Monday, May 20, 2019

5 Places to Find Summer Math Activities for Elementary School Students

Summer break will be here soon (for those of us in the northern hemisphere). As evidenced by the popularity of last week's article about the ReadWorks summer reading packets, preventing summer slide is a topic that many are interested in at this time of year. A few readers emailed me over the weekend looking for suggestions for math resources similar to those that ReadWorks offers. Here are five good places to find summer math activities for elementary school students.

MathGames.com
Don't let the name fool you, MathGames.com offers more than just a series of math practice games. You can find hundreds of worksheets to print for free on MathGames.com. Those are organized according to grade level.

There are plenty of games for students to play on the site too. You can find those by clicking on the "games" header in the site. If you do that, scroll down the page a few times to find the MathGames.com digital textbook which organizes the games according to topic.


CK-12 Elementary Math Resources
CK-12 offers a good collection of resources for elementary school math practice. The collection is organized by grade level (grades 1 through 5) and skill set. The resources include a mix of videos and online practice exercises. Students can review a video and then attempt the practice activities.

XtraMath
XtraMath is a non-profit service designed help students develop basic mathematics skills. The service provides an online environment in which students complete practice activities that are recorded and shared with teachers and parents. Teachers can create classroom accounts in which each child has his or her own log-in credentials. Parents can also be given log-in credentials to see how their children are progressing. XtraMath offers materials seven languages. Those are languages are English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and American Sign Language.

XtraMath recently announced that they now have summer flyers available for teachers to print and send home to parents.

A Maths Dictionary for Kids
Jenny Eather's A Maths Dictionary for Kids has been one of my go-to math resources for many years. It students provides simple and clear definitions of math terms. Each definition includes a small diagram or simple activity to illustrate the term's definition.

A Maths Dictionary for Kids has more than 250 free worksheets arranged according to topic. All of the worksheets can be found here.

ABCya
ABCya offers hundreds of educational games for K-8 students. The site is arranged according to grade level. The only way to find games according to topic is to search for them by Common Core standard or by keyword. If you use keyword search on the site, it will yield results to everything on the site, not just the games.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Summer Reading, Portfolios, and Animations - The Week in Review

Good evening from sunny and windy Paris Hill, Maine. It was a great day for playing outside and that's exactly what my little family did today. I had a nice long bike ride through part of the White Mountain National Forest that ended with meeting my daughters at a playground besides the Androscoggin river. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you had a fun and relaxing day too.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Ten Great Tech Tools for Social Studies Lessons
2. Rivet - A Reading App from Google
3. 5 Ways for Students of All Ages to Make Animated Videos
4. How to Use the New Version of Google Books
5. 5 Good Options for Making Digital Portfolios
6. ReadWorks Offers Free Summer Reading Packets
7. Easy Notecards and Flashcards

Thank You for Your Support!

How to Make an Animated Timeline in Google Slides

Eighteen months ago I published a video about how to use Google Slides to create a timeline. Yesterday, that video hit 50,000 views. I watched the video again and realized that I could use the animation tools in Google Slides to add animations to my timeline. So yesterday I made a video about how to do that. In the following video I demonstrate how to create an animated timeline in Google Slides.


If you like this video, please take a look at my YouTube channel for hundreds of other tips on using educational technology tools.

How to Find Games & Quizzes in Google Earth

This week Google added a new round of Where in Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego? The new game follows up on the popularity of the first Where in Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego? that was launched in March. The new game has players help Carmen Sandiego find Tutankhamun’s Mask.



That's not the only game that you can find in the web, Android, and iOS versions of Google Earth. If you go into the Voyager mode in Google Earth you will find other games and quizzes to try. The quizzes are neat because when you answer a question correctly you automatically zoom to the Street View imagery of the location. Check it out in my video below.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Fishbowl - A New Professional Network for Teachers

This week Fishbowl joined Free Technology for Teachers as a new advertiser on the site.

Fishbowl is a professional networking service for professionals in many fields including education. Based on that description you might think it's just another LinkedIn or Twitter, but you'd be wrong. Fishbowl features dedicated communities for discussions about the issues that matter most to them. Fishbowl makes you verify your identity, but lets you post questions and responses anonymously. That enables you to ask sensitive questions or respond to sensitive questions without jeopardizing your privacy.

Here's a good example of discussions that can happen in Fishbowl. In the Fishbowl teachers community there is currently a discussion about taking "mental health days." That's a question that you might not want to discuss on Twitter or LinkedIn because everyone can see your real name and where you teach. On Fishbowl you can post in that discussion and have your screen name appear as simply "teacher in Maine."

Fishbowl is designed to be used on your phone or tablet. Fishbowl is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android. After you install the app you will have to verify your identity by using either a professional email address (not Gmail, Yahoo, etc) or your LinkedIn profile. Once you've verified your identity it's time to add a bit of information about where you work. That doesn't mean naming the school district it simply means adding the type of school, the state/province it's in, and what you do there. Once you've done that you can start joining discussion groups and participate in conversations. When you post you can choose to use your name or simply use "Works at School in State X" or "Subject X High School Teacher."

I like that Fishbowl provides a place to ask questions and engage in discussions that you might not otherwise feel comfortable discussing on places like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. I think this could be a great for new teachers who have a lot of questions and not a great support system around them. But just like any other network, you still want to be responsible with the information that you share and be mindful of how written words aren't always read the way you intended for them to sound. The other thing that I like about Fishbowl is that as of right now, posting on the network doesn't have the "popularity contest" aspect that can pop-up in things like #edchat on Twitter.

You can find the Fishbowl apps right here and start joining discussions today.