Wednesday, November 21, 2007

 

The Colors of Autumn


I love the beautiful colors of autumn! It seems that this year the leaves have been especially gorgeous. Maybe it just seems that way because I have been traveling more with my new job. I have wanted too stop and take pictures, so thank you to the Decatur Daily for doing it for me!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

 

Help Wanted: Creative Thinkers!

It is time to unleash your imagination and create the ultimate math classroom! Riverton Middle School, in Huntsville, Alabama, wants to develop a state-of-the-art math lab, and they want your ideas. They are creating a lab for teachers to take their classes for large-group, small-group, and individualized instruction. They want to remediate, challenge, and enrich their students. In the planning phase, the sky is the limit! Once they have a plan in place, they will begin the search for funding through grants, fund-raising, and donations.

The room is large enough to divide into four areas:
  1. Presentation area - smart board, projector, narrow tables, responders
  2. Small group tables
  3. Large tables for whole-class group work
  4. Fifteen computers
The room has an office with windows, a sink, and great storage areas. There is also video recording equipment available.


They are looking for recommendations for the best software, manipulatives, and other materials for sixth through eighth graders. What would you include in The Ultimate Math Classroom?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

 

Turkey Talk


While I was visiting Chapman Middle School today, Nancy Gregson shared with me a neat activity that she will be doing with her 7th graders for Thanksgiving. She took an idea from Summer Institute and made it her own. Her students are going to trace the outline of their hand onto graph paper. They will then identify coordinates of points that are on the outline of their hand. Those points can be graphed in graphing calculators using the LIST feature. Finally, Nancy will upload the graphs to her computer and print the screenshots from the student calculators. They will color their printed graph to look like a turkey. I plan to share pictures when they are finished.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

 

So many tools, so little time!

I love to write for my blog. You can't tell that by looking at my archives because I have not posted in a very long time. I started off with a bang; but real life interfered and decided to shift my priorities. During the week I am both mother and father to three precious children...a 14 year old, a 10 year old, and a 4 year old. My husband comes home on the weekends (most of the time), so that's not the time to be blogging, either!

But I think it is time to try again. I have a new job in which I need to reach out and encourage people to use technology. I am working on my Master's degree in Integrating Classroom Technology, and it wouldn't take much effort to tweak some of my assignments and turn them into blog posts. And then, there is this wonderful opportunity to be part of Alabama's 21st Century Learning community. These are exciting times, and I want to do it all!

I have found that the new tools are so fascinating to me that they can take over my life. The hours fly by as I surf the web, set up a wiki, write a blog post, read through my bloglines account, or follow a rabbit trail through delicious. Twitter scares me a little because it sounds like something I could become addicted to! I was a Tapped In maniac, and Ning seems to have even more potential for grabbing my attention and taking my precious time.

I need a little more efficiency in my life. I have an iPod that I can use to learn on the road. I spend quite a bit of time driving between my 25 schools. I could be listening to podcasts with just a minimum of effort to download them at night. I am reading a book on becoming more efficient called Getting Things Done, by David Allen. He promises to change my life, so it's worth a try! With the time I am planning to save by being more productive, I should have time to blog!

How do the rest of you manage your time? How do you limit your time on the computer so it doesn't take over your life? What tips or tricks do you have for becoming more productive?

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