The post How to Solve Math Problems with Google Earth appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>8.1.b: Students know that average speed is the total distance traveled divided by the total time elapsed and that the speed of an object along the path traveled can vary.

8.1.c: Students know how to solve problems involving distance, time, and average speed.

8.9.f: Apply simple mathematic relationships to determine a missing quantity in a

mathematic expression, given the two remaining terms (including speed = distance/time, density = mass/volume, force = pressure × area, volume = area × height).

Some years I find kids really have this skill under their belt from math class and other years I find that students who struggle in this area. The 8th grade science CST is loaded with speed problems. In some cases students have to calculate the rate and in other problems they have to find time or distance. The second type of problem bewilders many 8th graders. In order to identify who needs a little extra practice my students and I spend some time solving rate problems, usually on a worksheet. This year I wanted to do something different and try to have more of a real-world connection to the problems, so my students are going to use Google Maps and Google Earth to solve the problems. Here is a link to the worksheet I created (GoogleEarthRateProblems). As you can see in most of the problems students have to use one of these two pieces of software to find the distance portion of the equation. We’ll see how it goes. The fun starts 4th period today!

Joe

The post How to Solve Math Problems with Google Earth appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>The post Snowing in Sacramento appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>I wish fall would just hurry up and get here! I’m spending another October Sunday in summer clothes as its supposed to be 85 degrees in Sacramento. As a California native, I’m one of those strange people (according to all my Midwestern and New England friends) who has never lived in a place where it snows. I wonder what it would be like to be snowed in? Sounds like fun! I’m quite envious of my friends who get to bundle up during the winter. Here, bundling up consists of a coat ** and **a long sleeve shirt. The best I can do is fake paper snow flakes, so today I’ve been having a little fun making my own snowflakes on Snow Days. I figured there must be a mathematics lesson in here and sure enough I found some great ideas for using paper snowflakes in the classroom on Dan Meyer’s blog. Mental note for me…use this right before Christmas break…okay back to work now!

Joe

The post Snowing in Sacramento appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>The post Create-A-Graph appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>From the same site, there are links to other NCES projects. Make sure you check out Chances and the collection of resources in the Grab Bag. Next week we’ll be using Create-a-Graph to generate motion graphs before using Numbers or Excel. Its a much easier place to start and my students won’t get lost in the software nuances of these two programs. I also love the fact this is web based. That way students can easily create fantastic graphs regardless of the software they have on their home or school computers.

Joe

The post Create-A-Graph appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>The post Numbers in Action appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>The site that amazes me the most is FiveThirtyEight.com, where Nate Silver took his knowledge of baseball statistical analysis and applied it to Presidental politics. He aggregates polling data and runs 10,000 simulations each day to give a daily prediction of who will win the electoral vote. FiveThirtyEight is just one of many of these sites including Pollster.com, and ElectionProjection.

I’m no math teacher, but I can definitely sense a great example of real life statistics here. It could also be an interesting resource to use in a social studies, history, or student government class. At the very least its a great example of “Huh!” or “Wow!” for all of us.

Joe

Photo: Tied Election Scenario on Flickr

The post Numbers in Action appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>The post Learning (Math) in Multi-User Virtual Games – Session 3 appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>The presenter, Ntiedo Etuk who Founder & CEO of Tabula Digita talked about his company’s online multi-user mathematics game, Dimension M. Yes, he was sort of selling a product, but it looks like and interesting product. Etuk’s comments also have me reflecting again on Pensky’s summer reading and thinking about using video games in the classroom. At the moment schools in New York City, Chicago, and two counties in Florida are using it. There are about 2.6 million users playing this game to increase their math and algebra skills. If you are feeling a little deja vu, it might be due to the fact the New York Times featured Dimension M a few weeks ago.

