Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Precisely the Perfect Picker

So tonight was was tinkering around with html code attempting to create a randomized prize picker for my classroom and I managed to come up with a reasonable looking option (with a lot of tips from Tony Vincent's website!)

Here's what I created:   http://mrsmaryhoward118.wix.com/randomizedprizes  (Hit F5 or refresh to see the randomized items)

The above website required a bit of time and tinkering and will allow me to create an entire board of QR codes (all identical but the kids won't know that).  Each QR code will lead to the same website which has randomized html code built into it to provide a different result every time the site is accessed.

Here's a video tutorial on how I did it
Here's the html code I used

In pursuit of the perfect picker that DOESN'T require too much time and effort, I decided to explore and develop a list of recommended websites and methods for randomizing and choosing....all very fun and useful in a classroom!

Here are a few that I found:

Designed as a virtual rock/paper/scissors style website, this site works great as a student selector.  Is simply and easy to edit and use.

This tried and true random-name-picker by classtools has been a standby in my class for years.  The carnival wheel is one my students love.


Also by Class Tools, this fruit_machine provides a slot machine format with beeping sounds and 'yaaaay' cheering...annoying to me but the students love it.  I use it for vocabulary/alphabet bingo games.

Decide Now
Everyone thanks me after I recommend this $.99 app!!  It's truly one of my favorites.  Make customized spinners for ANY topic.  I keep it on my phone and have pre-built spinners with student names, the alphabet letters A - Z (for bingo) and for fun conversation starters.

The cute background with camel picture and customizable interactive spinner make this one fun.  I like the option to remove a name as well as the spin timer.

Other pickers that are not fancy but fast and effective:


Need ideas???

  • Add student names to pickers for stations, student selection, line leaders, classroom chores and turn taking
  • Create conversation questions (for student icebreaker activities)  Include questions like:  What are you most proud of? , Who is the bravest person you know? , What foods do you like? 
  • Create your own story starter lists!
  • Place vocabulary words within spinners and encourage journal writing using the words spun
  • Create poetry evaluation spin prompts
  • Create reflection prompts to use as exit an after lesson assessment. 
  • Practice parts of speech nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. 
  • Create spinners with review questions on them
  • Use blooms taxonomy to create thinking spinners with leveled questions. Students spin and answer corresponding question.
  • Take a look at Make Dice Lite!!!  A great app for customizing dice to meet many of your perfect picker needs!!
So many ways to use Your Smarticles!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Bored Students. Google Cardboard that is!

My Google Cardboard journey has begun.  As of yet, I do not know where it will lead me, but I've become intrigued, have begun diving in, and here's what I've discovered.

#1.  Google Cardboard is a high-tech, low-cost, approachable way to bring the Occulus Rift style Virtual Reality into your classroom.

#2.  Google Cardboard CAN be made with a LOT of patience and a few easy to obtain supplies.

I downloaded these templates to make my own:

-I ordered these Lenses:   25*45MM BiConvex Lens for Google Cardboard 3D VR Glasses  Banggood.com

-I bought these magnets:  Home Depot.  Neodymian Disc and Button Magnets. 

#3.  Google Cardboard requires a LOT less patience if you just order it online.  There are MANY MANY MANY suppliers and it can be a bit overwhelming to peruse all of the options.  I was EXTREMELY happy with my Amazon purchase for $11.99 which had me up and running on Cardboard within a day.  It was easy to fold and easy to understand.

#4.  There are a few dabbling educators and concrete, approachable classroom resources are slowly beginning to emerge.  The Cardboard app is the best way to get started.  The app offers several 'modes' for exploring how cardboard works.  The Urban Hike mode was the most intriguing for me and had me journeying to The Great Barrier Reef, Shanghai, Paris, London and even New York City!  These journeys helped me realize the WOW factor for students when it comes to integrating this technology into the classroom for virtual field trips.

#5.   Speaking of virtual field trips, explore the Expeditions program!  Expeditions is a virtual reality platform built for the classroom. The creators of Expeditions have worked with content partners from around the world to create more than 100 engaging journeys - making it easy to immerse students in entirely new experiences.  To get involved, visit their website and request a visit.

#4. Apps.   More and More apps are appearing that capitalize on this great technology.  Here are the iOS apps I've explored.

VRSE: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vrse-virtual-reality/id959327054?mt=8

Dinotrek:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dinotrek-vr-experience/id1018497986?mt=8

Stereotopic Tunnel  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stereoscopic-tunnel-effect/id658276824?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D8

Dive City Rollercoaster:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dive-city-rollercoaster/id771293168?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D8

3D Tube: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/3dtube-youtube-3d-video-player/id594614158?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D8

The Height:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-height/id764996957?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D8

Tales from the Minus Lab:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fov2go-tales-from-minus-lab/id503346367?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D8

#5.  #360 Video.  I highly recommend you follow 360 video channel on YouTube.  This initiative has people all over the world recording 360 videos that provide authentic 3D experiences (even without Cardboard).  If viewed on cardboard, the immersive effect is even greater! This video is the launching point for my first Cardboard Classroom Initiative (explained below)  Watch 360 videos on tablet or mobile devices for the most enhanced experience.  Here's how to use 360 Videos!

