HPS Technology News

Week 2, Term 3 2014

Welcome back!

Welcome back to another great term! Term 3 is here and has already started with a bang. With our Netbooks and iPads busy chugging around the school, we have lots of new apps and great websites to check out to engage those busy learners in our classrooms.

This week I have a mixed bag of resources to check out; I hope you and your students have as much fun as I have had exploring them and embedding them into my teaching!

Have fun and as always, happy smoring!

Build your wild self!

I love this interactive website I came across this week. Perfect for all students who are either studying animals or looking at informative texts in English - or both! Build your wild self is a website created by the New York Zoo and Aquarium. Perfect for students to engage in independently or in small groups using the Netbooks. Build your wild self takes students on a step-by-step process to create a human/animal of their choice. Students first pick a sex then design a human of their choice by picking hair, eye and skin colour and then clothes for their human. The fun really begins when the students then add additional features such as 'head gear' (facial features of animals), ears, face, arms, bottoms, backsides and tails. As students choose each feature for their creation, they are presented with the correct metalanguage for each feature (eg, butterfly proboscis, crab eye stalks) which is great for vocabulary building. As students hover over choices, sound effects for each are also played. Once the student has successfully built their 'wild self', they can choose a background. The choice to finish whenever the like is available, as well as a random choice button. The best thing about when students press the 'I'm done' button, is that the program gives the students the correct name for their wild self. I got the 'Ibex-rab-mon-fro-phant-fly-monitor'. This is because I chose combinations of Ibex, rabbits, monarch butterflies, frogs, elephants, flamingos and green-tree monitors. On this page, it outlined that I had chosen parts of all these animals and gave me information about these parts and what I can now do with them. For example, my Wild Self can beat her wings five times per second and stick to trees with her frog pad hands. The information provided is simple and kid-friendly. It could then be used as part of writing an informative text based on the wild self. This website is a lot of fun and is a great tool to engage students in reading, speaking and writing about informative texts. I have added a picture of my wild self (which was optional to print and save). Students can let their imaginations go wild here, for as Muhammad Ali says; 'The man who has no imagination has no wings'.

Maths, maths, maths!

Numeracy Warm up

I love a good warm up activity. I am always on the hunt for new ones as I don't like to let the same ones get too stale. I have often found that warm up activities are primarily number based, and it is often hard to find ones that provide a lot of variety.

This warm up site is a beauty, it has quite a few topics to choose from, but I particularly like the Maths Vocabulary topic warm up activity. Words associated with actions in Mathematics often confuse students, so I was excited to find this. Warm up students' brains as they can click and drag answers on the Smartboard across five different levels of varying difficulty. Students can also engage in addition, subtraction, counting, place value, shapes and number patterns. This is a great site for Stage 1 - Stage 3.

Printable Maths Resources

Even though there are lots of very well known and fantastic printables floating around on the Internet such as things on Pinterest, Teachers pay teachers, Teachthis and many more, I did come across this and like it. I am a big fan of Jenny Eather and have found her resources helpful in the past.

These Maths Charts from Jenny Eather form a simple collection of printable posters and/or reference points for students and teachers on a huge variety of Maths topics catering for K-6 content ranging from simple counting to expanded notation to complex algebra.

These posters can be printed, but also can be shown via the link onto Smartboards to be used to model to students. This is a helpful little find :-)

Matific

Matific is a great Australian Maths website, recently shared by Laura Chaffey. This website is terrific, as it is not only aligned with the new Maths curriculum, but has interactive games and activities that complement several strands of Mathematics. Membership is free and as part of the membership you add in your class and school and also a Mathematics text of your preference (Targeting Maths, Maths Plus, etc) in which they aim to complement with activities in alliance to page numbers. NOTE: Membership is free for a limited time only. Within the website there is a variety of activities that can be used on the Netbooks and also the Smartboard. At this stage, not all strands are covered as the website is only new, but more is promised in the near future.

I like this website for it covers content from K-6 and is engaging for students to learn Number and Data skills. Check it out and keep an eye out for updated activities across more strands.

New iPad Apps @ HPS

'Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world' - Nelson Mandela.

Alison Miller

Relieving Assistant Principal

Hillsborough Public School