Monday, April 28, 2014

Tracy's Tuesday Tech Tip: Senses & Sensibility

Ever have one of those nights when you're walking along, and you catch a whiff of those delicious fries that you love? Or how about that aroma from the pizzeria down the street...the perfect thin-crust delight that you know may not be the best for you, but is oh so worth it as you savor it in the moment...

Beyond the sense of smell, what about that book cover that catches your eye while at the library so much that you have to open it and see what it's about. Even more, I love chatting it up while enjoying a delicious latte at the Steaming Cup in Waukesha, when all of a sudden a great song I haven't heard comes on the speakers. I just find myself bopping along to the beat and really enjoying the sound!

We are a species of senses - whether taste, smell, hearing, sight - we all have certain things that appeal to us at our initial reactions based on our senses. With the idea of appealing to the sense, come the thoughts behind student engagement - what can we do to make them become and stay engaged?

In this week's edition of our blog, we have two ideas for reading and math assessments that can help appeal to your students' senses!

Math Practices: Ever heard of a Photo a Day? Check out the pic below where one teacher has given his students a calendar of different math concepts, and his students are to take a picture of the concept each day. Think about tying this in with our core apps - perhaps a Notability file or Explain Everything presentation - and having students describe what their picture means aside from the text. What a great visual representation of the 

Literacy Practices: As music can define a mood, the BooktrackClassroom idea gave me a great idea to tie in another core app: GarageBand! After creating a written response to any prompt - could be part of writer's workshop, or a short analysis of a text from reading workshop, students create music to help illustrate their writing. As they are reading their response, think about the power of having their own "soundtrack" to the background! (Booktrack is also a great resource if you're looking for a way to start this idea up in your classroom without iPads or GarageBand.)

Do you have anything that you've tried in your classroom this year integrating technology into your instruction? Share with us your ideas and please give us feedback on ours! We are all learning together on this journey of transforming our students' lives with technology tools!


  1. Hi Tracy,

    Thanks for this great post!

    Just to let you know, Booktrack Classroom is the education version of Booktrack. It lets students create their own original Bookrack by setting synchronized soundtracks to text - all in one app!

    Booktrack Classroom is available as a free download for both Android and Apple device users (so you can get it on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch as well as Android tablets and mobile phones). Students can also upload the music they create on GarageBand to Booktrack and set this to their work.

    Love your work, and thanks for all the support so far!

    Karen Tay
    Community Manager

    1. Thanks, Karen! Really looking forward to delving into Booktrack even more! I think it's a great resource to truly make literacy in various subjects come alive! What a great integration of already using GarageBand and Booktrack together!

      Thanks so much for following us!

    2. No problem, thank you for your interest, and we'd love to hear from you in future! We're on Facebook and Twitter @Booktrack and Google Plus as well :-)