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Checking out @vwindman’s recommended manipulative math apps for iPad via @techlearning

A while ago, I subscribed to receive free Tech & Learning newsletters via my email. You too could get these updates by clicking here. As per their website:

30th Ann logo roundFor 30 years, Tech & Learning has served the K-12 education community with practical resources and expert strategies for transforming education through integration of digital technologies. Our audience includes all job roles within the district community, with district-level technology coordinators the primary recipients. Beyond that, our magazine is often used as a professional development tool to help educators across the board get up to speed with the newest technologies and products in order to best prepare students for the global digital workforce.

A recent newsletter included the following article by Vicki Windman (@vwindman) which I immediatey forwarded to the math faculty at The School at Columbia University

Manipulative Math Apps for the iPad to meet the Common Core Standards

The iPad offers many math apps to help students who need visual tools and manipulatives to help understand basic functional concepts to more advanced math. 

Hands on Math Hundreds Chart $1.99 – Teachers, have “green” friendly interactive 100’s chart on your iPad. It also has sound for students to hear the numbers- fantastic for ELL and special needs students. An extensive Instructor’s Guide for this app is available at the support website. Download the document and install it in iBooks to access ideas about how to use the Interactive Hundreds Chart for teaching elementary mathematics.

Common Core Standards:
Kindergarten: Know number names and the count sequence.

BaseTenBlocks $1.99Stop losing your unifix cubes teach place value- including Whole Numbers, reading and writing numbers, decimals addition and subtraction and regrouping. Unifix cubes cost $99.92 for 1000 at a discount. This app is $1.99 and gives you all of the unifix cubes and interactive activities built in- no more worksheets or workbooks. A comprehensive instructor’s guide is available at Base ten guide.

Common Core Standards:
Grade one and two- understand place value, use place value understanding and properties of operations to add and subtract.

Mathboard $4.99 Here is an app to help students with four basic operations. It also includes square cubes, square roots and integers. Random problem generation (up to 250 questions per quiz). – Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Squares, Cubes and Square Roots – Includes One Step Equation style problems. e.g (6+x=12; x-8=2; 5x=25;) – Number ranges are configurable from -9999 to 9999, including the ability to require certain numbers to be in each problem.

Common Core Standards:
Grades 1-3 Operations and Algebraic Thinking

First Grade- Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
Second Grade- Add and subtract within 20.
Third Grade- Represent and solve problems involving multiplication and division.

VM- Virtual Manipulative Free- Set the app for Percents, fractions or decimals- App provides you with a slide bar. Drag pieces such as 1/5 press and hold and your are provided with the equivalent. App includes an area for student work and a folder to save work.

Common Core Standards: Number and Operation
Grade 3- Develop understanding of fractions as numbers
Grade 4-Extend understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering.
Grade 5- Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division to multiply and divide fractions.

Vicki Windman is a special education teacher at Clarkstown High School South.


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Notes from our tour of the Marymount’s new Fab Lab with @JaymesDec


I just got back from a tour of Marymount‘s new Fab Lab led by Jaymes Dec (@JaymesDec) and Lesa Wang. (Fab is short for Fabrication) Lesa has been teaching art at Marymount for years, and she says her whole curriculum has changed as a result of having the Fab Lab available to her. Marymount is an all-girls PreK-12 independent school on the Upper East Side. Visiting along with me from The School at Columbia University were Greg Benedis-Grab (science), Gina Marcel (K-2 Technology), Dena Rothstein (5th Grade), and David Waterbury (Tech).

Jaymes learned about technology as a graduate student in the ITP program at NYU Tisch. (ITP = Interactive Telecommunications Program). He has experience teaching afterschool robotics classes at Vision Education. Jaymes helped establish GreenFab in the Bronx, and when their 3-year funded project ended, he happened to be consulting for Marymount to set up their Fab Lab. Currently, he is employed by Marymount working on projects with grades K, 5, 6, 7, 8.

In terms of building their 3D designs, Jaymes prefers Tinkercad over 3DTin. He says Google SketchUp isn’t designed to create 3D files natively – for that, you need to install a plugin.

In the Fab Lab are a ridiculous number of printing machines including an Epilog Laser ($30K) and the corresponding filter system. There are also multiple CNC printers including Makerbots and ShopBots. (CNC = Computer Numeric Control) The Shopbot is a 3D milling machine that can drill on 3 axes. This particular unit has a digitizing probe that can act like a 3D scanner so you can scan, modify, and print!
There were awesome examples of student work on the whole 4th floor:
– In the Science room, students were constructing workable prosthetic arms.
– In the Art room, students were redesigning toothbrushes, building their “dream car,” and making models of buildings.
– In the Fab Lab, students were building a variety of functional 3D objects.
Our ultimate ulterior motive for visiting was to see examples of innovation in education and to find a way for our 5th graders and Marymount’s 5th graders to collaborate on a project. Both schools study Ancient Greece, so one possible collaboration may involve The School kids designing temples and outsourcing to Marymount kids for actual printing (and vice versa). Or maybe we even have kids collaborating “long distance” on a design project using GoogleDocs and Skype.

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“Social Networking and Literacy” at #Teach21c



As I wrote in my last post, Teach21 was a professional development institute for 21st Century educators organized by faculty and administrators at The School at Columbia University. Every day there was a keynote speaker (Sree Sreenivasan, Howard Gardner, A.J. Jacobs, Karen Cator) and many half-day and full-day concurrent offerings.

Thursday, I offered a session about “Social Networking and Literacy.” We started the 2.5 hours together with a discussion about literacy. I used to think literacy was just the reading and writing of text. Nowadays literacy is about learning how to comprehend/research/navigate/communicate/cite/re-mix/share all sorts of media.

We started off the session with a conversation about the new literacies and looked at a couple of sources:

Then I showed a couple of projects where students publish individual and group work online and collaborate via shared access, commenting, hyperlinking, and other interactions. We looked at The Independent Reading Site that I set up with Marisa Guastaferro three years ago and the To Kill a Mockingbird book groups set up by Eve Becker for her 8th grade English classes. Both projects are described in this post: http://karenblumberg.com/social-networking-and-literacy-on-2511-at-600

Then we looked at ways to set up similar projects with other available technologies.

Resources from this and other Teach21 sessions are here: https://sites.google.com/a/theschool.columbia.edu/teach21-resources/

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