Category Archives: Interactive White Board

Whiteboard.Fi

Whiteboard.Fi is a free tool that you can use to generate a room of individual whiteboards for your students that you can monitor in a grid view. If you don’t have the pro version of PearDeck, which allows students to draw on slides, this is an alternative you may want to consider. There is no registration required for the teacher or students, so it is quick to create a room and equally easy for students to join by using the room link or a QR code.

Because there is no registration, and no tie to any credentials, students will need to type in a name when joining, so be prepared for some hijinks with nicknames if your students are prone to be silly. You can enable a waiting room where you decide whether or not to admit students, so that may help.

Once students have joined, or at any time, the teacher can “push out” images as backgrounds for whiteboards, which can be great for labeling diagrams. Or, as you can see in the picture below, this might be another way for to conduct the “Peel the Fruit” Visible Thinking Routine, where students can give individual comments for each layer on their own whiteboards.

Students can also toggle back and forth between what is displayed on the teacher whiteboard, such as a math problem, and what they are doing on their own board.

There are many tools on the menu for students -including a grid background, music background, and math symbols – that you wouldn’t find on most whiteboards. Students can also scroll down and add pages, similar to Google Jamboard.

When you are finished with your session, the teacher can download all of the whiteboard responses as a PDF, in case it is needed as a formative assessment. If the teacher has enabled it, students can also save their whiteboards as PDF’s.

I have seen some teacher comments on social media that they sometimes had technical difficulties with Whiteboard.Fi, but according to their website they have just updated their servers (9/29/2020). As with any tech tool, you should definitely try to practice it on your network ahead of time to make sure it isn’t blocked by your district and have a backup plan in case there are connectivity issues.

The creator of Whiteboard.Fi, Sebastian Laxell, offers this service and all of its features free. However, if you want to contribute to the upkeep of the site, you can subscribe on his Patreon site here.

Don’t Gross Out the World

Creator of ClassTools.net, @RusselTarr, tweeted this site the other day.  My 1st graders have been studying countries around the world, and we have recently been discussing foods.  They really enjoyed “Don’t Gross Out the World,” from FunBrain because they thought many of the cultural traditions were unbelievable.  For example, how can it be true that some people think that it’s a compliment to burp loudly after a meal? Or, that asking for catsup could possibly be an insult in some countries?  I learned a few new things myself by playing this game with the class 🙂

UPDATE 5/8/18:  This site does not seem to be available any longer.  However, I found a screencast that someone made of the game that is a decent substitute.

Don't Gross Out the World game from FunBrain
Don’t Gross Out the World game from FunBrain

TeacherLED

This week I am going to dedicate my posts to sharing resources I learned about at TCEA in Austin last week.  I think packing too much info into a blog post is overwhelming, so if you are craving more, feel free to check out my notes (which are not finished yet!) here.

At her “Fabulous and Free” session at TCEA, Shannon (@SweetBlessShan) offered a lot of neat resources.  You can visit her website to get all of the links here. If you have any time after reading my post, I highly recommend you follow her on Twitter and subscribe to her great blog, “Technology Rocks. Seriously.” (She currently has some free Valentine printables!)

Since I try to just feature one resource, or a small group of related resources, each day, I had a hard time choosing from the notes I took on Shannon’s session.  But TeacherLED is one site she mentioned that is “good to go” in the sense that you don’t have to register or put any work into using it ahead of time.  It has neat Interactive White Board Activities for all sorts of subjects.  Also, it looks like most, if not all of the activities, will work on mobile devices.

Being a GT teacher, I was immediately drawn to the puzzles.  This site isn’t all about games, though. There are math interactives, geography activities, and ELA games.  You can see the full list here.

Some of the resources on TeacherLED aren’t necessarily curriculum-based, but they are definitely fun.  I think I actually heard “ooh’s” and “ah’s” when Shannon showed us the “Quiz Buzzer” which will allow you to know right away who answered a question first!

The Quiz Buzzer available on TeacherLED
The Quiz Buzzer available on TeacherLED

One of the many interactive puzzles available on TeacherLED
One of the many interactive puzzles available on TeacherLED

Oh hi

Most of the trouble I get into is when my daughter is late getting done with swim practice.  I get bored and start clicking on Twitter links.  Before I know it, I’m addicted to a new game.

Ian Byrd from @byrdseedgifted tweeted the link for “Oh hi” out a couple of days ago.  For those of you who enjoy Sudoku, this logic puzzle should be right up your alley.  For those of you who think Sudoku is evil – you’re welcome.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.22.47 PM

Oh hi” is browser based, and the game appears to work on any device, which makes it even more wicked.

I have lots of devices.

I’m not going to try to explain the game because the site does a good job with a simple tutorial.  Basically, you need to get the same amount of blue squares and red squares in every row and column without repeating the pattern.  However, you can never have more than 2 of the same color adjacent to each other. There are 4 levels: 4×4, 6×6, 8×8, and 10×10. I’m still on the 8×8 – mostly because I like the feeling of being somewhat challenged and majorly successful at the same time.  Frankly, I only got that far because of my daughter’s encouragement 😉

If you’re struggling to find an activity to fill in small time gaps during the last couple of days before Thanksgiving break, this might be a good option!

8x8 Oh hi

 

Inspirograph

Technically this should be a Phun Phriday post.  Because it’s seriously, addictively P.H.U.N.  However, my Friday posts in November and December are devoted to my “Gifts for the Gifted” series.  So, we’re going to break the mold and make it a Phun Thursday.  And even though that’s not quite as alliterative, it’s still fun.

I saw this tweet from @shannonmiller this week.

Spirograph TweetOf course, I immediately investigated the link.  I actually have an old Spirograph kit that I bought from E-bay a few years ago and I’ve been debating whether or not it would make a nice center in my classroom. The reason for the debate is the pins involved.  I think I can overcome the pin issue, but for those of you who don’t have a kit or prefer not to deal with pins Inspirograph is a perfect solution.  You can even download the image when you have finished your masterpiece!  Can you imagine trying this out on an interactive whiteboard?!!!

Some people, of course, prefer a more tangible experience.  But what about an edible one? If you head on over to The Kid Should See This, you can see how you can have your Spirograph Pancake and eat it, too

For those of you who might be appalled that I switched Phun Phriday to Phun Thursday, I have a couple of Spirograph math links for you from Dr. Mike’s Math Games and Mathematics Teaching Community.  Ann Pool has a GCF lesson that goes with Spirograph, too. I don’t really understand them, but don’t tell my students.

Here are a couple of masterpieces from the Inspirograph gallery.  Can you tell which one is mine?  (Hint: the less good one!)

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Transum Software

Transum Software

Don’t be mislead by the title of this site.  You are not required to download any software, and the math resources here are fun and free.  Although primarily designed for middle and high school students, there seem to be a lot of activities that could be used in upper elementary – and it would be a great site to refer to for extension activities.

The first thing I discovered when exploring the site was the “Starter of the Day” link, which gives a mathematical brain teaser for each day of the month.  Below is the example for today:

Starter of the day for 4/23/14 from Transum Software
Starter of the day for 4/23/14 from Transum Software

 

Shine + Write has many activities that would be great to use with an interactive white board.  This “True or False” game, for example, takes some thought.  Fun Maths has a page of games and math tricks that will be sure to entertain. Investigations offers challenges that might be good for gifted math students to work on independently.

There are many other links on Transum Software that you may find useful.  If you are looking for a way to make math class more exciting, I highly recommend checking out this site.