Visible Thinking in Math- Part 1

An interesting showcase of a middle school math class trying to teach math as you would a foreign language… There are some techniques I know our math teacher, Mr. Scruton uses- blogging, getting the students to make videos of how to solve certain equations. Has anyone else used the KWHL chart?

I also appreciate some of the teacher feedback on this exercise- clearly there is some getting used to this new process with the students…

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The conversation about visible thinking in Math started with one of our teachers at Graded, The American School of São Paulo, Adam Hancock, wanting to know how he could incorporate having students’…

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Répertoire des usages pédagogiques pour iPad – Documentation — RIRE

I found this article below via a tweet yesterday. They have grouped the apps by subject- though many of them we already know, there were a few intriguing apps I had not heard of in every discipline. What makes this list even better is that it is created by Quebecers for Quebecers and with our school curriculum in mind.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Le Réseau d’information pour la réussite éducative (RIRE) diffuse de l’information susceptible de répondre aux besoins des acteurs de la réussite éducative.

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My Paperless Classoom: Differentiation: Programming and Geometry in Second Grade

Although this article is about the experience of a second grade teacher, I think the idea of melding programming language with geometry instruction brilliant. It made me wonder if coding could be applied in anyway to the secondary curriculum?

Would love to hear your comments!

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Wednesday Workshop: Greg’s Flipped Classroom

First of all, I want to say a big thanks to Greg Scruton, intrepid Math and Multimedia teacher, for giving us a condensed version of his Distinguished Educators Workshop at Mcgill on very short notice. He has graciously given me permission to post the links he used during his presentation which I will annotate for all you poor souls who were not able to attend.
 Greg began by giving us a list of pros and cons for flipping the classroom. A lot of them we have already heard (students can watch videos in their own home where they will be less distracted, they can stop and rewind, replay the video as much as they need, etc.) But he also added “Can’t interact with the teacher” as one of the pros (it was also the only con). He justified putting this in the pro section because it meant that the student couldn’t ask that very urgent question (either valid- in which case it was probably going to be answered anyways if they had just given the teacher a couple of minutes more- or completely invalid-eh. Why do we even need to know this? type of query).
Because Greg requires his students to write notes about the videos and then post them on their individual math blogs, he knows who has watched the video and how much they understand.
He then gave us examples of three different types of videos he makes for his students to watch at home.
2. Video
       1. Screen Capture
       2. iPad Capture
       3. iPad Live
He noted that there are many ways to create a video, and many tools you can use. Although it feels a bit overwhelming, it is one of those things that seem more complicated when explained than when you actually sit down and do it.
Greg did give us some quick demonstrations of how he creates his magic:
3. Demos
       i. Screen Capture
           1. Make a Powerpoint
           2. Screen Capture Using Quicktime
           3. Edit using iMovie
           4. Upload to Youtube
      ii. iPad Capture
           1. Images and GoodNotes
           2. Screen Capture using Quicktime and AirPlay (at our school, we all should have quicktime on our devices, but for access to Airplay you need to talk to our IT person).
           3. Edit using iMovie
           4. Upload to Youtube
       iii. iPad Live
           1. Record and Edit using iMovie
           2. Upload to Youtube
Although Greg is now an expert at the flipping the classroom model and has developed his own methods of creating videos, I want to re-iterate that their are many, many ways to skin a cat – no, sorry. I mean to make a flipped classroom video. I know teachers who record their lessons on a whiteboard app and post the link to their class page. The trick is to play around with several different methods and see which one works for you.
As Greg said, don’t think you are going to get it perfectly the first time. It takes a little practice. Also, ask! That was a lot of information all in one go-don’t be afraid to ask for a one-on-one tutorial.
Thanks again Greg!

Official Scribes of the Classroom

The article below made me think of a conversation I had the other day with Mr. Math and Multi media about how it was going with his flipped classroom. He was telling me that since he required the students to take notes on the videos they must watch at home, it has been way more successful. He then took it a step further and not only required his students to take notes, but to post them to their math blogs.

All the students in his class (and now all of you) can benefit from their notes. The fact that they are public I suspect also contributes to the quality. I have made a pinterest board of all their blogs so you can peruse a sampling of their notes, or click on an individual pin to go their blog.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 8.34.36 AM

This is a great example of how you can leverage the use of the iPad (or any device) in the class, from watching the videos or presentations on the iPad, to making notes, to posting them on a blog. All this can be done with great ease on one device.

Below is an article on another way one can use the iPad and collaborative tools in order to create a class pool of notes.

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Alan November elevated the “Official Scribe” as one of the roles that empower student learners. I see the role of the scribe as follows: The official scribe plays an important role in the classroom…

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Apps for Math & Science Measurement

Via edshelf and curated by Glenda Stewart-Smith

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 9.06.13 AM


Read more…

Just checked out Easy Measure and was wowed by the coolness:

EasyMeasure shows you the distance to objects seen through the camera lens of your iPhone or iPad. Simply aim your iPhone/iPad to any object in your surroundings, and EasyMeasure displays the distance towards that object on top of the camera image. With its amazing 3D camera overlay grid, using EasyMeasure is very intuitive and easy!

Not sure how I would use this, but now I want to measure the distance between things- room measurements, perhaps?

A very useful list of apps, perfect for use the classroom!

Easy measure

Hidden Experts in the School: Mr. H, Math Teacher, Science Teacher and Ed Tech duderino

Mr. H: Hidden expert

Mr. H: Hidden expert

One of the unexpected but amazing outcomes of the iPad survey I’ve been conducting is that I am ferreting out the hidden experts in the school. Okay, in all fairness, my library seems to be the black hole for all rumours and gossip and grapevines (ironic for a place of knowledge, I know. Great on book knowledge, not so great on people knowledge) and I am probably the only one in the school who didn’t know about this, but still. Yay!

Mr. H is an Ed Tech dude! As well as being a teacher, he has had experience in the business world, and worked for LEARN where he could meld his interest in technology and education.

When asked about whether student engagement increases or decreases when he uses tech in his classroom, he brought up a point I had never thought of:

The students respond well if you start using a technology they have never seen before. It has an impact..they have the ability to suck it up so fast. Because button pushing is now in their DNA, when you bring something new to them it excites them.

He also thinks that that integrating technology in education is essential:

You have to put these [iPads, probes, computers] in kids’ hands because that is the environment they are going to work in.

My H. gave me some excellent places to find resources for integrating technology in the classroom. Most work on the iPad:

  • Phet: Interactive simulations (they don’t work so well on the iPad because of the pesky flash thingy- though some of the simulations are in java).
  • Edmodo: He will be giving a tutorial to our teachers soon about how to use it effectively in a classroom, so watch for it!
  • Schooladvice: This is his own website – Mr. H. maintains it as an unpaid, volunteer thing because he believes knowledge should be shared. Check out his Resources for teachers!
  • Thousands of lesson plans by teachers for teachers:

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Thanks Mr. H!