Place Value Digital Manipulatives

Place Value Digital Manipulatives

Instead of looking for all those place value blocks you used last year (they’ve gotta be there…. somewhere…) why not sign out a cart of chromebooks and provide kids this link (If you have a class website or use Google Classroom this is a must-have link!) to the Number Pieces by the Math Learning Centre so that everyone can use the manipulatives, and you’re not left at the end of the day picking up all the “ones” blocks off the floor!

Free inspirational Movie Clips

Free inspirational Movie Clips

Did you know there are online resources out there that offer just the movie moments you may be looking to use in your classroom? Clips you may not have known about, clips you may have forgotten about, or other just plain good uses for movie clips. Wing Clips is one such site. Though it appears that its backbone is through a religious organization, there are still many resources to consider. 

Another site is ClipShout. This site is only free for 14 days, but also contains a large library of potentially useful movie clips for teachers.

Digital Citizenship – Case Studies

Digital Citizenship – Case Studies

This website from a school in BC has a list of stories of people who have been involved in various situations where some different choices as it pertains to digital citizenship could have changed the course of their lives. They made choices, and they live with the consequences of those choices. If you’re needing a story to tell your class to underscore a point you’ve made or need to make, you may find what you’re seeking here.


Plickers – Top App for all grades

Plickers – Top App for all grades

This app is a super cool use of technology in the classroom in that you only need ONE DEVICE to engage an entire class. The teacher needs a cell phone or a tablet – that’s it.

In a nutshell (and it is so easy!)….

Open an account at
Print off a set of the cards at – they look like space invaders. They’re weird!!!
Enter classes and students you would use the app with.
Download the Plickers app to your phone.

Plickers will automatically assign one of those cards you printed off to each student.
Create a bank of multiple choice questions on your computer, in your plickers account.
Select the questions you wish to assess during your classes and add them to the queue for that class.

(Above photo is from my own class)


Distribute the cards to the students as per Plickers’ assignment of them.
Broadcast (from your Chromebook) on your TV or through your projection system and click on LIVE VIEW (this is optional, but kids LOVE it).
On your phone/tablet choose the class you are teaching during that block.
Select one of the questions from the queue that you wish to assess for student understanding.

Students will select their response from the 4 multiple choice responses and will hold their unique card up with the letter pointing UP that represents their choice to respond with.

You will hold your phone up and scan the classroom and the students’ responses will be logged. 


– First of all, IT IS SO EASY TO USE

– A red or green oval will appear above the heads of your students. Green, of course, indicates they answered correctly, red indicates their response was incorrect. This particular app keeps the teacher INVOLVED and ENGAGED with the learners. You see with your eyes in a matter of seconds who understands the content and who is struggling. It’s not just data on a screen; it’s live, it’s real-time, and it’s an actual visual of your classroom. You finish the class block with a lot of good information as to what needs to be re-taught or reviewed, and with whom.

– Because the shapes appear so random to the human eye (and the letter markings are printed so faintly) cheating is not possible unless a student shouts out their answer.

– It uses the camera of your phone/tablet with Augmented reality features to give you the visual representation of learning as you view your class. The photo was taken in Michelle Baragar’s classroom during the 2017-2018 school year. 


Laminating the cards will make them last longer, of course, but depending on the positioning of windows in the classroom, the glare from the laminate can make scanning the students’ cards a wee bit more challenging.

Students can change their mind about a question. All they need to do is change the direction they are holding their card and ask you to re-scan it.

Sick of Kahoot?

Sick of Kahoot?

I know in my classroom last year, kids were getting pretty sick of Kahoot. They loved the engagement, but it was the go-to app that EVERY teacher used. It wasn’t novel any more. It was common. I’d love some feedback on this newcomer to the domain of “Student response systems”. It was designed by a high school student, it’s free, and it has a gamified element where their accumulated points from in-class engagement allows them to make “in-game purchases” with the points – so they have more at stake than just having their names appear on the podium at the end of the quiz. In theory, it should reduce kids answering with silly responses because of the secondary game that their overall points afford them.

Many thanks to Steve at CP Blakely for his professional review after trying it out in his classroom: “Overall, loved the experience and engagement levels for students, just wish there was a bit more on the teacher’s end of things.”

– Students review materials at their own pace (as opposed to a whole-class game of Kahoot) – You don’t have to wait for the class to go to the next question
– You can “do something” with your points (i.e., the shopping experience), which in turn motivates students even further to answer questions correctly
– Highly engaging

– If you don’t have an even number of students, the teams will not have the same amount of people, giving larger teams the advantage when collecting cash.
– Some students reported some lagging/auto-tapping answers.
– As a teacher, the free version of
GimKit does not allow me to edit “Kits” (or games) I’ve already created. I didn’t know this before I started one, and when I went back to edit it later, I realized I couldn’t. I could have made a new one, but we’ve only got 5 games with the free version as well.
– The data in the reports is not as manipulable or user friendly as Kahoot’s is (if we’re just comparing these two platforms), which is the sweet-sauce for me in using these sorts of games.