Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I should have done this in June. Last year was my second year using 2.0 tools and applications with my math classes. I think that these students did a great job and learned in new and different ways. My learning curve was steep too. I let go, giving control to the students instead of being the omnipotent all wise being that I was in the first year of blogging.

What went right

Class blogs Students used the class blogs to do growing posts and scribe posts. This was a good introduction to blogging for most students. I was able to use these activities to prepare them for what was to come. I also made commenting part of the scribe post assignment. Students were given a list of other classes that scribe or use blogs and were asked to leave a comment behind. I found that many of my students were great commenter and started to comment more on their own school blogs. Problems.... Not everyone participated in their class blogs. It was hard to get the "less" motivated students to participate and do a scribe post. I also found it hard to find the time to comment regularly on these posts.

Class hub After switching to the "new blogger" at the beginning of the year the class hub was a great communicator with the students. I had my skype availability, chat boxes and email on the hub for students to use. Students skype chatted with me and g mail chatted regularly. This allowed the room to be open beyond the 330 bell. I would have students asking me questions up until my sleepy time it I was in front of the computer.

I liked hub post like "what did I do wrong?" This got the class thinking and doing different types of problem solving.

I will use the same hub this year. I am hoping that students will continue to use this hub as a place to get the class information that they need.

Wikis This was my first season with wikis. I used them to do student led conferences and the first and second unprojects. Students liked the feel of wiki's because of their familiarity with other apps like facebook and myspace. They created some amazing content and blinged it up using applications they learned on their own. This was a complete success. Wiki's got all of the students participating in communicating mathematically.

This year I will start the wiki's earlier and integrate them more into everyday homework, and assignments.

Darren mused about "expert voices".

This got me thinking. What do 13 and 14 year olds want to be experts in or more importantly how can they show that they are experts. My solution were unprojects. I called them unprojects because the only part of this assignment that was in my control was the topic and the amount of information needed to be provided so that a student could be an "expert". The rest was up to the students. The communicated math in so many different forms. Some sang, made movies, created wikis or blogs. The most important aspect of these projects was the participation rates. Over 90% of the students created some kind of unproject. All of these students pushed their own limits to new heights, some by just participating and others by going way beyond the call of duty. I found out during this assignment that once students have a grasp of some 2.0 tools out there they will start to do math work at home that is meaningful to them.

This year is going to be different. I have a class of students that has not blogged before and will be raw. They will need some extra pushes to get the creative juices flowing. I am confident that great things will continue to happen this year in the Sargent Park Math Zone. My goals are to do more interactive slide shows, make movies and podcasts and incorporate all of these pieces into the greatest Student Led Electronic Portfolio's my school has seen. As more and more 2.0 apps appear on the horizon it is going to be fun to mix them into my math teaching pedagogy.

Thanks to my former students for being so inspiring. To this years crew..

It is going to be a great year. Thanks you in advance.

1 comment:

Lynne Crowe said...

We look forward to more exciting things from you and your class this year.
Lynne and the Room 3 TAI bloggers