Teach without Talking! (Sort of)

No matter what the circumstance, sometimes we just…hate to talk. We hate to hear ourselves speaking for some reason, and it drives us (well, maybe just me) insane! But today, we are going to explore a technique where, if we don’t want to talk for that lesson, we can just have a pre-recorded version of the lesson and show THAT to the kids and catch up on, say, grading. Or sleep. Whichever.

I’m talking about screencasting, and it’s got to be the most valuable tool in a teacher’s toolkit if you don’t want to teach that day, or you would like the students to have access to the lesson itself outside of school. It would be most useful if, say, they didn’t really understand one part of the homework and wish they could remember what it was that you said during that one part of the lesson they decided to space out on. Well, if you make the screencast of the lesson/interactive activity available to them, then voila! It’ll be a cinch for them to actually “relive” the lesson, so to speak, but watching that video.

In this screencast, I show the user how to make a very simple hyperlink in a Powerpoint Presentation and how to link that…link to another slide in the document.


Like I stated before, screencasting is a great tool for students to have the lectures available outside of class should they need to review certain material or need clarification on a part of the homework that they couldn’t ask the teacher.

I personally would not use screencasting while I was teaching. I mean, I would use other people’s screencasts (I just Khan Academy frequently) but I would never use my own. Kudos to all those brave enough to anonymously grace the public ear with their bandwidth voice.

That’s it for now! Toodles~!

Featured Image courtesy of Adobe Spark.

edTech Methods: Now what?

Looking back at my first blog post, I am amazed that the semester is already over and how much more exposure I’ve been getting to technology that can be used in the classroom as well as how I can use it to make learning spicy.

Throughout my time student teaching at my placement and since beginning this class, I have definitely experimented more and done more with the available technology in the classroom. With the recent addition of a cart of chrome books, I have taken advantage of online platforms such as MobyMax, Geogebra, Khan Academy, and Desmos in order to enhance learning….or just keep the kids busy if I was a little behind on grading *cough*. The kids enjoyed my experiments more than I did, I think, just because it was different from me just lecturing at them.

I feel like taking this class has allowed me to really branch out and experiment with things that I didn’t think I would want to experiment with. I have been so much more confident and I am so grateful that my CT has been so flexible with me and has given me free reign to perform all of these experiments and use the kids as guinea pigs. I have definitely discovered more of what my ideal style of teaching is through using the resources that were presented through this class, and I will definitely carry everything that I have learned from this class with me throughout my entire career.

One thing that I will have to do before graduation is to bookmark this blog post and all the resources that everyone has blogged about and use it if (and hopefully when) I get a classroom of my own. I feel like I have also learned how to adapt to an environment without easy access to technology just based on the implications of what you CAN do with technology and how to get around that should the technology not be available to you.

I have also become more adept at looking for more than one way to present certain material, and I think that this will definitely help me a lot when I actually get a teaching job (again….fingers crossed).

I don’t have anything to suggest for this class. It was extremely flexible, which I appreciated immensely, and the course was really just like a living thing. I am reminded of the Constitution of the United States in the sense that it is a living document and is always capable of changing, and that was the sort of feeling I got from this course. I also appreciated the fact that we were able to choose the way we presented our findings when playing with the various materials that were available to us. It was a lot of fun to play with the different things that were introduced to us; especially when we had already had a bit of experience with the resource, such as Google.

Thanks, Peter, for opening the horizons a bit more and making these resources available to me and the rest of the class. We will definitely benefit greatly from the things you have taught us. It was also super fun to run a blog (sort of) that might one day help future teachers! And let’s not forget the fact that we are now published authors with Apple, even though it was just with one book.


For the last time, thanks for reading! ūüėÄ


Featured image courtesy of Adobe Spark.

Academy Khan : Here is Lesson Flipped The

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang Daniel! Back at it again with the blog posts!

Today we’re discussing flipped lessons. (See what I did there with the featured image? I literally used powerpoint and flipped the slide upside down. Funny, huh? Laugh. It’s funny)


SWBAT: Every good teacher should know this acronym. It describes the learning objective, or target, that the class should have reached by the end of the lesson. The learning target for this lesson would be dividing fractions.

Students Will Be Able To: Divide Fractions

The digital resources that would be particularly useful would be the Khan Academy lessons on dividing fractions as well as a program where students will be able to play with digital manipulatives that will help them visualize how fractions and operations performed on those fractions can be modeled and . This will be especially helpful for students who are more visually inclined than others. These lessons would be done at home.
“What would you do in class with all that free time?”

Well, for this particular lesson, it would be amazing to set up different math stations that deal with the most common fractions: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc. These stations would have these fractions represented in different ways, and the students would be asked to perform the different operations on the fractions as well as describe what is happening to the models of the fractions with each operation in their own words.

The digital resource (Khan Academy) would be available at each station as a review, or as a way for students who may not have that much access to technology to engage in the lesson and do the assigned lessons at the same time the class is working at the stations.

This lesson would benefit greatly from being flipped because of all the misconceptions students often have about fractions. This would allow them to work with the concepts in the comfort of their own home and come up with their own conclusions about what the lesson was trying to teach them, without any influence from their peers.

Then when the students show up to class, they will be able to compare conclusions and how they might have gotten to those conclusions. They will also feel confident going through the various stations because they had a taste of the material the night before. Any misconceptions they have about the material will be made clear by their classmates or the available media; or, of course, the presiding teacher.

I think this is a fun and engaging way for students to understand how fractions work and how to divide them.

How Shook Are You?

How much did that title trigger you? I’m not a shill, I swear!

If you understood any of those words, good on you! If you didn’t, chances are you stopped reading and went to Google to look up the definition to try and understand what I was trying to say.

These slang words are everywhere. Even the word “slang” is slang for shortened language. You hear it all the time: on the radio, in your home, from your friends, if you’re a teacher definitely in your classrooms.

Let me tell you a thing, man. If you want to do a rad math lesson that not only introduces trends but gets your kids engaged because it’ll relate to them in the best way possible: they speak that language. Not only will they be super excited to be speaking their hipster tongue, you’ll also (hopefully) get them super excited about speaking your language: math.

Here’s a really cool site that you can use for the lesson:


Photo credits to Google Trends

It’s a card on Google Trends and it is amazing. This particular card shows you the top rising definitions of last year (2016) and how it is ranked based on how often they were searched in Google.

Click on the image to go straight to the card. You can scroll down to see different representations of the same data Google has been collecting over the past couple of years; even the top rising definitions of words from previous years.

But how would I use this in a lesson? And why would I ever encourage my students to use language that I don’t understand in the classroom?

Let’s face it. Students are more and more distracted every day by the various forms of technology they are exposed to; I am not an exception to this because just now I checked my phone to see if I had a message from anyone….

Why not use this distracting quality of technology, and the students’ overuse of slang, ¬†and at least attempt to make it educational? They’re going to do it on their own at home anyway; might as well make it relevant to the subject matter you’re teaching.

With this Google Trends card, you can prompt students to think critically about:

  1. How these words got popular
  2. Why some words might have died out
  3. Predictions about how much longer they’ll stay popular based on their own personal experiences/uses of the words as well as the data on the site.

Plus, the site is really interactive, so even kids that aren’t usually engaged will want to play with the cool colorful things they see on the site, or explore any of the other Google Trends cards that are available.

Photo Credits to Google Trends

Trending word definitions are not the only things you can look up on Google Trends. There are sections about everything and anything that somebody has put in their search bar and pressed enter.

Here’s what their card on Global Warming/Climate Change looks like (click on the picture to go to the website):

Photo Credits to Google Trends

You can see how each major city/country ranks regarding the frequency of searching those words on that list on the left. It’s incredible. Google Trends is one of many leaps Google has taken to visualize data to make it easier for educators to present and analyze information they have been collecting. You would also be doing your part as a citizen by spreading awareness and making sure your students, or anyone who would listen to your lesson, are able to make well-informed decisions.

They will also avoid sounding like know-it-alls who have no concrete information to back their claims up. They could just pull out the notes from your lesson and the activity they did and present the same information, thus increasing the number of people who are aware and are able to make informed decisions.



Featured Image Credit: geralt on pixabay

Predicting the Next Big Blockbuster

To add some spice to the class and really relate to the kids while teaching them about trends and graphing data, I’d love to use the bookworm movies site. Just browsing the site and playing with it was really cool. So cool, in fact, that I would definitely want my kids to play around with it for a while and see what they would think about it. By the way, this would definitely work well with a class/unit/lesson dealing with collecting data, analyzing trends, etc.


Here’s how the lesson would look like (coming to you live from my brain):


5 Minutes: Take a survey of the class concerning their favorite movie/genre of movies. We would use this data to come up with a graph. From this data, we would also list the different stereotypes (archetypes?) that are common throughout that genre of movie, ie hero always saves the day, the nerdy girl is always asked out by the popular guy, red coats die first, stormtroopers always miss, etc. etc.

15 Minutes: The next part of the lesson involves introducing the students to the website bookworm: movies and having them search those phrases. Using this website, the students are able to filter the results they get.

In the image above, you can see just how specific students will be able to be when searching for phrases and/or individual words. During this introduction, the teacher/facilitator will give the students 2-3 example searches to test out on the site, just so that the students become familiar with the site and its features. The students will then be turned loose and left to their own devices; searching for words/phrases that either pertain to their favorite movie genre, or just phrases/words in general that they’d like to see data on.

5 Minutes: Yoga break! Students will be asked to turn away from their screens for some body moving time or optional class yoga. Studies show that students start to lose interest (basically shut their brains off) 30 minutes into a lecture/class/whatever it is that they’re doing and they’re not particularly interested in. So be proactive and get your students active!

