Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Glass Bead part 1


Here are the game pieces. The students will put them on the glass bead game board. I hope to have them come up with the relationships between the fractions and ratios above. They can link them in many ways. I am curious how they will link them together!!

  • The first time I did this with a room my instructions were not clear.
  • I asked them to find relationships between the values on the number chart. I then wanted them to place the values on the game board and write what the link was.
  • They were to write the link between the values on the connection lines in the game.
  • I rushed the direct teaching part of this lesson. Oops 20 20 is great for hindsight.
This was a group activity and not competitive. These students wanted to be fed the answers. I wasn't in a feeding mood so I made them talk among themselves and slowly the ideas started to trickle. By the end of the class some light bulbs had been lit!!

The joy of my teaching load is that I have four rooms who all get the same lesson so I tried again with the next room.

What had I learned from the first lesson...
  1. More front loading. I had the students find as many similarities and differences between the values on the chart.
  2. Following the obvious similarities...common values. half, three quarters etc I made them look for more similarities and differences.
  3. Some students found common numerators, decimals in ratios etc.
  4. They also found more differences. Mainly they focused on greater than and less than.
  5. I let the students cut out the game pieces and place them on the board. This tactile experience made a difference.
These groups now had more info to use the on the game board. with this information they all were able to fill in the game board.

I posted the information to the blog and expected them to create another game board using he same chart of data. I hope they come up with other more complex relationships between the values and be ready to play the game competitively in the classroom.

Whether this is the way to play the game or not I think that this has potential.

Stay tuned for more updates...

Was I clear in what I did with my students? Please leave me a comment.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I have made a Glass Bead Gameboard

I have made a Glass Bead Gameboard. Please use it and improve it. I will try this with my student within a few days. I am curious about what they are going to do with it. I think that it can be used as a review or warm up for my math classes. I am curious to see what relationships they will create and how creative they will be.

I love this stuff!!!

Thanks again Wes.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

New Ideas Awesome Podcast

It is cold in Winnipeg right now. The thermometer only reads -20 Celsius but there is a north wind that is moving large trees right now. I do not know how to explain wind chill to people who have never experienced it. The best way I can describe it is the driest, coldest feeling you have ever imagined. No I know an analogy... remember Han Solo in carbonite. That is extreme wind chill. With the wind chill today it was colder than -40. Friday when I arrived at school it was -37 without the wind chill and -50 with it.(It is at times like this that I think of Graham on a beach at +40).

So it was exercise day at the gym instead of out on the streets. I love running outdoors but this is too much. I went at 7 am, my wife left at 8:30 and we took the kids to swimming lessons at the same place at 11:30. Why do I bore you with this information..... because I have just listened to the most amazing podcast (twice!!)

Podcast117: Engaging Brains with Games and Simulations 51:52 Wesley A. Fryer 13/01/07 This podcast is a recording of a presentation by Dr. Bernie Dodge at MacWorld 2007 at the K-12 Educators Market Symposium.

Wes Fryer recently attended Mac Expo in San Francisco. He was stalled in Denver on a Flight and posted an excellent presentation by Dr Bernie Dodge. It is incredible. I have listened to it twice and am going to use pieces of this presentation in my classes.

I plead with the few readers I have to listen to this presentation. There are excellent notes at Wes's site Moving at the Speed of Creativity.

There are some excellent resources at Wes' site. Here are the show notes:

Show notes for Wes' podcast include:

  1. Dr. Dodge’s handouts and links from this session
  2. My notes from Dr. Dodge’s session
  3. MacWorld Speaker Bio: Dr. Bernie Dodge
  4. Beginner’s Guide to Interactive Fiction with Inform7
  5. Star Logo TNG
  6. Second Life
  7. Teen Second Life
  8. QuestGarden: Where Great Webquests Grow
  9. WebQuest Portal.
The messages that hit home for me were the following:

(Learning Power = Attention x Depth x Efficiency) The first few times I listened to this seeing it was about gaming was to hear..... death instead of depth. Video games killing.... I wasn't too far off was I?

