Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nicky's Individualized Education Plan

"When am I ever going to use math?"

The most important math question I received all year has been, "When am I ever going to use this stuff?" After spending a year answering this question over and over again, I thought it would be a great idea to have students explore this question on their own. After completing my digital story on Cheating in Math class with my students, I realized how much they loved and embraced technology. I decided as a part of the final exam, my algebra students would create a digital story using imovie and integrate it with math in the real-world. My goal was to have them see that while we don't use all the math we learn, much of the math that we learn is used everyday in our lives.

I was all little nervous presenting this project since I consider myself a novice at using imovie. It was a relief to discover that many of my students were already familiar with iMovie. I was actually impressed that some of my students showed me how to use different effects in iMovie.

Click here to view two students project on Mathematic Adventures. Lesson Plans. How-to use iMovie 101.

I believe there was much value in this project. Technology is becoming more integrated in the classroom and also our students are becoming digital natives. It is our job to embrace technology and seek opportunities for our students to use technology in the classroom.

My favorite part of this project was students being able to answer the question, "Why do we need to know this stuff!" If I did this again I would definitely make the criteria about content about content more strict because it seemed that my students wasted time down loading music when they should be investing their time into content, that is, integrating their understanding of math into the video.

Digital Story Telling

Cheating in Math!!!

A few weeks ago I caught two of my students cheating on a math test. I felt that this was an opportune time for my students to realize that I am not a digital immigrant but that I am aware of the capabilities of cellphones. Not only do they allow students to have access to a calculator but they also allow them to text answers to other classmates. After meeting with these two students, their consequences included receiving zeros on their test, conversing with the principals about cheating at Houston High School, and recreating the scenario in a digital story.

I will carry this digital story with me for many years. This is a story I will share with my students at the beginning of each year about cheating in my class. The student handbook does mention the consequences of cheating at HHS but it is always great to show an actual example of poor choices being made.

Overall, the story was a hit. My students really embraced the idea of technology and being able to tell their story through videos. The two cheaters received a lot of street credit from their peers. The principals at Houston High where impressed with this idea and had me share it with other faculty members. More importantly they were impressed by what students know about technology. I facilitated the video but my students added some minor touches to spice.

Click here to see the story map. Cheating In Math video.

Being a Part of an Online Community

“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.”
-Rooney, Andy

This is an inspiring quote I got from the Teachnology website, where I became an active participant this past semester. This is an awesome website for teachers that provides great information and resources. Some examples include- teaching tips, rubrics, worksheets, lesson plans, teacher themes, inspiring stories and humor, and games. What I really liked was the open forum that allowed members to ask questions and provide feedback to other teachers.

One resource that I used often was the bingo cards. The website provides several pre-made bingo cards as well as blank cards. I used bingo to help my students study for the Standardized Based Assessment and the High School Qualifying Exam. The practice for these tests can be long and dry so I made bingo cards as a replacement for the tests. My students loved this idea and using them made studying more meaningful. They also enjoyed the change of pace from practice test to bingo. I also used some of the algebra games and rubrics that this website provided.

My Favorite Educational Websites

As a teacher I think that it is important to always bring new ideas to your classroom. Whether the ideas come in the form of activities, technology or the latest methods of teaching, students love the change of pace and any ways to make math fun!

Teacher Tube – This website is my favorite, especially for my Pre-Calculus and Calculus math classes. I am always looking for new ways to present concepts to my class. This website provides me with new ideas and easier tactics to use with my students. The videos tend to last from anywhere between 3-30 minutes depending on the topic.

Discovery Education – This is another great website. It includes lesson plans, videos, professional development, forum, assignment builders and much more. This website is not free to use. One must either be a member or an educator to have access to it.

Nancy Powell – This is Nancy Powell’s website, which I absolutely love! This website is more geometry focused and includes many hands-on activities, which students enjoy. I am currently doing some of these projects with my class and students seem to thoroughly enjoy them. Also, she offers great activities using geometry sketchpad.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Assistive Technology for Reading

In their article, “Assistive Technology for Reading,” Hasselbring and Baush discuss several ways to improve access to reading for students who have learning disabilities through using computer programs. Several states are implementing programs that have been noticeably helpful for students with learning disabilities. These programs include: text-reader software, Read & Write Gold, Read, Write, & Type! Learning System, and Read Naturally. These programs help students with learning disabilities to remain in regular classrooms where they are expected to complete the regular classroom work.

Click here to read more on this article...

Overdominance of Computers

"We don't prepare children for an automobile-dependent society by finding ways for 10-year olds to drive cars, or prepare people to use alcohol responsibly by teaching them how to drink when they are 6," Lowell Monke. Children need love, close relationships, outdoor activity, nature exploration, music, drama, art, hands on lessons and conversations with adults. Unfortunately technology does not teach our little ones these things. We are losing insight into the real-life experiences that educate our children by relying on technology to teach our children how to read, write, and interact. Technology needs to be used appropriately. We need to teach it's benefits and limitations, instead of making our children completely dependent upon it for learning.

Click here to read more on "The Over dominance of Computers"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Philosophy of Education

This is my Philosophy of Education in movie maker. I had a great time making this movie. This really opened up my eyes to the technology that is out there to be used. I definitely struggled with adding music to my video. That is something I'm going to have to look into doing as well as a few other upgrades.

Click here to see my philosophy of education.