Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Free Math Manipulatives for the iPad

Here is a collection of free math manipulatives for the iPad.  A great tool box for many elementary math classrooms.

I'm going to define a math manipulative as a tool which allows users to explore mathematical concepts.  These manipulatives are not games, but instead used for open ended exploration.

  • Number Places - Ten Frames and more, include 5 frames, 20 frames, and even 100 frames.

  • Geoboard - Create shapes using rubber bands and explore many geometric concepts.
  • Number Pieces Basic - A basic set of base 10 blocks to explore place value, addition, and subtraction.
  • Number Line - Explore number line counting and mathematical concepts.

  • Geometry Pad - Explore all geometric concepts including lines, angles, shapes, and more.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Using Adobe Voice to Create Food Chain Videos

What I like about the iPad is the ability to work without connecting to the Internet.  This is especially true when you work with field study groups up in the wilderness.

At Outdoor School, 5th or 6th grade students spend 2-4 days experiencing the outdoors.  They get to sleep, eat, and learn up in the wilderness.  Part of their experience is rotating through hour long field study groups which could include learning about weather, creating survival shelters, or identifying plants.

In this hour long field study we start with a review of the food chain including producers, consumers, and decomposers.

The students then take an iPad on a scavenger hunt snapping photos of producers, consumers, and decomposers.  Since consumers don't stand and wait for a photo, we instruct them to take photos of evidence a consumer was here, like a nest or track.

After all the photos are taken, the students storyboard their movie choosing which photos to use and how to tell about the food chain they found.  We ask they include a scenery photo as the title slide and a selfie photo as their credits.

The finished product is created with Adobe Voice, usually 5-10 photos, a narration that tells the story, and background music provided by the app.

At the end of the hour we save the videos to the camera roll and repeat the study for the next set of students.  Then back in town we upload the videos to Youtube.  Here is an example from a group of 6th graders in North East Oregon and their food chain video.

NOTE: If you use Adobe Voice, be sure to login to the app while in wifi, then turn the iPad to Airplane mode.  As a backup iPad app we will use 30Hands in case Adobe Voice logs out.