Brainscape

I have been searching for any math app that I think people haven’t heard of or used before.  I searched for awhile and found some apps that were cool but you had to pay money and I’m too cheap to pay for apps so I found this gem called Brainscape.  It’s like Quizlet, basically a different way for definitions.  You can use Brainscape online, or download it on your phone or Ipad.  You can create your own flashcards or view flashcards that other users have made.  The app is very easy to use, there are categories or you can search for whatever you are looking for.ecmp7

Factoring polynomials is definitely in my top five things to teach and do in math, so that is what I searched for.

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As you can see, there were so many results from what I searched!

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I found one had good topics to what I was looking for and I decided to check the ‘Steps When Factoring’.

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You can view what the questions are before you start and see if those are the types of questions you are looking for.

The pictures above are examples of what the questions and answers look like.  Once it asks a question, you can the reveal the answer once you have thought about what the answer is.  Then it will tell you the answer.  Then you can rate how well you think you did on the question.  If you rate the question a 5, a message will pop up saying that the question will not be included in the rotation anymore.  Once you’ve started doing questions, under the title it’ll record the ratings you’ve given.  You can go over the questions as many times as you want.  Once you’ve started doing questions a second time, it’ll have an outline in the color you rated the question the first time you did it.

Once I did the Factoring cards I wanted to create my own.  I started my questions and I realized if you wanted to add a photo to the question you have to pay money.  So I would use this, as long as what I’m using didn’t require pictures because like I stated at the start of this blog  post: I’m a cheap person.

Overall I think this is a fairly neat app for anyone to use.  You don’t need to be a student or teacher to use this, anyone who wants to learn should try out this app again!  So anybody doing a learning project for their major project should check this out because maybe they have the topic you’re doing!

Thanks for reading, leave a comment or question!

 

 

 

 

 

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Course Outline

I got way ahead of myself!  I started off my lesson plans but I didn’t create a course outline!  I based this course outline off of the one my cooperating teacher used.  I taught Foundations 30 for three months during my internship so I ordered the units based on what order I taught the units in.  This is the course outline I created and below are the justifications for why I put units where they are.

I start off with a unit surrounding Venn Diagrams.  Most students consider this to be one of the easier units of the course, so it is a good unit to start up with.  It also sets up the next few units.  I then go into counting methods (combinations and permutations) and then probability (probability involves a lot off counting method problems).  Venn Diagrams can be used as a visual for many probability and counting method problems, which is why Venn Diagrams comes before those.

The next three units are all from the same outcome!  They all have to do with graphing and the characteristics of equations and graphs.  I put the three units together because they have a lot of overlapping concepts which is why I think it’s best to have them all together.

The last two units are financial units.  I put these two units at the end because they are kind of shorter units and if need be, the last unit can be covered after Christmas and before reviewing starts for finals.

Then there is a section for how the evaluation is sorted out.  There are four sections with how much they are worth.

Lastly, there are classroom expectations so that students understand on the first day of school what is expected for students to succeed in this course.

 

Adobe Spark for Definitions (6.1 Lesson)

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted because I’ve been on holidays in Disneyland (the happiest place on earth)!

As I mentioned in my earlier blog post, I tried out using Adobe Spark for the first time!  I really enjoyed using the online app and it was very easy to use.  Last week, I didn’t know what I wanted to do for presenting definitions for my polynomial unit.  We talked about Adobe Spark in class last week, and I realized that I could use this online app for the definitions portion of this unit.

I defined the following terms: Polynomial, leading coefficient, degree of the polynomial, turning points, end behavior, domain and range.  I also have visual examples for all of the definitions.

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This is an example of what the page I created looks like.  It is visually appealing and organized.  The definition is there with an example.

After reading Amy Martin’s blog, specifically her post on Educreations, I decided to take this lesson one step further.  She talked about having recordings for her students who were not in class or want another refresher on topics. So, I decided to use Screencastomatic to record myself talking about the definitions and examples for my Polynomials unit!  Basically, I explained the definitions and examples in the way that I would explain it as if I was in front of a class full of students.  This way students can see this video from home if they need a refresher or if they were not there for the lesson.  Here is the Screencast I created.

