Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

FlipQuiz- An Easy Interactive Quiz Builder

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Are you looking for an easy to use “Jeopardy Style” quiz  builder tool?

Are you tired of using PowerPoint and other tools to make review quizzes?

Check out FlipQuiz at www.flipquiz.me. Its an easy to use tool for creating jeopardy style quizzes to use in your classroom.  Its free and simple to use.

First create an account and select new board at the top of the screen. Next, create your title which will also be your board name.  There are six categories you can use in your board and they are listed across the screen as tabs. Each category can have up to five questions and answers, both of which can include links to other online content. Formatting tools are available as well. When you are done you can tag your board with a category to make it easy for others to find. A suggested use for this tagging feature would be to tag your board with your class name that way its easy for your students to find.  This would give them a tool to practice outside your classroom.

The presentation mode presents your board as a jeopardy style game.  Unfortunately there is no sound effects, but thats not a big deal.

In my classroom I use my iPad as a controller for the game.  By using Spashtop Streamer, I am able to stream to my iPad the quiz from my laptop which is connected to our projector.  The students like this as they get to choose the question and I like it because I get to walk around while running the quiz and review.

What do you think?

Reflections on a DENamazing Summer!

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

This should have been written sooner but my summer has flown by. Since I got home from DENSI on July 20, I had two additional adventures. First, I had a booth at the Maker Faire Detroit at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. After that I was part of a high adventure trek to the Florida Sea Base in the Florida Keys. We spent four days on Big Munson Island. During our adventure we did deep sea fishing, night snorkeling on Patch Reef, kayaking through the mangroves and snorkeling on Looe Key.

 The Discovery Education Summer Institute (DENSI) has been the best professional development I have ever experienced. Even though I knew just a few people through online connections, I felt immediately at home. New connections were made and old ones were strengthened. Everyone was willing to share what they knew and help with any challenges you may have.

 At many professional development sessions I feel lucky if I can get one good idea to bring back to my school or classroom. All of the sessions here were filled with good ideas I will use in my classroom and school. The keynotes made you think of education differently and inspired you to do more.

 The activities (formal and informal) were a blast! We had a great time at Shelburne Museum and Farm. I think the quilt and the circus exhibits were my favorites. We also attended a Vermont Lake Monsters baseball game and got to run the bases afterwards. At the dorms there were late night TV theme song trivia games (Thanks Dean Shareski!) and Artemis missions (Starship simulator Thanks Steve Dembo!).

 It didn’t feel like a professional development experience, it felt more like going to camp with the coolest people and learning together. It really was an amazing experience and I look forward to more to come!

Common Core Standards in Student Friendly Language

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Curriculum standards can be hard for adults to understand let alone students and parents.  The Curriculum Corner has an excellent solution.  They have created posters for grades K-5 that explain the standards in student friendly language.  Each poster is presented as a checklist so students can use it to see how they are doing and teachers can use it to indicate where a student may need more work.  Check it out here: http://www.thecurriculumcorner.com/2012/12/03/i-can-common-core-standards-k-5/

Biology Blast!

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Here are three apps that will help your students get a better understanding of some biology basics.  Each app allows the user to explore the topic with detailed, interactive graphics.  Best of all each app is free!

HudsonAlpha iCell  (Free, available for both Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.hudsonalpha.icell&feature=search_result  and iOS  devices https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hudsonalpha-icell/id364882015?mt=8 )  This app allows the user to explore the cells of animals, plants and bacteria.  Each simulation allows the user to zoom in and rotate the cell.  Each part is labeled and explained.  There are three levels of explanation, basic, intermediate and advanced. There is also a website that has the same content: http://www.hudsonalpha.org/education/digitaleducation/icell

Virtual Heart (Free, available for the iPad, iOS 4.0 and later https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/virtual-heart/id501539525?mt=8 ) This app explores the human heart. It offers interior and exterior views of the beating heart. The view can be changed by swiping up and down. You can also change the heart rate with a simple up and down arrow. Labels can be turned on and off.  You can also look at the electrical system, valves and blood flow.  All of this with an easy to use interface. Unfortunately you cannot rotate the heart to see it at multiple angles, although with all the other details included, this isn’t that much of an issue.

Anatomy 4D (Free, available for iOS  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/anatomy-4d/id555741707?mt=8 and Android  devices https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.daqri.d4DAnatomy&hl=en ) This app is different because it uses Augmented Reality to display the human body.   To use it you need to first print out the marker which tells the device what to display.  From there you can see the human body in many levels of detail. Skin visibility is controlled with a slider that ranges from completely visible (nude) to no skin shown.  Both male and female models are included.  Systems include: muscular, skeletal, circulatory, nervous, gastrointestinal, respiratory, reproductive, urinary and lymphatic.  Unfortunately no labels are included.  As a teacher you have to decide, based on your classroom, school and community), how to use this app. One good use may be to use it as a teacher tool with very limited student interactivity.

Tell Me a Smorie…

Friday, August 31st, 2007
Smories are original short stories written and read by children.  They were thought of by a pair of sisters who enjoyed reading and recording stories for each other.   The website is super simple.  Its just a collection of pictures of the children who have written recorded the stories.  Clicking on the picture takes you to a video of the story being read. Above the child is the text of the story that scrolls by as the story is being read.

This sounds like a great resource to use as a listening center or a computer activity.  The site is safe for students to use.
Check it out here:
EXTRA:  Kindergarten teachers may want to pay close attention to the companion site: Walphabet for humourous (non Youtube) videos about the alphabet.  Check it out here: