When teachers know their students well, they can build strong connections that lead to better learning. Knowing students’ interests, strengths, and weaknesses help teachers tailor learning experiences for their students. Formative assessment is how teachers collect information about what students know, don’t know, and want to learn. Formative assessment takes many forms, including exit tickets, discussions, games, and quizzes. These kinds of informal assessments can also help teachers get to know their students as learners and as people.
There is a very wide variety of digital formative assessment tools that can be used for free (often charging for extra features). I’ve written a little about 15 of them below. Most of these tools work with any web browser, so they are great for laptops, computer labs, iPads, Chromebooks, tablets, and smartphones.
Alphabet Organizer (from Read Write Think) is an excellent interactive web tool and iPad app that you can use with young learners to help them build their phonemic awareness. Students can use it to ’create a calendar-style alphabet chart or letter pages for an alphabet book’. The process is very easy: they simply select letters and provide words starting with those letters. They can also upload pictures to illustrate visual connections between the word and the beginning letter. ‘Older children can take the tool a step further, using the option that allows room for words and notes. It’s ideal for studying vocabulary words or organizing thoughts about a topic. Images can be added into each letter categories, greatly expanding users' ability to make a vibrant alphabet book.’
Here is a wonderful new app released by Evernote a few days ago. Scannable is an app that allows you to easily scan papers and save them to your Evernote or share them with others via email or text. The way Scannable works is pretty basic: simply point your iPad or iPhone camera at the document you want to scan (this could be a post-it note, information on a business card or notes on a whiteboard), Scannable immediately captures it and make it available to you in the form of a shareable document.
"Being a student right now is difficult. There’s that nagging feeling that you could always ‘just Google it’ and know the answer to something. It’s an urge many students must fight on a day-to-day basis if they want to actually get some reliable answers. Sure, you could punch in a simple question or keyword and get millions of results.
But what happens when you need to do a ‘Google A Day’ style level of research? An instance where you need to dive into dozens of actual books or figure out how to sort the good resources from the less-than-reliable sources?
That’s where figuring out some of the best Google tips comes in handy."
LEGO games are widely used among young learners to help them develop key learning skills. More and more primary teachers are using them in their classrooms to help with skill development. From teaching numeracy to introducing kids to the basics of literacy, LEGO games have proved to be an essential learning component in the educational ecosystem. In today’s post, we have curated for you this collection of interesting resources to help you tap into the educational potential of LEGO in your instruction. These resources include mobiles apps and tools, printables, tips and ideas on how to use lego with students and several other materials.
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