Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
It was interesting to explore for a few minutes different free, easy to use resources that help teachers create opportunities these goals in dynamic and engaging ways.
Getting Students to read graphs:
There are lots of places to get relevant graphs of data. USA Today may be one of the best sites to get students access to
The newspaper online publishes multiple graphs on a daily basis. In the sports section a quick poll on the most impressive baseball milestone about to be passed was a quick, engaging example of a bar graph. In the money section, the daily track of the NASDAQ, DJIA, and USA today Internet 50 are all tracked using updated broken line graphs. With a five minute exploration, I found examples of a pie graph in realty, six different polls that represent data, and several tables of data. Students could easily explore the site, collect examples and analyze the chart and representation of the data. Another great site for quickly finding multiple representations of data was Swivel.com. What a great site for data. The site is free and full of data sets and graphs already made for those data.
The students could easily compare different types of graphs and create new graphs that represent the data in different ways. I am really excited about this site, but a warning about some of the data sets being inappropriate for student use.
To continue the creation of charts there are several other sites, applications that are fantastic for this. It's always easiest to start with the software that is usually accessible in the classroom, and I think Microsoft Excel or Google Docs Spreadsheet application are fantastic for this purpose, easy for students to learn and manipulate, and easily accessible. If you are more adventurous and want to explore applications on the web, I encourage you to check out this resource beyond Swivel; Create a Graph, Kid's Zone- Learning with NCES. Fully functioning chart building capabilities and very student friendly. Not as rigorous as some of the other sites, but very functional, especially for middle school.
I know data representation is a critical concept for students in today's setting and I hope others will explore the potential sites available to them for getting students engaged in graphing beyond the basics.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
open-ended, flexible, has students moving around (a little bit), has students developing rationale for doing something (even without a lot of direct instruction into the 'method'), is quick, and flexible!
She admits that it's not original (and what in education is?), but has a great sense of how to get students involved in the lesson quickly, get them thinking, and get them talking about math. She doesn't have a metal whiteboard to let the students slide the sentence strips around (which would be optimal), but she didn't let that deter her from adapting to tape.
In our conversation, we thought about using a slightly modified version for the closing activity. The modification would be to put all the steps on the board and let the students put them in order, while explaining the rationale for each step. I thought it was a great way of accessing the strategy, putting more emphasis on student leadership/thinking, and, again, creating an engagement opportunity. Just a nice flow to a lesson with emphasis on the introduction of the lesson, making connections to what they've already learned, and then creating synthesis by letting the students go through a similar activity (they already understand the process) to express their understanding. If multiple sets of the other problem are created, then students who solve the problem a different way could show their process; what a great discussion that would create. Students could work in small groups to arrange the sentence strips in any order they wanted. Another group could graph the system and solving graphically to check the work. The teacher could create his/her own order with a specific oder in mind to spark conversation if the method presented didn't go in the order or manner desired. The conversation about getting the same answer but doing a different order would be incredibly valuable.
The other thing I like about this strategy is that it isn't expensive, but it is incredibly flexible, and creates all kinds of opportunities to create connections for students in any concept learning. Once the structure is introduced the students would be able to manage the process very quickly and begin to process the mathematics easier (at least that's what I think). I wanted to share with others this simple sentence strip activity that I think has great potential.
Friday, March 28, 2008
I know that I haven't done a good job of advertising this project, or developing a consistent posting schedule, or lots of things but I'm still frustrated. I see people are coming to the blog and wiki, but they obviously aren't being pushed to add to the conversation.
I am enjoying being able to organize some of my thoughts and by publishing them I am creating a better understanding of my own thinking, and that is valuable. I am learning how to use the structures of wikis and blogs better; and understanding some of the pitfalls and just how big they can be (consistency, audience, strong thinking, etc.). It's been a good experience so far, but I'll be honest it is a little frustrating. I am getting tired of talking to myself.
I am going to make a concerted effort to increase my use and output on this project to see if it has any legs, but I have a concern that it won't take off. I'll be left with a good idea that I will need to reflect on, and analyze to learn what i need to do differently to make it more successful. I have this gut feeling that there is an audience for a project like this, but I haven't accessed it yet.
My plan for growth is to get a larger library of information posted, blog about it more consistently, reference it intentionally in my f2f work with teachers, explore for similar projects and add to their voices, and shoot a couple of twitter comments out to see if anyone else is interested.
