Saturday, June 30, 2012
Discoveries
A couple of blogs I've found lately and added to my reader:
1. Simplifying Radicals  a high school math teacher who has some interesting things to share (like a Bazinga game, using red/yellow/green pens to grade, etc.)
2. Infinite Sums  an engineerturned math teacher who uses SBG and has oh so generously posted all of his Algebra 2 and Precalc materials online (woo hoo!)
Check them out!
1. Simplifying Radicals  a high school math teacher who has some interesting things to share (like a Bazinga game, using red/yellow/green pens to grade, etc.)
2. Infinite Sums  an engineerturned math teacher who uses SBG and has oh so generously posted all of his Algebra 2 and Precalc materials online (woo hoo!)
Check them out!
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Summer Randomness
I admit that I haven't done a whole lot of thinking about school lately. I've been having a lot of fun with my kids and have had a nice relaxing week this week while they're at my mom's (ahh....).
Amongst my twitter friends I seem to be in the minority.
@approx_normal sent some queries out in search of some classroom pictures. She claims to be looking for new ideas for her room, but I think she's just being nosy. :) As it's summer I didn't have any pictures, but I just made a trip to school (in search of some new furniture for my room that was available) and took some. I hate to show these now because it's not how my room will look once school started, but if you're interested, here's the summer version of my room!
The view from the door. My desk is back in that corner  I just moved it there at the end of the school year. Still trying to figure out if I'll like it back there! (I had it up front in the corner so I could sit on it and see over everyone during class.)
From the side. The folders on the chalkboard are where I put makeup assignments for absent students (which helps avoid the "did I miss anything yesterday?" questions). I'm thinking of trying to make at least some of that area into something resembling a bulletin board by putting some fabric on it to get some more color! @druinok just posted some pictures on her blog of her room and a fabric bulletin board that looks so cute! I'll just need to find a good way to adhere it.
I just realized I never posted pictures of the A that I painted on the wall the last day of school!
So that's it for my room. Check out @approx_normal's post for other people's rooms if you want some ideas! (I love @mr_stadel's groups of desks. I may give that a shot this year if I can get an arrangement that I like.)
In some other news schoolrelated, we got an email last week that said we now have a new principal! I've been at my current school for 12 years and have had the same principal for (I think) the last 10. She's now moving on to a district job and they've hired a former math teacherturned assistant principal from an area school. You gotta love the "former math teacher" part of it, but there's always that uncertainty when you get a new boss. I've only heard good things about him so far (a good friend was on the interview committee and was really impressed with him) so I've got my fingers crossed!
And lastly....
Last night @tbanks1906 sent out a very interesting tweet: What is 1 thing you plan to START doing in your class, CONTINUE doing and STOP doing this year?
I want to address this in a future blog post (so start thinking about your answers!) but for now I'm going to list some things I'd written down at the end of the school year to remember for next year:
1. Make precalc write more. Explain more. Justify more. WHY?
2. Fun factor Fridays (in precalc... then Alg2.... then Alg1)
3. Fun Fraction Fridays (in Alg2... and Alg1)
4. Keep pushing unit circle (even when we’re “done” with it)
5. Projects in Alg2.
6. More projects/problems in Precalc.
7. More independent learning
8. BE LESS HELPFUL (make a poster??)
9. Less calculator dependent in precalc
10. Do regular reviews (Alg1  fractions, solving eqs, graphing; Alg2  graphing, factoring; Precalc  factoring, unit circle, identities)
11. Collect more assignments. Alternate classes? Randomly pick rows?
12. Ask 3 then me.
I'm sure this list will be added to!
Amongst my twitter friends I seem to be in the minority.
@approx_normal sent some queries out in search of some classroom pictures. She claims to be looking for new ideas for her room, but I think she's just being nosy. :) As it's summer I didn't have any pictures, but I just made a trip to school (in search of some new furniture for my room that was available) and took some. I hate to show these now because it's not how my room will look once school started, but if you're interested, here's the summer version of my room!
The view from the door. My desk is back in that corner  I just moved it there at the end of the school year. Still trying to figure out if I'll like it back there! (I had it up front in the corner so I could sit on it and see over everyone during class.)
From the back. Does everyone have the "What if the world were..." posters?
From the side. The folders on the chalkboard are where I put makeup assignments for absent students (which helps avoid the "did I miss anything yesterday?" questions). I'm thinking of trying to make at least some of that area into something resembling a bulletin board by putting some fabric on it to get some more color! @druinok just posted some pictures on her blog of her room and a fabric bulletin board that looks so cute! I'll just need to find a good way to adhere it.
