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24 Feb 2012
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Math-tastic iVocabulary

After taking a look at the 8th Math Benchmark Exam and perusing the student data, a few things became abundantly clear: Much of the test involved vocabulary AND successful problem-solving was based on the knowledge of that vocabulary and the ability to assimilate the given terms and information in order to draw an object, produce a table, or complete a graph.

While this is not really a shocking revelation (especially to those who teach Math as I did), I instantly began thinking of apps that could support math vocabulary in engaging ways.

All of our Math classrooms at Ed White have access to a class set of iPods. Thus, I focused on three FREE iPod apps that could be used in small groups and stations.

Doodle Buddy: The Math Facilitator had mentioned an activity where students work in pairs. One student would have a vocabulary word (e.g. isosceles right triangle) and the other student would have a dry erase board. Student 1 would be provided with a word and a sample drawing/representation or definition for that word. Student 2 would then draw the word without looking at the representation. Students would take turns reading and drawing.

  1. iPodsibility: Student 1 would use teacher-created Quizlet vocabulary deck imported into Flashcards* app to provide the words and definitions (pictures can be included in the deck for $15/year). Student 2 would then draw the figure using Doodle Buddy (with Dots & Boxes background). Doodle Buddy app can be shaken to clear the board for the next object much like an etch-a-sketch. (More iClassroom Examples of Doodle Buddy: Apps for the Classroom & Techchef4u.)

Doodle Buddy


StoryLines for Schools: This is a surprisingly educational app and a modern day app-ification of the telephone game! The classroom application would be vocabulary.

StoryLines for Schools: Student 2 View


  1. iPodsibility (1 iPod): Students could work in small groups of 3 with 1 iPod. Using 1 iPod: Student 1 would type in the definition of a word (e.g. “a triangle with two equal sides”) and then pass the device to student 2. Student 2 would draw an example of this definition and then pass the device to student 3. Student 3 would then write the word that is associated with the picture (they would not see the definition).
  2. iPodsibility (3 iPods): This idea is very similar to using 1 iPod but each student would enter in a definition and then pass the device. Thus, there would actually be three vocabulary words going around at the same time.


StoryLines for Schools: Student 3 View


TypeDrawing Free: This app allows students to draw with words and is perfect for illustrating vocabulary in a beautifully graphic and memorable visualization.

  1. iPodsibility: This would be best executed at a station or with individual students. The idea would be to think of all of the components and words that make up a shape. For example, the following words could be associated with an isosceles right triangle: leg, right angle, height, base, hypotenuse, acute angle, triangle, etc… Students would generate a list of vocabulary words (on a sheet of paper or in the Notes app). These words would then be used to describe a shape and then illustrate the shape given those words.


TypeDrawing Free


 Hungry for more Math lessons, check out these


20 Feb 2012
Comments: 3

Gratitude & App-reciation

During our TCEA 2012 workshops and seminars, Yolanda Barker and I handed out cards with promo codes on them for the following apps. I would first like to say that we do not endorse apps or products that we do not APP-SOLUTELY LOVE and USE. We would feature and mention the apps regardless of their appy donation(s). That being said, I would like to take a moment and thank the app developers for their gracious donations to our TCEA 2012 participants. I know everyone APP-RECIATED the schwag.

App-reciation Collage created with Turbo Collage app


  1. Puppet Pals Directors Pass: This app is a main staple in the techchef4u kitchen and can be utilized to create animated videos to support any content area at any grade level. (See Samples).
  2. To me By me: This “surprisingly educational” app allows users to write a letter to their future self to be delivered on a specific date. The app is perfect to practice letter-writing and goal-setting.
  3. Tacky Wales Create: This app is fantastic to teach parts of speech and creative writing. (See Samples).
  4. iCardSort: This app is a MUST for any classroom. It can be used in multiple settings (e.g. individual, cooperative pairs, small groups, stations, whole group) and has so much functionality (users can customize the background and decks in a variety of ways as well as wirelessly beam/blast decks to other users) and versatility (can be used in multiple content areas and grade levels). (See Samples).
  5. Explain Everything: This is by far the best paid app for screen-casting! You can import documents and presentations from Dropbox and Evernote and then annotate and narrate over them. Explain Everything also offers multiple export options that do not require logins! (See Sample).
  6. La Di Da: Created by the makers of Songify, this app allows users to speak a selection and transform it into a song. Clearly “surprisingly educational“, users can practice foreign language, speeches and soliloquies, and create innovative media to support any content area’s project. (See Samples).
  7. Root-1: Root-1 donated the cool “Begin Your Quest” eco-friendly shopping bags and have created the “surprisingly educational” app, StoryLines for Schools. The app is a modern day telephone game. Users choose a vocabulary word or quote or generate their own, pass the device to another student who must draw a representation of the word/quote, and pass it to yet another student who must decipher what the drawing is. The app can be used to support vocabulary, themes, events, and concepts in multiple content areas. Root-1 also makes a few other wonderfully free and educational apps: Word Joust K-5, Word Joust 6-8, xWords, and Word Kung Fu in beta (coming soon).
  8. Inspiration Diagrams: Inspiration Diagrams donated an iPad cover for each of our 3 workshops. I had the pleasure of being a beta tester for Inspiration Diagrams. The Lite version will be released in March and the full in April. The possibilities for support and integration of the writing process are endless. The current version of the app has 11 templates ranging from Cause and Effect and Book Report to Fiction Reading Notes and Chronology. The app still mimics Inspiration software in the outline and diagram views but boasts new features such as Send to Dropbox and iTunes. I am very eager to see what the final product will look like.
  9. Matt Barker: This is Yolanda Barker’s husband. He graciously donated his CD to our participants. While his music is copyright free and he welcomes those who seek to modify and integrate it into their own projects, I am sure he would love to hear how it is being used in the classroom or other settings (share your thoughts with him). Matt is also the artist behind “appy hours 4 u” intro, outro, and voice over and plays live at a few local hangouts in San Antonio.
  10. Coach’s Eye: This was a late edition to our schwag. Coach’s Eye is from the makers of ScreenChomp and Camtastia and offers countless classroom integration possibilities. The name is a bit misleading as it was originally created for coach’s to instantly review and analyze their player’s videos. The app allows users to record or import video, slow it down, narrate and annotate over it, and even export it! Imagine recording and reviewing a science lab, public speaking event or debate, or even  weather patterns on a field trip.


Please give these people and app developers a nice round of APP-LAUSE! Thanks Again!


21 Nov 2011
Comments: 0

Surprisingly Educational Apps: Part 2 – Episode 12

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 12 – “Surprisingly Educational Apps. In this episode we featured multiple edutainment apps that that at first glance might not appear educational. For each free app we shared multiple integration ideas across content areas and grade levels. Check out our first installment of “Surprisingly Educational Apps.”


PicCal Calendar Event

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. StoryLines: Check out other apps by Root-1
  2. ArounderTouch: Check out edu tips for Virtual Vacations
  3. Tour Wrist: Visit their blog to see more media coverage and consumer reviews
  4. PicCal Lite (Blog)
  5. My Playhome Lite: More edu tips for integration
  6. To me By me (Website)
  7. SonicPics Lite (Website)
  8. Bill Atkinson PhotoCard Lite (Website)
  9. Coolibah (Website)

Wish I had come across Michael Benavides’ Spanish iLesson using TurboCollage (I am adding this app as a “write-in” on the surprisingly educational app ballot).


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

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio