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01 Apr 2012
Comments: 0

iClassify Triangles

Tasked to modify an existing paper-based lesson on classifying triangles to be more multimedia (and mobile) in nature, I chose to create two separate lessons:

Direct Instruction: If teachers wanted to include a direct teach piece, the following videos would serve the purpose.


Web 2.0/Computer:

  1. Student Task 1: Utilize the deck below to view the 7 mystery triangles. Check your understanding by flipping the card over to get the answer.
  2. Student Task 2: Draw a triangle to match the description for each of the mystery triangles using Paint or Smart Notebook Express (or a recording sheet).



  1. Student Task 1: Access the Mystery Triangle deck using an iDevice and the Flashcards* app:
    1. Launch Flashcardlet app.
    2. Tap Flashcards.
    3. Tap + sign in upper right hand corner to Download from Quizlet.
    4. Tap in the search space.
    5. Type “Techchef4u”.
    6. Tap Creator and tap Search.
    7. Select Mystery Triangle Exercise.
    8. Tap Add to Library.
    9. Tap Cancel and tap Library to return to your personal Flashcard library.
    10. Tap to select Mystery Triangle Exercise to review deck.
    11. Tap Study and start studying.
    12. Review all 7 cards in the deck: swipe to go to the next card and tap on a card to see the back of the card.
  2. Student Task 2: Draw a triangle to match the description for each of the mystery triangles using Popplet Lite, iPen Free, or or Xnote.



  1. Have students create their own Quizlet deck for Mystery Quadrilaterals.
  2. Utilize Doodle Buddy, Story Lines for Schools, or TypeDrawing FREE to illustrate triangles.
  3. Have students make a talking triangle video for a specific triangle using Mad Lips.
  4. Have students create an instructional video to teach classifying triangles using ScreenChomp, Explain Everything, ShowMe, or Educreations. (See example Classifying Triangles video from Math Lambert).
  5. Have students create their own triangle song using SongifyVideo Star, or Videolicious.


See original Triangle Song and adaptation below: 

More iLessons:

  1. Math iLessons & Pinterest iPad Lessons


01 Apr 2012
Comments: 0

iFactor: Prime Factorization Cubed!

After meeting with the 5th Math Specialist to collaborate and plan, I feel like we have a really good plan for next week’s 5th Math training. The intent was to provide technology tools for teachers that would not serve as “one hit wonders.” Rather, we wanted to provide teachers with a Bag of iTricks that could be used to support multiple mathematics skills… and other content areas. The iLesson below not only reduces paper waste (the original document was 9 pages) but provides a viable alternative to a pencil and paper task.

The original document included a direct teach piece on prime factorization, a Frayer model template for Prime Numbers, 4 recording sheets for factoring numbers in multiple ways, and a template for creating your own prime numbers matching card sort. Using a combination of the apps iPen Free app and Popplet Lite, I was able to reduce the packet to a page or two.
Student Task 1: Frayer Model using Popplet Lite

  1. Double tap on the screen to create a popple.
  2. Tap the “T” to add text and type “Prime Number”.
  3. Tap the gray circle connector to create another popple attached to the first one.
  4. Type “Example” in the second popple.
  5. Tap the icon of the pen to draw your example.
  6. Tap the Prime Number popple to create another popple attached to it.
  7. Type “Non-Example” in the third popple.
  8. Draw your non-example example.
  9. Tap the Prime Number popple to create another popple attached to it.
  10. Type “Definition” in the fourth popple and write your definition.
  11. Tap Export and Save the image as a jpeg.

The iLesson video (Student Task 1) below was created with the Reflections web app that allows screen mirroring of your iPad.


