Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tool 11

One of my new favorite tools is Manipula Math.  I like the short applets that students can use to discover conjectures in Geometry.  I plan to use this site as a station where students will work the applet, write a conjecture and then compare them with their peers.  Another favorite tool is Poll Everywhere.  I intend to use this to quickly assess knowledge or take surveys of the class.

In the past, I have been a little hesitant to incorporate technology in my classroom.  I know see that many of these tools are a lot easier to implement than I originally thought.  Since I use stations quite a bit, I now envision those stations being mixed with technology.  I won't have to change anything physically about my classroom.  My room is conveniently set up for stations.  I will of course have to establish a few more procedures for how to handle the technology, but I know my students consistently display the maturity to handle this.

The most unexpected thing about his program for me was how easy the tools are to use.  I also know that my students have quite a bit of experience with these tools as well and are always willing to help me become more comfortable and assist their peers.  I'm looking forward to acquiring this new technology and transforming my classroom into a 21st century learning environment!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tool 10

One thing I want students to know about being a good digital citizen is the ability to recognize legit sources as they research.  The example from the summer that really hit home was the Martin Luther King site that is owned by a notorious KKK member.  Students need to know how to validate the information the are receiving.  I also want them to search several sources before creating their opinion on a subject.  Too often people create an opinion after looking at only one site.  Finally, I want students to understand internet safety by being conscientious of the information they put on sites.  Many students have no idea that the information they put on the internet now may be searched by future employers, etc.

I would teach digital citizenship to my students by showing them examples, such as the KKK example above, because I honestly think it is naivety that causes them to use mis-information.  I frequently email parents about upcoming events and information in class.  I would use these emails to keep parents informed about the technology we are using in class and the ways they can help ensure their children are being good digital citizens.

Tool 9

I think it is important to tie technology to the objective because it allows students achieve at the level that you expect, but in a way they prefer.  I love using centers and small group instruction in my classroom.  It is important that students be held accountable for the work in the centers so that you know they are mastering the objectives.  They need to submit work a product, evaluation or reflection to ensure the learning is taking place.

One site that I enjoy using is MangaHigh.  The students enjoy competing with each other at the various games and I like that I can easily track their progress.  It is also helpful having a variety of ability levels to meet the needs of all the students.  This could be easily used in stations.  The scores are submitted to me, thus creating a high level of accountability.

Another site I found helpful for Algebra and Geometry was Manipula Math.  I like this because it has applets over various topics that can help explain the "whys" behind a concept;  They are a simple visual that can be used either individually by students or as part of instruction.  To use this in stations, I would need to have the students give an explanation in their own words of the concept.  This would be a great way for them to take pre-notes for a lesson.

One app that I could use on the iPad or iTouch is Angry Birds for Geometry.  This iPad sensation deals with angle trajectory.  As a station, the students could report their highest level achieved and their damage points.  The competition alone in a Pre-AP class is incredibly motivating.  Another app that I plan to use for Geometry when studying transformations is Tetris.  This is one of my all-time favorite computer games and applies the concepts of translations and rotations in a fun setting.  The students would compete and report their highest number of lines achieved.

Another way I plan to use the iPad is for GoogleSketch.  The students can create geometric figures that they use to discover attributes and make conjectures.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tool 8

I learned how to use the camera on the NetBook because I have had limited experience with them.  I also learned that Spring Branch has a repository for Apps and that I can sync all of my classroom iPads/Touches to my one school computer which will make managing them easy.

Having 30 calculators that all have to be maintained and accounted for daily, I don't see any problems with managing the extra technology.  I will have a checkout system where the students record the number of the device that they are using.  I also have one student in each class that is responsible for checking that all materials are returned at the end of the class.  This student will also check that all of the iPads/Touches and NetBooks are in the proper place.  This is where it helps to be a neat freak :)

Tool 7

The project that I plan to collaborate across several classrooms with is my Profit Maximization Project.  
a.  The objective is for students to collect a sample marketing survey for a product they create in order to maximize their profit.
b.  I plan to implement the project in April.
c.  I plan to use Google Docs for students to create surveys for students throughout the school.  
d.  The students will create a sample of their product.  Using Google Docs they will create a survey they can send to students in each grade level.  The students will indicate the amount of money they would be willing to spend on a certain product.  The students use the data to set a price and quantity level to sell at the STARR Carnival.

Tool 6

One tool I find helpful and easy to use is Today's Meet.  I would use this in my Geometry class for open-ended questions that create discussion and different views that they can discuss.  In my sample, I asked the question, "is a rhombus more similar or different than a square?"
Today's Meet

I also like the idea of using Poll Everywhere in the classroom. I have often polled the students using the Activotes, but this is a much more efficient form of polling.  In this example, I surveyed the students on a preferred method for solving systems of equations.

Tool 5

I used Wordle to create a title page for a College Tuition project that my Algebra students do.  I like how quick and easy this is.
Wordle: Aggies

I have created a Google Site where my students can download assignments and answer keys.  There are also links to helpful websites and announcements for upcoming events.