Android Viewing of 360 Video
If you have an Android device, you can view the YouTube 360 videos through Google Cardboard for a completely immersive VR experience.  Open videos on your Android Smart Device and click the      symbol.  This will convert the YouTube presentation to a Photosphere view and allow you to view and interact with the video through Google Cardboard.

iOS Viewing of 360 Video

As of November, 2015, iOS doesn’t have a YouTube 360 support app provided through Apple or Google, however, and independent developer HAS devised a viewer for Google Cardboard.  This viewer is called:  in360Tube,

#6.  Cardboard Classroom Initiative.  Want to try it???  Do you teach ELA/Writing???  Here's an idea!!!

Never bored with Cardboard and Your Smarticles!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Starting off new with Klikaklu!!

Start off your new year with his new idea featuring Klikaklu!!   If you like treasure hunts, geocaching or scavenger hunts, you'll LOVE this app that features picture based scavenger hunts!

Picture of klikaklu logo

Klikaklu is a free app for users that wish to participate in a scavenger hunt (i.e., students) and it's $9.99 for someone that wishes to create and share a scavenger hunt...well worth it!!

Klikaklu allows you to create a picture hunt whereby students are provided a written clue and then an image clue and must locate and click the image to get credit!  It's also a terrific way to ask questions about the item they've clicked...you can add multiple choice questions, true/false questions, polls or open ended questions to your hunt!

Here's what you can do with Klikaklu!

The simplest thing I've found that I could do with Klikaklu is to set up stations for students to locate.  Each station has a noteable picture that they must  'click' within the app.  After each image, I insert a question (true/false or multiple choice) at that station for them to answer to demonstrate their knowledge.  I did this with my class while we were going over the classroom policies and procedures to familiarize them with the room as seen in the video above.

Here's the scavenger hunt I made on Klikaklu if you'd like to modify it for YOUR classroom!!

#1.  Daily Doses
Clue: Each day we promise to be loyal to this star spangled banner
Image:  Flag
Question:  T/F  It's ok to talk or remain in your seat during the pledge

#2.  T - Take
Clue:  I sit near the entry just waiting for you, snap a picture of me to complete this clue
Image:  The work basket near the door
Question:  T/F  You need to look in this area daily to pick up any bellwork or materials for class

#3.  Just the Facts
Clue:  Exiting the room, passing this ghost placing a post on me shows who knows the most!
Question:  T/F  When leaving class you may leave as soon as the bell rings.

Picture of Snapfact Exit Slip Board
#4.  You're a Sharp One!
Clue:  Sharpen away as long as your teacher has nothing to say!
Image:  Electric pencil sharpener
Question:  None

#5.  Beam Me Up!
Clue:   This portal has all the data you need to keep up with your grades with lightning speed.
Image: The link to the parent/student grade portal
Question:  T/F  Only parents can look at your online grades

#6.  Missed It!
Clue:  Your missed work is found in here, so pick it up and be a dear.
Image:  Absent work bin
Question:  T/F  When you are absent, the class just sits and eats cheese.

#7.  Valued
Clue:  Viking Values 1, 2, 3.  Click this carefully off the wall behind me.
Image:  Classroom Rules poster
Question:  Open ended  Our class rules revolve around the.....?

#8. Offensive
Clue:  Do things right every time so you'll never be a victim of this offensive rhyme!
Image:  Consequences
Question:  T/F  The severe clause means you'll get sent straight to the office

#9 Heads Up!
Clue:  Write it right and things will be all right, right?
Image:  The standard heading for papers
Question:  T/F  It's ok just to write your first name on things.

#10  Check Please
Clue:   If you wish to win something great, make sure you always clear this plate!
Image:  The weekly behavioral assessment sheet  (Free at my TpT Store!)
Question:  T/F  If your assessment sheet stays clean all week, you can play a class game!

#11.  Whoooooo?
Clue:   Owl know the paper is yours if your name is on it!!  If not, you'll find it here.
Image:  No Name Paper Poster with Owl
Question:  None

#12.  It's A Date
Clue:  January, February, March, April, May.  Look here to find out the day.
Image:  Daily agenda area with calendar
Question:  None

How Can I Build this Myself???

Step #1.  Chart your course

Have an idea in mind for your scavenger hunt....think big or think small, either is okay!  It could be a tour of the library or a tour of the school!  Klikaklu allows you to add images (that are to be image matched) and it also lets you assign multiple choice questions, true/false questions, polls or open ended questions to your hunt!  You can even assign a location to your clues so that a student must be standing in that very spot for the trigger to work!!

Step #2.  Click each clue!

Set up your scavenger hunt by opening the Klikaklu app, titling your hunt and snapping a picture of each image you want to include in your hunt.  If you want, you can ask a supplemental question about each student that the hunter will have to answer.

Step #3.  Publish and Promote your hunt!

When the hunt has been built, Klikaklu allows you to print out a QR code directing students to the hunt in order to complete it.   Students just download the FREE Klikaklu app, enter their age (it's OK if they are under 13) and begin.  There IS a log-in feature, but I found it faster to play anonymously.

Create a tour of your school, a scavenger hunt of your community, a getting to know you activity or even turn a test/quiz review into a dynamic and engaging activity!

Good luck, and keep on Using Your Smarticles!