Category Archives: blogs

Teach Paperless

Just a quick note to let you know that I will also be blogging at the  Teach Paperless blog. Formerly this was Shelly Blake-Price’s blog, but now he has opened it up to a group of people posting. My first post You don’t know me was posted this morning. As of right now I do not plan on cross-posting directly from this blog so you should expect at least slightly different content from there. I am excited to share with a larger audience and I hope you will join us in the conversations there.

"Vale a pena ficar de olho nesse blog"

“Vale a pena ficar de olho nesse blog” means “its worth keeping an eye on this blog.” I was listed by whatedsaid as a blog to follow which I appreciate. Keeping the chain going (I hate e-mail chains and have never continued one, but this is promoting real blogs so…) I will give you ten blogs that I most look forward to reading on topics such as math, standard based grading, technology, and education policy. Common thread is honest writing and student-centered, project based learning.

Think, Thank, Thunk by Shawn Cornally. Read about math, physics, standard based grading, and student-centered learning instead of textbook centered. I would love to take his class.

Musings of a not so Master Teacher by John Spencer. An honest teacher who is continually evaluating everything in his life. John is not afraid to challenge popular ideas including technology use and immigration in his home state of Arizona.

The Tempered Radical by Bill Ferriter. Another honest writer who challenges education policy that he does not agree with.

Point of Inflection by Riley Lark. He uses computer programming to teach math.

Borderland by Doug Noon. He has really resonated with some of his evaluations of current ed. policy.

Sweeney Math by Matt Sweeney. I have learned some nice tips for teaching math such as the rainbow rule.

F(t) by Kate Nowak. A teacher who is really working hard to make math relevant and meaningful.

Questions? by David Cox. Really enjoy that this math blog is from a middle school math perspective.

Blogush by Paul Blogush. I like his views on how teaching and learning naturally occur.

The Fischbowl by Karl Fisch. This blog has focused on Karl’s plans for teaching Algebra next year and he has been thinking out loud about his plans.

So check them out and give them some comment love. As a side I am interested in adding  more blogs that focus on problem-based ideas in middle school math such as David Cox’s listed above to my Reader.  So if you have any excellent ones leave them in the comments.

What I’m Reading

Here are some blogs that have influenced me lately:

Ira Socol’s SpeEdChange Ira writes about radical changes needed in education rooted in a historical perspective. He shows how many things we do are rooted in history to prepare students for industrial society instead of for today.

John Spencer get two nods Musings from a not so Master Teacher  A blog about all kinds of educational thoughts from his classroom to ed. policy and Pencil Integration an excellent satire of technology integration.

Shelly Blake-Plock TeachPaperless  Blogs about using technology seamlessly to go “paperless” and focus on student-centered learning.

Silvia Martinez Generation Yes Blog Her latest few posts about “tinkering” in the classroom really have me thinking.

Russ Goerend Learning is Life ELA teacher blogging about his classroom and education in general.

Matt McTownsley  MeTa Musings A high school math teacher blogging about standards based grading.

 Joe Power’s For the Love of Learning Just discovered this blog about abolishing grades and focusing on student learning instead.

And I will add one “big name” to the list because of the creative and important crowdsourcing project he is organizing right now Will Richardson  Weblogg-ed

So check them out and add them to your RSS feed.

Parent Conferences Using a Computer

This week is parent teacher conferences. My new plan for this year is to use my laptop to show parents the student blogs and our class wiki. We have our conferences in the gym so I had our IT department get me a 25 foot cable to connect to the internet through the gym closet. I am excited to try this format for conferences.

My gut feeling is that many of the parents do not know or have not looked at their student’s blogs. The other thing that all teachers are doing is passing out “business cards.” The cards are color printouts of our names, e-mails, and class blogs or wikis. Again we are trying to get parents to visit the sites since this is the first year that we have all created them.

Has anyone else done this or something similar? How did it go for you?

Still Working on Teacher Websites

We are working as a school on setting up teacher sites. We ended up going with two platforms. Those that felt comfortable created blogger sites. Many had already made them. The teachers new having their own site are making wikispaces. The unifying feature is that each teacher is embedding Google Calendar on a separate page to share their lessons and homework.

It is exciting that many teachers are willing to take on this task by themselves. Also my principal and teachers who have 1st hour prep are subbing for teachers at the begining of the day when we show Channel 1 News to the students and have silent reading. I then can meet with five teachers for a half hour and help them get set up. Many of these teachers are anxious, but have left me set up and feeling confident and understanding the usefulness of the websites.

One of the most important concerns for me is that teachers see the websites as useful, productive, and not as a worthless adminstrative task that they are being forced to perform. So I am very excited by the great attitudes of the staff in my building (they are great to work with).

I hope to get some time to teach the staff how to use Google Docs to store their assignments and post them on their sites so that parents can see and/or print the work at home. Next year I would like to push everyone to have the same kind of blog.