The format of DimensionM involves students solving math problems to travel places in a virtual world. For example, in an obstacle course game a user is asked “Land on platforms with Integers that add to 7.” They fly with a jet pack from one numbered platform to another (say from 4 to 3). If the answer/action is correct the user goes to next level or question. If they get the answer wrong they are sent back. During the game users have access to “Cheat Codes” which are actually content instruction.

Throughout the presentation a couple of good questions came up. Below are the questions and Ntiedo’s responses.

**“Aren’t you just drilling?”**

Ntiedo explained that they are finding teachers will use the game as a way to develop teachable moments and intrinsic motivation. Teachers place students on a game before the lesson and let them lose a few times. Students will then turn around to the teacher and say, “Johnny keeps beating me.” “Will you show me how to do these problems so I can win?”

**“How does it fit into instruction?”**

If you are teaching a chapter on a topic (decimals, fractions, etc), the game can be used initially as a reward. “If you pay attention this week, we’ll play DimensionM for part of the period on Friday.” At the end of the week everyone plays for 15 minutes. Most will the students will be immediately engaged. Can also split students into groups based on math level. Kids will immediately ask to play the game again. “Power user” teachers use DimensionM 1-2 hours per week.

**“What’s the cost?”**

Depending on the purchase, the cost runs $10-20 per student per year with a four school minimum. Single player games can be purchased for home at $69.95 for all 4 parts or $19.95 for each part. During the middle of next year a multiplayer online version will be available for home use. If you want to test out the game, there is a free trial that can be downloaded.

I like the idea of using games with students. The price for this DimensionM is a concern for me and I am also worried that these games could very easily be used as a drill-and-kil activity by some teachers. However, video games present an untapped power there just waiting to be harnessed. In my own 1:1 classroom I see on a nearly daily basis that if students have only a few moments to spare they will immediately find there way to an online game. Many times these games are educational and they can’t wait to play them. To ignore that fact is to ignore a very powerful teaching tool.

Joe

The post Learning (Math) in Multi-User Virtual Games – Session 3 appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>The post HippoCampus appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>Joe

The post HippoCampus appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>The post Google Earth (& Maps) in the Clasroom appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>This time around I am also including some information about Google Maps as well. It will be my first time teaching a hands-on workshop for this topic. In the past this class has been just a one-hour introduction to everything related to Google Earth. It was fast-paced and fun, but can be a bit overwhelming for beginners. This time the participants will walk away not only inspired to use Google Earth (I hope), but also with some self-created KML/KMZ files.

I am including a Google Maps component to my Google Earth class because the two pieces of software are becoming so similar and in some situations Google Maps might actually be better instructional tool than Google Earth. I have also recently discovered that creating custom Google Earth files in Google Maps is the most simple, straight-forward way to go.

No matter what you teach there is a way you can use Google Earth with your students. Here are a few ideas for math, science, language arts, and social studies However, many of them tie into physical education and art as well.

**Social Studies:**Um, Google Earth IS social studies. Dump PowerPoint and use this instead! Your kids will love it and be engaged. All the text, images, weblinks, and even online videos you use in PowerPoint can be easily utilized in a Google Earth placemark. While teaching the content you will also be teaching a little geography lesson too. Gigapan and Gigapixl (found in the Gallery Layer) provide imagery you can’t find anywhere else. For, example take a look at the panoramic view of the Lincoln Memorial. While you are in the Gallery layer make sure you check out the Rumsey Historical Maps.**Science:**As I have mentioned in previous posts 6th and 9th grade science teachers can easily use features such as the USGS Realtime Earthquake information and the Volcano link found in the Gallery Layer. Content provided by the European Space Agency, NASA, and National Geographic can also be found in the Gallery Layer. Teaching astronomy? Google Sky provides you just as much detailed information about space as Google Earth provides for geography. To access Sky mode go to View and then Switch to Sky or click on the Sky icon (its the that looks like a planet).Where can you find these resources?**Langauge Arts:**While Google Earth doesn’t have tons of built in resources for you, there are a few, such as the Google Book Search and the New York Times link (both found in the Gallery layer). Teachers and students are developing even more resources! Check out Jerome Berg’s Google Lit Trips, Penguin’s 21 Steps, and the Life and Times of Jane Austin for some ideas. Participants leaving my class tomorrow will know how to make these – they’re fairly easy once you get the hang of it.**Math:**My first journey into Google Earth file creation was a Perimeter & Area project my students loved. Months later they are still asking if they can do it again! Xtreme Triangles is a similar lesson that’s worth a look. Next year (assuming I am teaching a little math) I’m planning on having my students work on a SketchUp project to create a 3D model of a building for Google Earth.

