Fletchblog Headlines

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Time to share again.... anybody out there?


It's been almost three years since I last wrote on this blog. Not sure exactly why I stopped.... my third child was born shortly after my last post, maybe that's why....
I found, what I think is a great way for students to integrate science vocabulary and demonstrate understanding of a science topic. The tools they used were Smart Recorder on their Netbooks, each student is fortunate enough to have one in our school. So here's how it went.... the students explored the electroscope using a balloon and observed the foil repelling. We had already discussed the transfer of electrons being the reason for charge being created, so from there they needed to use just four vocabulary words in their explanation of how it works. They practiced, recorded, re-recorded, using the vocab, the entire time. Any way here is an example, maybe not the best one but I thought it wasn't too bad. http://ewgms.nbed.nb.ca/teacher/video/how-electroscope-works You can also use it is pick up on misconception students have about the concept. I could see this strategy being used for many differen topics, ESL learners....etc. What do you think? Love to have a comment or two maybe it will motivate me write again before 2014.....

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Google Earth and Math

Google Earth is a really fun place to play and explore. I discovered some kmz files a while back that I thought might be useful to teach some math concepts. I had GE installed on all the laptops in my room and placed the kmz file on our school server(simplest way for me). The students just had to click on the file and it would open to the placemarks created in the file. I had them write the formula for the shape, the dimensions measured with metric units and their solution. There was some discussion about why the answers they were getting were not exactly the same. A screenshot video taken with Jing.
Here is the link to the Screenshot movie done in Jing. Cannot seem to make embed show properly. http://screencast.com/t/wesuCI5Jo

The kmz file can be downloaded here if you want to try it out. There are files here also. And here are my bookmarks relating to Google Earth .

It seems to be a reoccurring theme here on my blog, but the students were very engaged during the activity. Once they got the hang of navigating through the bookmarks (they were quicker than me!)they worked diligently on their assignment. The results of the unit test on perimeter and area weren't as good as I had expected. The retention of formulas, even after deriving them using cut up pieces of bristol board, the GE activities, and textbook assignments. I'll have to add something else into the mix next year, any suggestions?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Blogging, Videos and a Digital Voice

I've tried to have discussions with my Grade8 Science classes this year and always felt that it was me who did all the talking, which is not a discussion. I'm not sure if if they are afraid to put themselves out there in front of their peers or if they have just been trained to be quiet and listen, or at least pretend to listen. Usually my questions elicit blank stares, but it turns out these students do have something to say but just not in front of their classmates.

Since Earth Day was last week, I took a break from our diffusion and osmosis lesson and had the students view a couple of videos that I had thought would enlighten, anger and possibly inspire. I put the links up on their blog, which I just started using again (next year it will be introduced in the first class). Class Blog I am quite pleased with the reactions they have submitted so far. I was actually shocked by some. It's amazing that these students feel more comfortable publishing to a global audience than to speaking pubicly in class. Another teacher at the school said they were used to using MSN to communicate now rather than picking up the phone and talking to a friend. Maybe it's just more natural for them.

I sent a tweet on twitter asking for some comments if anyone had time and some educators also responded with thoughtful questions. Their willingness to join their discussion will make it richer for my students. It would great to find another class who were willing to share and discuss.

It's great to see they have a digital voice and I hope their thinking and writing on environmental issues will continue.

Here's one video that they viewed on the Smartboard with audio sytem near full blast. It really caught their attention.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Turn your notes into podcasts

Well not really a podcast with all the bells and whistles, but you can turn text into voice and embed it on a blog or wiki. Great application for 1:1 laptop schools with students that are non-readers. Here is my test with some osmosis notes I use for Grade 8 science.

This site was shared on the chat forum last night from a live weekly edtech show : Women of The Web.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Is it worth it?

Today we began a new unit on perimeter and area in grade6 math. I did a little survey to see wo could tell me what perimeter was and how to find the perimeter of a shape. 1 hand then 2 hands. okay. So they didn't really recall, at least in the short time I alotted. So I took out 6 brand spanking new digital cameras and told them to unpackage and get ready for use. They had no trouble with that! Their assignment was to choose and object inside or outside the school, measure the dimensions, photograph it, upload the photo on their laptops, copy photo into smartnotebook, annote the dimensions, calculate the perimeter (with units of measure), then finally convert the notebook file into a jpeg and upload to a class voicethread. They did it in the 60 minutes or so and seemed to enjoy every minute of it and were engaged in the process. Take laptop out vs. take your notebook seems to be heard the first time rather than the 2nd or third time.

I really do think it was worth it at this point. But i do wonder tomorrow when I ask someone to tell me the meaning of perimeter and how to find it, will there be more hands?