Monthly Archives: January 2011

Non-Apologetic Promotion of Twitter

Update:  50+ Twitter Links, including a Prezi about Twitter in Education.

There have been at least 3 times in the last week when I have showed a colleague this website and have gotten a surprised look of, “Where did you get all of these ideas?”  When I tell people that Twitter feeds a majority of my inspiration to go looking for things, they start listening.  But no one ever really seems to follow through by actually signing up for Twitter.  From what I can tell, it is a slight fear of just not knowing enough.  So, here I’m sharing a few links and videos to help people get in the Twitter mood -

Links:

Math Games for Integers, Multiplication, and Combining Like Terms

I have some slightly under-prepared students semester, so I suggested to them that they should try to work on their basic skills outside of class.  However, this requires me to provide some recommended resources to them, and these are what I have discovered:

Multiplication

  • Factoris – Tetris-style game for multiplication facts.
  • Penguin Jump – Fun Multiplication Game that can be played with up to 4 people from around the world.
  • Dad’s Worksheets – For those who just want the traditional worksheets to practice with.

Combining Like Terms

  • Combining Like Terms Quartet – This like terms game requires you to match the center term with its the appropriate like term. 
  • Matching Game – Identify the matching terms in two columns.
  • On-line Jeopardy Game – Distributive property, combining like terms, evaluating expressions, solving equations. 
Integers and Order of Operations
Other Helpful Links

Some Awesome Math-Related Prezi’s!

Believe it or not, I was searching for Prezi’s about Fractions, and I found one here:  http://www.diigo.com/list/aadavis/prezi-examples.  You should definitely head on over there and check out all of them!

 

Poster Presentation Tips

Here are few links I have gathered for those planning to make a poster presentation, or who wish to pass these tips onto your students.  This is a skill that has not come easy to me as I am colorblind.  =D

  1. Scientific Literature and Writing: Poster Presentations
  2. Creating Effective Posters: An Effective Poster
  3. Advice on Designing Scientific Posters
  4. Presentation Tips from Society for Neuroscience
  5. Poster Presentations:  Designing Effective Posters
  6. Tips for Presenting Your Research in a Poster Presentation – link to short 3 page PDF file
  7. Poster Presentation Tips – link to short 2 page PDF file

 

Miscellaneous Links

After a recent afternoon meeting about statistics, I needed to find a few old links that I had buried away.  Well, here are a few odds and ends I found while looking:

1.  Virtual Math Lab at Texas A&M – This is a very good resource for College Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, and Beginning Algebra.  When I opened my link, it actually opened on ‘Absolute Value Equations’, which means that’s probably what my students were struggling with when I initially discovered this website back in 2009.

2.  Quick-and-Dirty Guide to the TI-83, TI-83+, TI-84, and TI-84+ – Although it seems like it would be most useful for the beginning calculator student, I have to say that the time I used this website the most was when I taught Calculus, and I couldn’t remember many of the calculus-related functions.

3.  Pete Falzone’s On-line Office – I have been borrowing handouts from this guy for the longest time. The pre-algebra resources are especially good for developmental math classes.  And I have found a lot of other great worksheets for other courses for when I have been called to substitute at the last minute and needed an ‘in a pinch’ lesson outline.

4.  Project-Based Learning – I am obviously all for project-based learning.  But if you need a little more background information, along with some additional examples and ideas for your mathematics classroom, feel free to visit this website.  There is a good description of project-based learning, along with some wonderful links to helpful websites.

5.  Classroom Assessment Techniques – This is definitely worth checking out, as I know that I got at least a couple of ideas from this website for the times when I knew that I had to do an in-class assessment, but needed something that was quick to set-up (I usually realize things 1/2 way into class for some reason).

6. Quiz Star and Easy Test Maker – Two quick links to create on-line and off-line quizzes and tests.  Both are free.  I know, I know, you probably don’t need another free product to do this, as you already have your own Course Management System, or you have your own system for creating tests.  That’s fine, but these may be useful if you’re looking to do something different.

10 Potentially Helpful Resources

Here is the most recent set of helpful resources that I have sort of stumbled upon out of well over 200 hundred that I’ve looked at today:

1.  Broad Texter – This is a service that allows you to create a group so that your students can join so that they can receive text messages from you.  In fact, I’ve set up one for my students that I hope to use in the near future.  Feel free to sign up at the top of the page if you’re so inclined.

2.  Smart Teaching Blog – My biggest advice when looking at this blog is to start scrolling down and to not get overwhelmed, as there are probably 1000s of resources listed, including this list of the 100 Best YouTube Videos for Teachers.

3.  Get the Math – This the link to ‘Get the Math, an initiative out of the PBS Station in NYC, which has challenges related to fields such as Fashion and Video Games.  I know I posted this on twitter earlier, but that’s why you need to follow along (if you’re not already).

 

4.  Bubbl.us – This is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online (essentially a stripped down version of Mindomo), so it would be ideal for those who are beginning into the world of Mind-Mapping.


5.  CamStudio – Free streaming video software.  I mean, does the name remind you of something?  Personally, I’m doing just fine with Jing! for now, but some people may want to check into this.


6.  Poll Everywhere – Allows you to create a poll that your audience can participate in using their cell phones, twitter, or the web.  I’ve personally used this in a classroom before as a quick and simple alternative to using clickers.  It doesn’t give you a person-by-person tally, but you can get an overall idea of if your students understand a concept.


7.  Super Saas – An online scheduler, which I want to try out for future semesters to have students self-schedule for my office hours.  I think that they may be more likely to come if they can schedule themselves.  Has anyone tried this successfully?  I would love to hear!


8.  ToonDoo – The online cartoon, comic strip creator.  Create your own cartoons, comic strips, publish, share, and discuss!  In fact, I’ve mentioned something similar, called ‘Make Belief Comix’ in the past.  The major difference upfront is that ToonDoo is in color.


9.  Transfer Big Files – Transfer files up to 1 GB.  This would have been especially helpful when I was having trouble with students sending me their homework assignments last semester.  Another similar website is You Send It.  


10.  Motivational Posters – This actually could be turned into a great class project if the students created a mathematics-related image themselves, along with a descriptor to put along the bottom.  Another similar website is The Parody Motivational Generator.

Teaching the Unit Circle

This is simply another consequence of my poking around the web, and although I haven’t taught trigonometry since last summer, I would consider using either of these ideas in the future:

1.  Touch Trigonometry – This is an interactive trigonometry graph and circle featuring the six basic trig functions.  I wasn’t a fan at first because I’m colorblind, which made it seem like there was just too much going on, but I can see that it is a useful tool for those who are able to distinguish colors.

2.  Serving Unit-Circle Trigonometry on a Paper Plate – At first I thought this was an awful idea for the college classroom, but then one day last summer one of my students came in with something very similar.  I asked him where he got it, and he said that he made it in high school, and that it was one of the most useful things he’s ever made.  And apparently he’s been carrying it around ever since.  Although I still wonder why he was taking my class if it was so useful, the point is that if the students are engaged, I believe it aids greatly in the learning.  Here is a link to a completed project.  And here is a link to a blank circle.