Friday, January 17, 2014

Slides from Presentations at Archbishop Williams High School

I had a great day talking to teachers at Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree, Massachusetts. In addition to meeting a bunch of new teachers, it was a pleasure to connect in-person with long-time readers Linda and Linda. As I usually do, I promised to post the slides from my presentations here for those who attended and for anyone else who wants to see them. (The slides don't mean nearly as much without me talking).

Discovery & 3M Young Scientist Contest Opens to U.S. 5th-8th Graders

Discovery and 3M are hosting their Young Scientist Challenge again this year. This contest is open to U.S. students in grades five through eight. The challenge for students is to create a short video in which they identify an everyday problem relative to their lives and present their solutions using using concepts from science, technology, engineering, and math. The grand prize for this contest is $25,000 and many smaller prizes including trips to Costa Rica are also to be awarded. Contest FAQs are available here. The entry deadline is April 22.

Applications for Education
Even if your students aren't going to enter this contest, you might want to take a look at the supporting lesson plans. The lesson plans are intended to get students thinking about the role of science in their daily lives.

Now You Can Add Audioboo Recordings to Thinglink Images

Audioboo and Thinglink are two services that I've introduced a lot of teachers to over the last couple years.  If you're unfamiliar with these two tools, Audioboo is a service for creating short audio messages and Thinglink is a tool for creating interactive images. You can now use the two services together. After recording an Audioboo message you can now insert it into a Thinglink image.

Applications for Education
One of the ways that you could use the pairing of Audioboo and Thinglink is to have students create short audio recordings about the people in and circumstances of a famous picture. For example, I might have students create audio recordings about the people in this picture of Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office of President of the United States. Students would then take those recordings and insert them into the picture in Thinglink.

In the video below I demonstrate how to create interactive images in Thinglink. Click here for 73+ examples of using Thinglink in classrooms.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

100,000+ Assessments Added to OpenEd's Resources Catalog

OpenEd is a service that has created a huge catalog of educational videos and games that you can browse by topic, grade level, or Common Core standard. Recently, assessments were added to the OpenEd catalog. Assessments can be found in the same manner as videos and games. To find an assessment select a topic, grade level, or standard then search.

Applications for Education
As a registered OpenEd user (registration is free and takes less than thirty seconds to complete) you can create courses and playlists of videos and other materials that you find in the OpenEd directory. You can align your courses and playlists to standards. Adding assessments to your courses could be a good way to provide your students with some self-study / self-quiz materials to review before coming into your classroom.

Would You Rather - Quick and Fun Math Lessons

Last month I shared a list of math lesson resources for middle school and high school teachers. At the end of the post I invited you to email me with suggestions for more resources. Jamie Rykse recently took me up on that and emailed me a great set of resources. Two of the items that jumped out at me from Jamie's list were blogs called Would You Rather? and Estimation 180.

Would You Rather? presents a picture with a mathematics problem that asks "would you rather?" The questions that I looked through all had a financial aspect to them. One of my favorite examples from Would You Rather? is this November 7th entry that asks "would you rather buy unleaded gasoline at $3.49 per gallon with cash or at $3.59 per gallon with a credit card that gives 3% cash back?"

Estimation 180 contains 180 pictures that contain a prompt to estimate something like height, quantity, or volume.

Applications for Education
In my email to Jamie I mentioned that Would You Rather? is a resource that I could see myself using in an Intro to Personal Finances course. Would You Rather? provides a great context for math lessons that students can relate to.

Jamie's email to me contained some other resources that I've included below as he described them to me. 

Visual Patterns: by Fawn Nguyen
Math Munch by Anna Weltman,  Justin Lanier, and Paul Salomon
  • On the "For Teachers" page, the "Why Math Munch" gives an overview. Also includes link to a Tedx Talk they did.  Favorite quote: "We write Math Munch to help more kids find something mathematical that they love."
  • I had the opportunity to room with Justin at Twitter Math Camp '13 and got to see first hand his passion behind the above quote.
  • How Fawn Nguyen uses Math Munch in the classroom:
    Really, if you are a middle school math teacher you must follow her.

Common Core Problem Based Curriculum Maps by Geoff Krall
  • He has pulled together tasks and problems from others like fellow math bloggers and sites like the mathematics assessment project (a resource onto its own
  • He created curriculum maps for grades 5 to Algebra 2 using those resources that you can use and modify to fit your needs.

All of these resources are from my limited participation in the Math Twitter Blogosphere ( #MTBoS.  If I were to meet a new math teacher, I would point them there and say participate as much or as little as you can handle. Be prepared for a fire hose of resources and many very kind math teachers putting themselves out there and sharing what they do. I would also encourage them to participate in a Global Math Department session (