I am not a huge fan of spelling tests, particularly when everyone in the class is responsible for the same words. However, this site has some amazing tools that will allow you to customize lists for your students. There are also fun games that they can play to practice those specialized lists. The site is free, although you need to register. There are some perks for purchasing a premium membership, but it can still be a valuable tool without all of the bells and whistles.
“Pictorial” is a free app. I envision using it with an iPad in a center. The app is a great way to practice spatial skills. However, the user can choose even harder puzzles if or she finds these too easy.
The puzzles show a series of dots. By sliding your fingers around the screen, you can manipulate the dots until you see lines connecting them. The darker the lines become, the closer you are to creating a picture. Once you slide the dots into the correct place, an image will appear, such as the ice cream cone in the picture to the left, and a prompt appears for the next puzzle.
A student could be asked to solve a puzzle, then identify the picture. To increase difficulty, a student could be directed to write a sentence with the picture, or even a story. A high level user could have the additional challenge of connecting several pictures together within a story.
A screen pic and Screen Chomp (another free app) could be used by students who have difficulty writing. Or each student could be directed to add the title of their picture to a class brainstorming map to use for writing or creative thinking. Another possibility would be to have students add the pictures to a class mind map to be used for vocabulary and/or spelling practice. Creative students could try to find as many ways to connect the pictures as possible or use the pictures artistically in drawing a scene.
I think this app would be appealing to students in K-5.
For more ideas on how to use apps in the classroom, please visit www.techchef4u.com, another great resource for teachers!
Stick Pick is an iPhone/iPad app with great potential as a teacher tool. The teacher can add one or more classes within the app. To each class, the teacher adds individual student names, determining the type and level of questioning to use for each student from the following categories: Bloom’s Taxonomy, Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, or ESL. Once all students are entered, their sticks appear in a cup from which the teacher can randomly or purposefully choose names. As each student is chosen, a list of question stems from their particular assigned level appears on the screen. This is a wonderful way for teachers to customize impromptu questions based on ability.
Created by Kim Ball, a teacher of Gifted and Talented students in San Antonio’s North East Independent School District, The Producer’s Toolbox is a great resource for anyone, teacher or student, who is interested in creating multimedia presentations. It has links to video, audio, and research sites, as well as other fun extras.
- Teachers can create their own websites on the site, designing different pages with different assignments for students based on ability levels or multiple intelligences. This could be an alternative to a menu or tic-tac-toe board.
- Students can create their own websites as final products for independent studies based on rubrics.
I haven’t had a chance to try this one with students, yet, but it shows great promise. With videos of different math challenges and supporting resources for K-12, this site has great potential for allowing students to do some independent critical thinking.
This is an invaluable tool for teachers to help with differentiation for all levels. If you click on the “Demo” at the top, you can create your own menu using “The Differentiator”. You do not need to pay to use the demo, but there is a $20 subscription service that allows you to save your menus online. These are brought to you by www.byrdseed.com.