I used Screencastomatic in ECCMP355 for my final summary of learning project.  It is a screencast so you can record your voice and what is on the screen.  It is very easy to use and I would definitely recommend using it.  It is free, but you can upgrade for money.  You do need to download it, but it doesn’t take long.

I also decided to use Google Forms for an exit note for students to complete! I created this survey on how confident they were in the new concepts we learned.  This is an easy way to figure out where students are at and it’s online so no paper needed!

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I also used Kahoot to create a formative assessment for students to do.  I love Kahoot, it’s free, super easy to use and my kids loved it.  I created a Kahoot on the different polynomial characteristics.

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The question, picture and answers can be projected on a whiteboard/Smartboard in the classroom.  Then students can use their phones or laptops to pick which answer they think is right.  I created another Screencast talking about Kahoot and going through the Kahoot I created.

Also, another thing I love about Kahoot but I don’t think many people know about it, is that you can save the results of the Kahoot and download it onto Excel!

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You can see how many players and questions there are.  You can see all of the students overall results and also go into each individual question and see the how students did.

I’m excited to continue my unit plan with the next topic which is using graphing calculators and excel to create graphs and answer word problems!

Leave a comment if you have any questions, comments, things I can adapt and other additional thoughts!  Have a great day!

 

Adobe Spark!

I’m not the best with technology, I have a hard time using technology but I really enjoyed using Adobe Spark!  Adobe Spark is a free online/mobile design graphic app.  You can create posts, pages and videos.  After watching a tutorial video for Adobe Spark, I began creating a page!page

To start off with, you add a title and a subtitle.  Then you can add a background to spruce up the page a bit.  Note that there are many options for pictures: Uploading photos from a computer, looking through creative common photos and photos you have in a Dropbox or Google Photos.

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From there, you can start creating your own page!  You can add photos, videos, text, a photo grid and a glideshow (pictures that fade in and fade out one after the other).

That’s basically all there is to it for pages!  Pages can go on as long as you want.  I successfully completed my first page on Adobe Spark.  I did it on polynomial definitions and examples.  I think it turned out well.  I didn’t have a very difficult time creating the page and I would definitely use it again.

This is the preview of creating a video using Adobe Spark.  You can pick the theme you want and go from there.  You can add videos, text, music and voice recordings!  I haven’t tried creating a video but there is a short how to use this video when you are about to begin and it really did not seem difficult to use.

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Pros

– Free and no downloading.
– Able to upload photos and look through creative common photos to use.
-Has spell check.
-Tutorial videos if you need them.
-Easy way to create videos and pages of information

Cons

-As far as I know, you couldn’t have multiple text/picture bubbles in the glideshow.
-I don’t think there is a way to make the font bigger/smaller or have the text as a different color other than black.

Overall, I really enjoyed using Adobe Spark and I think it was a nice way to present the definitions for the polynomial unit.  The picture below is part of the page I created.  This is an organized way to present the information and it is visually appealing.

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One Final Thought:  This is a great resource for not only teachers but students as well.  Students could use Adobe Spark for projects for a variety of classes!

Assessment

This is an exit note that could be done at the end of class after completing 6.2.  It would be an easy way to make sure students are understanding the concepts.  If students aren’t understanding the material, you could go over the concepts with the entire class.

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I have also created a mid-chapter review for students to complete after we have finished going over the handout from 6.2.  This would be for marks.

If at anytime there is leftover time at the end of class or if you want to start the class with this, there is an online matching game for polynomials with a degree less than 3.  You could even make it into a competition if you wanted to.  See how many matching you can get done in x amount of minutes.  This would be a fun way to do some review!

A Good Start!

