Wednesday, July 25, 2012

11 Tools - Tool 11

Favorite Tools
  • Dropbox
  • Mathalicious
  • MangaHigh
  • LiveBinders
  • Edmodo - a social and collaboration tool that can be used to assess and engage students.
New Visions
  • I think I've had a head start in accommodating technology into my classroom. I've learned what works and what doesn't. My vision for this next school year has evolved into students taking a more proactive role in their learning with the use of technology. Technology allows for collaboration to take place more easily in and out of the classroom.
  • I was surprised by the amount of resources readily available to teachers in Spring Branch. 

11 Tools - Tool 10

I think students need to learn and practice good etiquette when using online tools. Though many of the tools are "social", the students should keep comments and posts relevant to the topics being taught. I think we can teach students how to distinguish good sites from bad and reenforce student accountability.

Two resources that can be used in a class discussion for digital citizenship are BrainPop and SBISD Ed Tech.

11 Tools - Tool 9

Technology is important to incorporate - students use technology outside of school all of the time. I have used several of these methods in my class and I know that there are definite benefits - student engagement is increased and math's real world relevance is increased.

The technology pieces in use in the classroom should not be considered any different than other tools for learning. Students are always accountable for these tools, whether they be rulers, manipulatives or iPads. For students accountability, a reflection will be required detailing what they learned at each station and which was their favorite and why.

I've used and will continue to do so. At times, I've also used For this next year, I plan on using and ManipulaMath. These sites allow teachers to reach ALL learners.

For the iPods/iPads, I would like students to use the ShowMe app. They will also be creating podcast explaining their solution to a problem or creating their own problem for the class.

11 Tools - Tool 8

I've had iPods, Macbooks and netbooks in my class for several years. I use the laptops as stations during math rotations. iPods are sometimes used this way as well, depending on the lesson. The laptops are also used by students without access to computers at home so that they can access Edmodo.

In this upcoming year, I'll be receiving iPads and I'd like students to use apps like ShowMe to record and share their answers or explanations to questions. They could even create their own word problems to share with the class.

Select students in each class are in charge of caring for equipment.

11 Tools - Tool 7

For this next school year, I will be using project ideas from, which teaches "standards-based math through real-world topics that students care about." Some of these projects include:
  • Wealth of Nations - measures of Central Tendency
  • Wheel of Fortune - percents & probabilities
Some of my ideas are to Skype and/or Edmodo with different classes on various Spring Branch campuses. I'd like to see collaboration at the class level where the classes discuss roadblocks, findings, reflections, etc.

11 Tools - Tool 6

I started using as my tool to create a flipped classroom. Edmodo is very similar to Facebook in it's look and use. I think this helped with students willingness to participate, especially since Edmodo has a mobile phone app that allowed the students to participate more easily. Within Edmodo, I created groups for each of my classes. For students who didn't have a computer, they could use class computers during lunch or library computers after school.

There are a few ways that I used Edmodo in the classroom:
  • I would post videos into the class group and the students would have to view and answer questions. The student's answers were private and came directly to me. The most interesting result of this was getting elaborate answers from students that were very quiet in class. I was also able to guide the students if I saw that they were going in the wrong direction or had any misunderstandings of the concepts. I also found that students who were shy or embarrassed to ask a question in class were comfortable to ask in Edmodo.
  • As one of three stations during math rotations. Edmodo has a new Quiz feature that allows you to post a quiz using multiple choice, true/false or short answers. This gave me immediate feedback on student mastery of the concept.
  • For this upcoming year, I will be posing a high level question and having students respond and collaborate with each other.

For this upcoming year, I want to try
  • Today's Meet - to allow students to ask questions during lecture without interrupting the class. I hope this will help shy students pose their questions in class.
  • Poll Everywhere - to get students to participate in surveys. It's like using ActiveExpressions or ActiveVotes, but students use their own mobile devices.

11 Tools - Tool 5

I've been creating my own videos since the 2011-12 school year. The videos have been tutorials covering various topics. I've created them to supplement what we learn in class. I host them on my own blog,, while also posting them on Edmodo.

The videos are helpful to those students that need a refresher on a certain topic and for students that were absent.

I use BB Flashback screen recording software to create the videos. I tried Jing, but didn't like that it had a 5 minute time limit, even with the paid version. BB Flashback has move export options and produces better quality videos.

For student use, I think Jing would be perfect. It's user friendly and the time limit isn't an issue.

This is a sample video from my site:

11 Tools - Tool 4

Since each student has a Google account, I like to use Google spreadsheets with the students when covering the Central Tendency unit. Students share with me and each other the data that they've collected. Google Forms would be nice to use with the students - for example, surveying the students to verify that mastery has been met.

If my team and I were working on a file where collaboration was needed, I would use Google Docs. For sharing completed documents, I would used our shared folder on Dropbox.

I also use to store and organize media (pdf, flipcharts, video, docs) by unit. This allows me to stay organized by keeping in one place all data related to a unit. LiveBinders can also be shared with others on your team.

11 Tools - Tool 3

I've been using online video for awhile. I like the videos from Khan Academy, and TeacherTube. I like to embed them into my Edmodo posts for my students, pose a question and have them respond to the question and each other.

Below is a sample video from

And a sample from Khan Academy

As for Dropbox, I've been a user for several years. I use it as my primary storage for school related documents. I have a shared folder with my math team where we share documents. This is much easier than emailing files back and forth.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

11 Tools - Tool 2

I feel more comfortable commenting on teachers blogs from my own campus at this point.  I would have enjoyed leaving more comments if the captia didn't require me to enter two very illegible "words"every time.

I currently follow MindShift ...this blog has many interesting articles about new tech in the classroom and philosophies.

I will also start following Ms. Seelbachs Science blog Mrs. Seelbach's Science Class and Ms. Gottlieb's Language Arts blog Ms. Gottlieb's Great Readers.  I think it's very helpful to see what other teachers are doing in other content areas and how we can connect them in our specific content area.

11 Tools - Tool 1

is DONE!  Setting up the blog was very easy with the help of Mr. Rivera!  I enjoyed picking out the background and playing with different fonts.