Classroom Warm-Up Routine: Math Class Warm-Up

Classroom Warm-Up Routine: Math Class Warm-Up. Thanks to Ms. Melcher for this great tool for my toolbox. It really is something I will probably use. I’m getting frustrated by sometimes by Kahoot and Socrative when working on certain topics. I liked this warmup for class especially when going over problems. Great way to start a class.

These 3D Printable Tools Help You Understand Infill Percentages, Number of Shells and More –

These 3D Printable Tools Help You Understand Infill Percentages, Number of Shells and More – This looks like it could really be a big help in teaching some of the concepts behind 3-D printing thanks to Duncan Smith for coming up with this.

3 Dangers Society Faces From 3D Printing –

3 Dangers Society Faces From 3D Printing – You know I love 3D printing, our Robotics Team has used it a great deal to create parts for our Robot. Students have also created some awesome items for me during Earth Day Celebration and other events. But I do also know that when a new technology becomes available there will be some pitfalls. Thing is we need to start thinking about these now. This might be a good lesson for students, they are the future. Great good/bad lesson on technology.

July 2015: HOTS for Bloom’s, part 1 | Discovery Education

July 2015: HOTS for Bloom’s, part 1 | Discovery Education. I definitely like the “Strategies for enhancing higher order thinking”. Kathy Schrock does a good job in mapping out the cognitive processes in Bloom’s Taxonomy. Her “Cogs of the Cognitive Processes” really simplifies the whole the picture. And the “Verbs” table does a good job of giving examples of each level. The blog post mentions Discovery’s S.O.S resources and promises to have a part 2 of the series. I’ll be looking forward to reading future posts.

The Female Perspective of Computer Science: Google’s Report on Women in Computer Science, and What it Means for Me

The Female Perspective of Computer Science: Google’s Report on Women in Computer Science, and What it Means for Me. This is a good look at why women are shying away from computer science careers. It mentions the connections between STEM and computer sciences. Number one influence Social Engagement. As a teacher I’ve been promoting and trying to encourage the young women in my class to go into different STEM careers. I think Google does a good job in trying to find some of the answers to the question “why?”.  But are they really a surprise?

Not just for play: Video games seek to motivate youth on climate change | Devex

Not just for play: Video games seek to motivate youth on climate change | Devex. Looks like an interesting game. Never knew about the “Games for Change” movement. A movement that promotes using “digital games for social change” (wikipedia). I’ve used games before NASA’s Mars Rover Game on the xbox 360 and we have used it at our science festival for everyone to try. Can’t wait to try this game out. Check out the article for yourself.

2014-15 Good, Bad and Ugly

By flipping this year I was able to do more labs and activities in class. This resulted in some good and bad moments in class. The good was the ability to connect more concepts to the labs in class. At the end of the school year I always give a class survey and ask students for their feedback. From this I get my “good, bad and ugly”.

The “good” students did enjoy the labs that we did in class and believed they learned a lot from them. They did however prefer labs that I explained to them in detail. Meaning, introducing them to the procedures etc. The inquiry labs or PBL activities where they created the procedure etc. were not their favorites. Why? Because they had to think outside the box a bit. They also felt they needed a bit more guidance in these activities. To improve on this I hope to introduce this a bit earlier in the year. Develop the skills they need to succeed in completing an inquiry or PBL activity. I hope while teaching students to “think outside the box” , to introduce them to proper lab write ups.  Some really cool ideas for inquiry and PBL labs can be found at different websites such as Edutopia .  Also information on formats for lab write reports can be found any where on the internet, but I do like the UNC writing center  Handout.   It is a bit detailed but can be really helpful resource. And of course NSTA forums have some really good suggestions.

A “good/bad” that took place in class were the students 2nd semester project, students were allowed to choose a topic based on their interest in science and do an experiment on that topic. Some of the projects were very good, one group actually had a marine scientists Skype with the class. Another group worked on the EV3 Mindstorm Space Challenge. That was the good part, the bad part;  I had started out hoping to do the “Genius Hour”  or 20% project. But other items took precedent and I veered away from that idea.  Some students didn’t quite get the idea and ended up picking a topic and doing the project last minute. Changes need to be made no doubt. But I think I want to change this around and implement the “Genius Hour” or 20 % Project. There are some great blogs by teachers who implemented this project. you can also type in the hastag #Genius Hour and you will find some great resources. Both are similar, “allow students 20 % of class time, or one hour per week, to work on and explore one topic of their choice” (Definition taken from 20% Project website). So an improvement on this is definitely in the future.

Now the Ugly! Group Lab Journals. I tried to implement this year and it just got pushed to the wayside. After the first couple of tries, it just didn’t work. I think part of the reason for the flop on this was I didn’t really take enough time to show students how to properly enter labs in the notebook. I had assumed they knew how to do this. Also it was easier in some instances for them to hand in their work with Google documents.  I truly believe that group journals are harder to use than individual. Some might disagree with me, but I found it was easier for the group to rely on one person to do the entries. I think creating jobs at the beginning of the year for the lab groups would help. I’m actually thinking about going digital for lab notebooks and using OneNote from Microsoft. Still looking into it, I’ve been watching TeacherCast and their videos on how to use OneNote. This is one of my projects for this summer.

So the summer has been about improving certain strategies and also learning new ones.

Where are all the women in engineering? A female engineering student answers. – The Washington Post

Where are all the women in engineering? A female engineering student answers. – The Washington Post. This article has some really good points that as a teacher I should consider.

HP Announces New Sprout 3D Scanning Platform | Make:

HP Announces New Sprout 3D Scanning Platform | Make:. This sounds like a cool addition to any 3D printer. There are other types of scanners, but HP is making this very tempting when they are offer free upgrade to Sprout users. I think this might be a good addition to Robotics.

10 Stress-Busting Secrets of Great Teachers @coolcatteacher

Kudos to Vicki Davis and her article on 10 Stress-Busting Secrets of Great Teachers @coolcatteacher. This definitely would help some of us. There are some “Stress Busting Secrets” that might not appeal to all of us, but others hit the mark. This was a timely article since I am heading into the end of the year. Hope some of these help.

Future post coming on the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, end of the year reflection.


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