The class that I left being most excited about at UCET was a GAFE called Fluency Tutor. I have been looking for something like this for the entire school year. It allows me to have my students record their own fluency practice. It scores how they do in a minutes. If gives them an accuracy score. It charts during the year how they are doing. It saves what they have done and then we can go back and listen to their reading at the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year. I am working with my free 30-day trial right now and I’m hoping that I can find the way to pay the yearly fee to use it with my class next year.
An app I found out about at the UCET conference is explain everything. The presenters showed how easy it is to use and how they even have their own third graders making their own presentations to share with the class using explain everything. It was fun to see the students go around and measure angles and share where they had found angles in their school and label what kind of angle they found.
I had heard from a teacher that I know that he uses explain everything as an interactive whiteboard so that he isn’t stuck up at the board all of the time. After talking with some other teachers I really started to see how I could use it in my classroom. Using AirServer I can use my ipad to write on as I walk around the room and it will project on the board for my entire class to see. I’m excited to see how it works in my room.
Another resource that I found out about at UCET was flippity.net. It is a great resource to use with my district Google account. There are templates that you can save to your drive. There are options to make certificates, a progress indicator, a badge tracker, name picker, spelling word list & automatic grading, flash cards, and review game.
There are a couple of the options that i’m going to spend some time looking at and seeing if it would be helpful for my classroom. The one thing that I have already tried out is the review game. It is like a jeopardy game. It is set up that I can quickly go in and change the questions and the answers. It also has a score keeper for teams attached with it. It is as simple as click that they got the answer right to add to the team score, leaving it blank and the score won’t change, or marking it wrong and it will take that many points away from the team. It’s something that I already use in my classroom, but this is better tech then what I have been using.
While I was at the UCET conference I went to a class on virtual field trips. I didn’t know what to expect. I knew about a few resources and didn’t love any of them so I was hoping that I would learn about some new things. I came out of that class so excited I wanted to go back to school and teach!!
We got to try out Google Cardboard. It was amazing. We were looking at a picture of solar system. I felt like I could reach out and touch the planets. If only the Google Cardboard wasn’t 20.00 each and I didn’t need a phone/ipod for each of them! Money is always an issue when we talk about tech.
There were some free ideas I wanted to share. Google Earth has a moon option for my 3rd grade science core. So I’m able to take my students to the moon.
Skype has come up with a few different options I’m super excited about. First they have mystery skype where two classrooms play 20 questions to try and figure out where the other class is located. They also have talk with a guest speaker where there are experts in many different fields who are willing to skype with your class so that your students can ask questions from an expert in their field. For instance in our Journey’s weekly reading books there is a story about the poles of the earth. My kids had a ton of questions about what it is like. Next year I can set up a skype with scientists that have actually studied at the poles that I could have my students ask their questions! The other option that is available is a virtual fieldtrip. This isn’t watching a video or looking at pictures that someone else has taken. It is an actual person who is there taking your kids around as if your class was actually there on the field trip themselves.
Today I was able to go to the UCET conference. I am so excited about some of the things that I learned about at the conference. In the next few weeks I’m going to share some of the things that I learned about at the conference. Before we left my technology teacher suggested that we use the idea of the three square to keep us from getting overwhelmed. It’s easy to go to a conference like this and hear about a bunch of new ideas and then get back to your classroom and not do anything with it because there were so many great ideas that you don’t know where to start. I almost kept it to only three things :). In the next few weeks I’ll be posting about virtual field trips, flippity, explain everything, and fluency tutor.
At the conference I also got to try out MakeyMakey’s for myself. I had heard about them through a twitter chat. I had thought of a few ideas to be able to use them in my class. I wrote a grant in order to get them for my class and now I’m REALLY hoping that I get my grant.