Thursday, March 28, 2019

Mashing Up Digital Manipulatives and Screencasting in your Math lessons

I recently wrote a blog post about using VoiceThread to provide opportunities for students to engage in math discourse and how this type of engagement allows students to
  • Present and explain ideas, reasoning, and representations to one another.
  • Listen carefully to and critique the reasoning of peers
  • Seek to understand the approaches used by peers
  • Identify how different approaches to solving a task are the same and how they are different
  • During this dialogue, teachers can recognize errors in context and reinforce that they are natural occurrences that enhance learning.
This post will support the same strategy but uses digital manipulatives and screen recording as the process to present and explain their math reasoning and participate in math dialogue with both peers and teacher. Math Learning Center is a website that offers free manipulatives that PreK-5 students can use to practice and demonstrate their understanding of a mathematical problem. These manipulatives are available through a web browser, downloadable on an iPad or as an extension through the Chrome Webstore. Here is a list of manipulatives this website has to offer:

    The Math Learning Center
  • Fractions
  • Geoboard
  • Vocabulary cards
  • Money pieces
  • Number frames
  • Number line
  • Number pieces
  • Pattern shapes


McGraw Hill Education

McGraw Hill education provides online manipulatives that are more appropriate for Grades K-8 and has a few more options that help with concepts like probability, algebra, and background/workmats that are appropriate for particular math concepts.

Yes, students can use the app, practice the strategy and write the answer down on a paper to show their understanding. But, what if the answer is wrong? How do you know, as the teacher, the approach the student took to solve the problem? How can you provide students an opportunity to justify their reasoning in answering the math problem? How can you promote math conversations with all students and have them recognize there multiple ways of solving a math problem?  One strategy to consider is having each student record their screen as they are solving the problem, save the video and upload it to a learning management system that you already use for students to share with their peers and you.
There are quite a few screen recording options for you and your students.

WeVideo ScreencastIf you are a Richland Two employee, the district pays for WeVideo so you can use their “Word Problem Template”  to solve a math problem. Using one of the manipulatives on the previously listed websites, students can record their screen as they solve a problem. Using WeVideo, it will automatically save in their folder. Students can share the link to their video on an LMS, such as Google Classroom.Screencastify
If your district or school does not pay for WeVideo, Screencastify is a free screen recorder that allows students to record and share their video.
The process is the same. Students would prepare the screen with the required math manipulative and begin recording their screen using Screencastify. The video is saved in their drive and can add the link to an LMS.
Just as you model new math strategies, reading strategies and think alouds, a teacher should scaffold this process to ensure there is success for both students and teacher. It is critical that you, as the teacher, model this process a few times with your students in order for them to troubleshoot possible issues that develop. It is equally important to model and discuss how you use math vocabulary.





Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Real world connections with Google Trends

I think all educators would agree that making real-world connections to the content we teach in the classroom enhances the experience for students.  But how can we always know what the kids are interested in?  We can listen to the kids’ small talk or try to pick up what we can from the news but sometimes that just doesn’t cut it.  I know I for one eventually just gave up and made a fool of myself not knowing what the kids were preoccupied with but it is always a better strategy to integrate their interests into the learning.

So how can technology help with that?




Enter Google Trends (trends.google.com).  Scrolling down the page shows you what the population is searching for and will even break the data down into regional interests.  


Once you find a search term to explore, clicking it reveals related search items along with news articles that may be great for prompting lessons or discussions in the classroom.


Perhaps this quick, relatively unknown resource from Google, will help you see what topics may engage your kids in learning.  As we know, sometimes engagement is half the battle! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

2019 Film Festival

Oh, What a Night! 

Each year our team coordinates a fabulous Film Festival opportunity for our students, teachers and district level employees to build networks and customize learning experiences in ways that support the learning process. Students use a design process for creating a story through the use of multimedia tools. Through the planning, scriptwriting, shooting, editing and reviewing, students are setting personal goals and developing strategies that leverage technology use. Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes. Ultimately students create original works to tell their story. Perhaps the best part of our Film Festival is for the students involved in video production is the opportunity to display and be recognized for their work. And that was last night!

We had a blast last night showcasing videos and celebrating our Richland Two students. Take a moment to look at these amazing videos that won the Age Category and the overall Elementary winner and Secondary winner. 

PreK-2nd grade winner - The Eat Song




3rd-5th grade winner - Be Great!


Overall Elementary winner- Eggman and Trouble Mixer





6-8 grade winner - Mission Ore


9-12 grade winner - Homecoming 2018


Overall Secondary Winner - SeniorPics


For pictures of our premier event, Night on the Red Carpet, please follow #r2filmfest on Twitter

Interested in viewing all the videos? Here is a link to the YouTube playlist for this year's event. Congratulations to all students who entered in this year's Film Festival. We are proud of you all and cannot wait to begin planning next year's event. 

2019 Richland Two Film Festival playlist

Monday, March 4, 2019

SC Midlands Summit


We are excited about this year's SC Midlands Summit lineup. This year we have 2 new featured speakers and 2 returning featured speakers. Here is a peek at their topics they will focus on at the Summit, June 12-13th. There is something for you...

Tom Murray

Tom Murray,

  • Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow's Schools, Today
  • Leading with Purpose
  • From Research to Practice, How to Create the Learning Spaces Kids Need
  • Tech Tools for Student Engagement and Teacher Effectiveness

Robert Corbin

Robert Corbin

Keynote Speaker from Discovery Education - STEM and STEAM Focus




Eric Curts

Eric Curts

  • Google Tools for Art and Music Education
  • Google Tools for Struggling Students
  • Holy Sheets! Google Sheets activities for all Subjects
  • 360 Degree Learning with Google Tour Creator
  • Googley Activities for Primary Students
  • Awesome Google Drawings in your Classrooms




Beth Holland

  • The Pen is NOT Mightier than the Keyboard: Strategies to Embrace & Scaffold Digital
  • Rapid Prototyping & Reality TV - 4 Learning Design Challenges based on 4 Reality Shows
  • Wicked Tools for Wicked Problems: Using Improvement Science to Lead Innovation

Now, these are just our featured speakers. We have over 120 sessions lined up already with plenty of topics to choose from, such as PBL, Gamification in the Classroom, Digital Resources for all subjects, blended learning, using videos to make learning visible, STEAM, VR/AR and even improving coaching/professional development skills... So many topics to choose from this year! 

Have you registered to save your spot today? Click below to get your ticket.


You will need to use your Richland Two account to register for this event.




Must be a full-time student

Registration is transferable, but not refundable.
Complete this form to transfer your registration if needed.
2019 Cancellation - Transfer Attendees

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