Proud Mom Moment

I have not mentioned much about my family, but I need to take a moment to say that I am incredibly proud of my two boys.  One is in the Air Force, and the other has one year left of high school.  They both work very hard at what they do and have done extremely well in school, work and in “life”.  Mother’s Day was wonderful just thinking about how proud I am to be their mother!

I wanted to take a moment and state that my younger son is now tutoring math and is available to help in person.   He has 2 students he has been helping, and both are doing much better in their math classes since they started with him!  He is a very patient and insightful tutor.

Just a reminder as well, if you need help with math, but must get help online, I am available through my website www.ondemandcurriculum.com.

I am just so blessed to have 2 amazing young men for sons that I had to share!

 

Professional Essay Help

I have been asked about help for writing assignments.  I am able to help with math assignments, but I have a guest blogger letting you know about a service he recommends for writing.

Guest Blog Post by: Vineet Maheshwari

PaperWritingHelp.net, the place to Find Professional Essay Writing Help if You Want to Become a Better Writer

In the US and the UK, academic writing has always been considered as an essential part of higher education. Modern students of all academic levels are assigned tons of written assignments that account for the most part of student grade in practically all classes. Students live under great pressure trying to complete several college papers every semester: essays on various topics, term papers, business plans, literature reviews, research proposals, etc., and the final most complex task – a dissertation. Where can you find time to complete them all and meet extremely tough deadlines, especially if your writing skills are far from perfect, or English is not your native language?

Due to digital technologies, today’s students can use innovative ways to solve their problems and to get professional assistance with their huge amount of coursework on numerous essay writing websites, the so-called custom paper writing services. For example, if you struggle with your arduous assignment and are afraid to fail, you can easily get high-quality paper writing help on paperwritinghelp.net, a well-known website among students that provides affordable sample papers for money, or you can buy a model paper on some other good site that offers essays for sale.

You can find a lot of such sites on the web practically in no time if you type a request ‘write my essay’ or ‘buy essays for cheap’ and use Google search. The number of online essay writing services has skyrocketed in the recent years, and now there are special sites that post reviews and rate custom writing companies so you can find information about the quality of their services that will help you decide which company you can trust.

It would be too risky to deal with the cheapest service. You should choose among sites with top ratings. First of all, you should browse these websites, analyze what they offer, what guarantees they provide, what writers they hire, look through their samples, compare their prices, and only then make a decision what option is the best for you. You may also join some student forums where they discuss online writing agencies and share their experience of using them to improve their grades and choose some of the sites recommended by the students.

What Kind of Paper You Get When You Pay for Professional Paper Writing Help Online

  • If you order your model essay on a reliable service where you can hire a qualified writer with real lecturing and writing experience, you can be sure that your custom assignment will be written from scratch according to your requirements.
  • The writer will be able to do a thorough research and give a good analysis of your topic.
  • Your paper will be perfect in style and properly formatted.
  • You will get some kind of a practical writing guide for dummies that will help you master the trickiest details of academic writing style and better understand your topic.
  • Your model essay can be used a great tool to push your own skills to the next level and become a better writer.

*The words in this post do not reflect my opinion on writing services; they are solely the words and ideas of the guest blogger. 

 

Early Retirement Leads to Entrepreneurship

As many of you know, I retired from teaching full time in May 2015.  Since then I have started 2 new businesses.

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The first is on my own and related to teaching.  At www.ondemandcurriculum.com my mission is to help students, teachers, parents, and anyone needing help in math, by creating a personalized video or interactive to help them understand the concept in a manner that is best suited to their learning style.  I also have been creating digital media to enhance ebooks for major textbook companies. This also fits my mission of helping students understand and visualize math concepts.
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The second company is with my husband, On A Starboard Tack, LLC.  At www.onastarboardtack.com we hope to supplement my husband’s future retirement income by starting a charter business, and selling products related to having fun on the water.   We recently became WavePad dealers for AZ and CA, and are on the lookout for other innovative products that make being on the water even more fun.

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We just started as WavePad dealers, and I can tell you that we have had a lot of fun playing with the products 🙂

In closing, I want to stress that retirement does not mean staying home and doing nothing for me, but instead it gives me the opportunity to focus on things that I have a passion for: helping others through digital media creation, sailing, introducing others to sailing, and just having fun on the water with family and friends!

 

Using Doceri to Replace Smartpen Pencasts

Since Livescribe took down the Echo community site where I had over 500 pencasts stored, I have completely quit using their product.  Instead, I now use a much better product, which is a free app on my iPad called Doceri.

Doceri allows you to use colors (any color and any size), highlighters, graphics, and the best part is you can edit your writing!

I had created a work-around using my smartpen to place the test below the pencast to write test keys, but that was cumbersome and is no longer possible.

