## Monday, May 4, 2009

### Deep Breaths

Then, while the instructer says that we should have known to be formulating a portfolio of our class work throughout the course, I must not have seen that directive. In theory that's a good idea, except that we had something due almost every Sunday at midnight and frequently the directions on how to do them were incomplete. For example, the portfolio due last night had a link to the website of a woman who develops portfolios. I didn't see a link anywhere on there on HOW to make a portfolio. I'm sure portfolios are useful to someone, but that doesn't help when I'm trying to make one.

So in the frantic few minutes before midnight last night I let some of my frustration leak into my post. I'm sorry.

As to this class, I really didn't learn that much. Perhaps I started at a higher level than most. I was already blogging. I've done tons of power point presentations. I've planned my wedding in excel. I've done extensive work in Word. I may have picked up a finer point, but overall, there was very little new.

Although I did like the video.

## Sunday, May 3, 2009

### Finally it's Almost Over

And I'm teaching seven classes of history tomorrow. So not much sleep for me tonight. I'm overextended and frustrated.

I did learn some important things in this class. I learned how to make a webquest. And I learned how to make a website. And my electronic portfolio may come in handy (but I'm sorta doubtful). But I do think that now that I know how to make a video and upload it to Teacher Tube, that I probably will do it again. Good thing my stepdad could answer my questions and help me when I ran into trouble!

Check it out. I'm pretty proud of it.

## Thursday, March 12, 2009

### Integrating Technology

For example, there have been several assignments that would be more useful for an elementary or middle school age group and a subject far less abstract and exact as math. One example would be the storyboard/ visual learning tool that I blogged about here. In this particular assignment we were supposed to have at least two (apparently) hyperlinks. For a math class, I hesitate to have hyperlinks because if students are given permission to go off on the Internet, what is to stop them from merely looking up the answer to the math question rather than figure it out themselves? How would that be different than handing a student a calculator to teach them how to add, multiply, subtract, and divide?

This man starved himself to death because he was afraid of being poisoned!

*(click on the photo for the hyperlink to take you away!)*and I got to make text spin around. It took me a long time to come up with an application for such a PowerPoint though. I created a study quiz for a group of high school students preparing to go to the OCTM Math Tournament. Because there is no way to track which questions a student would get right it couldn't be used for a regular quiz or something that the student would receive a grade for. And

*again*I had to include hyperlinks. Did you know that you can Google most math problems and come up with an answer? So in summary, an interactive PowerPoint, while fun to create, would only be useful in limited applications.

A right triangle inscribed in a circle!

On a more positive note, this week I learned how to use Geometer's Sketchpad. This is one computer application that I will most definitely use when I get hired to teach. Even though I'm fairly well versed in the ins and outs of Geometry, I had a revelation, an epiphany, an Oprah A-HA! moment when I had a triangle inscribed in a circle so that the two of the vertices of the triangle were on the diameter of the circle and I moved the third vertex along the arc. By theorem, the angle of the vertex formed by the point on the arc is a 90° angle. Up until I wiggled that triangle around, I have to admit it was something I memorized, but was skeptical about. Using Geometer's Sketchpad it became a concrete knowledge for me. Imagine the possibilities of incorporating such software into my classroom! I think this would be far more useful than a storyboard. Even though they both are visual learning techniques. The difference is that a storyboard is geared towards stories, and Geometer's Sketchpad is geared towards math (and maybe science).

## Sunday, March 1, 2009

### The Wacky Adventures of Johnny Derivitive and Olivia Integral

**be included in teaching all subjects. Even math.)**

*should*## Friday, February 13, 2009

### Why Are There Green Beans in an Area Project?

__wasn't the one to make him cry. He was the obnoxiously gifted kid who had argued that I didn't understand how to find the area of his shape, a simple octagon. He's a sweet kid and he understood why I graded him harshly after I showed him some of the other kids' work. The third kid burst into tears when I gave him a detention, but after that we were cool. In fact he's the one who put the green beans in the area project.__

*I*What am I talking about?

Well, about 3 weeks ago after the students had taken a test, I decided to try an experiment that I had learned about in my Differentiated Instruction class (my favorite class so far). I had the students write down 3 things they were proud of in math class, 3 specific things they were going to work on over the next two weeks, and 3 suggestions they had for making their learning experience better. While the entire 3rd period class felt their learning experience would be better if I threw candy at them and didn't assign any homework, they had some really great ideas. One of those ideas was to have a bright and colorful room.

So I searched online and found this website. Under Chapter 9.1 is an area poster project in Microsoft Publisher. I printed it off with a rubric. Basically, I asked the students to create a complicated shape that could be broken down into smaller shapes that we already know how to find the area for. The shape had to be colorful, complicated, take more than half the size of the poster, and the problem had to be stated in words. Then on a separate sheet of paper the student had to find the area of their shape, neatly showing all their work, and state in words how they found the area. For an additional 5 bonus points they could find the perimeter.

Kids are creative.

And some kids are overachievers.

Naming the shape seemed to cause some problems.

I thought the dumpster was a hilarious illustration of how one girl felt about the project.

And perhaps I may have worn my purple sweater a few times too many...

On my last day, I hung the area posters around the room. Now, the children are back with their regular teacher in a room full of colorful posters.

But what are the green beans? Well, the students were having a hard time understanding that just because the length of the side of the trapezoid is given doesn't mean that that number is used to find area. If you'll remember the area of the trapezoid is found by ½·h·(a+b) where a and b are the bases (the parallel lines) and h is the height (indicated by either being perpendicular to the bases or by a dotted line).

So that side length kept confusing the kids because they felt that if there was a number it should be used. I asked them if they were baking cookies and they had sugar, flour, and butter, what would they do with the can of green beans? They'd leave them in the pantry. The term green beans caught on and it worked to help them figure out area.

Ironically, I love green beans.