I have a good start on my major project and I so far really enjoying this project!  I have started to create a summary of my unit plan that includes concepts that students should understand by the end of the unit and a brief description of each lesson.  I have also created the second lesson plan.

I decided to start with a lesson that has students pair off and use an online graphing calculator, called Desmos, to determine a variety of characteristics of a horizontal line, linear function, quadratic function and a cubic function.  I think Desmos is a great app (it can be downloaded on phones/Ipads and can also be used online) that is easy to use and really gives students a good visual representation of the characteristics of the polynomials we would look at.  For instance, below is an example of a quadratic function and students can see that a positive a value will make the graph open up.

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Before the handouts are given, we would watch two introduction videos to Desmos, one intro to Desmos video and one on sliders.  After that, in pairs, students will each complete a hand out that students will need to complete.  We would then go over it as a class.  If students disagree on an answer or are confused, you can project Desmos on the SmartBoard and the students can visually see what the answer is and a further discussion can be had.  I love using Desmos for this part of the unit because not only is it free but students can manipulate the graphs to find out the different characteristics on their own.

I realized after creating this lesson that there would be new definitions and concepts that students had not seen before.  I’m searching for a way to present these new definitions in a different way than me at the board saying ‘here is the word and this is the definition’.  I want to find some online app to use to change it up a bit.  So if you have any ideas, let me know please!  So the Desmos will really be the second lesson and I’m still thinking of a unique way to do the definitions!

So far, I think this major project is going well, even though I started the second lesson instead of the first lesson!  I’ve had a lot of fun so far creating handouts and finding new online apps to use in the classroom!

Edmodo

This week we were asked to look at any of the LSMs that we looked at in class.  I decided to look at Edmodo and use Edmodo for my major project for this class.  I really like Edmodo because it is an easy way to get in contact with students and parents.  You can post word documents/google docs so if students miss a class you can put the notes/assignment online and students can access it there.  I am not great with technology and I found the site easy to use.  You can also schedule to post things at a specific time or day.  The only thing about that is make sure to double check the date and time!  You don’t want to accidentally set something to post at 4am instead of 4pm!  Teachers can post assignments that students can complete online or print out and complete.  I would definitely use this in my class because it is easy to use and it is free!

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That is more or less what the homepage for a class might look like!

Major Project

This semester, I will be doing my major project on a Foundations of Mathematics 30 unit.  The unit I will be covering is part of the outcome FM30.7 Demonstrate understanding of the representation and analysis of data using: Polynomial functions with a degree less than 3.  I love this unit and am very excited to incorporate a variety of technology that I would not have thought of before this class!  I hope to gain different ways I can incorporate technology from this course.

I am excited for this opportunity because I am not great with technology.  I have a difficult time with it sometimes (actually, most of the time) so this will be a good opportunity for me to make myself better with using technology.

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My game plan is to start out with looking at the unit, finding the key concepts and making a list of things I would expect students to know by the end of the unit.  From there, creating sections that the unit will be split into.  During this time, I will also be researching different technology applications to use during the unit.  Once I have the sections planned out, I will then start planning each individual lesson using different sources of multimedia.  I will also try to find ways to use technology with formative and summative assessment.

Graphing lines is so much fun and I really enjoy this topic in math so I’m looking forward to this major project!

Introductory Blog!

Good afternoon everyone!  I’m looking forward to ECMP400, I know I’ll learn a lot of valuable things for when I have my own classroom.  I’m in my last semester of school, I’m a math major and a health minor.  I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was six and so I’m excited to be finishing up school and starting my career!  I love the Dallas Cowboys and I’m still upset over their loss on Sunday.

This class will be good opportunity to learn about different apps that are available for students and teachers.  By the end of the semester, I want to be able to have resources for math, health and science.  I hope by the end of the class,  I will have different teaching techniques to use in the classroom.

Another goal I have is tied into my learning project for the semester.  I’ll be the first to admit I am not great with technology.  I got more used to technology during my internship but I still have a long ways to go!  My learning project is all about creating a movie recut video.  I have been very interested in this concept and I look forward to a challenging but fun learning project.

