Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Avid Training

So I went to an AVID pathways training last week (11/27 & 11/28) and our presenter reinforced some ideas: like TV sets the attention span of our students and we should look at doing some break up activity every 10-15 minutes. Some of the ideas he shared are doing a warm-up like a review of volume, then taking a sheet of paper and cutting it exactly in half and forming two different cylinders (by folding the hot dog and hamburger ways) and asking the students to "Vote with their feet" by saying the left side of the room is the short fat cylinder can hold more M&Ms and the right side of the room says the tall skinny cylinder can hold more M&Ms or those who stand in the middle think the both will hold equal amounts of M&Ms. After seeing the distribution toss out the "Brain" (often called the talking stick) and have people from the three groups make statements to persuade someone from the other groups to change their mind (of course the person who convinces another gets a prize). Then after every one's had the opportunity to bring someone over explain the Volume solutions.

Another example he gave was "4 corners." In the west corner is the walking trail, the North corner is one lane dirt road, the East corner is paved street and the South corner is the autobahn. Meaning the west is people who know nothing, the north knows a little, East has played with it but not in depth knowledge, South knows all there is to know. He gave the name "facebook" and we all moved. Then starting with the west we explained what we knew.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Project ideas

1. Lowering the drinking age
2. Decriminalizing marijuana
3. Fingerprinting students for use in schools - lunch, book check out, fines, etc
4. Uniforms in schools
5. Curfew laws
6. Religion in schools
7. Off campus Lunch
8. Creationism vs. Evolution being taught in schools
9. Use of technology in the classroom (or lack there of)
Should students be allowed to use their phones during class?
Should teachers send tests to thier students phones?
Does background music improve learning?
10. Healthcare - private personal coverage vs. global governmental coverage
11. Immigration - various issues abound here

Students should be allowed to generate their own topics with approval of instructor and it be in the boundaries of a policital issue with statistical persuasions either for or against the position.

Continuing the project

Here's the latest thoughts on continuing the project. We have a time line of before Christmas break. This week til Thursday Ms. Bucher is doing and introduction to research and what is a source. Thursday and Friday Ms. Enoch and I will show and have the students select their political topic to do research on. We'll divide time up among the three of us for research on from December 3 to the 12th and from the 13th to the 19th have them create their multimedia final project of a commercial, PowerPoint (type) presentation or short film. With student presentations on the 20th and the 21st.

Monday, November 19, 2007

10 math questions

So I'm trying to use an idea from a book by Lynne Kelly called "Challenging Minds." The idea is to have students answer questions that may or may not have answers in traditional resource places. The example they use is "What is an Apgar test?" the problem with the question is that I found an answer on google, which I believe is the primary resource for most people; however,the idea is that if a student had asked their mom or a recent mother they would be able to explain what a Apgar Test is. So for an introduction to the research/persuasion project we thought it would be best to find 10 questions each for Civics, Statistics, and Persuasion. I'll post comments for some of my ideas.

Adding on to the unit project

So the idea comes in that we need to help our students become better at projects, not only the resources to look at how to manage their time. I've collaborated with my team (Tonya and Patti Jo) about how we can work together to support eachother. So we reconfigured another project for GT kids. We're going to ask 20 or so questions from our respective fields and have the kids take the questions home to murr over (most probably set aside) then have them complete research with text sources only for one day and finally two days for internet research. The idea is that they realize that books and the internet are not their only resources for information. People too have knowledge and they are often the best resource we can find and trust.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

End of term 1

So I had lots of great ideas and no time to implement. So here's my thought: term 2 work collaboratively with my team and create a team project in which we all have differing assignments/goals based upon the student position on a political idea or opinion. So I can keep track myself here are some possible ideas

1. Lowering the drinking age
2. Decriminalizing marijuana
3. Fingerprinting students for use in schools - lunch, book check out, fines, etc
4. Uniforms in schools
5. Curfew laws

Ideally a webquest can be set up for the students to explore these ideas and pick groups for themselves to work on a project that either supports or arguees against the statistics, the article or the claim itself. From there, I'd like to employ the use of Zoomerang and have the kids create a survey to see if the other students as a whole either agree or disagree with the claim.

Monday, October 1, 2007


So I'd like to talk about teachers needing time to decompress. We always talk about wait time when dealing with our students, and how we need to give them time to process and learn the material. What about teachers? As a global learner i've been trying to put into practice all the things that were presented that I wanted to take back to my classroom. However, I'm finding that task difficult because I never let myself decompress about what happens during a day. Sure I reflect here and on my own when I don't have a place to write/blog; however, it never feels like enough. I've been working on my classroom management with several teachers in the hopes my student will be mature enough to use technology in a learning appropriate way, but they have trouble coming prepared, doing work, and treating books, calculators, desks, other students and the adults in my room with the respect they deserve. I saw it best when I took my classes down to the lab (where each student had their own computer to use) and helped them set up gmail, blogger, wikispaces, and gizmo accounts. They all did fine with the email (as far as I could tell) but the majority couldn't go further and I spent most of my time redirecting the technoliterate students away from other webpages and focuse on the ones they should be on.

