Monday, April 21, 2014

The Graveyard

How many great ideas have we had that fall away because they didn't work or are unsustainable? How many have you had personally? Here's a couple of mine:

Moodle Testing. Turns out it is a lot of work learning the coding, making the tests, and chasing down kids when they don't take them. I also get the sense that there are better test mechanisms out there.

Forums. It worked great the first year when I emphasized it and gave students credit for it. I guess I thought the next year it would simply take hold organically without credit or emphasis this year. It didn't. Complicating matters, I didn't know whether it'd be best to keep the old posts up or have kids start fresh. I suppose it depends upon my goals, which I did not articulate.

Those are two, and I'm sure there's more. Do you have any ideas in the #mathgraveyard you'd like to share?


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Speed Teaching

My buddy and colleague Matthew Sauter calls this "Speed Teaching," which I think is a bit of a misnomer, but it was his idea so he gets to name it.


 The traditional classroom might look something like this:
Monday
teach
Tuesday
teach
Wednesday
teach
Thursday
review
Friday
test


"Speed teaching" looks like this:
Monday
teach

Tuesday
teach

Wednesday
test

Thursday
differentiated
learning
Friday
test up


The thought is that we test faster and differentiate sooner. We have leveled practice based on test scores and put keys up around the room for the different levels. It seems to work well since students practice at their level rather than painting everyone with the same fat (or skinny) brush.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

WeVideo

I have something to talk about. WeVideo.

 I had to edit a video recently and although I am by no means an expert, I am capable. The new Windows Movie Maker has been driving me bonkers since it came out a few years ago. I don't do it enough to buy Adobe After Effects or anything really sophisticated. Just a few basic edits like the sweet videos of my daughter that I made last year:


(And of course there's this one too.)

WeVideo makes it easy to edit videos. It's user friendly and has enough basic features to do the job. It will charge you a dollar to export large videos but in my opinion it's $1 well spent. It also exports directly to google drive, youtube, et cetera.

I added as an app in google drive. It's terrific.

***UPDATE 11/24/2014: They changed to a strict subscription based model for longer higher quality videos. I'm no longer a huge fan.