Here is a video where I took a screenshot to answer a student’s question and then wrote over the document using Doceri on my iPad to create an animation/video to answer their question.

 

If you don’t want to add sound, then Doceri automatically creates an animation from your writing.   However, I strongly recommend adding audio.  Once you add audio you can upload the video to YouTube to share with your students.  In the near future I will try to find some time to write a How – To post on using Doceri to write test keys.

 

Graphing Calculator Emulator

I just purchased a newer version of the TI graphing calculator emulator, the TI SmartView CE for the TI-84 family.  Wow, it is really nice!  It has 3 versions of the calculator:  The traditional black/white TI-84 Plus version,  the new TI-84 Plus C, and TI-84 Plus CE, which are both in color!

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The calculator shows up well on the screen, with choices of using a light, dark or having just an outline for the calculator body style.

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I have always liked the fact that the emulator will allow the user to make the calculator screen larger.  This helps considerably when showing the students live during a class or taking screenshots of the output.

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With the added benefit of color, it will help students see the difference more quickly when graphing more than one graph or plot at a time.   They have a free 90 day trial if you have not already tried out the new emulator, I would highly suggest it!

I plan on using the new emulator to create tutorials that include the graphing calculator for On Demand Curriculum.

 

Published Work in New Edition!

I don’t usually work on printed materials for textbook companies (only digital materials such as videos and Power Points), but several years ago I was asked to create a student workbook.   It was a new and interesting experience for me!

Apparently it was revised recently to create a new edition, and it came in the mail.  Pretty cool having my name on something!  I have created about a thousand professional videos for textbook companies, but they don’t have my name on them.  I don’t mind because I really enjoy creating digital media.   It allows me to continue teaching students all around the world, and I get to work from anywhere, including my sailboat!

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Back in the game

Things have been crazy busy since I retired last May from teaching at Mesa Community College!   I sailed in the Virgin Islands for 3 weeks, then had several projects waiting for me when I returned.   Life has been very good.  But I have not had time to do any more research on technologies for the classroom.

I am working steadily from home (and the sailboat) now, and love having the time to do more research on technology in education.  If you have a product or application you would like me to review, please email me at tech4mathed.sg@gmail.com and I will do some research and write a blog post about my findings.

For many years I have had companies wanting to sponsor me and have me, in turn, place a link to their website on my blog.   I resisted in the past since I had a full time teaching position and wanted to do the research for my own students.  Now that I no longer have students, I have decided to accept sponsors to help fund my research on the best technology for teaching math.  If you are a company, or know someone who would like to sponsor my blog, please reach out at tech4mathed.sg@gmail.com.

Sue

 

Common Core in Action Part II

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I recently wrote about the video series I created for Pearson, entitled Common Core in Action.  I wanted to share one more screen shot from the videos and talk a little bit more about what using Hyperstudio can do to make videos more engaging and visually appealing for students.

Here is a screen shot from the video entitled “Common Core In Action: Adding Fractions”.

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The screenshot above is showing the portion of the video where I am adding two fractions with a common denominator of sixths.   The sixths are visually represented by purple one-sixth fraction strips.

I used Hyperstudio to create the stage for my video because I can move objects around the stage during the video.  In this case, I used the stack of one-sixth strips on the bottom of the screen to show two-sixths plus five-sixths as adding a set of 2 purple one-sixth strips and 5 more purple one-sixth strips to obtain 7 of the purple one-sixth strips.

The point in the video where this screenshot is taken, is where I am showing how the improper fraction seven-sixths, can be turned into a mixed number by bringing a red strip to the stage, which is worth one whole.  Lining up the purple one-sixth strips along the edge of the red one-whole strip, I am able to show that 6 of the one-sixth strips are equal in length to the one-whole red strip, leaving me with 1 one-sixth strip left over.  Having the ability to move around the fraction strips during the video makes it easier to explain visually why seven-sixths is the same as one and one-sixth.

Using the fraction strips is important to the Common Core Standards for explaining WHY a common denominator is needed when adding fractions, and not just having the student perform an algorithm by showing them “how” to add fractions.

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To give you a better idea of what the fraction strips can do for students when I use them in fraction lesson videos, I created a small video where I move around the fraction strips showing how to visualize equivalent fractions.  You can see that HERE.

In the screen shot above, I have created all of my fraction strips so that they are relative in size to the red one-whole strip.  For example, it takes 2 of the one-half strips to equal the one-whole strip, 3 of the one-third strips, 4 of the one-fourth strips, and 6 of the one-sixth strips.   Another reason I use Hyperstudio, rather than real fraction strips and a document camera to create the videos I teach with, is because I can create any size and color fraction strips I want.

If you would like me to create a lesson for you, please send me details about the manipulatives (like fraction strips) you would like me to use, along with desired colors, and I will design and create a personalized video lesson for you, on demand!

