You’ve had the power all the long my dear. -Galinda the Good Witch The Wizard of OZ Blog Hop 21st Century Teaching and Math

This Blog is a part of a Blog hop happening (hip hop happening) April 14th 2015 Starting at 8:30 pm  Read my post then click a link down below to see what others have said about Math and the 21st century.

I have been working very hard to change the way math is taught in my classroom.  I still use paper but I much prefer open tasks and concept strings to engage and help my students see the connections between different ideas in math.

I am also passionate about technology.  I like to take pictures of my students work, tweet about what they are doing, as a teacher @libramlad and as a classroom @MadocGrade3, and have my students use those pictures to explain their thinking using a variety of applications , Explain Everything and Telligami for iPad and Think Link for other devices to name a few.

One App for iPad I am really excited about is Aurasma.  Not because of the app its self but for what the app is changing in my students in the classroom. This app is an Augmented Reality App, (a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view), that allows anyone to take a picture, say of a piece of student work, and then shoot a video and super impose that video on top of the picture they have taken.  My students LOVE this app.  They take pictures of their work and make a video of them talking about their work (without faces or names, just initials ) and then we post the work around the room and students can see a video of the student talking about their work.   This helps with my students who might be shy talking in front of the class about their work, and gives them some experience crafting a message before they really have to step up and speak.  It also helps to frame questions for our Gallery walks if the students can all walk around and look at another persons work first and get some Ideas as to what other people are thinking about.  It is a dry run before they talk to their classmates about their learning.

It also helps me because I have another form of assessment right there in my hands, the video.  I can look at the paper at the same time I am watching the video and really dig deeply into what my students are saying and get more knowledge about their understanding of a particular concept.  Which means I can ask better questions, which in turn leads to better answers, which in turn leads to deeper understanding, and more questions.

Now as I am writing this, my students are Modifying their learning, as I understand it from the SAMR model of education.  They are taking two things that they are all ready doing in the classroom and using them to make something new that they can use to make their understanding of concepts better, to engage them in their learning more, and to have a little bit of fun doing it.  I have put the power of the learning in my students hands, to show what they know in a variety of ways.

I am also modifying my practice,  I am still marking papers but they are usually bigger and done in marker, and digitally storing all those videos has made me think about storage limits and what I am going to do with it when school ends, but for now it is really working well.

Implementing Tech with any subject, but especially in math,  requires that work  to have purpose, for the teacher and the student.   With that purpose there will be engagement, and with engagement there will be learning, without it the tech in the room becomes just another way of doing the same old thing, but with pixels instead of Paper

Here are the links to all the other blogs participating in the Blog Hop tonight!

Hop around have a read, leave a comment,  thanks!

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You’re killing me Smalls! These are s’more’s stuff! Ok, pay attention. First you take the graham, you stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the ‘mallow. When the ‘mallows flaming… you stick it on the chocolate. Then cover with the other end. Then you scarf. Kind of messy, but good! Try some! -Ham Porter The Sandlot

I must apologize to some of my twitter friends as this post is late.  @MissLFeedman I am very sorry for the lateness of this post.  I could blame a very engaging #nomnom chat but I won’t.

I saw this tweet earlier in the week;

MissLFreedman
I want to start a smore as a format to showcase tech in my class. I don’t know where to start! Help! @tina_zita @ed_rego @Libramlad #newbee
2015-01-07, 8:45 PM

I replied that I would have a post about it on Friday (hence the apology).

I have started (just two) using Smore to make my Dinner talk emails, a bi-daily (is that a word?) email that I sent to parents so they know what we are doing during the week.  I try to Tweet as well but the dinner talk emails seem to be going better.

I had seen Smore before (lol) @tina_zita uses them all the time.

But then our Librarian @marlinslibrary sent out a smore as an email and I thought, huh!  That looks much more inviting than the emails I regularly send out.  So I hopped on to the website to see how easy it was to do.

Really. too. easy.

It was like typing a regular email but I got to choose my background, and interesting font type.  It blocked out titles for me and places to put my pictures.  It helped me organize my email so it was not so laborious to read.  Nothing like opening an email that is too long and not bothering to read it.  I think I will continue to use the free site for now but I don’t think I get to make many more.  I read somewhere that I only get five smores in the free version but I have not hit that wall yet.  If I do I will let you know.

One of the interesting things is that the only way to get to the smore is if I provide you with the link.  This lets me  know how many people have visited the site which is a great way to know how many parents are actually reading my emails.  This was a nice bonus that I didn’t think about before.  I like that I can add pictures from our day or tweets in the smore sort of like Storify which uses your tweets to tell a story of your day.  My smores are not very fancy yet but it is really easy to use.  I have included a few links below to some tutorials that I liked and helped me out.

I hope this helps

Talk to you soon

Don

A Ship in Port is Safe, but that is not what Ships are Built for. -Rear Admiral Grace Murry Brewster Hopper

I found this website today.

It basically runs through what you think it does, at dizzying speeds.  The amount of information on the Internet is mind numbing.  I posted this site on twitter commenting, as I do, that some of my Math friends and some of my Tech friends might find it interesting to use in class as a basis for discussion.

In response one of my Twitter friends posted this:
@Libramlad @tina_zita @MatthewOldridge @avivaloca @MrSoclassroom that made me feel very small & insignificant

I know how he feels.  There is so much information out there you can drown  in theories and ideas even before you get to the classroom.  I immediately tweeted back:

It was not my intention to make you or anyone else feel small.  The quality of your tweets make you feel bigger.

What I meant to say is that what people I have chosen on Twitter to follow make a difference to my teaching.  They help me understand hard concepts and thoughts.  They make the thinking work easier with wit and insight, just like real life colleagues do.  They do this not in person but online, through the internet.  I am a better teacher, maybe not because I tweet, but because I read other insightful tweets.  I can pull together ideas much faster and more succinctly than I could if I were on my own.

This got me wondering:

How do I find interesting, mind stretching ideas, education or otherwise, on the internet.  I always feel I am missing something.  I do, it’s the internet, but have I made a good go at what is out there to make my teaching better?  Do I read enough blogs, probably.   Do I comment enough or show my ideas, probably not.

How do I make my voice heard, not above, but amidst the throng of other voices.  How am I helping my colleagues near and far ?  Well maybe I should start with blogging more.

There that is a start.

If the folks that regularly tweet and blog feel small then maybe it isn’t just me.  Maybe it’s there way of putting their own ship out on the Internet Sea full of Ideas for someone to find and thereby help.  So, I think I’m going to  pull my ship out of harbour now and set this idea free, by letting other people know it’s here, and we will see how it goes.