Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

OneNote and Math 1

We have tablet PCs at my school, and as a (former) math teacher, I can't imagine teaching without one.

If you don't know what a tablet PC is, it's a fully functional laptop whose display swivels around and becomes a write-able surface. It's basically a smartboard within the computer. The district researched them several years ago (6? 7?) and decided to go with these as opposed to a smartboard because of the portability of them.


There are two different programs on the tablet that are conducive for inking on - Microsoft Journal and Microsoft OneNote.  I tended to stick with Journal because I liked the writing style (I'm picky about how things look) but I like the organizational aspect of OneNote. It's really like creating 3-ring binders for your files. You can have tabs with pages and subpages. An organizer's dream!

Here's an example of the tabs across the top:

And then the pages along the side:

I've been doing some work with the Math Course of Study Committee in my district and was checking out the pacing guides for Math 1, 2, and 3. We went with the Integrated Pathway so have had to create and arrange a lot of stuff on our own.  While I was perusing our 97-page google doc of the "unpacked" standards, it occurred to me that it would be really hard to find a standard in there without a lot of digging.

So, with nothing else on my plate for the day, I put together a OneNote notebook for Math 1.  And the cool thing is, it's sharable!  (Wish it was embeddable, but that may just be too much to hope for.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Recent Finds

I've found some good stuff lately!

1.  A presentation on Google's Lesser-Known Tools. I just shared this out with my staff. My favorites: GeoGuessr and Peanut Gallery.

2. Lisa Henry, a friend and co-founder of Twitter Math Camp, posted her Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 Common Core and PARCC Curriculum Tables on her blog. Definitely worth perusing, especially if you're in a state with both!  My district went with the Integrated Pathway so it's not a direct correlation, but it's definitely a nice resource!

3. Mary Bourassa is starting to blog her daily classroom activities. I never pass those up!

4. PARCC has released a Math PBA Practice Test. I don't know about you but I'm sick of PARCC, and we haven't even started testing!

I also shared some more subject-specific resources with the English and Social Studies teachers at my school...

They're located in a shared folder called Turpin Tech Resources.  Happy reading!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

One of those days...

Ever have one of those days when everything goes perfectly and you feel like you've accomplished a lot?

Yeah, that wasn't today.

Not that it was bad; I just ran into a bunch of roadblocks and couldn't figure anything out. And it was a busy day!

1. We started our morning with a state-wide Infrastructure Trial. The PARCC test is coming up and it was a good time to check to make sure that everything (ie, computers) will work ok on the site. And that the site doesn't crash.  From our end it went pretty well.

2. Our school psych let me know that the form we set up to collect information about student concerns isn't emailing the results to the counselors like it should. We're using a google form and the Ultradox Trigger add on.... great idea, and it's worked in the past, but for some reason it stopped working. I played with it for a bit but didn't get anywhere. I'll keep checking it out tomorrow.

3. I went over to our Administration Building to attend a meeting with the Parent Math Course of Study Committee. (They're bringing parents in to get feedback/keep them informed with what's going on in the math course of study.) We're working on a website to help them with all things Common Core Math Ohio's New Learning Standards. It was interesting to hear what they thought about our work; they definitely gave us some things to think about and redesign.

4. Back to school for a TI Webinar. It was billed as TI Graphing Calculator Support for PARCC Algebra 1 & High School Administrators  but was a lot like a sales pitch. At least, what I heard of it. I started trying to log in about 10 minutes early. Finally made it half an hour later. Ugh.

5. That left me a couple of hours to work on random stuff... adding a search bar to a google site (is it possible? If you know please tell me how to do it!), more on the Ultradox Trigger (to no avail), discussions with my co-workers about how to deal with our Chromebooks and the upcoming testing.

I just felt like I ran around all day and have more questions/problems than answers.

I think it's time to go home and go for a run.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Online calculator

I just had a request from a math teacher for something she could use in place of a physical graphing calculator in class. I do love me some Desmos, but it's not always the right choice when you're trying to do something more algebraic (like matrices).  I did a little googling and found Meta Calculator. I only played with it for a few minutes, but it looks like it could be a nice alternative to the TI-whatever when the kids don't have one handy.

Some screenshots from their four calculators:

There's an iPhone and iPad app available, but I also want to test the calculator to make sure it works on Chromebooks (I can't see why it wouldn't) and other types of tablets.  But for now, it's looking good!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

We're back!

I had a nice relaxing winter break... I'm too embarrassed to admit how many days I spent in my pj's. :)

So back to school this week, and I'm getting ready for another Tech Thursday. My district uses Schoology as our LMS, so that's what I'm going to focus on.  I'm hoping to do some more advanced uses (as shown below) but I have no idea who will be there and what they'll want to discuss.  So this may be all for naught!  But I could save it for next week...

I just got a shout-out on our County ESC Math website. I wish it was for my own work, but it was for sharing Geoff Krall's Problem Based Curriculum Maps (which are awesome). I'll take the referral credit, though!  (If you haven't seen them, go now!)

If you read my previous post(s) about my son's late work at school.... I never heard back from his teacher, but his grade magically rose to an A level during winter break. I'm going to try and give her the benefit of the doubt:
1. She didn't get my email.
2. She had more grades to enter.
Both of those could have happened, right?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Follow up...

I haven't heard back from my son's teacher (who I emailed over 2 days ago). I'm wondering if she'll just choose to ignore my email, which is not what I would advise as a teacher. Just three days left in their quarter!

I'm considering holding back her Christmas present (a Tervis tumbler full of homemade caramel.... what a nice mom I am!).

I was somewhat looking forward to a nice finish-up-December-easy week, but it wasn't meant to be. On Friday our Secondary Curriculum Director called and asked me to work on a new project. The course guide is scheduled to be put online in mid-January so the kids can get ready for scheduling next year's classes (can you believe it's almost time for that?!). He asked me to put together some 3-4 minute videos explaining our new course pathways to help parents see what's going on. As a district we decided to go with the Integrated pathway, which is troubling to a lot of people. We're such a traditional, high-achieving area that parents are freaking out when they see "Math 1" as their freshman's math class. I've got a start on what I think he wants but am waiting for confirmation before I continue.

Yesterday I met with our Curriculum Director (the earlier guy's boss) about a different Math Course of Study project she'd like me to work on. She wants to put together a website for K-12 showing the whole scope and sequence of Common Core math. This one's a biggie!  But luckily no mid-January deadline!  I'm meeting with our Middle School Math coach (who is a friend of mine) on Thursday to get her take on it; she was in on the organizational meeting for the project.

Today I spent some time with 4 freshmen biology classes who are doing research on geneticists; they'll use their information to create a timeline via Timeline JS (If you haven't seen it, check it out! It's really a neat tool that is based on a google spreadsheet.) I showed them a couple of websites (DHMO.org and thedogisland.com) so that we could talk about the validity of websites and always checking multiple sources.  Check out DHMO.org; some of the kids were visibly concerned about it!  :)

Then I shared with them resources we have available to us on INFOhio (a state database). Hopefully next time they're looking for information they won't automatically go to google. But I wouldn't bet on it!

I'm offering to re-do my previous Tech Thursday sessions on Friday during our work day. So far 3 people have signed up. So there's that.