Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tweet Prompt

Our first in-class tweetup consisted of small groups being instructed on their first tweet prompt.

All students in our class completed each statement.  Students were excited to see the real time communication tool in action.  We also worked at hashtagging items.  We have decided that while #pcmswhatilearned is nice and concise, it is quite lengthy.  A student asked if #pcmswil would work.  Standing for pcmsWhatILiked.  The other students agreed that this would be positive.  At the end of the year, we hope to have a TWEET CELEBRATION of things we learned.  

See the set up below...

Could I be using something other than Twitter?  Possibly,
But the positives are...
1.  It allows for instant messaging so to speak.
2.  Students loved seeing other people's responses.
3.  All responses need to be concise and to the point as only 140 characters are allowed.
4.  Much quicker than a full blog post.
5.  For me, as a teacher, evaluating them is all in one, easy, online place.
6.  Parents can see their child's thought process and articulation of the concept.
7.  Mobile version of Twitter on the iPad works very well!

Overall, the opportunity to have small groups to explain Twitter and how it works followed by an actual tweet prompt was a positive learning situation for our students.

Number Line App

After our homework required us to solve problems with the inequality signs, <  >, students completed a warm up activity with the Number Line App.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Algebra Writing Prompt To Start Class

Google Docs - Submit Homework

I have tried so many ways to record scores from math homework.  The process that I use now has been very efficient.  I place the answers on our textbook SMARTboard notebook software.  I operate the SMARTboard using my iPad2 and the SPLASHtop app.  I collect the student's score after they correct it by having them enter the information in a Google Form called Homework Submit.  To help with authenticity, I click the "Require sign in"

After data is collected and after the school day, I use my iPad2 to view the inputted data and place it into the grade book which is located on my laptop.

Sounds confusing?  But productive!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Noterize Eliminates 75 Sheets of Paper

On our second attempt at using the Noterize App proceeded much better than the first.  Out of 26 students three had the Noterize App not work correctly on the iPad2.  We tried numerous fixes; it still didn't work.  Now, to be fair, it could have been our Google Apps for Education or the iPad2 itself.

Overall, the app worked well.  We posted our pictures on to our professional blogs.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Splashtop App

This was the first tech item, Splashtop App, that allowed me to use the SMARTboard but not have my back to the students.  It was very cool.  Sorry the video is on its side...first time using phone and posting to Youtube.

Crack The Code App For Logical Thinking

Introducing patterns and rules for algebra today, we had the students use Crackthe Code App to develop the logical thinking in which it takes to solve that app and those puzzles and then applied it to our algebraic

Tactilis App - Student Uses

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Parent Teacher Conference & Technology

Two sets of parents were willing to be recorded while using or talking about technology.

Their experiences were outstanding!

And as I explained to over 20 parents last night, we always have an open invitation for parents to attend our school and classroom.  In 20 years of teaching, less than five parents have come to my classroom to visit.  I explained our YouTube channel, I stressed that if "you can't come to our class, we'll bring the class to you!"  Reminds me of the great speech by our Super Bowl Champion GB Packers below...

While discussing our house YouTube channel, a family stated that they were in Chicago (our school is 250 miles from Chi-Town!) this past weekend and the daughter showed her grandma, aunt, and uncle the YouTube channel.  Of course, she is on many of the video clips as many students are.  Hear the student and parents tell the story...

In another tech teaching moment, a Wall Street 2 Wisconsin student explains to his parents what a "stop order" is and how it plays into an exit strategy.  Our students know a great ROCKS that they can explain what we are doing in our classes to their parents.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reading Parts of a Chapter of a Book and Using Google Docs

Reading a book's chapter in our Wall Street class worked quite well.  Students read a section of the chapter and then summarized it on a Google Doc that was shared among all the students.  Students were then asked to correct grammar and punctuation.

The most positive of this activity was that all were engaged in reading and then summarizing the chapter at all times.  I would strongly suggest this as a reading activity!!!

Tactilis App In Action

We tried the Tactilis App in our math cooperative group work.  Some students LOVED it, some students went  back to their paper after a few short moments.  Either way, I like the fact that ALL students were engaged in the learning and recording/reflecting during the math problem.  Some students used the large white board that accompany all learning environment areas and some utilized the paper textbook.

See what happened...

What I Like About School...

After six weeks of embracing technology...
Hardware: 30 iPad2, 10 Netbooks, 5 Desktop Computers
Apps:  See the list
2.0:  Student Professional Blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Google Apps For Education

and embracing Problem-Based Learning...

our students explain "What They Like About School..."

NOTE:  We will be showing this to parents when they wait patiently during Parent-Teacher Conferences...
ANOTHER NOTE:  None of our teachers or students have had this type of technology or been involved with Problem-Based Learning; It is definitely a work in progress...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quizlet - Perfect For iPad

Our math lesson today brought us to multiplying and dividing integers.  We will get to the contextual problems tomorrow, but today we focused on the rules for multiplying and dividing integers.

I started by displaying a Google Presentation that put the rules in a love/hate relationship.  See it below.

We then moved to two great Quizlet sets of multiplying/dividing integers.  I love Quizlet as it works fantastically on the iPad.  Yes, I know there is an app, but we really don't need it, and the links to the flashcards are easy access on our classroom blog.  I was also thankful that I saved some time and chose a group of flashcards that were previously made from a different person.

