Archive for Math Projects

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

 

My Student Hyperstudio Projects

Student Hyperstudio5 Projects

The final project I had my Math For Elementary Teachers do for the course was to create an interactive Hyperstudio Project.


The projects are too large to be viewed well inside my blog, so I have created a website to house them. The website is best viewed using Safari if possible, if not, just ignore the browser warning, as I have used a beta version of Hyperstudio to export them into HTML5 .

I have many of my student’s projects posted on a THIS WEBSITE.    Enjoy!

 

GlogsterEDU Projects for Students

CREATIVE ONLINE PROJECTS

Next week my students in my Math For Elementary Teachers class will be creating a Glog:  an interactive, online poster.   GlogsterEDU will allow them to create their Glog for free and publish it to their Google Website for the class.

I just finished creating a new Glog to show a few uses of the Livescribe smartpen in the classroom.  I plan on using this as an example when I teach them how to use GlogsterEDU.

Link to the Glog if you cannot see it above.

I will post some of their work when completed!

 

Creating a Text Embedded Interactive Worksheet with a Livescribe Smartpen

EMBEDDING TEXT BEHIND A LIVESCRIBE PENCAST PDF

Recently I learned how to embed text behind a Livescribe pencast and it has changed everything!

I created a short interactive worksheet to show what can be created with this process.   The following is a screenshot of the text embedded pencast because I cannot embed a PDF file (yet) into a website.   A link to the actual pencast PDF is below the screenshot.

Pencast PDF with text in the background
(you must have Adobe Reader 10.0 or higher to view this interactive PDF)

If that does not work, I put a link on my website for you to click on OUTSIDE of WordPress
(I have some issues with opening PDFs inside WordPress – if anyone can help me to embed
a PDF in WordPress or a website I would really appreciate it!)

As listed in the pencast, the steps to embed the text in the pencast PDF are as follows:

1.  Print off the text file onto Livescribe dot paper (I used college-ruled dot paper in my printer)

2.  Record a pencast on top of dot paper that has the text printed on it (the text shows you where to write!)

(sorry about the poor photo quality)

3.  Connect your smartpen and upload your pencast as a PDF (use the “Computer” connector)

As you can see in this screen shot, the pencast looks pretty strange without the text behind it!

4.  Save the original text document as a .jpg (image file) – to do this you must first save it as a PDF and then you can use Adobe Acrobat Pro or the free online utility Zamzar (www.zamzar.com) to save your PDF as a .jpg file

5.  Open the pencast PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro or PDF Pro (http://epapyrus.com/en/)  so that you can add a watermark to the PDF file

6.  Add your .jpg text file as a watermark to your pencast PDF and re-save the PDF

7.  The new pencast PDF can be viewed by anyone with Adobe Reader 10.0 or higher

 

Please add comments on this blog if you know of other free ways to save a text document as an image file and also if you know of other (especially FREE) programs that allow the user to edit a PDF.

Please send me the projects you make – I would love to see them!

 

 

Getting Organized

ADDING MY VIDEOS TO THIS BLOG

I have heard from several people that they would like to see some of the educational videos I have created.  I realize there was a pull down menu at the top of my blog for it, but I never actually organized the content I have created in the past.

In the past 6 months I have had to wipe both my Mac and my Windows machine (long stories), so some of my videos are now “lost’, but luckily YouTube still has a small collection.

I finally got organized today and separated my videos into categories.  If you look along the top of my blog, you will see a category called “Animations/Videos” :



Most of my videos fall in to four categories of  “How-To” videos, “Educational Teaching Videos”, “Flash Animated Tutorials”, and “Livescribe pencasts”.  I will be adding some Animationish videos after this Fall when I have my students creating some.

I created the “How-To” videos to teach others how to use software or hardware.  Here are the categories I have in that section:

I plan on adding more videos to this section in the near future, so some of the categories do not have any links yet.

The next main category I have been creating videos for is in “Educational Teaching Videos”.  These are short videos I have created for my students to introduce a topic we are studying in the class.

As you can see when you look through the Educational Teaching videos, I was trying out several types of hardware/software to see what worked best.   I used the eInstruction Workspace software for a “whiteboard” in some videos, and recorded and edited with Camtasia studio.  In other videos I used a Lumens HD Ladibug document camera.  I found the document camera to be better for me when I am actually needing to record working with actual objects like base ten blocks and fraction circles.   I will hopefully be making more videos using these this semester. I will try to keep up with posting them here so I don’t lose them again!!

Most of the tutorials/lessons I have created for my students in the past year are Livescribe pencasts, but I find when I need the lesson to be more visual, a video is better.    My livescribe pencasts are organized by topic on THIS PAGE.  I have quite a few pencasts collected there.   When I had to wipe my computers, I lost all the original pencasts, so for now I cannot change any of those pencasts into PDF’s to download.

Lastly, about six years ago I started created Flash animated tutorials to help my students in my Math For Elementary Teachers classes better visualize the math they will be teaching. I strongly believe visualization is key to understanding!

The Flash animated tutorials are housed on a separate area (outside of my blog).   They are organized by arithmetic topic:

For example, clicking on the “1/3″ would take you to the fraction tutorials, and the “2” will take you to the multidigit whole number operations.  This type of tutorial takes me a lot longer to create, so I do not have many in some areas (like decimals).   Instead, I am starting to create more interactive tutorials using Hyperstudio.  To see a few of those interactive tutorials, CLICK HERE.

These are still a work in progress, but I promise to continue adding here so check back!

 

 

Mapping my Syllabus (again)

I am rewriting a blog post from a year ago…

Last year I used a mindmap of my course syllabus to show them an example of mapping out something.  They will be mapping out at least one unit and bringing in new resources to share with the rest of the class this semester, so I decided to update my MindMeister mindmap to go with the new syllabus

Here is a link to the actual mindmap if you cannot see it above.

