Friday, August 7, 2015

Handy Visuals for Fractions Lessons

This is an updated version of a post from my archives. The original version of this post was written in response to a teacher's request that I share some resources containing visual lessons on fractions. 

Thinking Blocks is a series of iPad apps nice site for elementary and middle school students. Thinking Blocks provides interactive templates in which students use brightly colored blocks to model and solve problems. As students work through the problems they are provided with feedback as to whether or not they are using the correct sequence to solve each problem. There are templates and problems for addition, multiplication, fractions, and ratios. Thinking Blocks is also available as a series of web-based activities.

Who Wants Pizza? is a fun online activity for learning about fractions. Who Wants Pizza was developed by Cynthia Lanius at Rice University. The activity has five parts plus practice activities for students to explore. Teachers will find notes about using this activities in the classroom.

Visual Fractions has eight categories of visualizations, lessons, and games for students to explore and learn the functions of fractions.

The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives has a lot of interactive activities for students learning the use of fractions, addition and subtraction, and the multiplication of fractions.

Conceptua Math is a provider of interactive visual mathematics lessons. One of Conceptua Math's primary focuses is on the development of tools to aid teachers in the instruction of lessons on fractions. Conceptua Math's offerings are a mix of free and premium (paid) tools. There are a total of fifteen free interactive tools for teachers and students. Each of the free tools has an introductory video and a sample lesson plan.

Add a Text to Speech Function to Your Browser

Announcify is a free text to speech application that is available as a Chrome browser extension. With Announcify installed in your browser any time you're viewing a webpage you can simply click on the Announcify icon in your browser and have the text of the page read to you. A bonus aspect of using Announcify is that in order to make a webpage easier to read it enlarges the text of the webpage and removes all sidebar content. In the video embedded below I provide a short demonstration of Announcify in action.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned in the video above, Announcify could be a great little tool for students that need audio support when they are reading online content. The enlargement of text and removal of sidebar content could also help students focus on what they are trying to read on a webpage.

It's a TED-Ed Lesson on Apostrophes

The proper use of apostrophes can be tricky. Even the best of us occasionally misplace them or forget to place them where they need to be. When To Use Apostrophes is a relatively new TED-Ed lesson explains when and where to use apostrophes. The video is not the most in-depth explanation that TED-Ed has produced, but does provide a nice review for students. Click here for the complete lesson with review questions.

How to Annotate Videos Through Vibby

Vibby is another service that I featured yesterday and this morning fielded a couple of questions about how to use it. The video embedded below demonstrates how to highlight and comment on videos through Vibby.

Applications for Education
As I mention in the video, Vibby could be a good tool to have students use to analyze presentations.

How to Schedule Reminder Notices in WhatsDue

WhatsDue is a free service for sending assignment reminders to students and their parents through mobile push notifications. I wrote a post about their updates yesterday. This evening, to answer a question about the admin panel in WhatsDue, I made the following short video.