Create your own Choose your own adventure story using Google Docs. Boys are reluctant writers and I used these stories to hook them on reading in the early 90's. Now using Google Docs they can create interactive stories with their friends. They can collaberate with people from around the globe too. Wow look out Cam (my son) you will be doing this soon.

For my class work the last part of the presentation was about Glass Bead. It was a game described in a Herman Hess novel.

Glass bead to me is like 7 degrees of separation (you know the Kevin Bacon Game). You have to place ideas on a board and show how they are linked to other ideas that are already on the board. The more creative the idea the more points you can accrue.

I plan to use this game as a review for units and have the students find connections between the ideas that I have given them. How is this 2.0? You can use Gliffy to create this game. Once the student has placed their piece on the board they will blog about it and explain why the piece/topic was put in that position. The more creative and mathematical the answer the better the response. I'll write about it more after I have tried it out.

Please listen to this podcast. I really enjoyed it.

Wes Fryer will be the guest of the Women of Web 2.0 on Tuesday. I am sure he will be talking about this topic then.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

How do you follow up something serious...

Darren passed a link for a firefox addon called StumbleUpon. It randomly selects or uses a search to find sites that people have tagged. I don't have alot of freetime. I now have less because I am hitting the stumble button and having these nuggets dropped on my desktop. It has many applications that should use my freetime, I just choose right now not to use those aspects of the addon :-)

I love ironing. Here is a little trick for people who hate putting things away.



Friday, January 12, 2007

Getting ready to Collaborate

Jeanne and I are getting ready to plunge into the world of collaboration. We have set up a wiki and are going to have our students do some work on Proportional Problem Solving and currency. We were originally going to use wikispaces but it was blocked at her school. We had the space all ready to go and wham it was unusable. Pbwiki was unblocked and is going to be the site for this project.

I have used pbwiki in the past to showcase the growing posts that my students have created. It was a site that required you to do lots of hand coding and did not look as nice as wikispaces. The new user interface at pbwiki is similar to wikispaces making pbwiki easier to use now. I think I will continue to use both sites. Both have there benefits and drawbacks. I'll write another post telling all about how the student interaction went.

On to the project.

We called the project Alatoba because the first two syllables were from Alabama and the last two syllables were from Manitoba.
Talking Currency Conversion

If the project goes as planned the students will be placed into eight groups. Each group will be in charge of aspect of everyday life. Examples are food, electronics etc.

Students first must find items of interest that can be bought locally and get or take a picture of them. The need to know the price of the item they have selected. The students will then use simple math proportional reasoning to convert the object to the other countries currency. This math work will be done in paint or another drawing program. Each group then will have 4 pictures and math conversions or each of the topics.
The groups will then upload these images to bubbleshare and create a group presentation. Each presentation will be uploaded to the wiki and tagged alatoba. by the end of this part of the project there will be a minimum of 4 bubbleshare presentations from Canada and a similar set of bubbleshare presentations from Alabama.

On to phase 2.

In phase 2 the students will chose one of the other countries bubbleshare presentations and see if they can find the identical object in their home town. Once found the students will create a second bubbleshare presentation showing the price difference between the countries. A third slide for each product will be added to the presentation showing the best place to buy the products being compared.

Students will collaborate and be in contact with each other using skype and the discussion boards on the wiki. This is a small first step. If it goes well we will try more projects. There are two more up at Alatoba. The sky is the limit. Jeanne is an awesome person to work with. I hope you all can find a similar person to create projects with.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

January Blog Club

Well the January blog club is over and it was a great success. I have to admit it also was a bit of a trial to get it up and going.

Jeanne couldn't get back into her skypecast so I quickly created my own but on my mac which led me to use different tools that I hadn't seen before. Anyone wanting to lead a skypecast I recommend 3.0 for the PC. It has a better user interface and you have better control over the proceedings.

suggested creating a private skypecast. I had never heard of this before but it is interesting. I think that leaving a password behind at tapped in and then seeing hearing friendly voices in the skypecast would be a good thing. I have to admit I did not do anything other than try to get people unmuted in the skypecast. This was difficult enough since there were between 35 and 50 people at a time in it. Only 25 of them were k12online related.

