3-12, Math, Problem Solving


Maybe the site formerly known as Twitter is circling the drain, but I’m still getting some wonderful resources from it. Case in point is a recent thread started by @kathyhen_ where she asked for more ideas for fast finishers in her class. She helpfully provided a doc that she gives her students, and then many people responded with additional suggestions.

Though many of the sites are already part of my Math Sites That Won’t Make You Fall Asleep and Brainteasers and Puzzles collections, I did see a few that I need to add. One of those is called, Sumplete.

To play Sumplete, you simply click on numbers in each column and row to “X” them out so that they will actually add up to the sums on the right and bottom of the grid. In the example above, 19 is bolded, which means that row already adds up to it, so you don’t need to delete any numbers. However, the middle row needs a number deleted so that it will correctly add up to 16. I can click on the 5, but I need to make sure the 5’s column will then also equal 10 when it’s deleted, as it does.

The Sumplete page gives more detailed instructions if needed. As you can also see in the above example, there is an arrow next to 3×3, which you can click on to select larger puzzle grids. Once you get to 6×6, you can also choose the difficult level. The most difficult is 9×9 master.

Interestingly, the Sumplete page mentions that the puzzle was created in collaboration with ChatGPT, and you can read all about the steps the creator, Daniel Tait of Hey, Good Game, went through for this process. It inspires me to try my own puzzle creation, so I’ll let you know how that goes ๐Ÿ˜‰

red card for valentine day

Bulk Create Valentines with Canva

I’ve been watching a lot of short videos made by Canva users demonstrating the use of the “Bulk Create” tool. If you’re an old-timer like me, it’s similar to Mail Merge. Most of the videos I watch are showing how people who create social media content can benefit from “Bulk Create,” but I always like to think how I would use it in my classroom. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I decided to test out how “Bulk Create” could help me personalize some Valentines for students.

Step 1: I went to ChatGPT and asked it to generate some phrases I could put on Valentines cards from teachers to students. At first it gave me quotation marks around each phrase so I revised my request, and you can see what I got below. If you are reluctant to try ChatGPT, I’ve already copied and pasted them to a spreadsheet that you’re welcome to use here.

Step 2: If you aren’t using the spreadsheet I linked above, copy and paste your phrases to your own spreadsheet. Then add a column called, “Name” and add your student’s names. If you already have a spreadsheet with student names, create a new column, title it “phrase” and add the phrases to that. Download/Save the spreadsheet as a CSV file.

Step 3: Open Canva, and choose a Valentine template you would like to use. I chose a postcard that looks like this:

Step 4: Adjust the text. After an experiment, I realized the bottom text of the circle wasn’t going to work, so I deleted it. I also wanted to add student names after Happy Valentine’s Day, so I created a new text box and added that. Because I wanted there to be an exclamation mark at the end, added that in a separate text box.

Step 5: Begin the Bulk Create process by looking at your menu on the left side. If you don’t see Bulk Create as an option, click on apps. In the picture you below, you can see it underneath the “More from Canva” headline. Choose Bulk Create. You will be asked if you want to enter information manually or upload it. Upload your CSV file.

Step 6: Right click on the parts of your design you want to replace with items from your spreadsheet. Choose “Connect Data” and select which column should replace it.

Step 7: Generate your data. If you don’t want some of the names or phrases you can uncheck them before you generate.

Step 8: Download your file as a PDF, print out, cut, and you’re ready to give them to your students!

I’d love to hear what other ideas teachers have for using the Bulk Create tool in Canva! It could definitely be a time-saver!

Want some more Valentine’s Day ideas? Click here to download my free updated PDF of “Would You Rather Valentine’s Day Math.” And here is my Wakelet full of other fun!

3-12, Computer Science, Teaching Tools

Leveraging AI for Learning with ChatGPT or Canva

One of the top 4 most visited posts on my blog this year has been, “AI Generated Poetry.” To say that artificial intelligence attracts interest, no matter the motivation behind that curiosity, would not be an understatement. And, if you’ve been active on social media lately — especially Twitter and TikTok — you will see that there is a new tool out there that will definitely be a major game changer in education. It’s called, “ChatGPT,” and it is for us to decide if it will be our doom or salvation.

ChatGPT is currently free, but you need to sign up to use it. For that reason, I haven’t tried it yet. I like to sit back a little bit and observe the braver pioneers when I hear about something this powerful. Is it too good to be true? How much data will it collect from me? In addition, it turns out I already subscribe to something that includes a tool quite similar to ChatGPT — Canva. (Unfortunately, Canva for Education users do not have this access at the moment, but Twitter conversations seem to reflect that it may be an option in the near future.)

Let’s talk first about what these specific AI tools do (ChatGPT and Canva’s Magic Write option in Canva Docs). They can basically write anything you ask them to, in very coherent but generic language. I’ve seen people demonstrate lesson plans, recipes, and social media content. And when I say, “coherent,” I mean eerily human-like. Here are examples of some of the responses I received from Canva’s Magic Write (my prompts are in bold font):

Example of AI Responses from Canva’s Magic Write Tool in Canva Docs

If you have any Canva Plan other than Canva for Education, you should be able to create a new Canva doc, click on the “+” sign, and choose “Magic Write” to test this out for yourself. You can see a quick demonstration below:

From what I’ve seen demonstrated, ChatGPT has similar abilities. If you go to this page, you can see some of the limitations of ChatGPT, and this one will give you the lowdown on using Canva’s Magic Write.

It’s no wonder that some educators who have seen these tools in action are concerned. ELA teachers are worried their students will utilize the service to respond to essay prompts and even computer science teachers wonder how their students will ever learn to code correctly because — guess what — ChatGPT can find errors in your programming, too.

Like any technology these AI tools can be used for nefarious purposes — or for good. That’s why it’s even more important than ever to teach students the value of ethics and how to evaluate information. Forbidding students to use AI is just going to result in a game of Whack-A-Mole as they keep attempting to outwit us and we keep trying to eradicate the use of AI for “cheating.”

Matt Miller (@JMattMiller) recently published a thread on Twitter that describes 20 ways that you can use ChatGPT to help you “teach/learn”:

For a more in-depth look at ChatGPT, I also recommend Matt’s blog post.

As you can see from Matt’s suggestions, there are ways that AI can make educator’s lives easier, and make learning more interesting. I think that we need to be aware of the limitations and potential abuses, while also taking advantage of the benefits such tools can bring.