This is a real interesting concept for me as a learner. I have lots of ideas. However, now that I'm not in a classroom to try them out everyday, see how things fit, and see how things morph into better ideas, I have no outlet for my creativity. That was the genesis of this little experiment, that and as a way of organizing my learning for my own thinking, but now it's gotten a little personal in that I'm out here and not sure if anyone is listening.
Note-Taking in a Hybrid Classroom
By Roland O’Daniel, CTL
This article features strategies from the Collaborative Model for Content Literacy developed by
the Collaborative for Teaching and Learning
In the hybrid classroom there is a unique opportunity for students to explore mathematical concepts on their own using on-line tools and then come together in a face to face setting to share what they have observed and learned. In the hybrid setting students often struggle with working in the independent, virtual learning environment and gathering important information while in that environment. Information must be synthesized in a very different way. Students have to identify what is important, what they understand, do not understand, and questions that they have. It is important to intentionally and explicitly develop structures in the classroom to help students interact with the material.
Note-Taking Skills and Strategies
Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock (2001) have identified nine strategies that work most effectively in their book, Classroom Instruction That Works. Among those essential strategies are summarizing and note taking. These strategies promote greater comprehension and understanding by inviting students to analyze a concept to interpret what is essential and then put the material in their own words. Skills that are utilized in good note taking structures include; substituting, deleting, and keeping some things and identifying the important components of the material presented.
In order to develop these skills in the hybrid classroom, teachers create intentional and thorough routines with the students. The routines must be supported and scaffolded in the face–to-face setting so that students will be able to understand the processes well enough to use on their own in the independent virtual environment. For instance, teachers might ask students to question what is unclear, to identify important topics, and to predict what will happen next in the material. One tool for helping students create these types of interactions with notes is a Double Entry organizer. In the left column students take notes as usual and in the right hand column students identify questions, make connections to previous material, and identify material that confuses them.
Teachers who use a Double Entry organizer allow students the opportunity interact with the material by stopping, have students review the their notes for interactions, and during lesson closure follow up with the interactions very intentionally through whole group discussion or small group share out. Teachers introduce and support this structure while in the regular classroom setting and then transfer the process to the independent learning environment. Doing so reinforces independent student learning and also models for students who are struggling with working in a virtual environment.
When students are in the virtual environment, providing the expectation that the same note-taking structure as the classroom is used will help reinforce the understanding and create better note takers. If students are not in a lab setting, providing note-taking guides that have prompts for interactions will help reinforce the process with students. It is imperative that teachers support the process in classroom discussions when the classes are back together, so that students see value in taking the time to review and synthesize the notes. The importance of note taking is more than just remembering the highlights of class. A good note-taking routine sets a tone of communication in the classroom and provides students a tool for learning the material more effectively.
Classroom Instruction That Works by R. J. Marzano, D. J. Pickering, and J. E. Pollock, 2001, Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Subjects Matter, Every teacher’s Guide to Content-Area Reading, Harvey Daniels and Steven Zemelman, 2004,
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Anyway, I've put a couple example lessons on the collaboration wiki and am opening it up to input from anyone interested in talking about how to make the lessons better, discuss the strategies, tweak the resources, get feedback about how the lessons went if used with your students.
I will say one of the foci is to really push the development of taking notes and synthesizing their learning while in the independent learning environment. We (the teachers and I) have had several conversations about how to manage that process better. We've studied how to make formative assessment decisions while trying to develop note-taking guides for the computer lessons, without making them basic fill-in the blank and shutting down student thinking.
I look forward to capturing some conversation about this topic and these lessons.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I haven't given up on this idea of creating a place where teachers come together to analyze lessons for how the lessons allow students to develop their understanding of mathematics through literacy (that would be writing, reading, and speaking/listening) strategies. I've created a wiki to perhaps create a modality that is more conducive to sharing.
So the goal of the wiki is to share lessons that you have created with other like minded teachers willing to create a common understanding of how to integrate literacy into your math class. If you want to add to someone elses lesson please feel free.
I envision this wiki to be a resource where people can share what they've created or adapted and get feedback on a lesson to make it even better. Just be sure to cite all resources that you used to get information. This isn't about being totally original, but sharing, tweaking, and improving good lessons.It's an experiment that's been rolling around in my head for a while. I hope that others share a view of how this might be a useful teacher resource.
It is important though that we model for our students how to cite our sources correctly. If it is not your original work make sure that we give credit where credit is due. Also, if it is copyrighted to make sure that you have permission to post.