Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Big Mac Math

Looking for something to spice up your math lesson plan?  Mathlicious.com has some interesting, real-world math activities that could easily be integrated into a variety of curricular areas.  If you are teaching a Foods and Nutrition class, you might want to take a look at this math lesson that has students determine how long it would take celebrities in differing weight categories to burn off items like a McDonald's Big Mac, while performing different physical activities.  All the lessons I perused dealt with topics that would apply to teens, texting while driving, relationships, movies, sports statistics, all while pulling in a variety of math concepts.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Quick Tips for Managing Student iPads in the Classroom

If you have ever hesitated to use iPads in the classroom because you have feared that it would become a classroom management nightmare, then I have a few hints and tricks to enable you to manage and control the content that students are accessing in the classroom.  

NearPod- this free app allows the teacher to control the content that appears on student devices.  Teachers sign up for a free account, create presentations using a variety of content from the web, and have students sign into a student account and enter a PIN to view the teachers created presentation.  There is a video preview of this app available here

Guided Access- In the Apple iOS software, the option to lock a student into an app is as easy as activating guided access.  Go into Settings>General>Accessibility and under Learning, turn on Guided Access.  You will be prompted to enter a passcode, which you should keep to yourself.  When you would like to have students work in one specific app for a particular amount of time, triple click the home screen button and select START at the top right hand side of the window that appears.  You will see a notification that Guided Access has been enabled.  Students will not be able to exit the application, unless they have the passcode. You can end Guided Access by triple clicking the home screen button and selecting END.  

Air Drop- With an iPad 4, a WIFI connection, and the latest edition of the iOS7 software, you can push content such as photos or webpages to students.  To activate AirDrop, swipe from the bottom of your device's screen until the control panel appears.  Here, you can tap on AirDrop, select the people to whom you would like to be discoverable, and then decide what you would like to share with students.  In apps that you see the option to share, you can then determine the people you would like to push the content out to based on the name of the device.  This could include photos in your photo app, webpages you have searched out in Safari, or other apps that have the following logo:

Apps to Explore the Human Body

Learning all the different body parts and the functions of the human body systems is essential knowledge for all students.  As our Manitoba Curriculum covers aspects of the human body in both Science, Phys. Ed. and Health courses, presenting this content in a visual and interactive way makes it more engaging for students.   Here are a few of my favourite human anatomy apps:

My Incredible Body (Free for today! Regularly $2.99)
Allows the user to view 3D perspectives of the different human body systems.  It is free today in the app store, down from $2.99.

Human Body by Tiny Bop ($2.99)
Allows students to interact with the human body systems.  You can layer the muscular system over the digestive system and view respiration in action as the diaphragm pushes air out of the lungs.  This could be used as a student station in science as it actually allows the teacher to audio record content about the different parts of the body for students to play while exploring the different systems. This one has appeared in Apps Gone Free, but is regularly priced at $2.99.

Build-A-Body by Sponge Labs (Free)
This app allows the user to build 6 different human body systems.  It will not allow the student to add organs in the incorrect spot or order, the systems need to be build anatomically correct in order to move onto the next system.  This app is available for free in the App store.

Powers of Minus Ten- Bone (Free)
Available for free in the App store, the Powers of Minus Ten- Bone app allows the user to view normal and broken bones in the hand, and slide along an arrow to view the healing process.  You can zoom in and out to see the bone magnified down to the cytoplasm contained within the bone.