I just realized I never posted pictures of the A that I painted on the wall the last day of school!
So that's it for my room. Check out @approx_normal's post for other people's rooms if you want some ideas! (I love @mr_stadel's groups of desks. I may give that a shot this year if I can get an arrangement that I like.)
In some other news schoolrelated, we got an email last week that said we now have a new principal! I've been at my current school for 12 years and have had the same principal for (I think) the last 10. She's now moving on to a district job and they've hired a former math teacherturned assistant principal from an area school. You gotta love the "former math teacher" part of it, but there's always that uncertainty when you get a new boss. I've only heard good things about him so far (a good friend was on the interview committee and was really impressed with him) so I've got my fingers crossed!
And lastly....
Last night @tbanks1906 sent out a very interesting tweet: What is 1 thing you plan to START doing in your class, CONTINUE doing and STOP doing this year?
I want to address this in a future blog post (so start thinking about your answers!) but for now I'm going to list some things I'd written down at the end of the school year to remember for next year:
Things to Remember Next Year
1. Make precalc write more. Explain more. Justify more. WHY?
2. Fun factor Fridays (in precalc... then Alg2.... then Alg1)
3. Fun Fraction Fridays (in Alg2... and Alg1)
4. Keep pushing unit circle (even when we’re “done” with it)
5. Projects in Alg2.
6. More projects/problems in Precalc.
7. More independent learning
8. BE LESS HELPFUL (make a poster??)
9. Less calculator dependent in precalc
10. Do regular reviews (Alg1  fractions, solving eqs, graphing; Alg2  graphing, factoring; Precalc  factoring, unit circle, identities)
11. Collect more assignments. Alternate classes? Randomly pick rows?
12. Ask 3 then me.
I'm sure this list will be added to!
Monday, June 11, 2012
Geogebra and Google Forms. A perfect coupling.
I went to a geogebra conference today at Miami University (go Redskins! I mean, RedHawks!) which just happens to be my alma mater. Aside from a rough drive there (a littleoveranhour trip took almost 2.5 because of traffic in Cincinnati), a hike uphill from the parking lot, and a rainy gray day (of course I didn't have an umbrella!) it turned out to be a pretty good day.
What I enjoyed most (aside from getting to see former coworkers, students, and classmates from my grad program) was the last session I went to. It was called "Hacking GeoGebra Applets to Collect Student Work Using Google Forms" and it was a lesson on how to incorporate google forms into geogebra so that students can input answers to questions about a geogebra applet which will then feed into a google spreadsheet. Perfection.
The instructor's name was Dave Pugh, and he's a high school teacher at an alternative school in Minnesota. If you go to his website, click on the Geogebra link; his directions and examples can be found there. I wish I could say it was intuitive for me, but I don't have any programming or html experience and I've done a lot of trials to get this to work. I think. I thought it was pretty darn cool! (The spacing has been bothering me the most, but I can deal with it. Or just keep working on it!)
Geogebra and Google Forms Try #2 Geogebra and Google Forms  GeoGebra Dynamic Worksheet
What I enjoyed most (aside from getting to see former coworkers, students, and classmates from my grad program) was the last session I went to. It was called "Hacking GeoGebra Applets to Collect Student Work Using Google Forms" and it was a lesson on how to incorporate google forms into geogebra so that students can input answers to questions about a geogebra applet which will then feed into a google spreadsheet. Perfection.
The instructor's name was Dave Pugh, and he's a high school teacher at an alternative school in Minnesota. If you go to his website, click on the Geogebra link; his directions and examples can be found there. I wish I could say it was intuitive for me, but I don't have any programming or html experience and I've done a lot of trials to get this to work. I think. I thought it was pretty darn cool! (The spacing has been bothering me the most, but I can deal with it. Or just keep working on it!)
Geogebra and Google FormsCreated with GeoGebra 
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Things I've Tagged (weekly)

Math Forum: Exploring Pascal's Triangle
tags: pascalstriangle precalc

16 Fractal Trianglethon3 : 49FractalFoundation.org
Oh my goodness, these Sierpinski fractal trianglethon pics and video are unreally cool. Great find, @lostinrecursion! http://t.co/3so7HoGq
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Things I've Tagged (weekly)

Wolfram Demonstrations Project
Virtual Wire&String Puzzles in 3D let you trace & understand every step of a solution! Rotate, zoom, pan & animate: http://t.co/tSBpwf4g

The Fractal Geometry of Mandelbrot (pdf) by Anthon
The Fractal Geometry of Mandelbrot (pdf) by Anthony Barcellos http://t.co/5aDpE3GA
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