Student Task 2: Prime Numbers Two Ways

  1. On page 1: Import your Prime Number Frayer Model that was created in Popplet Lite.
  2. On page 2:
    1. Find the Prime Factorization of 80 in red.
    2. Find a second way to factor 80 in blue.
    3. Write the prime factorization of 80 using exponents in green.
  3. On page 3: Complete steps 1-3 for 30.
  4. On page 4: Complete steps 1-3 for 72.
  5. On page 5: Complete steps 1-3 for 120.
  6. On page 6: Find the value of 3 x 3 x 3 x 5.
  7. On page 7: Find the value of 3² x 5 x 7
  8. On page 8: Complete the Reflection using a combination of pen and text.
    1. How do you know when you have found a number’s prime factorization?
    2. Does every number have a prime factorization? Explain.
    3. Can a number have more than one prime factorization? Why?
  9. On page 9: Complete the Reflection using a combination of pen and text.
    1. Find all the numbers less than 50 that have at least one 2 and at least one 5 in their prime factorization.
    2. What do you notice about these numbers?
  10. On page 10-12: Solve the following problems:
    1. Find the prime factorization of 240.
    2. Carson and Beth are comparing their secret numbers. Carson’s number has a prime factorization with 2 numbers and Beth has a prime factorization with 3 numbers. Beth says this means her number is larger. Is Beth correct? Explain and give examples.
    3. What is the value of 3² x 5³ x 7.
  11. Email your book to your teacher (there is also an option to print if you have access to an airprinter).


Factoring 2 Ways with iPen Free app


Student Task 3: Prime Number Matching Card Sort using Popplet Lite

  1. Create 8-10 unconnected popples.
  2. Each popple should be a number, a factorization, or a prime factorization with exponents.
  3. Include some items that could have more than one match.
  4. Pass the Popplet to your partner and have him/her connect the popplets that match (remember some popples may be connected to more than one popple).
  5. If you have any remaining items, create two popples for each unused popple to illustrate prime factorization in two ways. (Change the frame color of the left-over popples).


Other iLessons with Popplet & iPen:
  1. Multiplication Stories (iPen)
  2. Inferencing iValentines (Popplet)
  3. More Vocabulary & Frayer Models (Popplet)
  4. Sequencing (Popplet)
  5. Character Map (Popplet)
  6. Geometry (Popplet)
  7. Other Math iLessons


Popplet Lite was also featured in “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” iBook to support Bloom’s taxonomy in the iClassroom.


20 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Tooning iN to History

I had the pleasure of observing Mrs. Lair’s Regular Reading class this past Friday at Ed White Middle School. She had mentioned that she was using the Toontastic app (which oftentimes goes on sale for FREE) to have students create their own fairy tale or toon version similar to the plight and struggle of the Freedom Riders to illustrate the conflict and resolution between two entities. I loved the cross-curricular integration.

Mrs. Lair provided students with a paper copy of the Toontastic Storyboard template she had created to complete prior to using the iPad. It mimicked the 5 sections of Toontastic’s Story Arc (Setup, Conflict, Challenge, Climax, and Resolution). She also included a statement about each of the scenes:

  1. Setup: only sets up the setting and introduces the character
  2. Conflict: Introduces the problem
  3. Challenge: Problem is in the works (action)
  4. Climax: The height of the story
  5. Resolution: How has the problem been resolved? (How does the story end?)


Toontastic Storyboard

Supports Differentiated Instruction: Beyond the project itself, I was pleased to see how the app itself supported differentiated instruction and multiple learning styles. Within the story arc framework, students could add another conflict or rearrange the current elements. Students also had the choice between multiple characters and settings as well as the option to create their own characters and backgrounds. Some students chose to use the default characters, others drew their own sets, and others customized the existing characters. Some students chose to use mood music and sound effects to illustrate tone and others selected specific characters and colors to represent an emotion.

Sharing/Publishing/Evaluating Student Products: While there is no way to publish without setting up an account, students did save their projects within the app. To work around the publishing issue, Mrs. Lair decided to have students do a gallery walk and will provide each student with a rubric to assess each of the project as they walk around the room.

Check out these iLessons.