See the video of our class in action with Quizlet on the iPad2.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Career Clusters in an Invention Process

We developed an invention and decided how each of the 16 career clusters were involved in the process.

In this video, students posted their ideas on Twitter.

Team Tests - Collaborating To Succeed

We utilize one team test per chapter that usually occurs two days prior to the individual test.  We have have found that it is a great way to have students rationalize what they know and how they know the steps to solving problems.  See the process and hear how students use the time.

Tactilis - FREE iPad2 Writing App

There are many writing apps for the iPad that are compiled in a great blog post by Apps in Education.  However, today is the day I discovered Tactilis - FREE writing app for the iPad.  Not fancy, but it allows for "saving to photos" which then can be posted to our blogs.  I will be using this for quickly writing out a math problem to post to the students' blog.

Visit the Tactilis Website

Thursday, October 13, 2011

iPad2 Camera For Reflecting on Concepts

The camera on the iPad2 really opens doors for reflection time.  We used our blogger app to teach our parents how to subtract integers.  Students did a great job of combining real problems, pictures of their work, and written directions on their blogs.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

iPad2 App List As of October 11, 2011

The Apple Volume Purchasing Plan (VPP) has cut into the amount of apps we can have this year. With that in mind, our list of apps on our iPad2s at this time are HERE.

KI - Another Piece of Furniture

Thank you once again to KI for the furniture.  We are not sure how we are going to use it.  Student with best email of how to use it, gets two days in the chair.

Subtracting Integers

When I Googled videos about subtracting integers, every one had a teacher lecturing how to do it.  We decided to create four videos that would allow for students to see real subtraction problems of integers.  They needed to determine the "take away" problem and how it changes to an addition of the opposite.  We consider it a small case of problem based learning!

See the vidoes!

Our students using the videos for discussion of subtraction of integers!

Where's The Lock?

I said I would post everything about this year.

This one is humbling!

Every morning I unlock the Bedford cart to gain access to the iPad2s.  I place the lock in the exact same place.  As the end of the day came yesterday, I went to lock the iPad2s.  NO LOCK!  I left hoping that none of the iPad2s would be missing upon my return this morning.  Fortunately, the iPad2s were still present, but the lock was not.

I proceeded to find the lock and the video explains it all!

My Solution!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Five Minute Video Provides Individual Learning Opportunity

This couldn't have been much better.  I created a five minute video using the SMART notebook software.  I used Camtasia to record the screen cast and place the opening title page, music, and ending title page.  The coolest aspect was students learning at their pace, but more importantly, an outside classroom interruption didn't cost learning time for students.

The video on the iPad2 really jumps out!

The instructional video that students watched.

Students watching the video.

Student locker issue - both the instructor and the student called out by the custodian.

Some students really understood the concept quickly and were able to move on.

Student returns from locker interruption to continue learning.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Using Video For Individual Learning Speeds

One Of The Best Reflection Activities I Have Done...

Students' Digital Professional Portfolio

Eventually students will have three public professional portfolio areas on the web and one private.  Video explaining it below!

A letter that we used to inform the parents is below and also HERE.

Zite App Becomes Popular During D.E.A.R. Time

Our school dedicates 20 minutes to Drop Everything And Read.  Students must read books, magazines, Nooks, something!  The ZITE app has become a VERY popular choice.  Three weeks ago we introduced the ZITE app as an option for current events.  The beautiful thing about the ZITE app that students are given the freedom to CHOOSE the category of topics that they want to read!

Having that freedom of choice gives students specific control of topics and interests that they want to read!

Zite App Explained

Our Students Using The Zite App

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Personal Learning Styles

As a problem based house and the opportunity to have students for 1 hour and 40 minutes every afternoon to use as we want, we have used this opportunity to have students discover the type of personality they may be and the type of learning style allows them to be successful.

Today we took time to discover our learning styles.

Blogger Comments on iPad2

I'm not going to lie, there have been several technically challenging moments with GAFE, specifically logging in and working with a Google Doc, and the iPad2.


We created a writing prompt from this great resource as it pertained to personality traits.  The specific post and comments that students viewed are here!  (Maybe you have time to post a comment so that students see that it is the world wide web!)

One of our focuses stemmed from emphasizing to students that this will become another digital footprint in their life!  With this in mind, students took all things pertaining to writing very seriously!

Students first logged into our GAFE page.  We then went to our classroom blog, chose our Google Profile as our account information, typed the comment, and completed the spam word.

THERE WERE NO GLITCHES!  More of this commenting to come by students as it was very easy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Polleverywhere For Informal Assessment

Since some of the response systems cost money for use on 30 iPad2, I have chosen to incorporate Polleverywhere as an informal assessment tool.  I like the fact that since I created a classroom site specific to Polleverywhere we can easily access the web version for responses.

I know Polleverywhere is not a new tool, as I actually used it at the beginning of 2009 it is a tool that I have pulled back out from the tech toolbox and used quite successfully.  To set up your own Polleverywhere site see their directions.

Below is actual footage of the process from actual participants in my math class.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oreo Cookies and Personality Traits

To begin our Personal Economics unit and our WisCareers Unit, we took Gary Smalley's Personal Inventory test.  Students discovered what style of person they are.

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