Oh, well. This is mostly me just venting and looking for answers that possibly don't exist for my classroom right now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

So I discovered something interesting during the ACHS homepage professional development by Dave Tarwater. The site is not across the board for all google applications. For instance my I can access my email once I'm in the site, however if I go to the google search page and click the sign in icon near the top left and try loggin in using my email and use the same password from the adams14schools page it tells me that my username and password do not match. However, I created a blogger account awhile back an if I use that password it signs me in. I find it strange. I'll talk to Dave, the Tech Man, Tarwater. Regina put up a comment that he needs a cape, I say we gotta get him the full costume!

So i've been working on trying to get access to my other blog account through and it seems it was a simple case of inputing the wrong password. I guess I wasn't as diligent in using docs as a place for storage of accounts, logins, and passwords. Funny stuff.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Been awhile

So it's been awhile since I posted. I first want to thank some of the teachers that personally work with me: Michelle Troch, Carmen Herrada & Annette Garcia. I was having some trouble getting my large (31 student) last block class to settle down, get work done and not distract others. I tried some strategies like changing seats, breaking up class activities, recording them and adding adults to the classroom. As painful as it was to get sick last thursday, it pushed Michelle to try some of her strategies (and some we discussed like no group work, no bathroom, no electronics and consequences) with the class and with that introduced I get to help continue the structure she set up and enforce those consequences.

I continue to have trouble with student access to computers outside of class. I sent an email to all of my students through the adams14schools account with an extra credit assignment, and only one of my almost 100 students chose to complete the blog post.

I did have success with my block two and setting them up to use gizmo's. They were alot more tech advanced than I thought and most of them completed 3 gizmo activities and quizzes in one class session.

I'm still not managing my time effectively to grade, plan, and post to my website. However, I did set my team up with theirs at Click here. We'll see how the rest of the trimester and year goes.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I've also had issues with the school google accounts. There are many students I've referred to Chris about their student accounts however on a personal note I created a blog through my account and after logging out I can't get back in. These are just my frustrations

Technical difficulties

So I've been experiencing technical difficulties lately. First in TAAT my students were mixed up compared to my class roster. Second, I've been (Thursday and Friday) able to connect to the wireless router in SW200 from the Math Laptop cart. Today I tried to move the laptop cart and the router into my room and found that none of the laptops, mine nor the laptops from the cart to connect to with anything greater than the comment of "limited or no connectivity." I'm still working on a couple of troubling issues regarding student participation and the clickers. For some reason I've got a hand full that plain hate the device and what it stands for, so they simply refuse to participate, and most of them are my better performing students. Very troubling issue for me right now.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Google docs

So I just learned that I can save documents in MSWord and then upload them into google docs. Apparently, I've been bad about saving directly to my classroom drive and not my network, so I'll have to try it with a couple of items I've created lately.

On a different note, I'm working with Annette Garcia again this year. My focus will be how to use the SIOP lesson plan to convey all the information I need it to. For example sub plans. I used to use an agenda format in the plan book and it was great for me, but I need it to address the needs of an outsider - interpretation, understanding, standards, direction, order, etc. Hopefully it works out so I'm not spending hours doing it.


yesterday I was excited because the kids wanted to know when the next time we'd use the clickers? This caught me by surprise, since the first day I gave it they became disinterested after the 15th question.

Sunday, August 26, 2007



August 21 & 22


Principals of Algebra, Algebra and Geometry


Introductory days activity


1)Students develop number sense and use numbers and number relationships in problem-solving situations and communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems.
6)Students link concepts and procedures as they develop and use computational techniques, including estimation, mental arithmetic, paper-and-pencil, calculators, and computers, in problem-solving situations and communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems.

Content Objective (Colorado State Standards to be covered):

1.1Demonstrating meanings for real numbers, absolute value, and scientific notation using physical materials and technology in problem-solving situations.

Language Objective:

Student Outcomes (what should students know and be able to do?):

Be able to explain why 25/5 is not 14 and what the people in the video did wrong.

Conduct an experiment to test the validity of the statement that our intuition is wrong.

