The iPod Teacher: Clone Yourself

There is no doubt about it, school districts across America are increasing class size and this reduces the amount of instructional minutes that each individual student has with their teacher. I think every student deserves some time, if even momentary, to communicate with a teacher one-on-one. As we peer out at our classrooms, it is evident some students require more attention than others because of their academic regression and deservedly so, we give them the time they need. But have you ever wished you could clone yourself, so you could be in more than one place at time in your classroom? That time is now! Use an iPod to deliver valuable and meaningful instruction while you evaluate and help students individually. Additionally, it provides students with a self-paced lesson. The students that get it, move on and the students that require more time can pause and review any portion of the lesson. I found out that our district had 20 iPod Touches ready for classroom check-out. Using an iPod for instruction gives you instant buy-in from students, not to mention your coolness factor goes up a notch or two. So here is what I did:
1. Acquired iPods 2. Record a screen cast movie to provide students with a content lesson-Here I use Jing to produce my screen casts. You can choose to use any screen cast software. 3. Open iTunes, Go to File>Add to Library>Select your movie file 4. In iTunes, select your movie>Advanced tab>Create iPod Version5. Connect iPod to your computer (If a school iPod is being used, you can set it to manual by clicking on the black icon of the iPod) 6. Drag the iPod version of the screencast lesson that you created into the ipod and your done.

The lesson is now viewable, you can help individuals and small groups!

CUE Conference 2010 – How To Videos Posted

Hello and thank you to all the people that attended “Igniting the Mathematical Mind” session at CUE on Friday (3/5 ) @ 11:30 AM! Jamie Sweet and myself really enjoyed ourselves and you were a great audience! We would really love to hear from you. We have posted how to create many of the games that we covered in our session. If you see something that is not there and would like to know how to create it, please let us know. Also, if you have time, please visit Session Evaluations (Friday @ 11:30 AM)and evaluate our session, Thanks! Click on the CUE 2010 tab above to access the videos. Subscribe to access the latest videos!

The four minute flip chart for ActivStudio 3

Activstudio 3 is a wonderful piece of software that comes with the purchase of a Promethean Activboard. Some of you may have just received your Promethean board and your not sure where to begin. Sure, you can start writing on the board and even begin to bring in a few shapes or text but you want more, so did I! What I’m about to explain is an easy way to get you and your students started in just minutes.

  1. Open Activstudio 3 Professional
  2. Click on your RESOURCE LIBRARY
  3. Click on the SHARED SHAPES ICON
  4. Expand shared shapes and click on SQUARES AND RECTANGLES
  5. Drag a HORIZONTAL RECTANGLE onto your blank flip chart (do this 3 times)
  6. Expand the rectangles so that they are all of equal size and so that they cover the entire flip chart and are connected
  7. Now, click on the first rectangle, from the color palette click on green and then click on the FILL TOOL icon (the bucket), move it over the first rectangle and click the space bar. The rectangle should have changed to green.
  8. Leave the second rectangle black
  9. Repeat step 7 for the third triangle, but change it to blue
  10. Double click on the first rectangle and click on the icon, OBJECTS TO BACK. Repeat this step for the third rectangle
  11. Double click on the second rectangle and click on the icon, OBJECTS TO FRONT
  12. Let’s add some text! Click on the TEXT TOOL (“T”) and move the cursor over the first rectangle, towards the top portion and click the space bar. An area for you to type and a text palette will open.
  13. On the text palette change the color to blue and type 1.23 + 0.02 = ?
  14. Press the space bar 7 times (or so), change the text color to green and type ? = 1.25
  15. Un-check the BACKGROUND box on the TEXT PALETTE
  16. Close the TEXT PALETTE
  • Note: that when un-checking the background box, at times it converts back. Simply go back and un-check the background box.
  • There you have it! A revealing flip chart template. Move the math question from the left to the right and it will magically disappear and the answer will appear in the blue section. You can use this template to further be creative and add objects, multiple backgrounds and much, much more! Have fun with it. If you have any questions leave a comment or e-mail me. I am glad to help!
  • If you are more of a visual person, click on the tutorials tab for a video enhanced explanation!
  • Wacom Wireless Tablet


    Having great classroom management allows a teacher to deliver great teaching! I utilize a wireless tablet to engage students and increase participation. Students really enjoy when I walk around the classroom, lay the tablet down on their desk and ask them to solve a problem. Once a student sees that another student is willing to solve the problem on the screen, I have a whole army of hands chomping at the bit to take their turn at solving the problem. I mentioned on my last blog, “Presentation Software”, that I utilize Skitch. Skitch allows me to make my presentations and lessons meaningful and dynamic. The tablet acts like a giant mouse, except I have more control and I can be mobile around the classroom: This keeps students on their toes. Additionally, a traditional chalkboard (are these still around?) or whiteboard makes the teacher turn his/her back to the students, even if momentarily. With the Wacom tablet, you are behind students, in front of students and beside students which allows you to monitor the whole classroom. The only other piece of hardware that you are going to need is an LCD projector to get started. If you have ever used a Smartboard or Promethean board, you know that they add such a dynamic to your classroom that is undeniable to your students. These boards allow their software to integrate your computer’s files in an interactive way. For example, with the touch of the screen, you are able to highlight text, move text, draw on the document, cut and paste and much, much more. These boards cost thousands of dollars, but are worth every penny. They are great teaching tools. However, if you put together a Wacom tablet, an LCD and Skitch software together, you have many of the same advantages that those interactive boards offer you, at a much lower cost! I will go as far to say that the tablet is a much better option for the management of your classroom and its’ equality to make your lessons come alive! Good Luck.