 

Creating More Engaging Videos

I wanted to share a blog post I wrote for my new business, On Demand Curriculum (www.ondemandcurriculum.com).   Normally, I don’t plan on posting the same content on both sites, but this one seemed appropriate here, since I am talking about the technology I used to create the Common Core in Action videos.

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I recently finished designing and creating a set of professional videos for Pearson Higher Education called “Common Core In Action”.   It was such a fun project!  The videos are going to be used with math content texts for college students studying to be K-8 teachers. This particular set of videos shows how to teach some of the topics in elementary mathematics, to align with the Common Core Standards.

These videos would be a great resource for parents trying to understand their child’s homework, which could utilize many of these methods. Therefore, I am working with Pearson to try to get permission to set up a site where parents could view these valuable resources. Stay tuned!

I was given permission by Pearson to show a couple of screenshots from the videos.  I will talk about each screenshot in a separate blog post. The first video screenshot I want to show you is from a video entitled “Common Core in Action: Addition Algorithms”.

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To align to the Common Core State Standards when teaching addition, teachers often have the students use Place Value Disks. In this video I created a set of place value disks, where white disks are worth 1 (one) unit, and red disks are worth 10 (ten) units, to match the actual physical items elementary schools are using.   I also included 5-frames and 10-frames to help teach addition involving regrouping, which used to be called “carrying” when I was in elementary school.

I used Hyperstudio to design and build the background to my video because I wanted to be able to interact with the place value disks during the video, as I taught the lesson on adding whole numbers using place value.

In the screenshot of the video, the bottom row is comprised of the movable objects:

MovablePlaceValueDisks

I have created multiple copies of each object, sitting on top of one another.  During the video I “pick up” place value disks or 5-and 10-frames, as needed, and move them onto the place value board.   The eraser on the side of the screen (see the original screen shot) is used when I create subtraction videos, so that I am able to “erase” objects I am removing, or subtracting.

As I talk through the process of adding 28 and 34 in the video using place value disks, I actually move the disks into the appropriate columns in the place value chart shown.

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The screen shot shows the point in the video where I have 2 ten disks plus 3 ten disks. I also have 8 one disks plus 4 one disks, but in this screenshot I have already regrouped 10 of the one disks to create a set of 10 ones inside of a 10-frame.  This left me with one 10-frame of one disks and 2 one disks left over.   The next step in the video would show me trading the 10-frame for 1 ten disk, and moving the ten disk into the “Tens” column.  This allows me to explain in arithmetic where the “carried 1” comes from.

When I complete the process, and have the final tens and ones disks in the place value chart, I relate the place value disks to the final numeric representation of the sum by hitting the button on the screen labeled “Sum”. The screen will then show the number 62 (which is later in the video than this screen shot), where the digit 6 represents the 6 red ten disks which will be on the screen and the digit 2 represents the 2 white one disks that will be left on the screen.

If you would like me to create a video showing how to use classroom manipulatives to teach a topic in your curriculum, please contact me at sue@ondemandcurriculum.com, and I would love to work with you!

To see the original blog post go here:  http://www.ondemandcurriculum.com/common-core-in-action-part-i/

 

Using Hyperstudio To Create Videos

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I recently finished creating a set of twenty professional videos related to the Common Core for Pearson Higher Education’s textbook: A Problem Solving Approach to Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers 12/E by Billstein, Libeskind and Lott.   The video series is called Common Core In Action.

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Screenshot taken from http://www.pearsonhighered.com/billstein-12e-info/features.html

Yup, I am the “experienced faculty shedding light on what the CCSS really means for the classroom and for teachers”.

I really enjoyed this latest video project for several reasons:

  1. This was one of the first times I was given the freedom to use any platform I wished to use to create the videos.  I chose Hyperstudio 5.0 because I could move objects around the screen during the videos, which is very important when teaching how to use manipulatives for the Common Core.
  2. I was not required to create videos according to a textbook author’s wording and style. (These are the types of videos I have mostly created for textbook companies) The Common Core videos were to go with a textbook, but they were not section videos; they were strictly videos to show how the Common Core would have teachers approach particular topics from the textbook.
  3. I got to learn more about the Common Core, and was given a consultant to work with me to make sure the videos were true to representing how the new standards approach the particular areas the videos were covering.

I am trying to acquire permission to show one of the Common Core in Action videos, but since Pearson Higher Education owns all the work I have done for this project, I cannot show anything without their permission.  However, I did want to show you how much more interesting a video can be with interactives, so I created this quick (very quick!) video using Hyperstudio 5.0 and Camtasia Studio to show how you could teach equivalent fractions: Why use Hyperstudio for Videos .

If you would like me to create a video tutorial for you, you can go to my new website at www.ondemandcurriculum.com and contact me.

 

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