Thursday, December 29, 2011

Homemade Lava Lamp

So my brother came home this evening with a ready cool science experiment.  The end result was a homemade lava lamp.  It was a lot of fun.  I videoed the end result and uploaded it to youtube so you could see it.

Keep in mind that if you are on a school server, you probably don't have access to this video.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Playbook and Twitter

So I've had some time to play with my new Blackberry Playbook.  I have been using an IPAD as school for some classroom activities, and I have to say that I can see the Playbook taking over.  This thing can do things I could only dream of on the IPAD.  For instance, it has Adobe Reader built in so I can pull up my online textbook right on the device.  It also has Word, Excel and PPT "to go" which is really stripped down, but I can still open all of my files on it.

Yesterday I also created a twitter account.  I have read a lot of teacher blogs that rave about twitter as an educational tool.  I'm going to give it a try!  It seems fun, and I'll keep you posted on how it goes.  My user name is @ifoundinfinity and I don't know what the difference is between # and @ yet, so if someone knows, let ME know.

Happy Holidays!!

Screenshot of some of my Playbook Apps

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Game Over

Today was a landmark day!  My students finished presenting their game demos!  I am so proud of them, and happy that they have accomplished something great.  I spoke to them today about the entire experience.  They did have mixed emotions.  I was really surprised by the number of students that said they wished we had spent more time on the math end of things.  I think that if they would have had more time to actually develop a game, they would have seen the connection more.  I am going to work hard next semester to bring a better balance to the two sides of the coin.

I am also feeling accomplished, because I feel like I just reached a landmark as well.  I have just successfully finished my first Globaloria course, and I am sad to see my students go.  A few of my students really wish that they had more time to work on their game ideas, and I would like to see a finished product.

I almost forgot!  I was going to write about my experience with the structured Powerpoint and  The two lessons that I presented this way really seemed to have a big impact.  I am getting really excited to go full force with this teach-nology this coming semester!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Today's Reflection

I will never stop being amazed.  I gave my students a quiz today and afterwards, we went over the quiz using the program.  My students were very involved and attentive.  It became a competition among them to get the correct answer, which really helped with active engagement.

I tried out with my geometry class today in an attempt to engage them in an introductory lesson about circles.  I wanted them to research and provide citations for facts about circles to hopefully gain a familiarity with the topic.  They really enjoyed using the site (it is an online whiteboard where users can post information in real-time and share.)  I think that the next time I try an activity like this I will have to be more precise in what I'm wanting.  I will want the students to copy information into their notebooks.  I think this will increase the effectiveness of this activity.  I feel like a whole lot of copy and pasting went on, but not much processing.

My personal learning goal now is to spend time making my lessons more structured and interactive.  I have taken my lesson for this coming Monday and turned it into a Powerpoint that I will use with my SMART Board to try to add a level of structure.  We shall see how this goes!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Integrating Tech: Replacing a Lecture

Integrating Tech: Replacing a Lecture

I really liked this idea and thought I should share it. It is about turning a lecture into a short research project. I plan on giving this a try and I will let you know how it turns out.
Yesterday I decided to try a new performance monitoring system in my classroom. It is called soapbox and functions very similar to the cps system from einstruction. It is still a beta version so there a few bugs, but overall it seemed to work really nicely. I really enjoyed how I could ask my students a question and they would all answer. I also allowed them to use their cellphones if they had the capability to do so to access the tool. It really seemed to increase engagement overall, but plan to keep taking notes on this new project.

Today, I expanded the project to my younger students. We had a few hitches along the way, but I really do feel that with practice this will get better. Since the semester is almost over, my second semester classes will get to use the program from the get go. Establishing this norm from the beginning will also be a plus.

What are some things you the reader would like to see and hear about as our school year unfold? I am really looking forward to blogging about my we go!

Saturday, December 10, 2011