Posts Tagged random

Technology Tuesday: Free Classroom Tools

In the training I attended yesterday the presenter used some pretty slick digital tools to time activities and choose people to call on.  Although that software was for sale, I also know there are some free alternatives that will do some of the same things.  Here are a few to explore before spending your money:

Triptico:  This is an installation, but once installed you have access to classroom timers, random number/name pickers and spinners.  All of these tools can be created ahead of time and saved on your computer for access use later on. Files can also be shared, so if teacher A creates a great spinner, then that file can be shared to Teacher B, C, D, etc without a problem.  This program also has several other templates including quizzes, scoring, and games. – offers free tools that do not require a download.  It has a classroom timer complete with your choice of soundtrack to run during the countdown.  It also has a random name/number picker for using to pick what student in each group you would like to call on.  These would have to be created as you need them and cannot be saved for future use.  You may want to save any lists you create in a word doc to be able to copy and paste over for quick access.

Online_Stopwatch:  Is also a free online tool that does not require a download.  This timer will count up or down and will go full screen to gain attention of the students.  This is one of my favorites to use!

Smart Notebook:  If you already have a smart slate or smart board in your room, check out the Notebook Gallery section and do a search for a spinner.  The default is for 4 sections, but that can be changed as can the labels and colors.   They also have a random number generator that can be used to randomly pick numbers in the number range that you set.  These can also be shared amongst the other smart slate users on a campus.

I also know several of my staff has iPads or other devices they bring to campus on a regular basis.  Check out the app store to find free apps for timers to use.

If you know of any other good tools to share (or apps), please leave them in the comments below.


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Random Things I Learned at TCEA

There were no BIG ah-ha moments for me at TCEA this year, but I did find  myself collecting tidbits of info and ideas I liked.  I thought I would share two of those ideas in this post.

1.  Heads or Tails – Tammy Worcester

She played Heads or Tails with the us_quarter_frontworkshop attendees to give away free items.  To play (this works with large crowds as well as normal size classrooms):

  • Materials needed: Projector and Computer – OR Computer connected to a TV.
  • Find a virtual coin flip site –
  • Have the participants stand up and choose “Heads” by placing their hands on their heads, or “Tails” by placing their hands on their backsides (or for the more modest the hips will do.)
  • Flip the coin.
  • Those who guessed right remain standing and those who guessed wrong have a seat.
  • Statistically you will eliminate about half each time.
  • Keep going until you have a winner.

2.  Review Games using Connect 4

  • Materials needed: projector and computer – review questions.
  • Divide the class into 2 groups.
  • Ask group 1 a question – when they get a question right they can place a token on the game board.
  • SUGGESTION: Because the game will not allow you to skip a turn a suggestion might be to ask an individual a question, and if they cannot answer it goes on to the next person in that group.  The person who answers it right gets to choose where to drop the token without any help from team mates.
  • The team that connects 4 tokens first wins that round.  You can tabulate the most rounds won to determine the team that won.
  • Reward Suggestions:  I like free!  I have offered that team gets to leave first and the other team has to wait.  A few points towards a homework assignment, or a free one day late pass on an assignment.

This same idea could be applied to any online game.  Does this spark any other ideas?  Any quick tips wor websites you want to share?

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