Thursday, July 31, 2008

International Project

I am so excited. For the first time, I am going to do a project with a teacher from another country. Thanks to searching by a technology coordinator, I am going to be a joint project with a teacher in Australia. Did I say I am so excited?

Yesterday, we talked more about the details of the project. We talked for the first time before school released for me in May. We discussed how we will start out small with one class and try to use just a few tools. We thought a ning or wiki would be a great communication tool. We agreed to talk again during the summer. Of course, we both became really busy and we didn't get to talk again until yesterday.

It was such a great conversation. We decided we will start the project on September 15th. We will both use our advanced class to do the project. The focus will be on budgeting. We are going to have the students investigate what it is like to live in each other's city doing the career of their choice. We thought it would be great for the students to focus on a different aspect of finances each week and close the project with the students creating a budget. We are still working on the details.

I created a wiki to track my curriculum for the year. For the next week, we will both edit the page for planning our project. If you want to follow our progress, check out this link:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I have been spending the last couple of weeks working on the curriculum for the upcoming year. There are a few things I am testing out this coming year so it is taking a lot of time to plan it out. I would love for people's comments on the curriculum. Please check out and give me any input and feel free to copy anything.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Great Tool

I found a great tool to use this upcoming year. It is called Wordle. It allows you to type in words, grab words from a url or grab tags from a user. It takes the words and place them in a cloud like form. It also enables the student to save the cloud. I will use this to have students express their understanding of mathematical terms. Here is a cloud I created on digital storytelling.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Some Potential Projects

I have been thinking a lot lately on some possible projects to do this upcoming year. There is so much I have seen in the news, conferences and general personal problems that will make great projects. I am going to be working on the details in the next couple of weeks. Right now, I want to make sure I have a note of all my ideas and sources I have to check out or get back to for development.

Here are my potential projects:
  1. Gas/Energy Project-Rising gas prices is affecting every area of life. I was talking with a person who worked in the gas industry about the actual break down of the cost of oil. I didn't get his information but I gave him mine hoping he will contact me. I also have a friend who works for Exxon that I can probably get information to look at this apsect of energy cost. There is also the aspect of gas affecting the cost of all other types of items. There is also the investigation of alternative types of energy. The possiblities are endless but I am going to start with looking at the breakdown of the cost and source of energy. I will need to contact Bob Koloord from James Madision University. He had a great tool that I want to use to analyze energy use.
  2. Election Project-Given this is a major election year, I can not miss the opportunity to analyze the election. There is so many aspects of the presidential election the students can study. Considering I am a math teacher, I would want them to really understand the polling used and possibly how the president is elected. There are other things the students can do as well. I am going to get with the local Republican and Democratic party to see if there are some needs my students can fill.
  3. Home Renovation Project-I am currently working on doing some cosmetic and small remodeling work in my home. I am changing the texture of the walls and ceilings, painting, changing windows, getting a new air conditioner, patio doors and floors. I think it would be great for the students to analyze the costs I put into the project and see if there was anyway I could have done it cheaper.
  4. Carbon Project-I am going to join up with Jim Carleton and Mali Bickley on doing a collaboration to reduce the amount of carbon we are putting into the earth. I will need to investigate this more to see all the math standards that will connect but I need for my students to see what they do effects more than just them.
  5. Iearn Project-I am looking at doing one of the math projects where students look at math in their everyday lives and put it on the web for everyone to review. I have been wanting to do an Iearn project since last year. I held off since I was trying to get a handle on being at a new school. Meeting Jim and Mali at NECC renewed my interest to jump in and do a project. The website is
  6. Austrialian Friends Project-One of my classes and one of Tim Crowe's classes in Australia will pair to discuss math through voicethreads and ning. We are still going to work on the details but we want to start small to make sure we are comfortable with collaborating. Dean Groom, the tech director at the Austrialian school, saw my wiki and connected with me to see how I did it. He then introduced me to Tim and now we are going to work together. We may even have our kids design a house for a family in our home towns.
  7. Individual Project-I want the students to investigate the math involved in something they love. This would be a project of their choice but I am going to have to really create a structure they can follow. It will need to make sure they connect to standards and demonstrate the correct outcomes. I am going to have to decide if they can pick from multiple options of products or just one product.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Final Look at Food Project/Commitment to blog

I am so sorry it took so long to do this final video of the food project. Summer came and I went on break. I just came back from the NECC conference and I am so pumped for the new year. I have discovered that many people need help with seeing a teacher's perspective of project based learning. I have also noticed how great it was for me to reflect on my practice. Therefore, I have decided to continue to blog about my experiences creating projects for my classroom. Stay tuned for the planning process of this upcoming school year.