Locust Grove Tech Tidbits

By Denise O'Brien, LMS/STC

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Thinking Outside the Box.....

Grant Lichtman, senior fellow with The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence, defined innovation as "preparing students for their futures, not for our past." This task is daunting to say the least. I was introduced to Grant Lichtman through a Ted Talks (I'm a Ted Talks Junkie) that he did after a year long trek he completed where he traveled the country looking at what schools can tell us about 21st century skills. One of the conclusions he came to is that schools absolutely and positively have to allow students to have control over their own learning. This thinking traces back to the work of educational innovators such as Dewey, Montessori, and Parker.

I encourage everyone when you have a few extra minutes this week, watch this 15 minute Ted Talk by Grant Lichtman where he shares his discoveries, insights and conclusions from this journey.

What 60 Schools Can Tell Us About Teaching 21st Century Skills: Grant Lichtman at TEDxDenverTeachers
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Just a reminder, when requesting apps to be installed or purchased for the iPad cart, please give me at LEAST 3 days notice.

Shape Lab

Shape Lab is an open-ended sandbox app allowing students and teachers to explore shape and measurement concepts on the iPad. Using advanced shape recognition technology, Shape Lab allows students to draw, manipulate and investigate shapes directly on the screen.

Use Shape Lab for a range of classroom activities:
- Create pictures using shapes;
- Investigate and compose patterns and tessellations;
- Explore measurement, area, perimeter, fractions, congruence and angles;
- Use photos to discover shapes in the environment;

ABC Phonics - Make a Word Free

This is a free app that focuses on short vowel sounds - perfect for K & 1st grade students. Kids learn short vowel sounds by listening to spoken words and viewing associated illustrations, then they spell the words by dragging letters to their proper locations.
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Rainbow Sentences

Warning - this app is expensive ($7.99) HOWEVER, it has been featured in many reputable technology integration articles/blogs and is rated very highly - particularly for students with learning difficulties or those where English is not the primary language and it is suitable for students from kindergarten all the way through 5th grade.

Rainbow Sentences is designed to help students improve their ability to construct grammatically correct sentences by using color coded visual cues. The who, what, where, and why parts of sentences are color coded to help students recognize and understand how combinations of these parts create basic sentence structure.

Students will learn how to recognize the parts of sentences such as nouns, verbs, and prepositions, improve their understanding of how combinations of these parts create basic sentence structure. Students have the opportunity to record their sentences in their own voice to improve their receptive and expressive language skills.

MarcoPolo Weather

MarcoPolo Weather is a delightful app that allows little ones to explore and learn about various weather conditions. This free play app uses hands on play to encourage children to experiment with lots of fun accessories, characters, and clothing see how each are affected in the different temperature, wind, rain, and snow conditions. The quality of this app is really great with awesome illustrations, interactive images, bright colors, and fun sound effects to go along with each weather condition and accessories children use. There is narration through out for each weather condition that provides the definition of each condition which is great for children.

U.S. Geography with Flat Stanley

U.S. Geography with Flat Stanley HD helps kids learn to name states from their shape and gives them important information about each one.

Features include:

  • Learn states, capitals and other state facts
  • See pictures of important attractions in each state
  • Scrambled letter spelling game to teach spellings
  • Study seven regions or the entire country at once
  • Match state names with shapes on blank map