Sunday, June 15, 2014

Find Fun K-8 Math Activities on Math Chimp

Math Chimp is a catalog of more than one hundred online mathematics games for elementary school and middle school students. Teachers can find games on Math Chimp by selecting the grade that they teach then selecting a standard or objective. After you make those selections Math Chimp will direct you to an appropriate mathematics game for your students.

Math Chimp offers a small library of instructional videos for each grade level. The videos are matched to the skills students practice in games for the same grade level. To find an appropriate video just select a grade and a skill.

Freddy's Fractions is an iPad and Android app from Math Chimp. In Freddy's Fractions students help a sea turtle named Freddy find fractions that are larger or smaller than the one that is presented at the beginning of each level. If you don't have access to an iPad or Android tablet, Freddy's Fractions is also available to play as a browser-based game.

What Is a "H/T?" and Why You See Them In My Posts

A couple of days ago Angela McDurmon asked me if I could share an example of using "H/T" at the end of some of my blog posts. She is preparing a social media guide for teachers and needed an example. Her request made me realize that there are probably some people wondering what a H/T is and why I include it at the end of some of my posts.

H/T, short for hat tip, is a quick way to acknowledge the source of an idea or resource that you share in a blog post. The two posts previous to this one have H/T followed by a link at end. For example, my post about The Invasion of America map was inspired by a Google Maps Mania post. My post took a slightly approach to sharing the map than the Google Maps Mania post. None-the-less I wouldn't have had an idea for the post without reading Google Maps Mania so I gave attribution.

This Interactive Map Shows Us How the United States Grew Westward

The Invasion of America is an interactive map produced by for the purpose of showing how the land holdings of Native Americans drastically shrunk between 1784 and 1887. You can move the timeline at the bottom of the map to see how the land holdings changed from year to year or decade to decade. The map also includes tools for selecting a Native American nation and or selecting a specific state or territory. Clicking on a highlighted tract of land will open a menu that includes links to treaty or executive order through which the land changed ownership.

Applications for Education
The Invasion of America could be a good resource for teachers of United States History to use to show students the impact westward expansion and the idea of Manifest Destiny had on Native Americans. To extend the use of the map further you could have students investigate the treaties and or executive orders used in acquiring land.

H/T to Google Maps Mania

Use This Extension To See Your To-do List Every Time You Open a New Tab

Dayboard is a free Google Chrome extension that opens your daily to-do list every time you open a new tab in Chrome. When you open a new tab for the first time Dayboard will appear and ask you to enter your to-do list for the day. After creating your to-do list for the rest of the day whenever you open a new tab you will see your list. You can place a checkmark next to items as you complete them.

Dayboard does not require you to create an account, it works offline, and when I installed it it only asked for permission to view activity on the Dayboard website.

Applications for Education
Dayboard is the kind of to-do list that I need and that I am sure many students can benefit from using too. I often find that I lose momentum on my to-do list when I start switching between tabs. Having my to-do list appear instead of the default "most visited sites" tab appear in Chrome should help me stay on task. I'm sure that it will help some students stay on task too.

H/T to Lifehacker

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Create Multimedia History Presentations With Digital Artifacts

The National Archives Experience Digital Vaults is one of the resources that I almost always share in my workshop on teaching history with technology primary sources. The Digital Vaults offers three good tools that students and teachers can use to create content using images and documents from the National Archives.

The National Archives Digital Vault poster and video creation tools allow students to drag and drop digital artifacts into a poster or video. The National Archives provides images, documents, and audio in an easy to use editor. When making a poster students can combine multiple images, change background colors, and create captions to make collages of digital artifacts. See the screen capture below for a demonstration of poster editing.

Creating a video is just as easy as creating a poster in the Digital Vaults. To create a video simply drag your selected images on to the editing templates, type image captions, select the duration of display for each image, and select audio tracks. See the screen capture below for a look at the video editor.

Applications for Education
The Pathways tool in the Digital Vaults can be used to create small quizzes that ask students to identify the connections between two or more images or documents. To start, drag one image to you Pathways menu then select a related item to add to your Pathway. Type in a clue for students to use to help them make the connection. When you share your Pathway with others, they will see only your first image and your connection clue, they have to find the image that connects. Take a look at a sample Pathways challenge here.

Please note that the Digital Vaults website loads a lot of media when you visit it for the first time. Give it ten seconds or so to load everything before you start to create and investigate. It also helps to be using an updated browser (Chrome or Firefox are best). 

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