18 Nov 2011
Comments: 0

History Rocks with Web 2.0 Tools & iDevices

A few weeks ago Jennifer Hall of Krueger Middle School asked me to review her music video project and give her a few tools that her students could use to execute the assignment. She had found some pre-created sample videos on YouTube to inspire her students (see below).


Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration


The assignment is as follows:
  1. Students select a historical period or event (between Pre-Colombian and 1890).
  2. Students research the event and locate 10 artifacts of historical information (e.g. visual, text, audio) to support the selection
  3. Students create a music video to showcase the artifacts and retell the event.
    1. Videos are 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes
    2. Videos could be animated, live action, or a series of stills
    3. The music could be original music and lyrics (both created by students), existing music with original lyrics (lyrics rewritten by students), or existing music that fits the project without alterations


Here are some of the tools (apps, software, and Web 2.0) that I suggested be used to achieve the final product:
  1. Software: PhotoStory
  2. Web 2.0: Animoto
  3. Apps: Videolicious, Cartoonatic, Sonic Pics, Slideshow+, StoryRobe . I also came across Film Genie & Roxio PhotoShow after we met.


Check out other iPad Lessons for History: Sock Puppet Court Cases Part 1 & Part 2


Get inspired to rock out your History classroom (History for Music Lovers – YouTube)


The French Revolution (“Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga)
The Gettysburg Address
The Battles at Lexington and Concord in Lego
Ballad of Benjamin Franklin *Music Video*

Why Study History?

18 Nov 2011
Comments: 2

Primarily iProbability

If you are looking for an elementary iPad lesson in the techchef4u kitchen, it was probably cooked up by the ingenious Chef Carnazzo. This probability iLesson is no different. Carnazzo and her second grade class used the app ScreenChomp (featured in “Screen-casting & Problem-solving 4 the Classroom“) as a culminating apptivity from a week of work on probability (e.g. “TEKS 2.11: Probability and statistics. (C) use data to describe events as more likely or less likely such as drawing a certain color crayon from a bag of seven red crayons and three green crayons.”)

Chef Carnazzo Cooks up iProbability


Here’s how she did it:

  1. Teacher Preparation: Ms. Carnazzo chose the background pics (clipart from MS Word) and imported them to Doodle Buddy.
  2. Student Choice: Students chose stickers in Doodle Buddy.
  3. Student Assessment: Students had to answer (in written form) teacher pre-generated questions in reference to their picture.
  4. Highly Engaging: Carnazzo originally created the apptivity for an intervention group and, of course, the rest of the class wanted to do the apptivity as well.
  5. Small Group: While Ms. Carnazzo was working with small groups to record their screen-cast, the rest of the class had completed independent practice assignments at their desk.
  6. Student Planning & Preparation: Students used the questions and their answers on the worksheet that Ms. Carnazzo had prepared to craft the narration for their screencast. Carnazzo found it was useful to do a couple of dry runs prior to hitting the record button.
  7. Student Reactions: Students loved the ScreenChomp final project. Carnazzo stated the students really liked the part where their drawings appeared on the screen in the final product.
  8. Other Applications: Carnazzo felt this tool had a lot of klout in the classroom as students do so much problem-solving in math. She plans on using it in the future to have students record and compare different solution strategies to a single problem.


Sample other iCreations from the Carnazzo Kitchen: Grammar & Literacy with Tacky Wales, short vowel sounds with Songify, Math fact families with Talking Tom and friends, classifying motion with iCardSort, integrating Math and literacy using Puppet Pals Director’s Pass


02 Nov 2011
Comments: 0

Videolicious Student Products: Episode 7

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 7Videolicious Student Products. In this episode, we featured multiple free apps that can be utilized for creating student video products. I was joined by music maestro Michael Benavides, and infotainment guru, who shared his app-etite for animation and video production apps. We started out discussing multiple purposes (ranging from video diaries and resumes to book trailers, documentaries, and product reviews) for student video products as well as the functionality, purpose, and features of each indivdual app (and what features were available as in-app purchases). (Also check out Video Project Ideas from South Burlington and Video Project Ideas by content area from Tech & Learning)

