Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Board of Remediation

Link: Board of Remediation

1. The website features an idea to help students with lower level concepts. If students are struggling with basic concepts that were covered in previous classes below their current class, they can go to the wall and pick out a worksheet to help understand those lower level concepts.

2. Using this on-the-wall system, students can grab any worksheets they want or need and complete them on their own time rather than having the entire class use teaching time to refresh lower-level concepts. There is also a binder of answer keys to each worksheet next to the wall.

3. The website was helpful because it gave me an idea that I could possibly use in the future if I see that my students do not understand concepts that they should have mastered.

4. Yes, I would  use this idea. I think it would be a great way to get students into the idea of practicing what they don't know. This way, they can see where they need to improve and make the move to actually improve.

5. I would like to blog because it is obviously a great way to connect with other teachers and share ideas. However, I worry that I will not have enough time to commit to blogging.

Link: my classroom

1. This site describes the same setup as the last site but adds that his students actually requested the worksheets. I thought that was unique.

2. Because it was the same idea, I looked at some of the links within the post on this blog and found some other interesting ideas such as using the print screen function to share Geogebra graphs and his use of participation points.

3. Yes, it was helpful. Although I wish he had a followup post about the success or failure of the wall. He mentioned that he had not yet tried the idea so I wonder if he will post something about it.

4. I could definitely use the ideas from this site and the rest of his blog. He seems to have quite a network going with many links to different blogs and ideas.

5. See previous.

Blogging Overview

Continuous Everywhere, but Differentiable Nowhere

The content is comprised of either motivational “keep your chin up” posts or projects/activities dealing                mostly with upper level high school math (pre calc and calc). Most of the projects or activities that he posts deal with technology, so I feel like if you are teaching calc or anything calc related, there could be some cool things to take form this blog. I think some of the activities look really interesting, but I believe the blog is only really helpful if you are teaching upper level high school math. With the activities and the motivational posts. I know some days will be tough, so this could help keep me going. Possibly. Probably not as a beginning teacher, as I will be swamped just trying to survive. Maybe as I become more of a veteran and feel that I have valuable things to share I will get into it.

Crafty Math

1    Mostly tips and tricks that she has used herself in the classroom. Also some interesting articles related to math and teaching. She has some cool lesson ideas, but she also has some interesting articles posted. The humor in her writing is also a plus. I think the blog is entertaining and all around useful. It isn’t a very subject-centered blog,  but more so just a math ed blog. I enjoyed looking at the articles. She posts some good lessons that I could use in my classroom. 

Blogging Assignment Overview

This site is dedicated to a group of math teachers who use twitter and who blog.  They have formed a community and share ideas with each other.  They have become friends.  It is a place to get great ideas and share great ideas with other math teachers.

It is important as a teacher to get new ideas and one of the best ways to do this is to follow other math teachers on Twitter and read other math teachers’ blogs.  Maybe someday you will be one of the math teachers that people are following and getting ideas from—how cool would that be?
There is a list of suggested people to follow, based on their interest areas.  This is going to be helpful and provide me some new blogs to watch and people to follow on Twitter.
There was some great advice on privacy concerns on Twitter and with Blogging.

One of the best pages was “Cool Things we have done together.”  This is a great resource of people to follow on Twitter and blogs to read.  I am about to start a blog—maybe later this semester.  I certainly love how the Technology blog is going so far.

  This is the blog of Sam Shah, Math Teacher.  “Continuous everywhere but differentiable nowhere.”  He also has a lot of information about himself—basically he has created an electronic portfolio on here.  There is more and more talk about what your electronica persona is—do you have one?  Do you want one?

I was searching through the site and found the following two subsites helpful and something that we may want to look at in class,

Yes, I think that it makes me wonder about my internet presence and do I want to have one.  Have you googled yourself—what comes up?  Is it more than just your Facebook page?

Yes, again it makes me wonder if I should create a blog and create an electronic presence.  Of course, the questions that I am asking is, “Do I know enough to do this?  Do I truly have information to contribute that would help other teachers?”

Explains a process that Sam Shah created to help other teachers begin blogging.  He emailed them a prompt each week.  This was a 4-week process, where they were sent a prompt each week.  The number of people responding each week decreased as the 4 weeks went on.

I think, like many of you, I am worried about blogging and what to say.  This website with the email prompts has reassured me that you are not being judged by what you say.  A blog isn’t so much about other people as it is an opportunity for you to reflect on yourself and your teaching. 

A blog may not be something that you want to tackle your first year as you will be so busy, but it might be something to do your second year.  Of course, it might be interesting to have both the first year and then the second year you can go back and reflect on things you have changed.

A Physics/Math teacher in Iowa has switched from normal grading to standards based grading.  He talks about what Standards-Based grading means and his journey to do it.   This idea places the emphasis on learning rather than the grade.  I completely agree with it.