I would love to have every single teacher I know in my class tomorrow, but I also realize that each of us has afternoons full of various personal and professional commitments. With that in mind I have decided to post all of my resources online for anyone to use and I sincerely hope you take the time to peruse and find something for your classroom.

- Want my handouts for tomorrow? Here is my main handout on Google Earth resources and steps to creating your own files. Since my participants will be using Google Maps to make their files tomorrow I also created a second handout detailing the Google Maps interface.
- As my personal learning network finds Google Earth or Google Maps material which I think would be useful in someone’s classroom I bookmark them using Del.icio.us. This link will take you directly to Google Earth items and this link will take you to Google Map items.
- Finally, for the past 6 months or so I have been posting absolutely everything Google Earth related on my PBWiki. You can assess it by clicking on the picture of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the upper right corner of this page, or by clicking HERE.

If you find something useful or inspiring let me konw by posting a comment. Happy Google Earth-ing.

Joe

Photo: Google Earth Gets Historical Maps by Danny Sullivan

Follow Up: As Lisa noted (see comments below) I forgot to say where the class was for any last minute attendees. The class is a CTAP6 course at the Stanislaus County Office of Education. Its from 4:30-7:30pm.

The post Google Earth (& Maps) in the Clasroom appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>The post The Cost of Christmas appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>The Christmas Price Index rose 3.1% in 2007, mirroring the increase in the Consumer Price Index (3.5%). Much of the rising cost is due to increasing food and gold prices, along with a rising minimum wage. PNC also provides an interesting Stock Market Game for educators to use with students on their website. This might be a useful way to spend some of those slow days right before Christmas break and provide a great opportunity to discuss the nature of our own economy. Thanks for sharing, Randy!

Joe

The post The Cost of Christmas appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>The post Math Tech Tools appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>Joe

*That Quiz*

That Quiz is a a great website that allows you to create and maintain math quizzes on a variety of math content for your students. Students receive instantaneous feedback and teachers receive results in a easy-to-read, concise report.

**Illuminations by NCTM**

Are you have trouble explaining to your students what happens when the value of fraction when the denominator increases? This website has tons of great animations to help explain even the most challenging math concepts that students have trouble picturing.

**Timed Warm Ups**

Using PowerPoint or Keynote slides, timed with transitions, students walk in the room and complete a warm up activity. Meanwhile the teacher walks around, assessing homework and checking for understanding. For another level of support Paul provides audio tips and hints on each slide. Imagine PowerPoint slides asking students to use the Identity property to solve a problem with a jingle helping them remember how the Identity Property works.

**Race the Teacher**

Race the Teacher is just that – students race the teacher to solve a problem. Paul creates a video of him solving a problem on the white board. Whenever he has a few extra minutes of class time he replays these videos and students race him using individual white boards.

**Video Procedures**

Are you tired of repeatedly explaining the same classroom procedure to your kids? On days where his students work in stations Paul has created a short 4-5 minute video reminding students what needs to be done at each station. His kids are engaged when watching this video because it stars fellow students.

**Comic Life**

As a review strategy students create their own comics to explain mathematical concepts in their own words using Comic Life. This program has a free 30-day trial (purchase price is under $30) and is Mac or PC friendly

The post Math Tech Tools appeared first on JoeWoodOnline.

]]>