Saturday, March 22, 2008

Where did you get that Flash File?

Ever since I downloaded Smart's Essentials for Educator's Gallery and got a few good flash files for the smartboard I have been on the look out for more. To me the power of the smartboard is how interactive it can be with students. So I set out to search for more. For many months I would use a Google search with the words flash or .swf, usually not with much luck. Finally I realized that you can do an ADVANCED SEARCH in google and search for ONLY flash files. When you are in google look for little blue words that say advanced search. Using this method I got the two great fraction flash files, a better calculators to use within smartboard, and a few other good files.

In your comments some of you asked me where I got those fraction files. Above is how I did it, but I tried again today to find the same site and I could not. I did, however, put the two best fraction flash files on my CSD fraction page and you should be able to download them from there. (Run the file, then right click to save on a PC.) I love those two files and thank you to whoever made them, sorry I can not give you credit.

CSD math page ( see link on the right)
CSD fraction math page (under construction right now) but has the two flash files added :)

If any of you have good flash files to share please let us know. I will try to "refind" where some of mine came from or at least post them to my site in the next few weeks.

Happy Spring (Easter) Weekend to all of you. It is at least sunny in NH (but cold with lots of snow on the ground still.)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Grouping and Ungrouping VIP

Grouping and Ungrouping Visual Instructional Plan

1. Arrange objects how you would like them grouped.
2. Highlight the objects. (Hold mouse on top left of objects - hold mouse down and run over all objects you would like grouped.)
3. Click the drop down arrow (any outside arrow works.)
4. Choose grouping
- group to put them together
- ungroup to take them apart

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Adding Fractions - Flash - Student Explanation


I am always saying that the Smartboard needs to be used to its potential, and not just as a glorified overhead. This post is an example of what I mean. One concept that is hard for students is adding fractions with unlike denominators. There is a wonderful fraction flash file that can be imported right into the Smartboard gallery and used whenever it is needed needed. In this video, Paul, a fourth grader, uses that flash file to show how he added fractions. He also used the camera screen capture tool and the transparency tool so he was able to capture both fractions and put them ontop of one another. He loved making the video, but even better he could really visualize the problem and was positive that it was correct. (If you are doing this with a student, start by using fractions where one denominator is a multiple of the other. Then move on to the rectangular fraction flash file as it will make fractions with denominators up to 24. You can also use the NVLM fraction tool.)

I do not think Paul's understanding would be as strong with an overhead materials. When students trade 1/2 for 3/6 it is often confusing for them. So far I have noticed that this model does not seem to confuse students. Finally, it always amazes me how quickly students pick up on this technology. Having students use this technology to explain their thinking, to prove their thinking or to help support them in their understanding is why this tool is so much more than a glorified overhead!