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Posts Tagged ‘math’

Teachers First

April 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Teachers First provides a collection of resources for use in the classroom and for professional development. Lessons and activities are available for all grade levels and all subjects. Across the top of the home page, a series of tabs are available to access categories within the collection. Content is searchable by subject, grade level, or keyword or can be presented in a list that teachers can browse and can be shared via student computers, a projector, or a whiteboard. Classroom resources includes over 12,000 teacher-reviewed web resources. Resources include lesson plans, instructional units, and ready-to-use content. TeachersFirst Exclusives present teacher-created activities, lesson and unit plans. Professional Resources includes time-saver ideas and tips for new or substitute teachers, technology integration, reading resources, professional topics, differentiating instruction, and communicating with parents. Another excellent professional development feature is OK2ASK, which is a series of interactive webinars that cover professional development-related topics. What’s Hot provides links to the latest and most popular content from Teachers First. An exciting feature of What’s Hot is Teacher’s First Edge, a collection of links to the newest Web 2.0 tools available.

Dinosaur Math is an interesting lesson from the site for K-1 students. Students are given a worksheet and plastic dinosaurs. They count features of the dinosaur and create addition problems using the worksheet. The lesson can be completed individually or in groups. An interactive whiteboard and projector can be used to turn the worksheet into an interactive activity. Students might complete the worksheet at their desk as they take turns going to the board to complete the electronic worksheet. An electronic slide presentation is included as another alternative for use with the whiteboard. Students can use the slides to create the addition problems. The slides could also be printed, laminated and organized as a book to be used for remediation.

An example of a Teachers First professional resource is Rubrics to the Rescue. The article contains links that present an overview of rubrics: What are they? Why use them? How can students get involved in creating rubrics? Several examples of projects that use rubrics are presented for various subjects at all grade levels. Also included are links to online resources for creating rubrics.

Image: koratmember / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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ISTE NETS-S Implementation Wiki

April 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Image: Matt Banks / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The International Society for Technology in Education hosts the Nets for Students Implementation Wiki. The wiki is a resource that provides opportunities for educators to collaborate to design learning activities that implement NETS-S standards. Wiki topics are organized by standards and by grade level.

On the Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making page, Debbie Kritikos presented an algebra project (Scenario B) in which students created an automobile sales flyer. They used the Internet to locate the invoice price and MSRP for a new vehicle. Then, they calculated the discount, tax, and financing costs using Internet-based loan calculators. They also calculated savings between the prices by using percent of change. Then, they created an automobile advertising flyer using a template within Microsoft Word. Kritikos reported that her students identified with the realistic situation of buying a car. They learned the concept of paying interest and the fact that to afford the car of their choice, they needed to get a good job.

Another member of the wiki, Thomas Wright, noted that the scenario presented by Kritikos allowed the students to:

* Identify and define authentic problem with significant question for investigation. The students were instructed to find a car of their choice and develop a sales flyer to lure customers to buy the car.

* Plan/manage activities to develop a solution/complete a project. The students were to find ways to provide financing to customers so that they could afford the cars through discounts from invoices, tax breaks and special financing.

* Collect and analyze data to make informed decisions. The students calculated finance costs in different ways to see what would be the best rate. After comparing financing options, students decided which option would best benefit the customer.

He suggested that an additional step should be added to require students to add insurance costs to the cost of owning the car. He stated that many times, insurance can be the final step in deciding whether to buy certain types of cars. This addition would allow students to see that financing does not determine whether a customer can afford a car–insurance plays a key part, too. The scenario was made even stronger by adding Wright’s perspective.

This project is well-suited for applications in secondary math or technology. It effectively integrates technology concepts with practical math applications. In a secondary technology classroom, this project might be used for teaching a unit on desktop publishing applications.