Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Factor Samurai

I came across Factor Samurai the other day while I was reading Flipboard.  I've enjoyed playing this app and am excited to have my students try this out after winter break!

This is very similar to Fruit Ninja, but students will have to "slash" composite numbers down to their prime factors.  You can only "slash" composites--if you slash primes you are penalized.  There are 3 different challenging levels with different speeds.  See my full review here in my app review.  For being a free app, it is very cool!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Apple TV

I've been testing out an Apple TV in my classroom for the past few weeks now to see how the mirroring function with the ipad2 could work.  My impressions so far have been very positive.

Things I like:
-Wireless connection has been good (for the most part), sometimes I'm kicked off due to wireless issues, but this is pretty minimal
-Students can connect their ipads to the apple tv (I currently have it password protected) and share work, which is super cool!
-When using the camera app on the ipad, you have a portable document camera!
-It is nice to be able to demonstrate apps to students with full video and audio without being tethered to a cord!
-Cost--at only $99, plus a $40 VGA adapter to hook into the projector and some audio cables, its very cost efficient!
-This link from iear shows the similar hook up that I've been using in my classroom.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Using Screencasting

I've been experimenting with having my students create screencasts using the ScreenChomp app on ipads. I've been overall pleased with the way that my students have produced these screencasts and think that it is providing some powerful metacognition.

Here is an example of a 7th grader's screencast on basic geometric figures:

Here is an example of an 8th grader's screencast on using proportions to solve:

Some thoughts/reflections:
-Having students create these screencasts have been a valuable way for the student to show me that they know a particular skill, and, its been fun for students! 

-From a math standpoint, ScreenChomp is my favorite free app, and I like that you can scroll down on the whiteboard for more space (I haven't seen any other that give that extra space).

-For my intervention students, who generally are in the 20th-50th percentile on state tests, articulating their thinking is challenging, but so good when they're able to make these mathematical connections!

-As of now, I've used this only for formative assessment, but have a goal of using screencasting for a summative assessment as well.