Standards-Based Grading allows students to “re-do” quizzes.  I have been opposed to this idea for some time, but after reading this website, it actually makes sense to me.  I have always been a teacher that focuses on learning rather than the grade.  If I really want to know if a student learned a concept, why not let them demonstrate that to me later (retake the quiz).  I think that this website may have changed my view on things.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tiered Assessment

  This website talked about a new form of assessing students.  The tests were composed of questions of certain levels D, C, B, A, with A being the most difficult.  They were graded with either a +, check, or --.  They were then given a 1, 2, 3, or 4 for each page depending on how they did on the questions.
  I learned that there are alternative ways to grade tests and a class.  We can be creative in the way we grade our class to tailor it to our own needs.  This grading idea helps a teacher see whether their students are responding to what they are teaching since there are questions based on what level the question is like D, C, B, A.  I like this method of the tiered assessment.
  It was helpful because it posed a new idea of grading, although I do not think this is how I would grade my class.  I would change portions of this grading method to accommodate my needs.
  I could use the idea of grading in a different way that would be tailored for my class.  I could alter the grading scale that they proposed to tailor it to my own needs.  I have a problem with the +, -, check, grading for each question.  Grading students on partial credit becomes difficult when giving only a +, -, and check.  The students are sometimes left wondering why they only got a check, plus, how do you distinguish what gets a check?  This is how my composition teachers graded our papers and I often wondered where do you draw the line between the grades.  Some student may do just enough to get a check, and some student may get so close to a + and just miss one portion and still get a check.

    I am not sure whether I will blog or not.  I may after my first couple years of teaching when I have some good experiences under my belt to share.  I feel like if I blogged before that I may not have enough information to share with people.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Going over tests/Patterns

     On the website  talked about a great way to go over a test. The teacher had the students form "sessions" on the day they got the test back for 10-15 minutes where one student in the group explained how to solve that particular type of problem, and all questions would be directed at the student leading the session. If a student then mastered their group they could go to another group and work on that topic.
     This is a great way to encourage students to study for tests because they want to be chosen as the "presenter" in the group. It also encourages peer-teaching, which helps the students to hear their friend explain the material and for the student explaining it reinforces their knowledge of the material. It is also a lot more engaging for the student than zoning out while the teacher go over the most missed points.
     This was really helpful because it is hard to come up with ideas for change when you are so used to a certain way. Also it helps because it starts discussion about other possible options for going over tests. I would probably use this method of going over tests, or something similar to it because students learn best when they are actively engaged and I feel this is an example of a good way to engage students. I would probably merge the idea in this article with the way my chemistry and physics teacher went over tests. Her method was grouping students into 3s that had gotten different parts correct so that one student could explain one topic, and the other students could explain others.

     On the website there are a series of images of the first three elements of a pattern and it asks for the number of cubes in 43rd element of the pattern. There is a "submit" box under each picture for you to guess the correct number of cubes. If you guess correctly it tells you what the equation is for the pattern.
     This would be a good website for your students to use if you were in a patterns section for class. It is also good simply as brain teasers to help students practice their ability to recognize patterns and think mathematically/logically. I would probably use it as an extra credit assignment, to write out the answers and the equation to a few patterns, maybe with a sentence on how to got those answers.
     I'm not sure that I would blog while teaching, I think I will read plenty of blogs but I think I might be too busy trying to use all the ideas I get from blogs that I won't be able too. At least until I'm a few years in to being a teacher.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

If You Don't Use It, You Lose It

Almost every article about contemporary education that I read involves promoting technology in the classroom. They speak about the benefits and all the things we can do with technology. They speak of the DOE and state/federal governments needing to step up with funding to purchase these new pieces of technology. These articles are littered with positives about the use of technology in the classroom in this fast pace and ever changing world. I believe there is no denying the positive correlation between increased technology use and higher student academic achievement. So with all these advocates and all this new technology at our fingertips, why have test scores not risen dramatically?

I believe this is because teachers are being given these amazing pieces of technology  but are being given no guidance as to how it should be used. I would compare it to giving a blind man a map to a huge treasure. The  map (technology) is useless if the blind man has no idea how to read it (implement it). I saw this happen firsthand at my high school. Many of my teachers had a smart board in their classrooms, but few used it for more than showing simple PowerPoint. In fact, some of them didn't turn it on once during the entire year!

Now, I will be the first to admit that learning to use new pieces of technology can be overwhelming at first. However, that is not an excuse to just ignore the fact that you have it. Teachers that don't use these awesome pieces of technology do all other teachers a disservice. We cannot lobby for increased funding and more technology if the current technology is not being used or implemented properly.

