Did You Know? Tech Tips

This past week was full of some amazing moments for me at school. I love getting to coteach with my fabulous teachers and share how technology tools can be used to amplify student learning, So for this week's post, I have decided to share three highlights and share the tech tips embedded inside of them. A special thanks to all of the teachers I cotaught with this week for trusting me to join their classrooms and embracing a growth mindset as they tried new and unfamiliar things.

Tech Tip #1: Have you checked out Gizmos yet?

This past Wednesday, I cotaught in a fourth grade classroom as we explored how Gizmos could help these students to see relationships and make connections using the Factor Trees simulation, You might be wondering what Gizmos are. Gizmos are math and science simulations that are aligned to state standards. This year, my district has purchased a license to use these resources and I am so excited about this!

My fourth graders got to use the Gizmo to both factor composite numbers into primes and build primes into composite numbers. Each Gizmo comes with a Teacher's plan, a Student Exploration Sheet, and more, but my students honestly just loved exploring numbers and making connections using this tool. Definitely check this tool out- you can even get a free 30 day trial on their site.

Tech Tip #2: Flashcard Factory is for more than just vocabulary!

This past Friday, my second graders rocked Flashcard Factory! No, we did not use it for standard vocabulary. Instead, we used it for MATH! Students were given 8 math facts and needed to work together to do the following: the artist showed how to solve the problem; while the detective shared other related facts in the fact family.

This was the first time these second graders had ever used this program and I loved watching them collaborate on this activity. They truly worked together to both solve the problems and come up with related facts, But what happened afterwards was even more impactful. They discussed during quality control whether or not each group of artist and detective had met the goal for each card. Did they show how to solve the problem? Did they show related facts? Many students were not initially successful, but through discussion, they grew so much from our conversation. Maybe I need to add Flashcard Factory to my Creating with Littles toolbox?

Tech Tip #3: Consider adding PebbleGo Next to the resources you use with upper elementary students.

My fourth graders used PebbleGo Next last week to learn about Virginia's Geography. These students had previously used PebbleGo in the primary grades. So when I initially shared that we were using PebbleGo, some students thought it might be "too easy." That's when I showed them how PebbleGo Next was not only meant for older students, but had additional resources available. Students focused on just one tab about Virginia as they either read or listened to the tab. Then, they completed a thinking routine, Connect, Extend, Challenge, sharing how what they read connected to what they knew, extended it and what questions they still had.


As you integrate technology into your classroom, consider how you are intentionally adding technology to amplify instruction. Want some more ideas- join me on Sunday, September 26th at 10 AM for my second TannenbaumTech TRANSFORM workshop: Amplifying Thinking Routines using Technology Tools. Choose from attending LIVE or getting the recorded session emailed to you. Register here.