Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fraction Review with ThingLink

At the beginning of every school year, I spend several weeks reviewing basic math concepts like fractions with my students to recover from the summer slide. With so many new concepts to teach during the year, I really hate to waste so much time on fractions, a concept they have learned and reviewed for many years in a row. There's never enough time to teach my students all of the 8th grade Common Core Standards that they need to learn before state testing.

This year, since my students will have 1:1 Chromebooks, I'm planning on trying something new. I created this ThingLink as a way for the students to review the fraction topics at their own pace. I purchased enough pairs of earbuds from the dollar store, in case someone doesn't have their own, so they can listen to the videos I made with Explain Everything that are linked in the ThingLink.

There are 4 numbered sections for the students to move through, "Equivalent Fractions", "Fraction Operations", "Mixed Numbers", and "Fractions & Decimals". In each section is a video (or two) to watch. Then I will have some practice problems for them to work through, which I will use as a formative assessment to see if they are understanding on their own. If they are still struggling, I will be able to give them one-on-one or small group instruction to go along with the video instruction. Once they feel they have mastered the topic, they can click on the link to take a quiz which I created in ThatQuiz. (This is not the actual ThingLink I will use with my students. I have another copy of it which has different links to the ThatQuiz quizzes that my students must sign in before they can take. This one has practice quizzes only so you can try them out.)

Since this is self-paced, I anticipate a few students will finish before the rest of the class. I will have some extension activities, possibly word problems, for them to complete. Stay tuned... I'll let you know how this independent learning works out!

I updated my ThingLink on 7/26/14 for the #TLChallenge. This week's theme was "Turn It Up a Notch with Sound". Our challenge was to use Audioboo to add sound to our ThingLink and incorporate UDL (Universal Design for Learning - check out this video for more info on UDL). I used the Audioboo sound clips to read the directions in each section to my special education students who might have difficulty reading them on their own.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

ThingLink Challenge Week 6

The ThingLink Challenge this summer has been so much help to me in becoming more adept at creating and applying ThingLinks. (Click here to read my last post about the ThingLink Challenge and how to join us!)

We are in week 6 of the challenge now. There are so many great ideas coming from all the teachers involved. Visit our showcase to get some great ideas for yourself. Susan Oxnevad (@soxnevad) even had a Twitter chat about ThingLink this past Thursday which was amazing! (Search for the #1to1ipadchat to find our tweets.)

What I have found very useful is learning that we can embed our ThingLinks into Padlet walls. I have used ThingLink and Padlet separately in the past, but combining them is a perfect blend of technologies, and so easy to do!

Here is my week 6 submission. The theme for this week was "ThingLink Unplugged". We were to create a ThingLink with the ThingLink mobile app to demonstrate how we can create ThingLinks without the internet, then upload them to the web when we return to an internet connection. This could be used during a class field trip, or just an indoor or outdoor excursion around the school. Soooo many possibilities my head is spinning!  What would you do with ThingLink?