My solution to this is two-fold. First, offer more technology-oriented workshops and require teachers to attend a certain amount of them. Second, if a teacher openly admits that they will probably not use the technology, do not put it in anyway. Give it to a teacher who actually will use it. Give it to a teacher who is excited to learn about it and use it to enhance their teaching. Giving it to a veteran teacher with the hope that they will use it is useless.

I do believe that as the next few years pass, those teachers who do not embrace technology will either retire or conform. New teachers these days embrace technology and learn about it in college. However, until this transition is complete, I believe we have to attack this problem so that we do not face even larger funding issues in the future. We have to show these organizations that technology does enhance learning. If we do not, the funding will never increase.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Welcome to our Math Technology Blog

As part of Math 371, I wanted everyone to learn about blogs.  What better way to learn than to create a group blog, where each week one of us will post to the blog.  As I continue to prepare for this course, I have realized that it is harder to prepare because technology is changing instantly.  So, bear with me as we will all learn a lot this semester (I hope).

I thought that the first post should be links to several websites that we may find helpful in this course.  Again, this list may be overwhelming so don't try to check all of these out in one sitting.

News, voices and jobs for education professionals. Optimized for your mobile phone.

My students love using their iPads in the classroom! iPads in the classroom provide student with the opportunity not to be restricted to the traditional way of learning.

Education as it should be - passion-based. (by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.)

Go beyond the same six tricks to maximize whiteboard use.

Welcome to Ms. Magiera's class website! 5th Grade Math, Science and Writing at National Teachers Academy

Within the wide expanse of social networking, educators appear to be gravitating to more protected and exclusive spaces.While teachers often use such popular mainstream social networks as Facebook, they are more likely to seek out and return to less-established networks that offer the privacy, peer-to-peer connections, and resource sharing that meets their specific professional needs, according to a recent survey and interviews with educators."A lot of teachers are on Facebook as general-population consumers," said Jessie Arora, the founder of Teacher Square, an organization that helps teachers share information around educational technology. "[But] they aren't on Facebook with their teacher hats on."Educators' use of popular networks like Facebook and Twitter has increased overall, but those sites are often blocked in schools and fraught with ethical concerns because so many students use them.

If you're looking to build up your G+ experience, here's some useful education technology Google+ accounts to know about.

There's a learning curve when it comes to blogging and education. First, you should know that teachers should blog. Period. Here's why.

From the YouTube education channels to the videos to users ... there's a lot of video out there for teachers, students, and lifelong learners.

It's the start of a new year and that means there's infinite possibilities that lay before you. But you can't move forward without arming yourself with the best free web tools and apps.

less helpful

Allow your students to mix, mash, and video their way to a deeper understanding of the topic by using one of the video creation tools below.

There are thousands of useful education technology Pinterest boards out there and we've only just scratched the surface. Hope you find some of these boards useful!

As this visualization from the always wonderful langwitches explains, 21st century skills are learned and enhanced by blogging in the classroom.

The Edudemic Magazine year-end special showcases the very best education apps and web tools of the year. A sneak preview is here!

Free and open educational resources are aplenty and teachers around the world are adding to the repository every day.

We've needed a strong pedagogical framework for digital tools since the introduction of technology into education. Hopefully this helps.

Professional development is one of the most ignore but important parts of growing as a teacher. Here are a few free professional development web tools to try!

Technology is a powerful tool for learning that can be used effectively to support the Common Core and help students develop the skills for success.

iPads and Android tablets are becoming a bigger and bigger presence in schools. Curious how it works? Get some tips on deploying tablets in the classroom.

What are the biggest apps to know about in the upcoming year? Our friends at Education Dive have assembled a useful list!

A quick look at how I use Twitter for writing prompts. I thought this was going to be another project gone bad! To my surprise since teens love texting, they also loved micro-blogging!

There's more to educational video than YouTube. It's a terrific resource but you should know about the best alternatives to youtube available now.

Wondering how to use Pinterest in education? Find out with this highly visual and simple look at how to use Pinterest (great for beginners!)

What's the best educational social network? Simply put: it's the one you use. Therefore, you should know about and try these new sites.

Want to know if you're correctly integrating technology into your classroom? This matrix and insight will help you get a firm grasp on what to do.

A teacher's review is the best kind of review for fellow teachers, right? So here's how Kyle Pearce feels about the Algebra Touch Math iPad App.

If your resolution for 2013 was to be better organized, these 5 apps are recommended for you by the fine folks at Apple.

Here is a crowd-sourced selection of some of the inspiring, creative and touching math blog posts from 2012, my Math Blogging Retrospectus 2012. I asked for some reading material over winter break and colleagues commented on some of the math blogging material … Continue reading →

The EmergingEdTech YouTube Channel passed 100,000 views as subscribership doubled for this resource this year. In 2012, EmergingEdTech videos (there are now

Math Teachers: 21 Great Twitter Accounts to Follow