Free. Yup. One of our very favorite words. The Math Learning Center apps are free.
We’ve had bins and boxes and crates and drawers and plastic baggies… all filled with math manipulatives. I even had one big envelope filled with pieces that could replace missing manipulative sets. Many of the pieces were broom and vacuum bait. Those tiny 1/12 pieces were always missing. And how long can you expect rubber bands to retain their elasticity before they snap when stretched beyond their intended use?
The Math Learning Center Apps have come to our rescue. While we’ve seen many flashy, clever math games for our iPads, these apps are simple, highly functional resources that provide hands-on free virtual manipulatives.This link will take you to The Math Learning Center App Download Page. You’ll find links and YouTube videos that demonstrate how to download each app and some examples of ways to use the app in your classroom.
Last week our post recommended building video playlists. Make sure you log into your Google/YouTube account and add The Math Learning Center videos to a playlist for quick and easy references.
We highly recommend downloading The Math Learning Center apps to your device and to organize them into a manipulative folder.
Snow is on its way in our neck of the woods. We hope it brings whatever you wish for a potential snow day, either an extended weekend, or safe travels to school tomorrow, and we hope that on this “Super Bowl Sunday”, your team wins!
It’s a new year with plenty of goals and projects ahead. Have we mentioned that we are presenting at ISTE? In Philadelphia? Have we told you we are excited? And then there’s travel, building a new home, and selling the old family homestead. They’re all at the top of the list. How in the world are we going to keep track of the “To-Do’s” involved!? Let’s talk about Google Tasks.
We’ve shared Google Tasks when we present “Google Apps for Education”. We first discovered it as a component of the Google Calendar, and the calendar was our “tip post” two years ago. Google Tasks can by synced across several platforms. Starting in the calendar itself, the option to add tasks can be seen by clicking the “pull-down” arrow on the left side of your calendar where you find the option to enable “Tasks”. By clicking on it, your “Tasks” will appear in a “Tasks Bar” on the right side of your calendar.
Watch the instructional Google video below that demonstrates adding tasks through your Gmail account which includes tips to manipulate your tasks in your calendar.
And there’s an app for that. Our “go-to” iTunes app is “Go Tasks” which is free and has excellent user reviews.
Another option is to make a “homescreen bookmark” as described in this Google video.
Finally, we encourage everyone to use the Chrome browser when working in Google. There is an extension made by Google, “Google Tasks” which works well. In researching and reading the reviews, though, we found another extension called, “Better Google Tasks” developed by Matt Atkins. I have installed it, and it does a great job. One of the features I like about this extension is that you can view all of your task lists at once.
We hope these tips help organize and simplify your crazy life a little. We are working on ours, too. Enjoy what is for many of you, your last day of the holiday break, and return with a fresh, revised attitude to make the rest of this year the very best for you and your students!
This week I received an invitation to try out Spinlight Studio’s newest app, “Winky Think“. Uhhh…Spinlight Studio? Yes, please.
I immediately downloaded the app and worked through the first 80 levels. Yep…hooked. When I took a break (a.k.a. pried myself away from the game) to make dinner, I caught my 13-year-old daughter continuing on through another 40 levels while listening to her say, “Ooohhh…I like this level….this one is cool!” Well done Spinlight Studio, to impress a 13-year-old social media/video game/app connoisseur. (Side note: there are 180 levels in all.)
“Winky Think” is a logic app that begins with very basic puzzles for the youngest of users. Don’t be fooled though; the levels build upon each other to provide increasingly difficult puzzles for kids who like a good challenge. And the multi-touch feature throws in a layer of complexity that is fantastic. Especially if, as a teacher, you use iPads in small groups.
The former math teacher in me not only loves the use of logic in this app, I appreciate the integration of nicely designed polygons for the reinforcement of shapes and colors. Perfect for early childhood students all the way up into the intermediate grades!
I also value the place of this app to meet Common Core standards. I know…blah blah blah. But really, if you know anything about the Common Core standards, you know the need for students to persevere through problems. This is the perfect app to model this skill. Heck, who am I kidding? Perseverance is really the key to pretty much any life skill, not just a skill coined by the Common Core folks. I would post some CCSS that this app supports, but really, who wants to read that on a Sunday morning Sit and Sip? Not us! Ok…maybe just one. CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP1Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Done. And again, DONE. I promise I am done talking about standards!
