Limits in Plain English [[RELOADED]]

Back in October, I posted a video from the ongoing “Calculus in Plain English” series that my students have created about Limits. It was great and recieved a lot of positive feedback from students and colleagues. So, when I was asked by my principal to submit a technology project for our district’s digital media fair, it was a “no-brainer”…we had to enter “Limits in Plain English! My students were wa-a-a-a-y more tech savvy in December than they were when they orginally made the video, so we took a few days to update the original video with screencasts and sound effects. We also had to create a 2-minute intro/trailer for the project, which you see above. I am very happy with the result and think my students should be very proud! They used Google Docs to collaborate on the script. Here is a quick screencast I made to show how my students use Google docs for projects like this:

Screencast-o-matic.com is a website where you can create FREE, no-download required screencasts through any Java-enabled browser.  It took all of five minutes for my students to figure out how use this awesome tool to update the instructional segments of their video.

Check out the new, IMPROVED Limits in Plain English!!!

Google Desktop

I’m no Einstein, but, thanks to my Google desktop sidebar, I get a taste of his wisdom every single day! Here’s today’s inspiration:

Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant. Together, they are powerful beyond imagination.

I can also see the time, have a calculator always available on my desktop, an rss feed of any type of news I want, my latest gmail, google calendar and twitter updates, and much more.  This is an incredible tool for my personal desktop, as it keeps me connected to so much while I work on other things.  it’s kind of like the “crawl” at the bottom of the screen when you watch CNN or the local news.  When it gets to be too much (which it will :S) you even have the option to minimize it to a little search bar at bottom of your screen.

I think the best way I use this tool is on my interactive whiteboard.  My new love is having my sidebar up on the projector with the time and a feed of info from my favorite sites related to the topic I’m teaching.  There are countless “gadgets” (sidebar apps) that you can install to customize your Google desktop.  Right now, I have Michelle Singletary’s “The Color of Money” page feeding to my sidebar “web clips” gadget when I’m working on the Promethean board in my financial math classes. The rss feed can provide fodder for discussion, do now’s, journals, early finishers, etc.

Get your own!

who dat? we dat.

On the first day of class, (in January) my students played Financial Football, a game created by “Practical Money Skills for Life”, a website that offers a ton of online money management tools for young people. The students enjoyed and have been asking me everyday to play it since the Saints won the NFC championship. They played today for good luck before the Super Bowl. We use activotes and the Promethean board to play.
Our class was mentioned in Tuesday’s paper for our efforts: http://www.nola.com/superbowl/index.ssf/2010/02/schools_adapt_lessons_to_capit.html
Please visit these sites to see Financial Football and the other tools offered by its makers, check out the photos of my students enjoying the game, and please pray for our boys in Miami on Sunday night!!!

Practical Money Skills for life
http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/
Financial Football
http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/games/trainingcamp/
Brees Connection 🙂
http://practicalmoneyskills.com/about/press/releases/092308.php

A few videos for your viewing pleasure…

I have also included the president’s message to students that aired last week. Regardless of our political affiliations, I think we owe it to our kids to allow them to have the once in a lifetime opportunity to hear the message that this president has for them. This is a message for young and old, and I will be sure to share it with my children, since they did not get to see it at their (public) school.

I have been constantly getting requests to help my fellow teachers with using their Promethean boards. While I will not have the time to meet every request, there is help available 24-7. Teachertube has a series of videos called Promethean Activtips where teachers can search and find video tutorials on a plethora of topics from setting up the board to using advanced features. Below is an example of an Activtip Video. You’ll find them to be short, to the point, and available for you to watch again and again until you master the skill being taught. Visit the Promethean Planet Teachertube page for more, including teacher features showing teachers who have successfully integrated their board in their instruction and short cartoon videos that give quick and easy to integrate strategies that you can put to use in your classroom.

powerpoint + promethean = :D

Happy New Year! I’m on a powerpoint kick right now, since I am so in love with my new Promethean board. I am attaching a quiz that I used powerpoint to create and presented with the ActivStudio Desktop overlay to give an Activote quiz. It was pretty awesome, and I know I can do much more with practice. I am trying to incorporate my board as more than just a high-tech whiteboard. I also save and publish our written notes as powerpoint files to the course calendar daily so students can use them for future reference. Here is an example. Nothing complicated– just some homework problems we did in class.Note the imported Geogebra screenshot on slide 13…hotness!

Stay tuned…my stats class is working on a great project that I will be posting video of ASAP!

In other news…

this was too cute for me to not post(…and what math geek doesn’t love pencils?)!