Key Vocabulary

Supplementary Materials

Probability, Divisor, Dividend, quotient Numbers 25/5=14

LCD projector, Speaker, Laptop

SIOP Features


_Adaptation of Content

X_Links to Background

_Links to Past Learning



X_Guided Practice

X_Independent Practice

_Comprehensible Input

Grouping Options

_Whole Class

_Small Groups



Integration of Process








_Linked to Objectives

X_Promotes Engagement






Lesson Sequence:

Introduce that mathematics is more about how you explain yourself than about having the correct response. First show the skit of Ma & Pa Kettle. Have the student Think Pair Share about what they saw, if they think it works - yes, come up with another example; no, come up with a counter example. Have them report back to the class what they discussed and their samples (example or counter example). Then have the class debate what Ma & Pa did that looks correct, have them discuss why it sounds right, and why it truly is wrong.

Second, show the clip on numbers. Have them reproduce the experiment and answer questions about their results. Have them share with other class members their findings and discuss the possibility that changing your first choice would truly increase your chances of wining the car.

Technology Integration (equipment and strategies):

Integrate the use of laptop, LCD projector, Speakers and content on to show students that math is about how you explain yourself.

21st Century Skills/NETS-S Standards:

II. Communication and Collaboration

communicate information and ideas effectively using media

IV. Critical Thinking

identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation

What's going on

So there's been a lot going on this past week. I had a hectic time on Wednesday when two girls decided to have angry words. Luckily L.C. and T.F. are being civil and are sitting in opposite sides of the room. Wed, and Thursday I showed the you tube clips from my lesson plan, which I'll try to post here. It seems like there's a way to link Google docs straight to a blog. Hopefully it works. I've been busy trying to get everything ready for this next week, being a dad, working A LOT, trying to be a department chair. So Yeah, we'll see how it goes. I'm working with Annette Garcia again this year to help with my lesson planning and classroom management. It seems my 7 prior years really made me lackadaisical and according to my evaluation I don't adequately plan for "bell to bell" instruction. This year I've tried to divide our 66min blocks into 3min warm up, 1st 20min activity, 2nd 20min activity, 3rd 20min activity, and 3min closing activity. Wed, Thurs, and Fri proved that I can't always do this. Especially since I gave a clickers pretest on Friday and really lost the majority of the class' attention by question 30. So either I really plan to break up my instruction into small sections or I find a way to capture and focus their attention for a full block. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, August 20, 2007

So it's another day that has passed and I talked to Tonia Johnson about what she's doing with her technology. I'm really glad she is excited about this and has taken it on full swing. However, it makes me feel unprepared. Regina likes to pump me up by saying I've got the Master's degree in Educational Technology, but we never spent very much time in the areas we have lately in the Global Learners sessions. I knew how to use Dreamweaver, but we use Contribute. I got into Authorware, but we don't publish web applications or game simulations nor will our district shell out the huge funds for such a program. I got to use Maya the 3-d image software, but same as Authorware. I spent most of my Master's degree getting information on ADDIE which is a great tool but I'm having trouble applying it to my classroom. For those of you who are not familiar ADDIE is an acronym in the Instructional Design field for Auidence (analysis), Design, Development, Implement and Evaluation. Very similar to a lesson plan, but with ADDIE you always go back to the orginal content and revise, rarely as teachers do we get to go back and redo the lesson over and over again till it's perfect. We might get the chance to do minor tweaks before the next class, but nothing like the buisness world. Perhaps I should look into going to to a Technical or local college and see what they have to offer me. Don't get me wrong UNC was great and I loved it for both my undergrad and gradutate studies, it's just not helping me right at this juction point. Maybe I can take a point from Tonia's playbook and just get down to the nitty gritty, work and play with all that has been given to me which is a great opportunity.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Tough days

So the past couple of days have been tough. I nominated myself for the position of DC (I reclutantly accept). The duties of a DC are numerous and I feel unorganized and to help others....well, let's say I can do it; but I don't trust myself to stay on top of things.

I had no idea but it took all of the work time yesterday to put together the smartboard and the cart, now I gotta make sure it all works before my plan to use it next week for class. I find it difficult to make actual lesson plans, instead of an agenda. Hopefully as I use the SIOP google doc it will become easier.

So I just finished capturing and editing a how to video on embedding your google calendar into a contribute webpage, it was long and tedious. Jenn, Tonia, and Tom liked it so hopefully it works. I'm currently experiencing trouble uploading it to teachertube for an HTML code so I'll try others, but the link is

Friday, August 10, 2007

Aug 10th thoughts

The past two days we've had the pleasure of Darren Kuropatwa as our presentor to the Global learners. He talked about how he personally uses technology to help teach his classes, you can see his blog at Our group has a blog at Darren presented a lot of information to our group - things like using flickr to have students see that trig is everywhere in their world, using and saving student presentations @ It's a little overwhelming all of the information that we have to process; however, Darren said that if you are doing all the work you're doing it wrong - make the students do it, make them the experts both on the content and the technology. The math department has a blog to help us discuss these topics it's I of course am trying to use this blog to organize my thoughts and feelings about what we're doing and hopefully get input from outside sources about similar ideas or help with my problems. I think that will be all for now.