One of my favorite things has started at both of our elementary schools- Makers Club! Last year I ran the Monday Morning Makers and I had an awesome time with kids who came to explore, create, and engage in making. This year we've nearly tripled the number of kids participating in sessions that are 90 minutes long! This has opened the door to awesome projects being built and worked on. Yesterday I was reminded about how kids who are free to create and explore engage really intently. Students were tasked with creating a sort of proposal, sharing it with their families, finding all necessary materials on their own and bringing them into school.
Some of the projects the students worked on were:
I'm always inspired about how focused and hardworking kids are. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!
Most of my posts are about creative uses for technology and using it to do things that are otherwise impossible or very difficult. Something that isn't as glamorous, but still very important is math fact practice. Fluency in math leads to more success in math, Here are some common websites and apps teachers in our district use to help build fluency:
iXL is a subscription based service that helps kids from Prek-12th grade practice math facts. What's awesome about iXL is that it keeps track of student progress and sends reports to the teacher. It also uses classroom data to show areas of weakness or least practiced areas for the class as a whole. iXL is very easy to use with the iPad app or on the website in a browser. It generates login/passwords for each student easily and even has a page specifically for your school if you have a school wide subscription. The content is arranged by standards and is easy for students to navigate. It offers explanation of incorrect answers as well.
Xtramath is strictly facts practice. It offers great tracking of progress for students, What I like about Xtramath is that it helps students set reasonable goals for themselves. It works great on a browser on a computer or tablet. Xtramath is free and easy to implement with some nice features like auto-filled parent letters.
Tenmarks is unique in that it strives to scaffold practice for kids. It has embedded video and audio into problems. It also has a way for kids to fix their mistakes after the practice is done. It provides feedback to the student immediately to help them learn from each problem. It is super easy for the teacher to assign work to the class or students. It offers progress monitoring, and badging as well to help keep kids motivated. It is a freemium services that offers most of the student side for free, minus real time interventions, but charges for some of the data access on the teacher side.
MobyMax has gone through some changes since I used it in my classroom as MobyMath. It is a subscription based service that offers much more than math practice. It looks like they even have a specially designed tablet for MobyMax for $69 available on their site. Moby offers data tracking of student progress, and some drilling down abilities as well.
Instructional Technology Coach