Wednesday, November 14, 2018

No need to repeat- Screencast-O-Matic

Do you find yourself repeating strategies or steps over and over again?  Sometimes excessively too many times?  Well, it happens often as educators.  Here's a simple solution- record your lesson on Screencast-o-Matic using the free screen recorder.  It's a software where you can record yourself speak as you model your lessons step-by-step.  It's also perfect for blended learning or flipped learning where students can watch the video as well as complete their assignments.  In addition, teachers can assist other students and facilitate while the video is running on the main monitor for those who need reminders. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Coding with Robot Mouse

Robot Mouse is a simple programmable robot to start young students on coding. I have been looking for something tangible and easy to use for students in kindergarten and first grade.  The kit comes with maze boards that can be customized.  Initially, it would be easier to create a 2x3 grid for students to get comfortable before piecing the 3x5 or 4x4 maze together. Students can discuss and plan the algorithm using the coding cards (forward, backward, turn left, and turn right) to determine how the mouse will get to the cheese.  Then they enter the commands directly on the mouse using the different color arrows and then press the center green circle. 

Students have a great time programming and re-configuring the grids, and even putting up "walls" to challenge their mouse to get to his cheese.  Another way to use robot mouse is to create math grids with numbers or words to practice math fluency or sight words while coding! With the number grids, students can roll the dice, place the cheese on the sum, and code the mouse to the cheese.

Printable and editable resources:
Plan your Algorithm
Number Grids for Robot Mouse 
Word Grids for Robot Mouse

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

5 Ways to Use Padlet

Padlet is a flexible and resourceful tool to post ideas, share links, and collaborate wherever you are.  Just imagine a virtual post-it board where you can manipulate your post-its seamlessly and instantly. Padlets can be kept private for personal notes, links and resources, while some can be toggled public to share.  
In the classrooms, these are five quick and simple ways to use Padlet.

1. Getting to Know Me: In the beginning of the school year, this is my way of getting to know the students and remembering their names and faces, and their computer seats.  They love to take selfies and share a fun fact.  I can also download and print them in pdf or jpeg format.


2. Exit Ticket: At the end of a lesson students can answer a few questions about what they've learned or found challenging.  For English language learners, they can type in their language. They can also speak into the computer and record themselves. This is also good in the beginning of a lesson to assess what they already know.

3. Q+A: Students love to ask questions so this is a great way to jot their questions so the teacher can address them during class and refer to it after.  In this example, I introduced Dash, our robot to the second graders and they were so curious about him and had lots of good and fun questions.

4. Resources: A page we can easily throw our ideas on and share links and documents, and refer back to on another day. At a professional development workshop, these were some fun makerspace ideas resource page that another teacher started and I got to add to it.

5. Sharing Projects: Students created games on Scratch and this was the simplest way for students to upload their links then play each other's games.  I started the page and posted it on Symbaloo. The students clicked on that link and started posting, it was updated instantaneously.  

Monday, July 30, 2018

How to use Choice Eliminator in Google Form

Do you need help creating a Google form that offers choices and then eliminates the option after it has been chosen?  Well, the video below will show step-by-step of how to use this add-on feature. It is useful for the computer lab or library sign-up, parent-teacher conferences, student to teacher conferences, party meals options, etc.  The forms are very versatile and can be personalized to fit your needs.
*Just to update- choose the "Choice Eliminator 2" offered by Accemy & SW gApps.