As educators, we are constantly on the hunt for activities and plans that can add to our repertoire of lessons. This is probably done more when we’re preparing our students for state standardized assessments. Besides using released sample questions and practice tests, we look for activities that don’t require much work on our part (we already have a lot going on!). Enter Qwizdom OKTOPUS Blend, which includes thousands of lessons that can be used with any interactive whiteboard, touch panel or projector. These lessons meet many state learning standards that students are expected to master in Reading, Math, and Science. You, too, can get your hands on these “click and play” lessons! To do so, take these easy steps:
- Upgrade your current OKTOPUS license to OKTOPUS Blend. This will give you access to thousands of premium lessons that are focused on state standards and key concepts integral to a successful learning experience.
- In OKTOPUS, click on “Standard Tools” then choose “Lessons” from the drop-down menu.
- Click on the icon for “Lessons.”
- Search for a concept or skill that your class needs to review or is struggling with. Results will populate and the Premium lessons will appear first.
- You can click on “Preview” to see all of the slides included in the lesson. You’ll find that the lessons are focused, simple to understand, and get to the heart of the skill or concept.
- Click “Download” and save the lesson to your PC.
- In the sidebar, click the paper icon and choose “Open” to open the new lesson. You are ready to present!
Most of our Premium Lessons include a short, concentrated lesson followed by a set of questions. You can click through the lesson in the Presentation setting as your students view on their devices. When they answer the lesson questions, you can quickly find out how much the students are absorbing.
Periodic Table for Middle School Science starts with a mini-lesson including a graphic of the periodic table and an explanation of how elements are arranged. Various images engage the learner and help them sound down the new information. At any time during the presentation, click the collaboration icon on the feedback indicator to allow students to annotate on the slide and add to the active participation aspect of their learning.
Many of the questions include an explanation to the correct answer, which can help clarify any misunderstandings students may have.
OKTOPUS also enables you to add blank slides to the end of the lesson if you want to continue the discussion. Really, the presentation can stop at the end of the lesson but sometimes our students can surprise us (!) and want to do a little more. Why not?
OKTOPUS Premium Lessons can be used to reinforce commonly tested concepts and skills via whole class discussion, small group review, or individually in self-paced mode. They are available in Science, Language Arts, and Math. So, as you sit and think about what to use so your students feel confident and positive when the dreaded testing window arrives, consider OKTOPUS Premium lessons. They are focused, simple, and can take less than 15 minutes to present. Need convincing? Watch this video: Lessons for Touch Panels and Whiteboards – OKTOPUS Software.
Learn more at www.qwizdomoktopus.com.
OKTOPUS Preschool, Kindergarten Lessons and More
For this month’s blog I wanted to give you some ideas on how you can use Qwizdom OKTOPUS with your Preschool – 4 Grade students. Did you know that there are free activities available online? I will walk you through how to download and edit these premade lessons. I also created a couple of fun, sample lessons for Kindergarten and Preschool students that include songs, counting and reading practice. Last but not least, I created a 4th Grade Math Lesson that lets students practice identifying triangles.
Download Free Lessons and Add Interactive Widgets
There are free Math, Science and Language Arts lessons available online. The majority of activities are geared towards Kindergarten – 5 but some can be used for Preschool, too. To access these lessons, follow the instructions below.
Step 1: Create a free online account.
- Open OKTOPUS, go to the Settings / Login To My Account.
- Click ‘Not Registered.’
- Complete the form, including choice of state, district and school.
- If you have a product key, click Yes and enter your key, if not, click No.
- Agree to terms and click ‘Submit.’
- Click ‘activate account’ link in the verification email.
- Re-open OKTOPUS, go to Settings / Login To My Account. Enter username (email) and password setup in registration.
- Check the ‘Save Credentials box.
Step 2: Search for Lessons
Now that you created an account and are logged in, go to the ‘Lessons’ tab and select the Lessons Search icon.
Type a keyword into the search field. If you would like to refine your search, click on Advanced Search, select
Grade, Subject and then click ‘Go’.
Here are some helpful search terms for free content:
Counting, Alphabet, Greater Than, Ordinal Numbers, Measurement, Patterns, Classifying, Basic Shapes, Calendar, Telling Time, Fractions, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Capitals, Consonants, Vowels, Parts of Speech, Nouns, Vocabulary, Comprehension, Plants, Trees, Seasons, Animals, Temperature, Earth, Electricity and Dinosaurs
There are 2 types of content: Free Content (available to anyone with an OKTOPUS license in the US) and
Premium Content (which requires a Blend subscription).
Use the page numbers to scroll to the free content.
Step 3: Preview and Download Lessons
Click Preview to quickly view all instruction and question slides. Answer slides are not available for preview.
Click ‘Download’ and the activity will be downloaded to your computer. In OKTOPUS, go to the File menu, select Open and
browse to the newly downloaded activity (.qap).
I downloaded an Alphabet lesson and then added some interactive slides to the end of the activity so students can practice their ABCs. Such activities include building words and matching.
Preschool Circle Time Activities
For preschool, you could use OKTOPUS to bring your circle-time songs to life or create simple interactive games. I created a short lesson that includes ‘There Was an Old Lady, 5 Little Monkeys, Frog Counting Game’ and more. Click on the link below to download the activity and add your favorite circle time songs and activities.
Calendar, Attendance, Weather and More
You could use OKTOPUS as a way to start the day. You could have students check in, add dates, report the weather, practice the days of the week and learn about seasons. Here is a lesson that you can download and modify to work with your morning routine.
Here is a fun lesson where students can measure angles and sides of a triangle using a protractor and ruler to identify the triangle.
What types of activities have you created? Do you want to share your work? Email email@example.com your favorite OKTOPUS activity or share it on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t forget to tag #Qwizdom #QwizdomOKTOPUS. Happy teaching everyone!