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6 Great Virtual Manipulative Tools for the Math Classroom

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When I think of the lessons we learned from remote learning, I think about how much mathematics instruction had to adapt to the changing needs of students. In other words, we couldn't do things the way we had always done them. We had to change! As we start the journey towards post-COVID, there are many lessons that we can take and infuse into our classrooms.  Montejo-G├ímez et al. (2022) proposed several best practices for teaching mathematics during remote learning, such as: Connect real-world issues (i.e. COVID stats, lockdown numbers, etc.) with math concepts to take a "meaningful mathematics," approach. Blend synchronous and asynchronous instruction.  Emphasize modeling, student interests, and hands-on activities.  It made me think about how important virtual manipulatives are for modeling math concepts and providing students with hands-on learning opportunities. Here are six great tools for providing students with hands-on learning opportunities for math!  #1 - Didax

My Spin on the Iron Chef Eduprotocol

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I am a big fan of Eduprotocols. If you are not familiar with this innovative and engaging way of infusing technology and pedagogy together, then I recommend that you check out the Eduprotocols website.   Eduprotocols are  UDL-friendly and provide accessible and flexible options for ALL students! Student centered and increase student engagement Collaborative in nature I have written about several different protocols in the past, such as the Getting to Know You Frayer Model  and the Sketch and Tell Bumper Sticker .  Iron Chef Eduprotocol The Iron Chef Eduprotocol is a lot of fun because it provides students with an opportunity to research and collaborate on a slideshow. Students are assigned a slide and have ten minutes to complete it. They have ten minutes to add facts from a text, video, or website, as well as an image and "special" ingredient. The special ingredient is what makes this item "special" in comparison to the other items discussed in the presentation. At

A Creative Hack to Add Visual Icons to Google Sites

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Google Sites is a great tool for creating websites, but how can you make it more visually stimulating to your audience? One way is to create visual icons like you see below.  Why Customize Your Site?  Customizing your Google Site meets the needs of your audience. Visual icons make it easy to navigate, understand, and engage with your site. For example, perhaps you want to increase engagement with your Bitmoji or make it easier to navigate with colorful icons.  How Does It Work? The following hack involves using Google Sites, Google Slides, and one of my favorite free add-ons called  Insert Icons for Slides     or  Icons for Slides and Docs .  Want to see how this works? Check out my  video  below:

Help Students with Self-Regulation and Manage Their Time with Time Timer

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How often do you use a timer in the classroom, at home, or somewhere else?  I use my timer all of the time to keep track of time and stay focused. For instance, I often set a time limit for myself to complete a certain task. For example, if I know that I cannot complete a project in one sitting, I might set a timer for 30 minutes. Setting the timer actually helps me work harder and stay focused! In a similar way, timers are extremely useful for helping our students with self-regulation and managing their time. Setting timers help students stay engaged and focused!  There are a lot of great free products out there that help with managing time; however, I recently came across Time Timer, which offers a free iOS, Android, and Apple Watch application . There is a paid Mac and Windows application too.  Why do I like it?  It's visual interface is easy to use and understand. It's visual nature makes it easy to understand how much time remains.  Setting the timer can be done by touch o

Create a Signup with Time Slots Using Choice Eliminator 2 and Google Forms

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 Tis' the season for parent teacher conferences and other meetings that may require creating a Google Form with limited choices. Choice Eliminator 2 might be a great option to create a Form with limits!  Want to learn how it works? Check out my video below:  

Create Accessible Games for Elementary Students with Tiny Tap

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Games are a great way to provide students with valuable practice or assess their understanding of content. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the right tool for elementary students in particular. I found a great free resource called Tiny Tap for students in elementary school to practice a variety of skills in math, language arts, social studies, science, and more. If you have ESL students, this could be a great resource too!  I like it for several reasons because it provides accessible ways to access content through video, audio, and hands on activities. Secondly, it provides you with an easy way to share activities with students via Google Classroom, your LMS, or assigning it through Tiny Tap. Finally, it is easy for students to understand and navigate. You can embed audio instructions as a way to help students with understanding directions.  Whether you want to create your own game or use an existing game, it is a great tool to use in your classroom! Want to see it in action? Chec

Better Writing Responses with Slides

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I have been spending a lot of time working with elementary teachers on infusing technology into a new ELA curriculum. It has been a valuable experience because I have learned so much about how students use language to communicate. Writing is an essential skill that all students need to master; however, many of our students struggle with the structure associated with writing. Have you ever considered using Google Slides to provide students with the scaffolds and supports they need to construct a writing piece?  Want your own copy? Click here!  I recently developed the following Writing Prompt template in Google Slides for students in our elementary school; however, this could easily be adapted for use in secondary classrooms. Students read a writing prompt, brainstorm ideas, and then construct their paragraph - all in one place.  First, students read the writing prompt. We have found that many of our students struggle with some of the vocabulary terms in writing prompts, so we added an