As many of you know, Mom and I are BIG fans of this app designer. We originally reviewed “Table Tots” which you can read about over here. It’s still one of our all-time favorite “teaching” apps. We continue to love every app they have launched.
And RIGHT NOW they are having a launch sale. That’s right A SALE. Head over to their site and check out all their apps on sale right now for only $0.99. I would, but we already own them all. And believe me, we paid more than $0.99 for them. Totally worth it!
Even better yet…ask the parents of your students to gift these apps to your classroom iPads. Much better than lotion and coffee mugs. 😉
(Mom and I do not receive any compensation for our reviews. We just like to share things we love with all of you. And we LOVE Spinlight Studio!)
Last spring, Google released a new app and a Chrome web-based game that plays like a “personal spelling-bee”. Using voice recognition, it provides several ways that will help you build a tower of correctly spelled words. I played with this app on Friday night. (I know. No life.) It has a few hiccups in terms of recognizing my responses, but I really think our students will find it fun and won’t be put off by this at all. Make sure that you turn up the sound in your “Audio Mixer” specifically for this game.
It is also a Chrome app, available for download here.
It works well on iPads and other ISO devices when you access the website in your Safari app. The only difference is that you need to spell each word on a keyboard.
Give it a try, but don’t get “hooked”. Your kiddos are sure to enjoy it, too!
“The sheep’s out of the bag! YodelOh™ Math Mountain hit the App Store today, and we can’t wait to hear what you think about it!”
We love Spinlight Studio and their professional commitment to developing apps for educators. Why?
They are our neighbors located in Champaign, Illinois.
Their apps do not contain “third party ads”.
Their apps do not link to a social network.
Their apps do not track your location
Their apps do not link to web access.
Their apps do not include “in-app purchases”.
For 99¢, you have an app that “blends arcade action with traditional classroom math drills”. The game is fast and is designed “to help elementary students memorize the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division tables essential for math.” It is rated for ages 6-12.
My only wish is that we had a few mountains around us so that, on this beautiful Sunday, we could hike a few ourselves. I will have to be content to take a walk through the woods surrounding Lake Shelbyville…
I know. I’ve been absent. My first “Retirement Trip South” has brought me home motivated and ready for spring. Lots of projects and ideas have floated around in my head, and I am ready to work with new energy and a fresh outlook.
So, here we go with the second set of “100 Sunday Sit, Sip, and Sync Technology Tips”.
It seemed right to feature this tip this week. It’s the week of the Olympics!
My kids have always been involved in athletics. As my youngest joined her older siblings, Shannon fell in step right behind them. She tried many. Volleyball, basketball, softball, track, and finally, cross-country.
(Did I miss any, Shannon?)
Cross-country seemed to be her “best-fit”, and was the foundation for her adult life as she began thinking more about fitness and nutrition, and less about weight.
Together, Shannon and I have discovered that the best “diet” is exercise.
Add to that equation good, healthy food, and we work hard to stay healthy. (Well, Shannon works a LOT harder. She is a “Rock Star” of cooking and eating healthy.)
Over time, though, we sometimes lose ground. The weather might keep us inside, limiting our exercise options. Deadlines and commitments require that we sit at computers and devices working long hours.
Before you know it, the numbers on our bathroom scales begin to creep up, and we just don’t feel good.
This spring Shannon took some active steps to reclaim her health and fitness, and one important piece of that process is an app that is supported by a website.
You need to register for an account, enter your personal data to establish goals and expectations, and you are on your way.
The more you use it, the easier it is to log what you eat and your exercise. The food database contains over a million food items that can be searched and entered. Once you enter a food item, it is easy to retrieve and record the data attached to it. It is literally a “click” to check a box.
Support is also there when you suggest and “friend” others using this app. When I saw how well Shannon was doing and when she explained how it works, I logged on and made an account, along with several family members.
Why is this our “Tech Tip of the Week”?
It has also become my personal “teaching tool”.
I have learned so much about nutrition and what I can and should eat. For example, I can pile fresh strawberries and blueberries onto my cereal in the morning for 80 calories while eating 7 (SEVEN) Tostitos is 140 calories! 140!!
For only SEVEN!?
And a fruit-filled breakfast is a lot prettier than some pasty-white chips made out of white corn. Just sayin’.
Each time I take a walk or lift a few weights, it’s like “buying” calories.
Tomorrow is Monday, so whether or not you need to lose or gain some pounds, Shannon and I encourage you to head over to My Fitness Pal and start the week working toward a healthier you.