Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Explain Everything & 3 Act Math Lessons

For many of us we get lost on technology and how to use it in our classrooms daily. Here is one way that I use mine so that maybe you can be inspired to research ways that you would like to use your resources.

The technology that I currently have in my classroom consist of:
1 Brightlink Board
1 iPad
1 Apple TV
1 Dell Laptop

This past year we were lucky to receive title 1 funding and this coming year as well so I may be blessed with more technology in the future. Here is a breakdown of how I use my technology currently. But I'm always looking for new ideas so if you have any please comment below!!

On a basic day I use it as my whiteboard from my iPad since we have AppleTVs to send the information wireless to the projector. I like having the option to record anything that I discuss up on the board. My plan this past year was to record multiple problems but I got busy and forgot most times. I'm hoping to record more often this coming year so that students can watch our lesson multiple times if they need extra time or practice. 

I hate textbooks (I always have -- too wordy & too much information for someone that wants to go straight to the point like me). So, I make my own student guided notes and I use explain everything to upload the pdf files into the program and annotate on top of them. I save these files and put them on the internet on my topic list page that students that review or copy if they were absent for the lesson. 

My newest venture with Explain Everything is incorporating the 3 Act Math Lessons that were created by Dan Meyer and others. I created multiple slides that I can scroll through when I'm ready to jump over to the next act. I also created slides (Notice & Wonder) that goes right after the video or picture in act 1 so we can communicate and document what we see and are curious about. Depending on the math that we will use I might have a slide that uses the internet to pull in desmos to calculate our mathematics then screen shot the final image into the video to save. After we have determine our solutions we will jump to the next slide which has act3 the answer. I found that in solving many of these 3 act problems my calculations were not exactly the same as the answer and so I put in a final slide (Actual & Calculated) to discuss if our answers are different why might they be different. I'm happy with the product because it seems to give a smooth transition between acts and the discussion in class. I'm always looking for ways to implement my teaching and resources so that students do not get distracted or get off task as quickly. I hope this set up will avoid some of those issues. 

Here is a video I created with a 3 Act Math Lesson created by Nora Oswald on Super Mario Bros.

Another idea I started while teaching summer school was to use the iPad to take pictures of student work and upload them into Explain Everything so we could annotate over them. I really like this because I focused on student mistakes and trying to teach them it was a process not a bad thing. I want to stress this so much next year because so often students are afraid to mess up. I want them to realize it's the analyzing their mistakes and fixing them that is so important. If they never mess up they can never analyze. True joy in the math classroom comes from struggling and perseverance.

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