Splice Video Editor (Free): Preparing for this show, I found most of the apps were initially made for the iPhone as the camera/video feature on the iPad is relatively new. As I had multiple photos and videos eating up valuable space on my phone already, I decided to use a few of these to create a video of a recent Blue October concert I attended. Using Splice Video Editor (Free), the process was effortless…

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. Videolicious (Twitter): Visit their website and blog for instructions and sample videos
  2. Splice Video Editor (Free) (Twitter): Visit their support community, website, and YouTube channel for samples and tutorials
  3. Cartoonatic: Visit their website for support
  4. Video Editor for Free
  5. iMotion HD: Visit their website and YouTube channel for support and sample videos. Also check out iMotion Remote to remotely control your time-lapse and stop-motion photography projects.
  6. Pop My Video: was only free for a limited time (see their website for instructions and video tutorial)
  7. Animoto (Twitter): check out their web app to create similar videos online
  8. Slideshow+: currently free for a limited time (check out Photo Slideshow Director and their help site with videos)

Video with iMotion HD: Within the app, I found a gallery of user created and submitted videos. For some reason, this one really caught my eye. As an educator, the idea of creating a tutorial or step-by-step video for a process app-ealed to me very much. Even at the elementary level, I could see students setting up a first-next-then scenario and capturing it.


Stream this week’s episode or download it in iTunes directly. 

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio


Yes, we are now available in iTunes (search for “appy hours 4 u” or “techchef4u”).

25 Oct 2011
Comments: 3

Tacky Wales: iTool for Literacy

If you follow my blog, you will know that Ms. Carnazzo has quite the iLesson toolkit (e.g short vowel sounds with Songify, Math fact families with Talking Tom and friends, classifying motion with iCardSort, and integrating Math and literacy using Puppet Pals Director’s Pass) for utilizing one iPad in her elementary classroom.

Tacky Wales Student Products

Her latest project utilized the paid app Tacky Wales: Create Your Own Story (thanks to a donation from the app developer for the promo code). In Language Arts, Ms. Carnazzos’ class has been working on parts of speech (mainly nouns and a sprinkling of verbs and adjectives).

Tacky Wales Student Products

Ms. Carnazzo’s model for executing this iLesson is well thought out and flawlessly planned:

  1. Setting the Stage: Before tackling the Tacky Wales project, students worked in collaborative groups to generate lists of words that fit into these categories (e.g. nouns, verbs, adjectives) as a reference.
  2. Modeling  & Guided Practice: She did one story with the whole class as an intro.
  3. Preview & Preselect Content: She then gave students a list of appropriate stories (topic and age-appropriate for second graders as some titles may be more adult-oriented) to choose from.
  4. Student Input: They voted and chose a title for their group.
  5. Facilitating  Student Efforts: Donette Sis (an Instructional Technology Coordinator) and Jennifer Heine (an Instructional Technology Specialist) came to the class with their iPads to help work with the small groups in completing their selected story. Teachers helped groups choose and input their words into the story framework.
  6. Extensions & Engagement: After completing and reading/enjoying the original story, students shook the iPad to Spoonerize (note: be aware that some spoonerisms may not be age-appropriate – consider re-shaking if you encounter this issue)…which of course they found quite hilarious!
  7. Presentation & Public Speaking: The next day students shared all their stories with the whole class.
  8. Cross-curricular Integration: Each group illustrated the setting of their own story. The importance of the story element, setting, is an integral focus for Reading.

Tacky Wales Student Products

Hungry for More?: Check out Words 4 Students for a list of free mad lib-like apps and suggestions for how they can be used in the classroom.


Thanks Tacky Wales for featuring  Ms. Carnazzo’s lesson on your site!


