Friday Focus

October 16, 2015

Excellent iPad Apps to Use with Reflector

Reflector is software we purchased a couple years ago. It is on every teacher station and on the two smartboard stations in the LMC. Reflector allows you to mirror your iPad screen to your computer, which is then projected onto the smartboard. Anything happening on the iPad, including animation and sound, is played on the computer screen as well. Now untethered from the computer, you are free to place yourself strategically in the room.

Here are three recommended apps that would work well for using the iPad for modeling and shared demonstration:

1. Math Board ($5): Teach students how to work problems for the four basic operations.

From the App Store description:

"More than just standard drills, MathBoard encourages students to actually solve problems, and not just guess at answers. This is done by providing multiple answer styles, as well as a scratchboard area where problems can be worked out by hand. Students can also turn to MathBoard's Problem Solver for further help. This powerful teaching feature walks students through the steps required to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division equations."

There is also Math Board Fractions and Math Board Challenge, a head-to-head game where two students compete to see who can complete the problems faster.

2. Notability ($6): This handwriting and drawing tool is considered an "Essential" by Apple. Using a stylus, a teacher can model how to closely read text on a PDF or screenshot, demonstrate with students a genre of writing, and show students how to organize data for a science activity. Pictures and audio recording of your explanations can be embedded into the document. Hand off the iPad to another students when they are ready to share their own work.

3. Popplet ($5): This app allows you to create idea webs, especially helpful when brainstorming ideas for writing or for pre-assessing background knowledge on a topic.

From the App Store Description:

"Popplet is the simplest tool to capture and organize your ideas. With Popplet you can quick jot down your ideas and sort them visually. Popplet is great for school and for learning in the classroom and at home. Students use Popplet to think and learn visually. By capturing facts, thoughts, and images, students learn to create relationships between them and generate new ideas. "

If you would like to purchase one or more of these apps, just fill out the form and Wayne will install them on your iPad. I would happy to model these tools in your class if interested.

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"But I don't want to miss free choice!"

- An ill student in the office, waiting for his mother to pick him up and go home

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Technical Difficulties

Teachscape continues to have problems with uploading information and saving it on their servers. Our Educator Effectiveness coach Nic Sydorowicz has been working with other districts and the DPI on developing some Google documents to help with goal setting, artifact collection, and observations. The district has provided these resources; see Nic for more information, especially if you need one of these documents.

Skyward Report Card Training

Monday, Nov. 2nd, 3-4pm

Howe Computer Lab

Every school has been asked to facilitate a training at some point between now and the end of the first tri-mester. I thought the last hour of our building-based collaboration day would work the best for everyone, versus an after school meeting. I apologize for the inconvenience. Jean Westover will be leading this hour session.

Friday Funny

Key & Peele - TeachingCenter