Remainder of class: The remaining class time will be set aside for discussion. After the yoga/movement break, students will go back to the data they’ve looked up and share it with the class or in groups (whatever tickles the teacher’s fancy). The class will then be asked the following questions:

  1. Were there words/phrases that you tried to look up and couldn’t find? Why do you think that was?
  2. What did you notice about the trends in the data and the time period during which they occurred?
  3. Pick a graph comparing at least 2 phrases. (Pretend they picked the one below)

What do you predict will happen to this graph in the next 5 years? 10 years? How do you think the usage of these words/phrases will change over time?



And That’s a Wrap! : Students will then record their findings in either a journal or on a separate piece of paper and turn that in.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand cut! You’ll be the coolest teacher around with this lesson. Guaranteed. (But not really. Don’t quote me on that. I don’t know the dynamics of your class and how they might react to this lesson. Just try it man. Nike.)




Featured image: Cinema Entertainment Film Reel Movie Projector on MaxPixel


The Ripple Effect


I do it all the time in order to greet a friend or a relative. I think everyone does it at some point; everyone’s learned how at some point of their lives. But what, really, is the core of this simple motion, this simple greeting we offer to our friends and loved ones?

It is the wave, my friends, and it is not simply the back and forth motion of your arms or hands. It has a particularly deep occupation in the world of science, from climatology to meteorology to oceanography; to physics, psychology…everything. Waves are connected to everything and everyone.

During my research concerning waves, it boggled my mind how delicate the nature of waves is, as well as the tenacity and strength that they can have. Add in the ripple effect and the other properties that come along with it, well….it’s just amazing. Every time I think of the ripple effect, I am reminded of the proverb or saying about a butterfly’s wings? Something about starting from a butterfly and ending up as a strong gust of wind halfway across the world? Something like that.

While I was looking for media, I was really inspired by all the creativity that I found when looking at images. I found the pictures that I saw on Flickr especially to be super calming and definitely something worthwhile to look at.


Like the one above from¬†AJC1. Doesn’t this just make you want to go swimming/surfing/whatever you do in the ocean? Isn’t it weird to think that this picture of a particular kind of wave makes your brain send out a different kind of wave? (a brain wave…duh.)

Waves are super calming, and I loved seeing all the creativity that went into trying to convey that. I looked at some of the science-y stuff that I found as well, but there were some things that I didn’t really understand, mostly because it was really late at night and I didn’t feel like delving that much into hyper-physics (I’m pretty sure that’s a thing). Not only waves super calming, but they’re also essential to nature for various reasons. (Again, more science-y stuff) In the link, I have provided my OneNote compilation of said calming pictures of waves and such, and there’s an article there that explains the benefits of the ocean’s waves in 6 easy little blurb-y paragraphs.

I found that I spent most of my time on Flickr, just looking at pictures of the ocean. It made me kind of homesick to be honest. This is probably the reason why I switched to science. Then the science aspect started to speak in…well, science lingo, and that bored me out of my mind. I had the (bad) smart idea to look into brain waves, and I saw lots of MRIs of brains in lots of different bright reds, greens, yellows, and some in some really calming blues and grays…although I think the calmer colors mean little to no activity? I also used a lot of regular Google searching.

What made this experience really fun was being able to use OneNote in a way that wasn’t notes. It felt sort of like scrap-booking, and I’m really into that kind of thing. Maybe now I’ll be able to use it more like a scrap book than anything educational.

That’s it for now!


My OneNote Thing!

Featured Image: Waves from Tutorvista.com

Heckity Heck! I’m Using edTech!

I would say that the use of edTech is pretty average in my classroom and my school as a whole. My CT and I are always looking for new ways to use the resources we have available to us to make learning fun and engaging for the kids. It has always been my goal to be the kind of teacher that lets the kids do the learning and the teaching. I am a HUGE advocate of project-based learning, and it’s kind of easy to do with math. Since it is my first time teaching, however, I thought that it would be better for me to build confidence and practice using just the basic methods that I’ve seen previous teachers use, just in case the school I end up working at doesn’t have the resources that I’m used to.

I have been encouraged by my CT to share whatever “new methods” I come across. I figure if I share them with her, she’ll use them and I can observe and sort of use her as a guinea pig…in a good way, of course. I am definitely going to be sharing what I learn in this class with her because she’s always looking for other ways to present material and engage the kids in learning. We mainly use edTech for supplemental learning or as a break from all the paper and “boring” work they usually do. I’d like to incorporate it a lot more as time goes on and find new ways to incorporate, not just screens, but other forms of technology as well.

We’ve really only gone so far as to use the iPads and the Apple TV, and even then we use them sparingly just because we have yet to actually incorporate a sort of rhythm regarding edTech in the classroom. The kids do get exposed to it more frequently in their other classes, though, so I guess it’s alright if we don’t really use it that often. ¬†I do like to use an app called Show Me, which is an interactive whiteboard that we sometimes use for notes or for classwork and project with the Apple TV.

All in all, I would like to be able to use more edTech in the classroom as often as possible because I feel that it would benefit the students to be able to interact with technology (if they aren’t already doing so at home) in an educational way.

That’s it for now!


Featured Picture: Pensive Squirrel by Seth Wilson @ flickr.com