Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tool # 9 - Integrating the Toys into the Classroom

I don't think technology will always be appropriate for every single bit of content we deal with in the classroom. Some concepts will lend themselves to online and technology based exploration more than others such as ones where real world application of a math concept can be seen or manipulated.

Students should be held accountable for what they learn no matter how they show their understanding and level of mastery. Whether it is a paper/pencil activity, something they build or results from questions on a computer program -- the how should not always matter but they are still accountable for the what.

I already use Thinkfinity, Mangahigh and Interactive in my classroom.  These resources have proved very useful when needing to show how changes in values affect lines and shapes.  I am sure some of the quizzes and practice problems we work as a whole group could be moved to small group/individual practice.  Students would need to write down some of the problems worked or the site would need to have a feature in which I could monitor each student’s responses.

I have heard from other teachers that there are some awesome apps available and after scanning the list for Math, SPED, 6-8, 9-12; I am thinking I will need to directly contact certain teachers in the district to learn more about the apps they have found useful.  I did not see many apps that matched my content nor didn’t seem too childish.  Many high school kids are very sensitive to how juvenile something might look to a peer.  In my opinion, “if it helps you learn a concept, who cares?”, but convincing a teenager to see the world that way is not an easy task.  This station would most likely be used the day after initial instruction or as a quiz/test review center.  The way I would have students be held accountable would be similar to what I wrote above. 

I enjoy pulling activities from the site Quia.  It is a site with shared quizzes, practices, websearches . . . all sorts of things other teachers have created and posted.  Also, many universities now have some of their curriculum available for FREE through iTunes.  I know that will not necessarily apply to my Math Basic kiddos but other teachers might find wonderful resources.

FREE college curriculum available on iTunes

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