What is it- PhET is a web site, created by the University of Colorado Boulder, filled with free interactive simulations for math and science. The simulations are displayed in a game- like fashion, are highly engaging, intuitive, and span all grade levels. The best part is that they are created based on educational research.
How I use it - I use PhET to suck my students into our next unit of study. They go crazy when they see the PhET simulator embedded into our Learning Management System. I always make sure to allow the students time to simply explore and become familiar with the phenomenon and the simulation at hand. By doing so, students learn the workings of the simulator and begin to find patterns, as well as, make inferences as to what it is we will be learning. Allowing that free time is almost as important as the teaching I will do after, because without it, what student is going to be able to focus on teaching when they have an awesome simulator in front of them? Once they have played for a few minutes I then ask them to investigate something on the simulation. In the case of the Natural Selection simulator (shown above), students may investigate how the habitat effects the number of brown bunnies vs the number of white bunnies, or I may as that they look at how genes change through generations. Students then design and test their own experiments using the PhET simulation.
What it is - Recap Is a Video reflection app created by Swivl. This however seems to be selling this fantastic app short. Recap can be a formative assessment tool, a way to capture students thinking or a tool to create any type of video. If you are creative and innovative, then look out world because you are about to blow its mind.
How I use it- To date, I have used Recap most extensively in my reading instruction. Students have record themselves as their read to work on fluency, answered questions, and shared their thinking as they read a text. I have also use it to encourage some of my more reluctant readers. After an assessment is completed by the students a fun video is created by the app, I then show these videos to the students and they love to see if they made the video!
Here are some more ways/subjects that I have used Recap
For more information follow the link to Recaps Stellar website filled with more resources and ways to make Recap work for you.
What it is - Formative is an online assessment tool that allows teachers to test their students in unique ways. Teachers can create an assessment with multiple choice, true or false, short answer and a show your work right on a PDF that has been uploaded.
Why use it- Plain and simple, Formative is one of the easiest online assessment tools for you and your students to use. One of my favorite features is the "show your work" option. Students can draw right in the test. What makes Formative truly special however, is the Live Results feature. While students are working on what ever you have assigned, you as the teacher, can watch in real time what they are doing and provide them feed back (shown in the picture above).
How I use it- Currently I use Formative, the most, for my math assessments. It is quick and easy to create a test. All I do is upload a PDF of the test the students would traditionally take on paper. Next, I click where I want a question, I choose from four options of questions style (multiple choice, short answer, true or false and show your work), put in the correct answer and PRESTO I have my test.
Here are some more ways/subjects that I have used formative: