Curious Ruler

There is a new app for finding the measurements of things with the iPad, called Curious Ruler.  There is a paid app that costs .99$ or there is a free one, which works just as well.  This ruler uses reference objects such as a dime, penny, lego brick, CD, or an iPhone 5s.  With these it uses a proportion tool to find the height of the reference object then finds the length of the object.

Here are some things I measured from my iPhone 5s.

It is a quick and easy tool to find measurements on the iPad.  Will definitely be downloaded as one of the apps I use most for next year.  Finding the measurement of objects has been a hassle, because rulers are becoming more obsolete with more companies going to laser measurements for exact results.

#13: Blogging

I like blogging, I think my students enjoy it and using SeeSaw for the first time gave me some insight on how it will change my teaching.  I gave students a chance to blog using SeeSaw's note feature and this is what they came up with:

I liked the simplicity of them sending me pictures or just a quick note of what they have learned.  

Students had to write two paragraphs explaining the similarities and differences between circles and ellipses.  

I will keep using SeeSaw next year.

#12: Podcasts

I have been an avid listener of podcasts for the past two years.  My morning commute to and from work now tops a hour both directions and the radio just wasn't cutting it.  I had heard things about a new-"ish" podcast called Serial, which is amazing, but that got me hooked.  Now instead of listening to music, I listen to things I care about on Podcasts.

The best thing about podcasts from an educators perspective is that if you are 1-1 with iPads you can download them at school and have your students listen to them at home.  In my class I had students go to Podcasts and download an episode of the Math-Dude on Graphing Parabolas, they took notes as they went along and completed a worksheet after.

There are lots of great podcasts for any classroom including history, art, and science.

Completely Optional Knowledge Podcast is a great, short podcast for interesting science questions.

Presidential provides short biographies and interesting insights on the history of presidents leading up to the election.

Stuff You Should Know is a general podcast that informs on a wide range of subjects.  There are lots of great podcasts around and new ones become available everyday.

Next year I will try to incorporate this lesson, with the walking classroom.

Conic Section Surgery

I had students fill out a worksheet with their guided learning experience.  They cut the Play Doh in different ways to find circle, parabola, ellipse.  

Here is the link to the worksheet:

Play Doh
Plastic Knives
Latex Gloves
Face masks

I made homemade PlayDoh which some of them didn't turn out as well as they could have.  The gloves made it more of an experience.  Next year I will see if I can get something to make it feel more authentic.

#11 Gamifying the Classroom

We have spent a week reviewing for the 11th grade NeSA test.  To make it more exciting than doing worksheets, I decided to gamify the lesson.  Instead of doing review questions from Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 classes on a worksheet I split the questions between Kahoot, Quizizz, and Quizalize.  Students worksheet looked like this one down below.

Students put the name of a country and the countries flag.  We then did three different quizzes on different platforms, students recorded their score, and the three highest scores got a prize.  Here are some example worksheets students filled out:

Students were more entertained and engaged than doing a worksheet.

Students did a great job, some of the quizzes were more difficult I will provide links to the games we played, but overall students learned more than doing a worksheet and giving feedback.  I posted a leaderboard the next day, students liked seeing who won and what country they were.

Quizizz Algebra Review

Kahoot! Geometry Quiz

Quizalize Algebra 2 Review

I will improve this lesson for next year, possibly including badges and holding the olympics over multiple days.  Students being this engaged will help students retain more information during the review and learn new content with more of a passion.

#10: Live Streaming

Already on #10 of the 16 Things Teachers should try in 2016.  I have liked all the ones I have done so far and have pushed me as an educator.  The rest of them will challenge me, especially blogging, podcasting, wearable, and gamifying a lesson.

Since this week I choose live streaming, it was a difficult endeavor but found a good choice in using Periscope.  Periscope allows you to "go live" anywhere in the world by using your smart phone and users can ask you questions or post comments live on the app.

I used this with our open house we did this last fall.  Since this video is not currently going, I posted on Twitter that students parents can follow my account and did a quick walkthrough of my room and things that will happen in there if I had their son or daughter in class.

Our school has been struggling to get parents into open houses, parent teacher conferences, and sporting events.  By allowing parents to access these events where they are more comfortable and in a setting that they know these events can be more accessible to those parents.

I didn't stay live the whole open-house.  Just made it accessible after for people to watch.