Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back Again!

New post for the first time in two months. I had to turn over admin priveleges for awhile because we were getting graded on our blogs. I'll admit that I didn't exactly get into the posts quite like I wanted to. It felt like it was more of a task than something I enjoyed. I actually would like to get this blog going as a way for me to vent some of my frustrations as well as discover some helpful ideas about new ways of doing things in the classroom. I think too often I try and rush out on my own and then get frustrated when things didn't work out like I had planned. I want to discover the right way to teach my students and still enjoy the job. Later!

If you look to the right there are links to several websites that I feel are great internet tools and resources. My wiki link is also located to the right and contains several links to very special tools gathered from some of the premo minds that have attended UWG.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

PBL Group Lessons

For the PBL project our group was expanded by one member. She has worked with us all extremely well and I think I speak for the group when I say that it was a pleasure having her join us. The following are brief descriptions of each group members lesson activities that when all relate in some way to the overall project of Fantasy Baseball and Mathematics:

Bethany: students would be "the dream team." We would take a trip over to the baseball field, "suit up" (the bball coach is the P.E. coach at the elementary school), and hold a "practice." During practice students would engage in basic fundamental agility-type practice activities. During the practice, students would measure and record:
1) the number of steps from one base to another
2) how far they can throw a baseball
3) how far they can slide
4) the weight of a baseball, bat, and glove
AND in the spirit of being a big leaguer...
5) how far they can spit sunflower seeds (cute, I know) :)
After practice, students will create a graph using the data they've collected. Pictures (a hopefully a couple of short video clips) of the practice will be compiled that the students will narrate (explain their actions in the pictures) with some fun, cute comments thrown in,
MovieMaker aspect would almost be secondary since the kids couldn't complete it independently. The graphs they will complete using Microsoft Word will be included in the MovieMaker project as well. This would address Measurement and Data and Probability standards from 3rd to 5th grade.

Zena:"Explore The Diamond": English to Metric System Conversion of MLB Stadium Home Plate to Center Field Distances. Students will choose a stadium and a character (their favorite baseball player or it can be themselves), create a CL of the character batting down the center field. They will be asked to display on the CL distance of their chosen stadium in feet and meters. Excel Chart Wizard will be used to compare CF distances of 3 stadiums that the student chooses using both.

Jane: The learning activity Fantasy Baseball Math Broadcasts provides an engaging way for students to speak both clearly and concisely about their content learning in math class and thereby further their comprehension of mathematics. Fantasy Baseball Math Broadcasts also provides an opportunity for students to develop their writing skills, public speaking skills and spoken vocabulary.

Leah: Research indicates that using sports in the classroom helps to increase student motivation in the classroom. This was one reason for implementing this project- to help increase student motivation in math. My lesson was developed to show that fantasy baseball can be implemented in the lower grade levels and vary across subjects. Fantasy baseball does not have to be carried out in the upper level math classes. My lesson proves this, and was developed for second grade in a reading or language arts classroom.

Cliff: Media and technology students will be filming the draft night and edit the footage to create the feel of an ESPN type broadcast. Students will engage in standards that require the use of technologies like: MovieMaker, iMovie, Garageband, and others.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

GAETC

I recently presented at the Georgia Educators Technology Conference in Atlanta, GA. My co-presenter and I felt that both of our presentations went extremely well, but we are always looking for feedback.

The two presentations were titled:
1) Fifty Great Websites and Technologies for Teachers
2) Work Smarter not Harder

The first presentation seemed to go over really well and will probably be delivered again next year with the proper upgrades.
The second presentation provided some difficulty due the diversity of the audience as it pertains to their usage of certain technologies.

We are looking for feedback or suggestions for upcoming conferences about what people would like to see, i.e. should we do a workshop instead of a presentation geared more toward a specific technology or should we present more in depth ways of using several technologies. Please offer any suggestions you may have as well as any new pieces of technology or websites you think people should know about.

Thank you for your time!

PBL Article Review

Teaching mathematics, I've noticed that students have difficulty with being able to visualize basic concepts and fundamentals. Not being able to do so makes recalling the operations needed to solved a problem that requires the use of these fundamental concepts. The new Georgia Performance Standards for math are theoretically designed to utilize an array of teaching pedagogy in order to allow students to connect mentally to the operations they are using. This article talks about the use of visual and nonvisual learning methods and how students readily adapt to the ways they are taught, if done at an early age. The concept of using fantasy baseball and mathematics supports the ideology that students perform better on fundamental mathematical skills when they can associate them with a visual memory.



Lowrie, T., & Kay, R. (2001). Relationship between visual and nonvisual solution methods and difficulty in elementary mathematics. The Journal of Educational Research, Mar/Apr 2001, Vol. 94 no4.

Friday, November 6, 2009

PBL Introduction

As project leader for this assignment, I have brought the proposal to the table about a project that my school is going to attempt to implement this spring. With Mathematic's scores being such a hot topic issue in the state during the past few years. My school is going to try fantasy baseball and mathematics to help promote active project based learning for grades 3-12 in the areas of mathematics. One advantage of the project is that is has shown to have success not only with the students but also with involving parents in their children's education. We plan to implement the use of blogs with this project as a way for students to share what they have learned, news about their teams, and reach out to other schools or students who may be competing as well.