Tag Archive for teaching

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!!

 

 

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!

 

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:

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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/

 

On Demand Curriculum – My Latest Adventure

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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

 

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….

 

Working on iPads in a Flipped Math Class

This is the 2nd semester I am flipping my Intermediate Algebra classes.   The students are required to access the online ebook and take notes BEFORE coming to class.  I have Livescribe pencast examples available for them to view on the course calendar as well.  For more information on how I am flipping my classes, see the article I wrote for eCampus News.

Flipping the class frees me up to have the students do group work and activities during class to reinforce the topics from the lesson.  I can more easily work individually with students having difficulty, while the rest of the students are helping one another.

I was awarded a chance to teach in the iPad classroom this semster, so I have been looking for ways to have my students create and share on the iPad, rather than just use it as a calculator or to search the internet.

Today my students  were working in groups on a handout.   After completing the page, each group was assigned 1 of the problems and required to write their solution or graph on an iPad to share with the class.    The application we are using on the iPad is called Doceri 2.0 (previous blog post about the app).  It enables students to show their solution as an animation or video.   Students can even edit their work before exporting it as a video.   Since the classroom can get pretty loud, I had them record the animation, while picking up the sounds from the classroom (then I deleted all sound before uploading the following videos to YouTube, to protect the students’ privacy).

To present their animation, each group had one member connect their iPad to the Apple TV that is in the room and then “play” their animation.   We discussed the group’s solution or graph and answered any questions before the next group presented to the class.   I was really pleased with how well it worked!

I was able to get permission from a few students to share their work.

This first video is a student’s graph from today’s flipped Algebra class.   They were to graph the linear equation by plotting points.   The student chose to have graph paper as their background for their animation.

The second video shown here is another graph done by a different group/student.   This student found the x-and y-intercept of the linear equation and then graphed the line.

The third video was created by a student who  was given a problem to solve a formula for a given variable.

The students seem to be enjoying the experience!

I have really enjoyed watching them work through the problem, as opposed to just looking at their final solution/graph.    If the classroom was quiet (but how much fun would that be??), I would have had them explain their steps in the video.

I will post more of their work as the students progress in their math ability and their ability to show their solutions on the iPad!  This is only the 2nd week of class, and they have progressed quite a bit already.  Many of them had never used an iPad before, and none of the students had ever used Docer 2.0.  I am really proud of how hard they are working to succeed in my class!

 

 

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