25 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

Government vs. Puppets Part 2

With the great success of Government vs. Puppets Round 1 (an iPad project that involved secondary students creating puppet versions of famous court cases), I received two additional student multi-part video projects that I want to share. If it pleases the court…

Gibbons Vs. Ogden (created with Sock Puppets)

New Jersey vs. T.L.O. (created with Puppet Pals)

Please check out original post for more student samples, tips/suggestions/resources to execute the lesson, and additional classroom integration ideas for Sock Puppets & Puppet Pals.



17 Oct 2011
Comments: 1

Government vs. Puppets

I had the rare treat to sit in on an AP Government class today at Reagan H.S. (Christi Robinson, ITS for Reagan HS and Bush MS invited me to visit) and observe their court case project share-out. Thanks to Puppet Pals Director’s Pass donation, students were able to use the teacher’s iPad to create their own court case puppet show. Ms. Newton, the AP Government teacher, also allowed them to explore other submission venues (e.g. Sock Puppets app, Myths & Legends Story Creator, and video-taping their own sock puppet productions old-school style.)

When the class of 38 students was polled, we found that 37 of the 38 students had a personal iPod/iPhone/iPad mobile device. As I have seen many puppet products in elementary and middle school, it was a great experience for me to see how the same apps could be used in a high school setting. Worried that some of the students would find it childish or infantile, I was thoroughly thrilled to find out that not only did they love the apps… many of them downloaded the apps to their own devices and worked at home to complete the project.

“Students will understand the structure, functions, and powers of Congress, the legislative process, and its relationship the branch of government.”

Court Cases

The Task was to research a court case (they randomly drew one), storyboard their accounts (used the template in Pages), and create a video product that highlighted all of the specifics below:

  1. Name of Case  (and brief summary)
  2. Date
  3. Court Decision
  4. Constitutionality
  5. Impact


Since knowing and understand court cases is such an integral part of STAAR and AP exams, creating these shows is a useful and vital tool for students to learn the case as well as review the case before the test (as the majority of the videos were posted to Youtube by students for easy access). Another way to collect these resources for later review would be to use Videodropper and download the student videos to a class Dropbox that could be shared with all of the students and accessed from student devices.


In class, we came across the free Court Case app that provides a list of famous court cases and includes the opinion of the court, case citation, dissent, and syllabus. Wish we had found this app prior to the project. Alas, it will still be a good review before students take the exam.
Without further ado… will everyone rise? The honorable Judge Techchef4u will be highlighting these student-created court cases:

Miranda vs. Arizona (created with Sock Puppets)

Greg. vs. Georgia (created with Sock Puppets)

Board vs. Education (created with Puppet Pals)

Gibbons vs. Ogden (created with Sock Puppets)

Roe vs. Wade (created with Puppet Pals)

Suggestions & Strategies: As Christi and I sat in on the projects, we made a few notes on suggestions and strategies to use next semester when this project will be presented again:
  1. utilize the court cases app for research prior to storyboarding
  2. utilize T-Chart app to document and weight pros/cons (in this case arguments for the plaintiff and arguments for the defendant)
  3. set a time limit for the video
  4. consider using Videolicious for other video projects
  5. consider using characters to resemble the traits of real individuals in the case (as seen in Miranda vs. Arizona)
  6. use music to create mood and tone (as some students did)
  7. alter the pitch in some apps for students who have high-picthed
  8. create a common tag(s) in YouTube so that they can search later to review
  9. create a shared Dropbox to house the YouTube videos utilizing Videodropper (make sure you select optimize for iPhone/iPod)
  10. set up videos in stations (rather than present to the class as a whole), and have each student complete two circles of reflections for each case  they viewed. (e.g. how did the verdict of this court case directly affect….)

Original Source: Deeper Reading by Kelly Gallagher


Many thanks to Christi Robinson, Ms. Newton, and the students of AP Government at Reagan HS for sharing their projects and their class time with me. It is such a joy to see how technology can be seamlessly integrated to foster learning and support the curriculum.

Want More?. Check out other projects and lesson resources highlighting Sock Puppets & Puppet Pals app(s) as well as a follow-up post to this one which includes more student projects.