Friday, June 20, 2014

"Miss! I've turned my brain on..."

"Miss! I've turned my brain on..."
This is what one young man said to his teacher and me after I had taught him and another student using my favourite 'Free' maths apps.

While I was talking with the teacher  I noticed that he was having difficulty with his maths. I called him over and started him on Educreations. He needed help with some of his 5 timestables so with the help of the Number Rack app (or he could have used the Number Frames or Number Line) he wrote the problem on Educreations and solved it using Number Rack.
He knew what 5x5 was but not 5x3 so he used Number Rack to solve it.

He tried several other problems  and using Number Rack in his own way he was able to solve them.

A little later I demonstrated to the teacher how she could use her projector with the iPads for teaching. I have Airserver on my laptop which enables me to mirror iPads to my laptop which is connected to the projector.

 Both students airplayed from their iPads to my laptop and we were able to see both students solving the problem at the same time.
 After showing students how to move the pieces across and how to write, they started solving the problem themselves.
I did not have to tell them how the rods and ones would stick together if you move them close to each other, they worked that out. It was interesting to see problem after problem how they started to reorganise the pieces into ways that worked for them.

Eventually I showed them how to select all the ones by drawing a circle around them (not with the pen tool, just trace around with your finger and a dotted circle will appear) and then tap on the join symbol at the bottom of the screen which takes 10 ones and joins them up into a 10 rod leaving behind any ones.

Once they discovered that they were away and solving the problems was performed very quickly and accurately.
Shortly after that the boy who had been having the problems in maths stated "Miss! I've turned my brain on!"

I went and worked in another classroom that was working on Problem Solving. The students were working on large pieces of paper. Some of the students were having trouble verbalising their thinking. 

At the same time I did the problem with a bit of App Smashing.
I took a photo of the problem that was up on the IWB.
I started to solve it and used Number Pieces to solve the first part. I then took a screen capture and inserted it into Educreations.
I used the text tool on Educreations to summarise my first lot of solutions. (I could have at this point recorded my voice explaining what I have found out so far).
I then used Number Frames to solve the next part of the problem. Again at this point I could have recorded my voice.
The only issue I have with Educreations is that you can't save without recording your voice, and you can't edit once it is saved. You can take a screen capture though (Home and Power Button pressed together). You could use Show Me but there is no text tool, but it will allow you to save without voice and to edit later.
I showed this to the teacher after the session and she is very motivated to try it with her students.

If you do want to edit and add voice later I would recommend the App Explain Everything