Monday, December 17, 2012

Tech Tips: XtraMath

Tech Tips
Issue 8

This Tech Tip will look at a fantastic web site for basic math facts. is similar to Rocket Math without all the copies and teacher scoring, and it generates detailed reports for teachers, students, and parents.  Best of all…it is FREE!   This is a great tool for practicing and recording basic math facts in the classroom.

What Are the Benefits of Xtramath?

Overview: is a great site to practice basic math facts.  It is similar to Roocket Math but can be done on the classroom computers or iPads and manages student progress for teachers and parents.  This is a free service that coud easily replace Rocket Math in the classroom for daily/weekly math facts practice.  Check out the overvew at

Student Activities:  The way Xtramath is set up is very student centered.  Students can access the site on a classroom computer or iPad and practice basic math facts.  The program continues from where they left off or what facts a student may need to study.  It allows an easy classroom management proceedure for sharing limited classroom computers (or iPads).  For more details check out the video at to see how XtraMath does this.

For Parents:  Parents are even able to access their child’s progress through XtraMath.  They can receive detailed reports in their email inbox if they choose or log in to the site to view their child’s progress.  This is a great way to keep parents up to date with their child’s basic math facts skills.

Progress Reports: XtraMath does all the work for teachers!  When students progress through basic facts, the program generates detailed reports for staff.  There is no more need for teachers to grade all the practice sheets, record student progress, and progress students though a system of paperwork to proactice the needed facts.  XtraMath does all this for you with easy to read graphs, charts, and fact grids that show student progress.  Check out what the reports look like at

Visit XtraMath to get started:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tech Tips: Tagxedo

Tech Tips
Issue 7

This Tech Tip will look at  If you have ever used Wordle you will love Tagxedo.  It has all the same options as Wordle, but it offers even more tricks and ways to display text!  

This is a great site to make Wordle type pictures with an added twist.  You can make the words themselves form shapes.  If you have ever used Wordle for this you know that the limitations were always that it made a rectangle shape image.  With Tagxedo the text itself can create a picture.  Below is this week’s Tech Tips in the shape of a handprint. 

There are many uses for Tagxedo.  Any time you create a Wordle, you could use Tagxedo.  I used Wordle each time I made student groups.  They would make one to illustrate what they have in common to create a cohesive group.  I also had students copy any Google Document they were working on just before they claimed they were done.  They would look to see if words like “very”, “good”, “then” and so on were used too much.  The larger the word, the nore often it was in the writing.  This helped students to identify repetitive words and use Word Choice better.   Below is my class policies handout in the form of the GL logo.

Tagxedo can be used any time you might have normally used Wordle.

Visit Tagxedo to get started: