Friday, 26 April 2013

Transforming Math Tests with GRASPS

Last year my teaching partner and I hypothesized that we could blend our traditional test with a authentic assessment to make a hybrid that demonstrated the skills and understanding from our unit on geometry within a real world application. What we decided was that in our unit on geometry, our students would play the role of construction company 'contractors' and if they demonstrated competency, they would be awarded the contract.

Outlining the Problem
The problem which you'll see below is whether students can apply their understanding of geometry to solving a number of challenges related to real-world applications in the setting of a construction company. The setting was the outdoor atrium and required a number of materials, notably calculators, trundle wheels, and a variety of measuring equipment. 


I wanted to proctor this like a test, but knew that students would have to get out and measure items in a more authentic setting. The guidelines were that students could roam around and get measurements but that they need to work independently.We uses the GRASP scenario for authentic tasks which is:

Image courtesy of: http://xnet.rrc.mb.ca/glenh/CourseImplementation/grasps.htm



Grading Problems
The biggest with a problem like this is the standardization of grading. If a student measured one area section that was a meter different than their peers it created vastly different numbers. Usually, grading 20 math tests takes me 45 minutes, but with this, it took me twice as long.




Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Online Discussion Tool: Today's Meet

Twitter is a great tool for having discussions. Obviously, the "share to Twitter" button is becoming commonplace for educators for sharing thoughts, articles and links in this anxious age. I have been started using Twitter with my students for math class and the discussion has been good. We have used it to:
  • Share media with one another and give peer review
  • Pass around and share articles related to math
  • Share reflections and problem solving strategies
Twitter is great for sharing educational resources, but the second student above shared information not appropriate for our discussion. Problematic?

What started off as a tool to facilitate math discussions at hashtag has now grown. Now, my students are sharing their thoughts and reflections to our math hashtag for matters that don't concern math. My students are moving from being lurkers to actively engaging one another and last night, for the first time a student responded to my inquiry on #edchat with her own response. It's wasn't inappropriate, but it's treading into grey water. I think that teachers should not inter mingle with students through social networks although teachers should make themselves available for help during final projects or summative assessments.

Today's Meet
I used Today's Meet last night during a class and it has real value. Simply go to the website, and create a room and it will generate a link that is shared via URL. All the same properties of twitter and may be a better tool for teachers, parents and students who are concerned with online privacy.

Having an online discussion through "Today's Meet"

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Video Note Taking Tool: VideoNot.es

I just got around to trying a content viewing and curation tool. VideoNot.es allows one to view a video and take notes on it while watching. What is so great is that you can synch your notes to your google drive and save them there.

VideoNot.es starts with a URL upload and then indicating sharing settings. 
What is partcularly cool about this product is that it's free and sharing settings allow other people to share notes.

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Monday, 22 April 2013

Moving Science Research onto Student Blogs

I've started moving my student's science investigations onto their blogs. Traditionally, I have had the students do their summative labs on paper with an attached rubric. The problem is that the only person the students are sharing their research with is me. I think that science should be a collaborative experience, transcending boundaries of classroom walls and borders.

Science is fundamentally a social enterprise, and scientific knowledge advances
through collaboration and in the context of a social system with well-developed norms.
Individual scientists may do much of their work independently or they may collaborate closely
with colleagues. Thus, new ideas can be the product of one mind or many working together.
However, the theories, models, instruments, and methods for collecting and displaying data, as
well as the norms for building arguments from evidence, are developed collectively in a vast
network of scientists working together over extended periods."

-A Framework for K-12 Science Education:
Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas


Inspired by COETAILS
My graduate school course "COETAILS" has largely inspired this shift. Too often, student work is done by the behest of the teacher. But I think a change is happening. Around us, students are sharing their work with a larger audience. This pushes the boundaries of what we know, and develops a base of information from which we can learn. Students are constructing their own meaning and what not better way to do this by opening their work up to others. See some examples here, here and here.



Networking with a larger audience
My reason for doing this is that "critical review" is a clear standard that I think is often given lip service from teachers and other students. By having work on the blog, students can get the feedback that helps them drive their work forward. The question is: how do we get students reading and commenting on other's blogs?

The easy solution is to partner students up yourself. However, I put a letter out to my teacher groups in the Edmodo community and found a half dozen teachers who instantly were interested in partnering our classrooms up. I did it on Twitter as well.

Edmodo is a great tool for developing connections between interested teachers with similar learning goals.

The Response
As a warm up the following period, I partnered up and gave them some prompts to consider when making a response that related to the nature of science and math. What was cool though, is to see my students get readers from other students on the far side of the world. Some of these students left their own blog URL their blogs which my students added to their readers.

How Does Peer Feedback Help your Science and Math Skills?
The most important question is: Does this help them learn? Without carefully crafted questions, I find that peer review is very shallow and superficial. For instance, when my students started making tutorials on specific math problems, most of the feedback was related to their presentation, not their math skills. Students told me: "They said I should talk louder." and other comments like: "There was a lot of noise in the background" which don't really correlate to enhanced mathematical understanding.

Comments can be very insightful if students have good prompts. Despite going over commenting guidelines, some students (like the first one pictured above), revert to a social, texting-type voice. .

Any unsupervised activity tends to lose its focus if the teacher is away. My students are so accustomed to leaving comments all over the internet through social websites like "facebook" and "myspace" that they are more concerned with saying something rather than having something to say. In short, their comments are often meaningless. I think commenting is something for which they've had no (or very little) guidance for, so when asked to give a critical review, they revert to superficial evaluation.

To solve this problem, I asked them to show me their comment before publishing so it met my expectations and would translate to a learning experience for both the viewer and creator. We had a very powerful debrief about it later and I asked some of the students to share how comments from their readers actually improved their skills.



Considerations for the future
This has been a very powerful learning experience for both the students and myself. Interestingly, I found that some of my students didn't want to share this work. I have a number of students (some high fliers who are extremely shy and some struggling students that don't want their work to be scrutinized) that would prefer not to open up themselves to a larger audience. Furthermore, as an assessment, there is also a tendency to cheat (perish the thought) on projects that span two or three class periods. For a final assessment of scientific skills, to ensure accountability, consider using a hard copy for writing and then posting a polished version on their blogs if they're interested. When I asked my students about this option for our next summative assessment, 75% of them said they'd be interested in sharing their research on their blogs.

To manage this appraisal in the future, I will give them a choice. All work will be done in class, but as extension activity, students can blog about their research findings and publish to the web later. That way, they're not being forced to do it and will do it on their own terms. Perhaps they'll see the benefits from other networked students and wade in, getting further away from their comfort level as they lose site of the shore.

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Friday, 19 April 2013

Copyright Infringement in Education: Grey Waters

I thought learning about copyright laws in education would be boring. Was I wrong.


The grey area between inspiration and plagiarism. (Image courtesy of CC)


Rock Star Math and Science Productions
I create a lot of media for my work as a teacher. Most recently, I have started creating videos of what I do with my students. I call these "Rock Star Productions" which is my schtick as I am a rock musician (which is cool) and a math and science teacher (which is by default, dorky) and wanted to portray math and science lessons that were engaging and fun. My primary audience are the parents of my students who see them on my classroom blog and many of them comment of how much they appreciate seeing what their children do and other teachers who might like ideas for teaching specific content. As a secondary goal, the rise of rock star productions would be a way of my starting my "brand" and expanding my digital footprint in education.

My "Rock Star Productions" section of my youtube channel. I've created about 30 videos this year


 I learned that there is a company called "Rock Star Productions" so the question I ask is this: is this a copyright infringement? The language stated in the following leads me to think "no"

"the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purpose"-Copyright Act

Because my work is of an educational nature, it doesn't violate this and "the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;" is low with only a three word title. However, if years from now I'm contracted how to do a video using this style or asked to put the title "Rock Star Productions" on a commercialized work, I may have to rethink this title. I contacted the real rock star production company to see if my work as a teacher may infringe on their title and have not heard back from them, nor do I think I will. 

In the meantime, building a brand a style takes time and it's exciting for me to learn basic video production techniques and incorporate various people into these lessons along the way. I wonder what advice Lee Lefever would have for me. After some students remixed this with "how to make a microphone" I found an article which argued that emulating stylistic forms is not advisable because you risk you or your business being labelled a pirate. Why risk it?


Wading into the Grey Pool of Copyright Infringement 
 I'm also a underwater photographer. One of my joys in recent years is making a highlights clip of destinations that we visit as it's easier to tweet or share to facebook a short video rather than subject friends to 300 video clips and pictures. Last summer, I made a video of our trip to Belize and used a song from the band, Counting Crows which I attributed in the credits.

When I uploaded it to youtube, after a week, my video manager informed me that this would "not be made available" in some countries. I assume that it's algorithm picked up signs of copyrighted material. I read some of the language from this declaration and basically, it said that if I used copyrighted material I could lose my ability to use "youtube". Strong words. However, a few weeks later, the red flags went down to half mast as the warning was downgraded and a snippet followed that it was OK, as I "attributed" copyrighted material which they may not have found during their intial search. I've made similar videos with CC music and have had no problems.  

Always Attribute
I don't know why people like Byron Lavery don't cite influence like Dorthy Lewis as Malcom Gladwell portrays in his work "Something Borrowed". I think people honestly don't know what constitutes intellectual property. What was really interesting was when Lavery was asked why she could be so detailed about her work, but ambiguous about attribution to which she replied "It never occurred to me to ask you. I thought it was news." 
 
Do we need to make examples of these infractors to teach the world what not to do?  Her reputation was ruined over what she though was an innocent mistake. Should we feel comfortable doing the same with a teenager in a high school class?

It seems to be good practice to attribute work as soon as it's remixed or augmented. Kirby Ferguson has presented an interesting phenomenon which I'll try to summarize here which is that people don't mind stealing others ideas, but take offense when people steal theirs. Recently I used a term called "The Keillor Effect" which I used in a post "Why Should We Connect Students?" The term was used as reference to a quote he had made which I had attributed to him. I thought it would be the courteous thing to do.



Dropping Garrison Keillor a URL of my post where I coined "The Keillor Effect"


Although he didn't engage in any dialogue with me or object, he did retweet the article to his followers so I think he was satisfied with my attribution.

Building media and developing a brand takes time. Being it a blog or series of instructional videos. However, I think its good to get it right from the start to prevent learning only years later that your work was not a remix, but an infringement. In the meantime, we can set a good example, point out bad ones, and make these grey waters more clear.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Google Presentations


Google presentations are a fantastic presentation tool and I think are becoming a much easier way to make and deliver presentations. I don't always use a slideshow, but when I do, I like to interspurse them with activities and questions that I want students to hypothesize about and investigate. Take this slide on a trilobite:

Question prompts with the ability to comment offer accessibility to all students, not merely the confident ones.
I could have put all the information up there, but I wanted more of an inquiry based activity, where students would research this animal by it's description and use our comments to share their work with others. Here's what they found out:


The commenting option of google presentations allows students to watch media but add to it's information.


What makes Google presentations such a snap is that you can publish them which creates an immediate URL link and embed code it you want to embed it on your blog. If you don't use google apps in your classroom, there are some other tools out there that allow for web 2.0 discussions on presentations, notably voicethread and silkslides.

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Blended Learning

Make Time for Peer Review


We're inundated with so much information these days, it's no surprise that we often glaze over articles, latch onto their headlines and call ourselves "informed". I think this is the tragedy of the information age, and any person can write out a blog post with relatively good conventions and they come across like they know what they're talking about.

This is why I love Diane Ravitch and TFA alum Gary Rubenstein. They take the time to look at actual studies that people say "support" their pedagogical or school-wide approaches. They have great blogs and counter a lot of value added measures or other statistical data that educators use that are often inflated or just plain wrong.

Taking Time to Read the Studies
I recently read an article by New York Times writer Matt Richtel pointing out that technology infusions in schools had shown neglible gains in student learning. Blogger Scott McLeod counters with his own rubuttal with a vareity of points: most noteably that the skills taught through new technologial learning environments are not easily measured by our current standardized testing system and that teacher often don't have sufficient training to use these tools effectively. I took it upon myself to read every hyperlink to every study that both of the authors use to support their points. It was exhausting.

The first interesting report was from 1997 and Clinton had assembled a task force to strengthen K-12 education and they had issued a report that makes reccomendations for a number of things such as teacher training, continuing support of pedagogical practices, budgeting and universal access-all things that I believe in. The report signs off with this though:

"To support its conclusion, the committee’s report cited the successes of individual schools that embraced computers and saw test scores rise or dropout rates fall. But while acknowledging that the research on technology’s impact was inadequate, the committee urged schools to adopt it anyhow."

So, despite being no solid research supporting that technology improves learning, they are reccomending it anyways. They state that this research be "experimental" and overseen at the federal level. In short, they think technology gives an edge and thus is must be good.

Qualitative studies like the one are opinionated, masquerading as "quantitative data".

The poorest came from a Maine laptop initiative which we see above results coming not from student achievement, but from teacher opinions, no doubt to make the case for continuing budget increases. Their "results" were as follows:


The first point is a stiff fart in the wind. For the second, there is ambiguity of what "finishing" means. For the third, they give no indications of how many econonmically disadvanteged kids outperformed their peers (not to mention that there are instances of that on traditional paper tests as well). Finally, how much did their writing actually improve? The math results were not much better:

I'd be very interested in any data for any of the supporting points. It almost reads like a vindication of a work in progress and amounts to nothing more than an inflated report making the case for more federal tax dollars.

"Educators would like to see major trials years in length that clearly demonstrate technology’s effect. But such trials are extraordinarily difficult to conduct when classes and schools can be so different, and technology is changing so quickly." Richtel says. An important note about "Engagement" the author and other educators note as well is that "engagement" is a fluffy term and doesn't necessarily correlate with enhanced learning. 

Standardized Tests
I'll close with Scott McLeod's point that our current testing system does not measure the skills of online learning environments. I'm a big fan of him and his blog "Dangerously Irrelevant" but I do disagree that bubble tests only measure low level recall-type information. Take this elementary math problem below:


If this were a simple recall question, they'd have one shape and ask to find the perimeter or surface area. However, I believe there are some higher order skills at work. Students have to apply their understanding of these skills to count up the varying perimeters. Also, they must be able to evaluate the shifting shapes of each picture. Standardized tests may not be perfect, but we should never call them "simple".

Final Note
Taking time to review hyperlinks to research is tiresome in today's information age. However, I think it's these skills that we hope to engender in our students, so why shouldn't we practice it as well? We as a collective profession have the opportunity to collect data on our practices in order to better the education of our youth, but if everyone is fabricating their results to attract tax dollars for facilities and Ipads, we have fallen to the same greed and manipulation of our politicians. We must be honest. We must stand with integrity and humility.

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Saturday, 13 April 2013

Action Research on Challenge by Choice


Our department has been implementing challenge by choice for the last two years. Challenge by choice is differentiating based on readiness and allowing students to choose their level of challenge on any given assignment or assessment. It hasn't been easy producing resources and designing different tiered assessment but I think that it is much better to provide materials to challenge every student by providing more difficult assignments for the high fliers and standard level activities for students who are beginning mastery.

One of my action research projects was to collect data on this. Not only do we provide differentiated resources on day-to-day practice, but also on assessments like quizzes, tests and projects. One would think that students would always opt for "easier" assessments (especially on tests) but I've found about 25%-30% always take harder assessments. Some students also take harder assessments only periodically, such as during day to day practice or on quizzes, but take standard level tests. My hypothesis is that the more students can "challenge" themselves, the more they'll grow. Very much like exercising. You can get a sweat going after a 10 minute jog, but you can really improve your long term health by jogging longer and more consistently. The same applies to practice in school. What I did was track how many high level assessments (quizzes and tests) the students had taken between the fall and spring MAP tests and compare that to their RIT growth from fall to spring in mathematics. Here are the results:


Generally, there is a weak positive corellation meaning that (in general) the more advanced assessments an individual chose, the more they grew. There were of some notables from this data set below:

Two students had 14 points of growth, the highest. However, one of them had not advanced assessments an another took 8. 6 students saw a drop in their fall to spring score which is normal and is offset by gains over long term studies. A number of students took "0" advanced assessment and saw notable improvements.


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Action Research on Challenge by Choice 2010-2012. 
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Why Should We Connect Students?


This article first appeared in Fractus Learning on April 10th, 2013.

Last month was the Vietnam Tech Conference in Ho Chi Minh City. Our school hosted it with another and it brought together over 300 educators from Southeast Asia. I presented on Google Forms, and learned a few other web tools, but I left asking myself: "What blew my hair back?"

It was not actually a workshop or session, but actually a comment made in passing that I've been thinking about in the middle of the night. It was disturbing and said so matter of factly by my co-worker, Robert Appino. What he said was this: "Our middle school students are very active bloggers, but when the go to high school, they stop." Participating high school teachers confirmed this as well.

Why did this bother me so? You don't have to convince me on the power of e-portfolios (whatever their form) to show improvements of student learning over time or to collect artifacts of a school's curriculum as students progress through it. However, Robert's comment highlighted a symptom of the state of digital citizenry: students are blogging only because we tell them to. They only blog for school related topics and after a student publishes a post, teachers consider their work done.

I wake up thinking about this. Some of my students have done some amazing work on their blogs and through other electronic media, and I wonder if they do so because I make it a requirement. As I've started to work more and more with blogs, I asked my students point blank yesterday if any of them felt that anyone was reading their blogs. Overwhelming, they said "no".

A snapshot from our school's youtube page. Most projects have very few views.
The Keillor Effect
I notice this same phenomenon on our school's "Youtube" site. We have thousands of videos but most of them have under 5 views. Since the emphasis has been on content creation, teachers seem to be happy when students publish their work for purposes of grading, but don't do anything with it afterwards. I think we're seeing symptoms of what I call "The Keillor Effect" coined by Garrison Keillor in this quote:

"I think that book publishing is about to slide into the sea. We live in a literate time, and our children are writing up a storm, often combining letters and numbers.... The future of publishing: 18 million authors in America, each with an average of 14 readers, eight of whom are blood relatives. Average annual earnings: $175."


Teaching Students How to Network
One of my classes recently finished up a project on basic two step geometry. Rather than let these projects languish with no views I gave them some tips to Twitter hashtags that they may consider, always sharing to Google + and the pros and cons of sharing to Facebook.

Students upload media but share it to a variety of social media sites to gain readership.
 

It's amazing how attentive and engaged they were. Usually, with my typical math class, I can tell when students are drifting in and out with yawning faces as not so subtle signs. However, in this case, they were captivated. Many of them confessed to having their own youtube site but not knowing how to get readers and viewers. I'm reminded of Mizuko Ito's work in which she notes that students are increasingly becoming content creators and helping them refine their craft is essential to keeping their interest with this medium. Once they do, their interest takes flight.




Using Media as a Teaching Tool
There are many notable uses of the above. It's a differentiated project where students can choose a problem right at their ability level. As a multi-step problem, there are higher level elements of Blooms taxonomy at work. Students also have a more personalized learning experience rather than "One size fits all" which leads to apathy. Above all these, what really interests me is the ability to use warm ups or even homework as a time to view and give feedback around stems related to mathematical reasoning and nature of science such as:
  1. Note the method of deriving the solution and demonstrate a conceptual under-standing of the derivation by solving similar problems.
  2. Develop generalizations of the results obtained and the strategies used and apply them to new problem situations.
  3. Express the solution clearly and logically by using the appropriate mathematical notation and terms and clear language; support solutions with evidence in both verbal and symbolic work.
  4. Use a variety of methods, such as words, numbers, symbols, charts, graphs, tables, diagrams, and models, to explain mathematical reasoning.  
  5. Communicate scientific procedures, data, and explanations to enable the replication of results. Use computer technology to assist in communicating these results. Critical review is important in the analysis of these results.
 
Turning Standards into Commenting Prompts
The media is diverse. There are many standards. But how do we translate and amalgamate this into a learning experience? As a warm up in the beginning of class, I took standards and turned them into the following questions:
  1. Could you use the work that this group to solve a similar problem? Give an example.
  2. What problem strategies did this group use when solving this problem. Can you suggest another? 
  3. Did the makers of this video "leave out a step" or go into "too much" detail? Explain. 
  4. Can you suggest a different approach to solving this problem? 
  5. Did this help you learn? Why or why not was this effective or ineffective?
Commenting can be a powerful tool in blended learning environments and provide a record of discussions that are often forgotten.

What Teachers Can do to Foster Connected Classrooms
  1. Consider putting all your students blogs on a blogroll. This makes it easy to access and all blog URLs are in one place. A number of teachers have some great classroom blogs with their blogrolls easily accessible.
  2. Network. See if other teachers are interested in having classes comment on each others work. Communities such as Edmodo or "#edchat" on twitter are great starting places to ask for partnerships. The spring (now) is a good time to start experimenting with networking in order to have a system in place for the next school year. 
  3. Become a blogger or video creator yourself. It's difficult to understand how to help in the digital realm if you have no experience to speak of. You don't necessarily have to blog or create videos on education either. Blog about your hobbies like parenting, running, or diving. Make videos about the things you like to do such as cooking, or how to swing a golf club. You'll grow alongside your students.

Personalizing A Learning Experience
There have been many implications of this work for me as an educator. For starters, I have a greater database of work to help my students learn which makes my life much easier. I can make this media accessible for reviewing later and students quite like looking at the work of their classmates rather than some stranger on a video. In an age of learning through digital citizenry, shouldn't we teach good digital citizenship?



Related Posts
The COETAIL Effect
Creating Connected Classrooms


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Improving Classroom Blogs: Curriculum, Communication and Connections


I'm presenting this afternoon on classroom blogs. There are some hyperlinks to participants and their investigations about specific blogs related to their content area. Feel free to check out the resources at the end!

Comments 
  • Gave me ideas on how to use in my Health class
  • Great resources and exemplars for using classroom blogs for instruction and student learning. Understand the bigger picture of the use of blogs. 
  • Gave me some knowledge of "what's blog?" 
  • Got good references 
  • Got some tips for organizing/working with my own blog (in future)

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Power of Engineering Challenges


STEM is taking over education. Rightfully so, as it integrates math, science and creativity all into one. When students have a decent working relationships of how parts work, they can be provided with "challenges" to solve. Nothing comes close to the perseverance gained through multiple programming trials when students are trying to solve a problem.

 


I have really been able to get this going after school in my robotics club. Last semester, our theme was "battle bots" (as seen above) and students designed a robot that would stay within an arena, have an offensive weapon and push the other robots out, or overturn them. This semester we're focusing on "search and rescue" as our theme.

Here's what students have to say:

"Our class if fun! We get to socialize and problem solve."
"We get to practice our programming skills and have a great time!"
"It really teaches you to never give up. Figuring out how to "connect the pieces" is the main challenge!"


Saturday, 6 April 2013

Supporting Struggling Learners in the Flipped Classroom


I have been using the flipped classroom model for the last two years in my math and science classes. For science, we use online tutorials outside of class and labs and activities to help support these understanding and clear up misconceptions. For math, I assign videos to watch with summarizing activities along with critical thinking that we translate into math labs before independent practice.

There are many supporters of the flipped classroom model and also many people who have tried it and moved on. Personally, I think that there are varying degrees of effectiveness of this model and many variations of making it meaningful. If you are thinking about using a flipped classroom model, know this: it solves some problems and creates others. I'll try to share what I've learned through my journey using this instructional model.

Image courtesy of CC

  1. Flipped classrooms may lead to procrastination. With the flipped classroom model, teachers usually say that when class time is finished, the assignment is finished. Work time usually ranges from 30 to 40 minutes, but I've found that some of my struggling students figure that if they "wait it out" they won't have to do as much work. I tell my students what the expectations are and if they don't meet the expectations within the time frame, the work is incomplete. 
  2. Provide resources for mixed ability classrooms. If you are a language arts teacher and are teaching summarizing, consider giving longer texts with higher lexile ranges for gifted readers. Shorter ones for emergent ones. The same thing applies to math. Give some higher level assignments for high fliers and basic recall assignments for emergent mathematicians. Consider reviewing your MAP test data to suggest assignment levels for different students. However, give them the choice.
  3. Vary up your flipped assignments. The typical approach to flipped assignments is to tell students to "take notes" or "write a summary" of a video. Try to preview the video ahead of time and pose some guided questions. Also, provide some variety of assignments and high quality questions to not make them monotenous. 
  4. Have your struggling students be discussion leaders. Discussing homework can be a challenge if students do not do them. Typically, students that are struggling in my class are ones that don't come prepared for class and often are at a loss as they don't know what is going on when class time starts. I think that its so important to discuss homework rather than just "checking it off" as it helps clear up misconceptions and provides the opportunity to ask questions. Being a discussion leader puts students in the epicenter of a commenting web related to learning goals.

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Friday, 5 April 2013

Who Said Teaching was Easy?


I'm filling out my self-evaluation of my performance over the year and also of a lesson that I just taught. The self-evaluation on the lesson is 43, yes, 43 point rubric. Who said teaching was easy?


Monday, 1 April 2013

App Review: Educreations

Educreations is a nice content creation tool to come onto the market. Very much like Doceri or Explain Everything, it can take images and with recordings, make a nice slideshow.


What makes Educreations nice is that it has a number of different papers that you can upload to do work on. In the example above, I used the coordinate plane paper but they also have lined paper and graph paper. Educreations is extremely user friendly and great for upper middle school students as there are not many controls. I like explain everything but the learning curve is much harder compared to educreations. You also can't beat the price!