Sunday, October 28, 2007

My continuing Fosnot Adventure

For the past few weeks the blog has fallen silent. The Picture you see here is one I found when I did a search for "lost" at flickrcc. I seem to be struggling with the idea of slow learning. Doing the Fosnot Math is taking lots of time. A book that is supposed to be done in 10 days took over 4 weeks. The second unit is taking just as long. But the students are starting to take responsibility for their work and learning. They have completed their first growing post at their class blogs;
The students were highly successful using clocks to add fractions. Here is a voicethread I made in the summer for using clocks to teach the adding of fractions.

Now we are using Money to add fractions and playing with ratio tables. Fractions are such a large part of next years math that I am willing to spend a third of the school year teaching them. I hope they stick with me.

I have had issues marking and assessing the learning for these units and have come to the realization that the Growing Post is one easy way to see how what they have learned. Now we will journal old school in our notebooks and put the highlights of what we have learned in a new growing post. I had the students learn to upload a picture from their harddrive and to bring one in from flickr. They had to reflect on their learning from the first unit and most students participated. I hope they do as well the second time around.

Now that the students have a firm grasp on moving around the blog I will start Scribe posts. When I first attemped this the students did not know what they were supposed to do and just used the slides from the class smartboard as the scribe. I will still post the slides to slideshare but make the students recreate their math using paint or sketchcast.

Another thing for the students to start. Oh yeah we will start eportfolios in the next 2 weeks. Hmm more work for these poor students. They love it.

And to my friends and network in my google reader. I will now start to go attack the backlog of posts that I have not read for too many weeks. Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

OK. I have 15 minutes to blog...

I feel rather guilty that I have not been blogging as much as I would like. So much to do and so little time. Now that the K12online is live and ticking I would like to see as much of it as possible.

A nasty thing gets in the way.... that "job" thing. Hmm how to do both.

How about some Fosnot!

Speaking about the job my students finally finished the first unit of thier Fosnot adventure. They have created some amazing work and will be doing a growing post soon on what they have created.

I still am having trouble not being the center of attention in the classroom. I love the spotlight and a chance to captivate an audience. Now my role is taffy puller.... getting that important information out of the students head to give them ownership of their knowledge.

My mentor at school keeps telling me as he draws a turtle on the board "slow learning". Sometimes it is so frustrating with the silence. I will have to continue to find the right "questions"or conversation bridges to continue the math chatter in the class.

The timeline in the book said 10 lessons. My students needed many more lessons than in the book's outline. Most one day activities were 2 day activities to allow for completion of assignments. By the end of the unit the students were getting more efficient at their learning. They were talking more at the onset of lessons and expressing the math that had been learned the previous day. Finally some progress. Hmm it can be hard to reprogram students to be the one mashing up the knowledge instead of mirroring it. (thank you Mr. Warlick)
I have used the blog to get the kids to comment on what has happened in school that day. I am up to 50 to 60% of them commenting regularly. This shows promise for assignments to come.

About thier blogs

These are raw "blogging" students. They need to be taught the inner workings of the blog. How to post, how to embed how to ..... you get the picture. I never had thought about using "Growing Posts" to teach all of these blogging necessities to students. But the Growing Post seems to be the tool that fits the bill.

I look forward to showing them voicethread, and bubbleshare to be tools that they can use to illustrate ideas in their growing post.

Next Fosnot Unit next week. The scribes will begin. Houray. Onward 21st century learners...

Ding time is up. Time to create a Growing Post.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

K12online shifts into high gear tomorrow

I will be getting up early and downloading the two keynote presentations for K12online07 tomorrow. Clarence Fisher and the 3 Amigos are going to have excellent presentations. Hey my presentation will be later in the week. I am looking forward to digesting all of these great new ideas.

Come and join the party. Do not forget to tag your posts.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Shaun the Sheep

A while back.... Graham posted a blog about Shaun the Sheep. I just got Shauned!! I am totally addicted to this show.

I hope the rest of you find it amusing as well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Back to Fosnot

Kids do not want to take responsibility for learning. Man they blew the first assessment. Those that participated in class did well. Those who sat on their hands.... well you can guess those results.

I am still in the first unit trying them to understand just what fractions are. Hopefully by the end of the week they will be done this section. I have added in some clock strings to the mix a little early. are a series of fraction questions that can be answered using the idea of time.

They seem to get it... those who are participating.

I am also using the smart board to post the slides of each class. I wish it was mounted instead of being on a cart but... we will live with what we have.

Onward Fosnot soldiers... we continue the struggle with the mathematical F-word Fractions.

Wow I have time to post

Life has been busy around here. I have officially completed all my work for my K12 Online Conference Presentation Release the Hounds.

It took a month (should have done it in the summer AARRGGG) but being the procrastinator that I am decided that the first month at school would be a better time to complete it.

It is done and I have learned new things, how to create a slidecast, how to convert slidecasts into mp4,.mov and about 4 other file formats. Hey I even dabbled in Audacity. I am a regular audio/video phile now.

I would like to thank Graham for providing feedback om my presentations, the k12online helpdesk for walking me through some encoding issues and Darren for saying nice things and nudging me to get done by the deadline. Since I am giving out thanks after thanksgiving, I would like to thank the students who created this work on their time/ Who did work that they enjoyed and did it well. For all of you who's work I did not choose to highlight. THANK YOU.

I am afraid to look at my google reader account. I am sure the numbers are too high to really read them. Most likely I will scan all of them and get back into the swing of things soon.

Life is getting back to normal. Then there is all the family and school stuff.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Ah it is fall and my K12 is done!!

I decided to go out for a run and this is a trail close to my house. It is called the Harte Trail and was an old railway line. Hope you enjoy the pics and please leave comments behind at the voice thread.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Manitoba Edubloggercon

Well it is finally happening. There is going to be an Edubloggercon in Manitoba this fall.... no winter. The date is Friday November 23rd. Yes that is SAG day. We are planning to have an informal meet with all who blog and want to blog.

Here is the wiki that gives more information

I hope to see you there. Already on the "I am coming list" are Clarence Fisher, Darren Kuropatwa and Myself. Join us for some libations, handshakes and ask the question "What you really exist""I thought you were just part of the internet."

It will be fun. More info to follow.