Monday, June 29, 2009

Social Web

After going online multiple times throughout the term, I came to the conclusion that I was very dissatisfied with all the math forums I cam across on the web. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I could look for a forum that would answer any questions regarding teaching middle and high school math?

The best place I found to gather information, and to collaborate with my peers was after school discussions with the English teacher. We would spend anywhere from half-an-hour to an hour a day talking about anything from class management to individual differentiated techniques.

Another good resource that I received many good answers to my questions was the district principle. He taught math for many years and had good incite on almost any question I brought forth. He was also very willing to spend time with me, even though he was always busy.

I found personal interaction much more effective than an online forum. If I found a forum with the same kind of interaction I got personally, then it may have the chance to be very productive.
The World of Digital Story Telling
article written by Jason Ohler

review of article by Ryan Miller

Overview: Ten years ago a digital story project that included pictures, video, personal art, and composed music wasn’t available to most students. Using relatively inexpensive equipment, most students today, even in remote parts of America, have the opportunity to create digital stories....

read the full story
Albert Einstein

This digital story documents Albert Einstein's life, focusing on the research that made a positive or striking impact on me personally. For example, it was good to hear that Albert didn't do well in other classes outside of math and science. I too struggle with classes outside of science, and it's nice to know I'm in the company of Einstein on that one.

There were so many things that Einstein did in his life, it would have been impossible to fit everything in a four minute movie. Things I wish I could have touched upon was his family life, and how he seemed to do his best work when his marriages were going bad. It would have been fascinating to see how or if this played a part in his extensive studies.

Links: digital story, story board, rubric, biography text , and sited resources

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Graphing Bell Curves in Excel !!!

I always wanted to figure out a way to plot bell curves for my math classes to see how they scored relative to each other. One of the problems was the fact that I was limited to what programs I had access to on the school computers. After some research, I found a nifty way to plot a normal distribution using excel. After seeing how many steps it took and the amount of tools needed, I thought it would be a great idea to incorporate these findings into a probability and statistics unit.

I researched the techniques used in this unit by first reading a few forums regarding generating random numbers in Excel. After I saw how this could be done, I then fooling around in Excel implementing the new findings with techniques from experimenting withing the program.

The lessons generated will not only give the student understanding of average and distribution of samples, but will get the students using many different tools within Excel. This is a great springboard for more advanced topics using excel when using large lists of data.

click here to view the standards and lessons plans. (click on the bookmarks tab within the pdf for easy navigation)

Links: evidence of development of technical expertise, standards & lesson plans

Monday, June 22, 2009

Internet Resources

Purplemath is a cool website giving new ideas for my Algebra 1 classes. Purplemath is also nice getting students out of the math book and into a different medium. Even though I had a great text book for the class, it was nice to differentiate instruction.

I really enjoyed playing jeopardy in class. There were many places I went to get pre-made games, probably the place I frequented the most was here. gives students a second or third look who may need another angle when studying difficult material. This webpage has a decent amount of quality stuff.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Education of Philosophy Video

The link below takes you to a YouTube video of a visually enhanced narrative describing some of the most important aspects of my educational philosophy.

Energy Consumption Project - Results

My main goal for this project was to figure out how much extra fuel I was burning in the evenings when I turned my heat up to 70 degrees from 60.  I wanted to do this project because my landlord charges me a base rate for rent, and I was curious if my habit of keeping my house tropical was making him dip into is emergency savings.

After collecting the data in excel, I crunched the numbers and displayed the results in a powerpoint document which I then presented in a YouTube video.

Bottom line, I've concluded that my landlord is paying roughly $244.13 per month, instead of $228.75 per month if I were to keep it at a constant 60.  This is a 6.3% cost increase per month.

Evaluation of my Youtube presentation:
  • seemed to know what I was talking about
  • fairly good body control
  • good eye contact with the camera
  • explanations where mostly clear
  • rebounded well after being distracted
  • was able to complete lengthy presentation within 10 minute time limit
  • said umm too many times.
  • lost my train of thought when someone came to the door
  • recording was too quiet