Archive for Algebra

Collecting Dust – an overview of my favorite teaching technology, part 1


    It has been over 2 years now since I retired from teaching.  I taught math for 29 years with a passion for utilizing the newest and most effective technology. I bought most of the technology I used in my classrooms (and outside of them) with my own money so I could always be on the forefront, and could use it every day in my classes.  Waiting until my college or district could check out the technology, then approve it for me, took too long for my taste. I actually had a side job to earn money just for this purpose!

Well, my home office is now FULL of that technology.  All of it is in excellent condition, but most of it is not getting used, which is quite sad!   I now do a lot of consulting from my home office, so I use some of it,  but the items that were perfect for inside the classroom are just sitting around collecting dust.  I have decided it is time to “clean house” and try to get those items into the hands of folks who will use them again.  I am going to start a series of blog posts about some of the items I have available and how I used them to help my students. If you are interested, please email me and I will give you more details.

For many years I was an avid user of eInstruction’s mobile interactive white boards – MOBIs (and I still am).  I have a classroom set of 6 Mobis that my students would use to share their group work with the class from.  While they are not brand new, they are still in great condition.  The students really enjoyed being able to participate from their desks.  I placed a color tab on the edge so I could refer to a group by color.  The photo above shows the “purple” Mobi.  Many students admitted that they preferred being able to participate from their desk and not have to go to the board.   The screen I was projecting their work to could be split up so I was able to show one group’s work, or all 6 at once.

These Mobis can also be used to teach from, as well.  I disliked being stuck at the front of the classroom at the board, so instead, I would connect a MOBI to the my computer and then I was free to teach from anywhere in the room.   This was especially helpful when students were in groups, as I could walk around helping and also writing something helpful for all students on the projected board from anywhere.

I did prefer to use an eInstruction MOBIVIEW to teach from, instead.

The main difference between the learner MOBI and the MOBIVIEW is that the MOBIVIEW has a large touchscreen that can be used to run student clickers as well as their learner MOBIs…a little taste of my next blog post.  Stay tuned!!

 

 

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!

3CalculatorVersions

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.

3FaceplateColors

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.

NormalAndLargeDisplay

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!

Workbook

 

Common Core in Action Part II

CCinAction2

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”.

AddingFractions

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.

EquivFractionPlaygroundImage

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.

CCinAction

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”.

AdditionAlgorithm

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.

ButtonToShowSum

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

HyperstudioLogo2

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.

CommonCoreWriteUp2
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.

 

On Demand Curriculum – My Latest Adventure

Blog Post Header On Demand Curriculum

I have been very busy these past few years trying to build up my contract business with textbook companies.  I have created videos, PowerPoints, and other types of lessons for several large companies.

I was teaching full time and doing these contract jobs, trying to build up my business enough to retire from teaching in the classroom….well, that time finally came.   I retired in May 2015 from teaching at Mesa Community College, and have spent the past few weeks building a new business website so I will be able to share my experience with students, teachers, parents, home school businesses, along with other curriculum creation companies.

I am starting On Demand Curriculum by building up the first area, On Demand Math.  My goal is to make personalized math lessons and tutorials for students, based on their learning style, on demand.   In my experience, students who asked me a question during office hours tended to forget what they learned more quickly than students who asked me a question through email and receive a tutorial that I built just for them that they can watch as many times as they need to.  I want to take that concept and expand it so that more students across the globe can receive help, based on their individual needs.

I also realize that there are many parents out there struggling to help their child with their math homework.  I want to be there for them as well.   A quick tutorial, based on the question they are trying to help their child with, might make a real difference in the child starting to enjoy math (and the parents).

Please help me spread the word that I am now available to help everyone succeed in all levels of math!

You can follow On Demand Curriculum on the following social media sites:

Twitter as @OnDemandMath
Pinterest as OnDemandMath
Instagram as @OnDemandCurriculum
Facebook as On Demand Curriculum

Find out more information at www.ondemandcurriculum.com

 

Doceri Workshop at ICTCM 2014

Here is a link to the workshop I did at ICTCM 2014  in San Antonio this year.
Presenting lessons and creating videos using Doceri on the iPad.

https://sites.google.com/site/ictcm2014glascoe/

 

New Tech to Try!

I apologize for not writing more posts this semester, but I have been swamped with work and play 🙂

I just received the new wi-fi Livescribe smartpen called SKY today and I promise to write a blog post soon about the features and how I plan on using it.  Wi-fi opens the potential of the smartpen to be even smarter!! I can’t wait!

I have been using Doceri 2.0 along with the Mobi 360 w/ clickers in my math classes and plan on updating all of you on how well that is going (it is going REALLY well, by the way)  and how I have used them with my students.

Stay tuned….

 

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