Speaking of Graham he has a summary of his experience at the blog club. He also wrote an excellent post about "online presence."

At this point as I always do I have to tip my hat to Cheryl Oakes who runs the skypecast for WOW2.0 on Tuesdays. After deleting the 40+ chats that were sent to me and dealing with all of the extraneous hangers on I really appreciate all that you do. And you type so much in the World bridges chat room as well. You truly are a master of your craft.
So how did the Blog Club go? Since Jeanne is cleaning up the wiki I guess it went really well. there is a great set of show notes and I even recorded the skypecast and posted it to the wiki. There is a ton of information about podcasting in the classroom and we touched upon the topic of Graham's k12online presentation. All of this is available on the wiki.

This leads me to the next point. Will some one take on the next Blog Club. It should be held on the 3rd or 10th of February. You can choose the topic but Clarence Fischer's Global Literacy Presentation was mentioned as a possible topic.

It has been a great experience to take part in this Blog Club". I think that one step we can take in making this a larger and better community of learners is to tell our colleagues about these opportunities. We never stop learning with k12online. It just keeps going. As we digest it month by month we learn more and more.(It must be morning and I must be hungry!!)

Thanks everyone for making this a success. Let's keep it going in February!.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Trying to get technoratied

Technorati will not accept this blog. something is going on. I am trying a different way to claim it.

Sorry for cluttering up your bloglines.
Technorati Profile

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The big snow part 2

So many pics so little time. The weather has been great. Not to cold to stay inside. Lets play play play. My blogging might fall behind a bit. This is soooooo much fun.

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Enjoy. Go to bubbleshare to get the full size show.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Tagged again

I thought for a moment when I got tagged again that I would just repost what I had already said about myself ... that would be the easy way out. Here are 5 more things you might not know about me from my posts.
1. I love my wife with every pore in my body. We met at a restaurant we were working at when i was 20. We have been together ever since. I like to think that my life started at 20. Thanks Jackie.

2. I love to garden. My mother gardened and I got the bug from her. I have many large garden beds around my house and enjoy making them full and colourful. I love my herb garden the best. I am friends with the local expert in herbs and grow a multitude of yummy edible plants that compliment my enjoyment of playing in the kitchen.
3. I am so proud of my kids. They are able to play with Lego for hours and never get tired of it. I am showing my eldest how to animate the sets he is creating and this lends a new level of play and fun to the best toy in the world. The best part is when the sets get taken apart and the 3 boys create new things from this great toy.
4. My wife's father built a cottage at Victoria Beach. Her aunt now owns this cottage and lets us use it for 3 weeks every summer. It is the perfect summer retreat. There are no cars allowed and you have to ride bikes everywhere. You have long white beaches that rival ones on the any coast in the world. One of our favorite past times is to search for beach glass. We have quite the collection now. As a kid there is not a better place to spend the summer. I look forward to the first 3 weeks in July every year. My kids start a countdown the minute we return from the cottage.
5. I love to cut the grass and shovel snow. I know it is crazy but I just love those chores. I feel that shoveling snow is the great neighborhood socializer. Everyone has to do it and normally at the same time. I love it so much I feel sorry for my kids. They will never get to enjoy this past time ..... at least not yet :-D

Ok now on to the continuing game of tag. I will retag Jeanne and Danita. I will tag for the first time ... Mr. Jones, Lynne Crowe, and Anne Davis.

Thanks For reading

The big snow.

OK Sharon I would rather of been snowshoeing in the mountains. It was fun yesterday but I have a snow hangover today. My back really hurts after shoveling two full houses, 6 driveways and who knows what I'll be up to today. Anyways here is what it looks like around my house. I will add some actions shots of the kids later today. I do really love snow.

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Click the link to see the annotated version. I don't know why it does not come through on the original slideshow?