3-5, 5-8, Education, Motivation, Teaching Tools, Videos

Rock, Paper, and Scissors – Can They Be Friends?

The latest “Be Together. Not the Same” video from Android looks at the relationship among Rock, Paper, and Scissors in a completely different way.  What if they actually use their differences to help others out?  The resulting story delivers a cute message about standing up to bullies and embracing your uniqueness.  The music from St. Elmo’s Fire doesn’t hurt, either 😉

In case you haven’t seen last year’s Android video with the same moral, here is a link to that post. (Warning: Cute Overload will ensue!)

Monotune, also by Android, continues on the theme.

If you are searching for Inspirational Videos for Kids, check out my Pinterest Board here.

image from Rock, Paper, Scissors video by Android
image from Rock, Paper, Scissors video by Android
Education, K-5, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Videos, Writing

Be Together. Not the Same.

First of all, I should mention that I have never in my life used an Android phone.  So, this post has nothing to do with persuading you to go out and buy one.  I just really like the message in this ad, and the delivery is very cute.

Image from "Friends Furever" video
Image from “Friends Furever” video

I added this video to my Inspirational Videos for Students Pinterest Board last week.  When I showed it to my 5th graders, they cracked up and begged me to show it to them again.  When we discussed the meaning of the slogan, they nailed it.

Still riding high on the laughter of my 5th graders, I showed the video to my 1st graders the next day.  When I pulled up the video, two of the boys started making fun of the orangutan because his stomach “looks like a butt.”  This actually emphasized the reason I wanted to show this video to them in the first place – but more of that in a moment.

Once I played it through, the students agreed with the fifth graders that it was pretty cute.  This time, though, I asked the group to write the message they thought it was trying to convey (besides, “Buy Android phones.”)  You can click on the images below to see some of their ideas.

This leads to why I showed the video: We are researching different countries, and some of the students were critical of the differences they saw in the research books during the previous class.  I tried to explain that just because people may not dress like us or eat the same foods it doesn’t make them “weird.”

I was sure I would need to lead the students to the connection between the video and the lesson I hoped it would teach.  But, after finishing her sentence and drawing, one girl looked up at me and said, “I know why you showed us that video.”


“Because you wanted us to see that you can be different and still be friends – like the people in the countries we are studying.”

Yep.  She nailed it.


3-12, Apps, Critical Thinking, Education, Games, Problem Solving

FlipPix Art

FlipPix Art - Kids
FlipPix Art – Kids

Well, I finally did it.  I finally found an app that is free, happens to be available on both Android and iOS, is engaging, and is educational.

FlipPixArt is based on an old Japanese logic puzzle that offers a matrix and clues about which boxes should be colored in each row and column.  By using the numbers at the top of each column and the beginning of each row, one must deduce the correct boxes to “paint” and which ones to “hammer” out of the picture.

Once the puzzle is solved, an object or animal is added to the scene at the beginning of the game.  In the free “Zoo” version, there is one scene with 36 puzzles needed to complete it.  Recently, the “Holiday” version went free (though I don’t know for how long), and it has 6 holiday scenes with 74 puzzles.  However, one of the scenes in the “Holiday” version is a bar scene, so I would not recommend it for educational purposes.  There are many other versions – including the Kids one – some are for free, and some cost.  So far, my favorite free one is the Model Plane version.  There is also a Jurassic one that is sure to appeal to some of those dinosaur enthusiasts.

This is a good app for the classroom because it allows for different players on the same device, so they can each play at their own level.  It also offers a great tutorial.  I would say that this is a good app for 3rd grade and up, though younger children can probably enjoy it with a bit of guidance.

Click here to access FlipPix Art – Zoo for Android.

The 5x5 puzzles are good to start with.  The 10x10 puzzles will give more interesting picture results.  Some of the apps also have 15x15.
The 5×5 puzzles are good to start with. The 10×10 puzzles will give more interesting picture results. Some of the apps also have 15×15.
Apps, K-12, Parenting, Teaching Tools

Educational App Reviews

As we begin to incorporate more mobile devices into our classrooms to engage our students, the question becomes, “What apps will be appropriate for the needs of my students?”  Sorting through the apps available on sites such as iTunes in the Education category can be very time-consuming.  In the past few weeks, I have come across some websites that try to make the job of finding meaningful apps for children easier for teachers and families.
Proshas 4 different platforms to choose from: App Store, Android, YouTube and Computer, allows users to add app reviews, can filter categories, levels, price, and language, can sort by new, recommended, review, or alphabetic
Consmust register (for free) to suggest apps, does not have a large selection yet
Pros:  can choose App Store, Android, or both, can filter by free, paid, highest rated, most popular, or APProved, can browse by category or age group, seems to have a large catalogue, gives a lot of information – both objective and subjective – about each app
Cons: not specifically designed for educators, although it does have an Education category, does not appear to have any teachers as reviewers (the site is designed for families rather than educators)
Pros: can choose category, can choose specific grade level, trying to work with developers to increase the quantity and quality of educational apps
Cons:  seems to be mostly App Store offerings (I didn’t see any Android apps), does not allow to filter for platform or sort by ratings, price, or popularity (though these should be coming soon), still limited on number of reviews (just starting out)
Pros: lots of meaty suggestions for using apps in the classroom with examples and links, written by an Instructional Technology Specialist in N.E.I.S.D. (shout out!) in San Antonio who was a former classroom teacher, very creative ideas for integration, most ideas have been teacher-tested
Cons: due to the high quality of each post, there is a lower volume of reviews than you will find on the other sites, limited to App store