Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Math, Technology, iPads and #showbie

I am linking up with iTeach 1:1 and Learning to the Core for their Tune into Technology: iPads Linky. I am so excited with this link-up because I can share some of the great things I have learned to do with iPads. I know this is a long post, but I hope you read all the way through it because I share some really cool ideas.

Last year I used 1:1 iPads in my Math Support class.  My goal in my Math Support class was to give them a way to practice and learn the math concepts differently than in their regular Math 8 class.  My goal was to also make my Math Support class completely self-paced.  I do not direct teach in this period and having it self-paced allows me to help students or to work with small groups.

It took about half of the school year for my vision to finally come to fruition. One of the tweaks I made with the iPads was to have the browser removed.  I have the browser removed from the iPads because I don't want the students to have access to the Internet. Doing this makes it so much easier because I don't have to watch what the students are doing... I know they are doing what they are supposed to be doing.  I don't use the iPads for games and through a lot of trial and error and research .... I finally found some great apps that fit into my vision perfectly.

My Number One favorite, I can't live without app is showbie.

I am going to show you how I use Showbie  and why I love it.  First of all, in Showbie  you can set up classes and keep track of assignments in an easy and organized fashion.  You can name the classes and assignments.

This is the teacher view of classes.  From here you can see if any assignments were turned in.

In each class you can add assignments.  This is a view of what it would like in one of the classes, looking at the assignments.  Again, you can see the assignments that were turned in.

You can click on an assignment and see each student.  Again in this view you can see who has completed the assignment.

I love the fact that I can see the progress of assignments for each class and each student.  If you haven't fallen in love with Showbie  yet.... Just wait.... It gets better..... :o)

Showbie allows you to do so much more great stuff.  I am going to walk you through one of my weeks in Math Support and this will highlight all of Showbie's great attributes.

My Weekly Assignments in Showbie
In Showbie  I create a list of assignments for the week.  As you can see in the above example: Assignment #1, Assignmnet #2, etc....   Each assignment has a due date.... I also lock assignments, so students stay focused on the current days.  (Two awesome features in Showbie)  :o)

Students start with Assignment #1 and when they complete it, they move on to the next Assignment.  This allows the students to work at their own pace and I can focus on helping the students.  When the students finish an assignment, they leave a "Text Note" letting me know they have finished.  

This is an example of the student's "Text Note".  

*** I am tweaking this for next year. I am going to have different prompts at the end of the assignment. So instead of just letting me know that they finished the assignment, they will be writing a response instead.  

Examples of How I Use Showbie to Create Assignments
Each of my assignments are different and unique.  I write very explicit instructions so the students know what they need for the assignment, what they should be doing and how they should be doing it.

The first example is an assignment where the student will take notes.  The first part of the assignment explains how to properly set up their paper. 

When the students open the pdf file that I uploaded into Showbie, they see an example of how to set up their paper for the notes. (I am very OCD about how papers are set up)

After they set up their paper, they read the next part of the assignment.  This is where they will click a link which will take them to a video I made using Educreations.

In Educreations, they watch the video and copy the color-coded notes onto the graphic organizer they made in Part One of the assignment.  

They actually watch two videos.  The first video walks them through concept and vocabulary.

The second video walks them through a color-coded example problem.

The students love using the videos for notes because they can pause it, and watch the video again.  

The next assignment is would be practice to apply the concept.  

Again the pdf example would give them an example of how I want the paper set up.

The next part of the assignment would direct them to Socrative. Here they will sign in and do a self-paced practice.  I love Socrative because not only do the students get practice, they get immediate feedback if they got the question right or wrong.

I previously posted about Socrative and how I used it for self-paced practice here.

Another assignment for practice. In this assignment the students are directed to go to my other favorite Common Core practice resource: Tenmarks. I love Tenmarks because the questions are rigorous and are Common Core style questions.   In Tenmarks you can create assignments based on one or more Common Core standards.  I have the students use a whiteboard when doing practice in Tenmarks.

As you can see I am very OCD about assignment details.  I do not want to spend time answering questions about how they should set up their paper, what they do next, etc. I want to focus on questions about the concept.   I LOVE Showbie because I can leave detailed assignment explanations, attach pdf examples, and leave links. This is why they don't need the browser app because Showbie rocks so much that I can leave a link and it opens up in Showbie. (Thank you Showbie!!!  You Rock!!!)

I hope you are still reading, because I have saved the best part of Showbie for last....  My absolute favorite thing to use Showbie for is the performance tasks that I create.   

I create a performance task and upload the pdf into Showbie.  (Again with my very explicit directions)  :o) 

And then the fun part... This is what the students see when they open the pdf.  In this task the students will make a poster.

But wait! It gets better....  Not only do the students make a poster as they walk through the task, they annotate on the pdf and write written responses on the pdf...   

The students know if there is a "Text Cloud" in the task, they click on the "Text Cloud" on the tool bar and leave a written response.  Here is an example of how that looks when I see it.

The students also have a stylus, so they can annotate answers right on the pdf.  Here is an example of what that looks like when I see it.  

And now the really, really cool part... I can annotate and leave responses for the students.  Here are some examples of how I would reply back to the students on their task.

Here are some pictures of the students working through the task.

And here is a picture of the final poster from the task.

These are the reasons that I absolutely LOVE Showbie and why it is my Number One can't live without app.... Showbie really helps keep my classroom organized and completely self-paced so that I can focus on the students and their learning.  I hope you were able to learn some cool ideas.... Thanks for stopping by.... :o)



  1. Just pinned this post because I have a feeling I'm going to keep coming back to it over and over again! I love your teaching style and found so many useful ideas in this post. It's amazing that you can annotate and leave feedback for the students with Showbie. Thanks for linking up!
    iTeach 1:1

    1. Thanks for stopping by... Feel free to email me with any questions.... I love to help... :o)

  2. This looks amazing- I love your explanation of Showbie and that you can annotate right on the pdf. Thanks so much for linking up!
    Aylin :)
    Learning to the Core

    1. The annotation aspect is really great for feedback.. I love that I can type a response too... :o)

  3. This is incredible. So many ideas...where to start....

    Thank you!!!

    1. Thanks. Let me know if I can help or give you any ideas.... :o)