck creates beautiful presentations in which an image and a small amount of text are the focus. It forc…