I will also be creating several other project samples for the students using the course syllabus – stay tuned!

 

Did I mention that MindMeister has an iPad app?!!

 

Summer Projects for Visual and Interactive Math

Visual Interactive Learning
I have been sitting here staring at my computer for the past week since I got back from an amazing time with a room full of extremely innovative teachers in San Francisco as part of the Livescribe Educational Advisory Board.

I keep staring at it not being able to decide where to start!  I have so many new ideas that I want to implement for the Fall, and now I have even more resourceful people to guide me when I get stuck!

Some of the big ones on my list I have already started working with, but I want to dig deeper and create projects for my students to interact with, and also projects for them to create:

Hyperstudio5 (Roger Wagner will be at ISTE this summer, so that will be fun!)
GeoGebra
Camtasia
Livescribe (new cool stuff coming next week!!)

The newest application I want to learn:

I have been playing with WolframAlpha for the past year, but I recently purchased Mathematica and I am excited to see what I can create with it! My goal is to create visual and interactive materials for Algebra and Geometry.    I will post as soon as I start building!  I am still watching the video tutorials for now.   I want to look further into the following links as well:

Wolfram Research STEM Initiative

Wolfram Faculty Program

Lastly, I NEED to learn Photoshop.   My oldest son currently creates all of my artwork for my projects, but in a few years he will be off to college and won’t be around to help me!

Hopefully between spending time with my family and attending ISTE and HI-TEC this summer, I will be able to dig deeper and create some projects for next Fall using some of these great interactive applications!

 

Writing Math in Windows 7!

I was so excited to see a new window show up when I upgraded to Windows 7…it is called the Math Input Panel.  With a name like that I had to be excited before even trying it out!

 

I immediately started playing with it and was surprised and VERY happy to see how easy it was to handwrite math and have it insert the typed version into my Word document!  It does not always pick the correct letter or number, but you can easily edit an individual symbol.

 

I have tried writing some algebra, and it does a great job with that as well!


 

I am excited to see more tools for my students to be able to use to ‘write” math on their computers as well.   Although Word comes with Equation Editor, my students do not know how to use it.    Now, students can easily handwrite their math problems and have them typed up!

For students with disabilities – or anyone who wants to have the math read out loud to them, Word can then take the file that has the math equations embedded  and be saved as a MathXL document.   MathPlayer should then be able to read the math out loud….I will try that next and see how it works out!

 

Creating INTERACTIVE activities with HyperStudio5!

Link to the official Hyperstudio website

In my spare time (ha ha) I have been playing with Roger Wagner’s Hyperstudio 5.   (Luckily Roger Wagner himself has been helping me!!)  What a fun program!    My goal is to create more INTERACTIVE activities and tutorials/videos for my students, without all the work of Flash.   Hyperstudio fits that goal amazingly well!   It is similar to PowerPoint, but far more incredible in my book!

I “finished” my first final draft (I keep “fixing it” so it is forever in draft mode) of an interactive tutorial on introducing combinations and counting, and posted the project on a new area of my website with the button “HyperStudio Projects”.

Before clicking on the link below that will take you to the Hyperstudio stack, you must first make sure you are using either Safari or Internet Explorer, because these are the only browsers that have the Hyperstudio web-brower add-on for now.   To get the browser add-on, go to:  http://www.mackiev.com/support_hs.html , click on the proper computer type, then get the browser add-in for either Safari or Internet Explorer, then you will be able to view and PLAY WITH the activity.

Here is the direct link to my first project: http://www.tech4mathed.com/HyperStudio/IceCream_SG.html

If you have the browser add-on correctly installed you should see the following screen:

Once the stack is finished loading, the screen should look like:

Now you are ready to click on “go to STORY”.

I created the story like a video, and I narrated every screen, so you can  hear the narration if you click on the button. The audio level needs some work, some of the narration is too quiet and I will need to redo those sections.  The most fun part of it, however, is the INTERACTIVITY that was easy to create!

In this activity, I created an Ice Cream Playground, where you can actually move around all the objects on the page to explore and find the answer before viewing the explanation of the solution.  My 14 year old son did all of the artwork for me!   It is wonderful having a live-in artist on hand!

Please give it a try and let me know what I can do to make it more interesting for my students.   I also need to know if you are able to view it on a Mac and on a Windows machine.  Some Windows machines can view it and some cannot, so I am trying to trouble-shoot which versions of Windows have difficulty to help find a fix for that.

I am excited to make more projects and play with Hyperstudio!

 

 

I Made My First Interactive GeoGebra Applet!

Logo taken from the GeoGebra website – holiday version!

I have met several people in the past year (some only virtually) who have convinced me that learning GeoGebra would be a great addition to my tech tools for teaching mathematics. Since GeoGebra is FREE, it makes it an even better resource as a teacher and tech ed consultant, and also for student projects as well! Geometry is one of my favorite subjects to teach;  in the past I used Geometer’s Sketchpad, but in the future I plan on using GeoGebra!

I believe WordPress is not allowing me to directly embed the <applet> Javascript code for my first GeoGebra applet, so I created a new set of webpages on my Tech4MathEd site where I will be posting all of the GeoGebra applets I create.   I am just learning, so there is only 1 there now :)

To see my first interactive GeoGebra applet, which helps students understand graphing a line using the slope-intercept form of the line by interacting with the graph, go to  Slope Intercept GeoGebra Applet.

I am really looking forward to using GeoGebra, not only to create interactive applets for my Algebra students, but also to help my Math For Elementary Teacher classes learn more about Geometry!

To download  and start playing with GeoGebra, go to:  download GeoGebra

Image of my interactive applet:

 

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