The third goal I have is to find different technology resources for adapting lesson plans for students.  This will be very beneficial because it can help students and at the end of the day that’s what teaching is all about!

Demonstration of Learning

My philosophy of assessment and evaluation has changed throughout this semester due to this class (ECS 410) and my pre-internship experience.  I thought I knew a little about assessment but this class showed me there is so much more to it than I thought.  Also, now I know the difference between assessment and evaluation, at the start of the semester I definitely thought they were the same thing.  Assessment is so important for teachers and students I am glad we were able to have the opportunity to take a class on assessment.

People assume that there are only tests and quizzes in math and I think for many math teachers that is the only option.  I have learned from this class though that there are many forms of assessment and we should be using them in math classes to help students succeed.  My philosophy now is that diagnostics should be done at the beginning of every unit and should never be for marks.  Then teachers can refer back to the diagnostic throughout the semester and it gives students a chance to demonstrate to teachers what they know and what they can improve on.  I rarely ever did diagnostics in high school but this is something I want to incorporate into my classroom.

This class opened my eyes to formative assessment.  Not everything needs to be for marks and I think students and parents need to realize that.  From my field experience it seemed like teachers were pressured to put marks into Home Logic.  Formative assessment is very important because it gives teachers a chance to see where students are and as a class, where they should go from there.  Overall my philosophy has changed a lot this semester and I am sure will change as I gain more experience in the classroom.

Assessment strategies:

There was a variety of assessment strategies that I tried during my pre-internship, here is three different ones that my partner and I tried.

Quiz – A check in to make sure students understand the work and not only doing it with peers.  For many students, their marks between the homework and the quiz differed quite a bit.  I would use the quiz again but change the wording because many students misread the question.  Maybe next time I would bold or underline key words.  This was a good check in for the unit because we were able to see where students were going wrong and what we needed to address before moving on.

Mid-Chapter Review: A multiple choice review, but students needed to show their work, they could not just select an answer.  I would use this assignment again.  I liked the format of this assignment, leaving blank space for students.  I gave more time for students if they needed it and most of them did need extra time.  I guided them through some questions; they knew how to do it but needed help getting there.

Co-op had a rule that students could correct assignments, hand them back in and get half marks for the corrections.  I think that is a good idea, because students would have motivation to do the corrections and see where they went wrong.

Chocolate cake challenge: Formative assessment (assessment by observation).  Jon and I walked around the classroom while students did the activity.  We saw most students engaged but still found that sometimes only one person in the partnership did the work.  I really enjoyed the activity though and would do the activity again.  It gave students a chance to figure out for themselves where the formula came from.  It was a neat experience because when I was in high school we were for sure just given the formula and told to plug in a number.

I did not include students in assessment though.  I would include students if I was doing a project, I would include them in the process of creating a rubric for the project.  My assessment and evaluation practices in the field aligned with my philosophy.  There were no real barriers that I had during pre-internship.  My partner and I had the same ideas of what kinds of assessment we wanted to do.  Our co-operating teachers had some requirements (unit tests, projects, quizzes) but we were able to design them ourselves if we wanted to.

3 Key Learnings:

  1. Tests are not the only option, that being said I don’t think there will be a day where high school students won’t have finals. There are such a variety of assessment strategies (group tests, diagnostic, journals, take home tests, projects, assignments, etc.) but I still feel like most math teachers still only use tests and quizzes for assessment strategies.  I honestly do not know how to be the only teacher using a variety of assessment strategies.  It might take students some getting used to because they probably aren’t used to different styles of assessment.
  1. Consistent marking is everything. Teachers need to keep their marking consistent for everything they correct.  I think having an outline of where the marks are coming from for each question can help with that.
  2. Differentiation is not always easy but it is so important. Before the semester started I really was not sure how to differentiate in the classroom.  From doing assignments, talking about it in class and my field experience I feel like I have a better understanding of how to differentiate.