I’m pretty big into DIY lately (Pinterest anyone?!) and a few weeks ago one of my science teachers asked me about document cameras. Immediately I thought: iPad. I knew I had read a blog post somewhere about turning an iPad into a document camera, so I immediately began Google-ing. By the time I got home on Friday I had my list written out for Home Depot and had already roped my dad into agreeing to help me. Here we go:
I used this video to started:
It shows 2 different iPad Document Camera stands…I decided to make them both.
Here is my drawing…I am no artist, but I needed a plan to follow:
My dad cut the grooves in the PVC pipe because he was afraid I would cut my fingers off!
After we got started making the different parts we were like an iPad stand making assembly line.
Here is the iPad stand in action. The base of this one is super sturdy and the iPad fits in there perfectly.
View from below.
This is the “cheaper” stand. It takes up more room on a desk, but it works pretty well.
Another view from below.
I brought the iPad stands in on Monday and gave one to the science teacher and one to my iPad pilot teacher and they were super excited.
While we are talking about document cameras, we are also trying out these babies:
And this one is the Ziggi ($89.00)from iPevo. These are inexpensive, USB document cameras that we are considering buying for teachers next year. I have always used ELMO doc cams, but they run between $400-$800 each! Yikes. We bought one of each and we are having teachers try them out to see which one we like better.
Ok, enough document camera for tonight. Anyone else have a doc cam they love? Or have you made your own? Please share!
Is anyone else stressing out about standardized testing? The Education blogosphere is buzzing with opinions about standardized testing as the season of bubble answer documents, #2 pencils and “Shh, We’re Testing” signs is upon us. Regardless of your take on state tests, as teachers we still want our students to do their best, and we certainly don’t want them to be anxious. There are a few things that I do with my kids that help relieve the testing jitters:
We Can Do It! Bulletin Board.
I bought this Rosie the Riveter poster in college and I’ve had it up in my classroom forever. A few years ago I started making “I can do it” posters with my kids’ pictures! I snagged a piece of yellow butcher paper as a background and took a picture of all my kids making a “tough” face and showing off their muscles. Oh my goodness they are so funny:
I created a “I Can Do It” template and inserted all the pictures and printed them out:
Want the template? Okey, dokey, here you go! We Can Do It Template (PowerPoint). We made a grade-level bulletin board in the hallway of our “We Can Do It” pictures:
Super fun and the kids LOVED it! Isn’t that the message you want your kids to remember? I CAN DO IT!
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
I know whenever my students hear the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” they will think of me! Each day of testing, right before we get started I have the kids take some deep breaths, think about their goals and then we rock out to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. I mean there is singing, snapping, dancing, and a lot of “Ooooooo, ooooo, ooo, ooooooooooooo’s”. I talk to my kids about how they are ready for the test, to do their best and NOT WORRY. It creates such a positive, fun atmosphere! Warning: You and your students will be singing this under your breath for weeks!
And that goes for teachers too! Testing is stressful for you too, remember what a privilege and blessing it is to teach! Don’t worry, Be Happy!
From the title of this post you may be thinking that I’m having problems with students…but I tricked you! This post is about students writing problems…math problems that is!
Last week I did a lesson with some 3rd and 4th grade classes where they needed to write a math story problem. No problem, right? Wrong! What was supposed to be a 10 minute activity took almost the whole time! They had such a hard time coming up with a topic and actually writing the problem was a nightmare. Luckily, in my new job I often teach a lesson multiple times so I whipped up these little “Math Story Problem Prompts“ to use with my next group.
There are 12 cards about different topics that kids can write math story problems about, from video games to pizza! We had the kids work in small groups or pairs to write a question.
I printed out the cards and laminated them. They were super helpful for my students to come up with math story problems, and it was a great opportunity for them to practice using the math language they were using in their classroom.
Other Ideas for Math Problem Prompts:
This would be a great activity to whip out during any math unit, you can just tell the kids they have to use whatever operation/concept your are studying.
Have these available as a fast finishers option….maybe create a bulletin board for student created math problems?
Write math problems for another class in your grade-level.
As a math review at the end of a unit, have kids write math problems–include them on the test. One time, just to mix things up I gave an entire math quiz with only student written questions, they loved it and talk about critical thinking! Their questions were usually way harder than mine.