Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tool #6

I used Poll Everywhere and think it could be a very fun and useful way to see how well my students understand the material. I could use this when reviewing for a test or when we do TAKS or STAAR test review. The students enjoy when they have an opportunity to text in class. It mixes things up and diversifies activities a little bit.

Here is a link to my poll:  http://www.polleverywhere.com/multiple_choice_polls/MjA0ODI2Nzg0MQ

I also created a TodaysMeet. I like this better than Twitter for a classroom discussion because the students do not need an account. It is also very user friendly. In a classroom setting, I would require that the students post something appropriate that adds to the discussion. This could be really great for students who are afraid to share in a large group setting, but have many thoughts to share.

Here is the link to my TodaysMeet: http://todaysmeet.com/MathModelsNHS

Tool #5

I decided to create a Wordle using Geometry terms. I think this could be a fun and different way to introduce vocabulary terms at the beginning of a unit. You can also print them out and post them around the classroom. I really enjoyed using Wordle once I got it to work. My Java plugin was not up to date, so the program would not work. After I updated Java, I was able to view the words, change the colors, change the design and remove words if necessary. It was very easy to use, but you don't have as much freedom as I wanted.

Here is my example:

Wordle: Geometry Terms

I also created a comic strip using http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/ . This was fairly time consuming and wouldn't be time effective for me to use for lesson making. However, it would be something fun for the students to create after a unit to demonstrate their understanding of the topic. The students would need to describe the topic, vocabulary, and how they understood the topic. They also are able to use some creativity when creating a comic strip.

Here is the link to my comic:

Pythagorean Theorem Comic

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tool #4

I created a Google doc and shared it with some coworkers and received feedback in real time. We were not sure if the document sent or if the changes were saved. Once we discovered that we had completed everything right, we had a fun learning experience collaborating with Google docs.

I also created a form in Google Docs and shared it via email with coworkers. My coworkers learned some things about my interests and summer plans and I was able to learn about them as well. In the form you can create different kinds of questions like multiple choice, check all that apply, and free response.

I can use the form and writing document to discuss problems, lessons, and homework with my teammates. I can also use the Google documents to have my students collaborating with each other using the iPads and netbooks. I would also like to use Blogger as a place my students can check homework assignments, quizzes, and tests. I would like to use the Google apps jointly with my teacher Facebook account because many of my students are already using Facebook as a social media. It is helpful when you can combine technologies that are new to students with things they already understand.

Tool #3

This is a video I found on YouTube.com. I used it to introduce the Quadratic Formula in my classroom last year. Most of the kids thought it was funny and the song ended up stuck in their heads. It helped some students memorize the formula and helped others remember the name of the formula and how to use it. It is somewhat goofy...enjoy

I found another video on TeacherTube.com that I could use to introduce the math at the beginning of the year. I get questions all the time in my Math Models class: "When will I use this?" and "Why is this important?" This video shows different places where math is used, and it's in a fun and entertaining way.

I had never really read and educated myself about Copyright laws and the Fair Use laws for my classroom use of media. I learned that many times teachers can get into trouble because they don't know how to site their usage of media in their classrooms. Under Fair Use laws, teachers can use small portions of a work and site where they found it. If they are using the majority of a work, they need permission to use it. If the work you are using is a well known fact, then you do not need permission to use it. If you are not making money off of someone else's work, you are probably okay. Teachers also have the ability to print copies for classroom use as long as they are destroyed when you are finished using them. As a student in band we were faced with this every year. We had many copies of different musical pieces and were required to turn in our copied music at the end of the year, so students could not violate Copyright laws.

Dropbox is a tool that could be used with my students when working on our budget projects. Many of my students forgot to print their projects, and if they saved them in Dropbox, I could have viewed them from my computer with little hassle. It is also a way for team members to share documents quickly and efficiently.

Tool #2

I was able to view some different blogs from the list provided, other teachers at Northbrook HS, and previous blogs I have found interesting. I added a few that I enjoyed to my blog under Blogs I love, so I could come back to them at a later date. That particular gadget shows you the title of the most recent post from each blog, so you can quickly see if you want to read that post.

I like the idea of having a PLN because you can learn so much from those that you work with on a daily basis and others around the country and world who are using innovative ideas in their classrooms. I love commenting on other people's blogs and sharing thoughts on their ideas. The list of commenting tips helped a lot when considering how you pose questions in each post and how you structure your blog. I enjoy sharing my thoughts with my network on my personal blog, and I think it will be useful and helpful as I improve my classroom practices and usage of technology in my classroom. One thing to remember when posting online versus talking to coworkers is that once it is posted anyone in the world has access to it. We must be very careful what we say on our blogs/comments.

One blog that I will visit again in the future is http://learningismessy.com/blog/ . I enjoyed reading their posts because they presented some information about education today. Much of what they said was and is controversial and it allows you to read different viewpoints on where education is going and how it needs to change.