Tuesday, May 27, 2008


How can we get enough repetition in our classes?
This years Super Bowl commercials paid $90,000 a second to try to get you to buy their products. What is their goal? To help reinforce their product to you by repetition. They are trying to get enough repetition and not bore the audience. It must work. Because a lot of companies paid the 2.7 million dollars per 30 second spot.
We need to translate this to HS math. If I have an important point to make in class, I need to find creative ways to have it emphasized. Maybe I need to have the students discovery the idea. Then I will have them see it worked out with another student at the board. Then I might have a video of the same topic. Then I could give some practice on their own. It could be that they use individual white boards to go through the problem. I love Senteo clickers for the Smartboard so maybe I could use those to get the point across.
The average person needs 10-12 repetitions to learn a new concept. I think I need to remind myself and my students that it is OK to repeat a topic in different ways. This is comforting to students that they don't have to pick it up the first time. They are not slow for needing a few repetitions of the same topic.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Yearbook Time

I take it as a compliment when a student asks me to sign their yearbook. I try to write carefully that I really appreciated them in class. I don't always have the time to write as much as I want. For instance, I was about 1 minute away from starting my class when a student walks in and asks me to sign their yearbook. It was a senior and this was their last day. I thought, this is important. I took a moment to sign the yearbook and then was a little late getting my class going. That is OK. I feel that our students want our acknowledgment of them. For some of our students this is an easy way to have us recognize them. I find that some students that were complete goofs in class, ask me to write in their yearbook. I find it odd, but, I take this as a compliment. They must have thought my class was OK, otherwise they wouldn't have asked me to sign the yearbook. So we need to remind ourselves that our students want our support. Yearbook signing is one way to give it to them.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pop Goes the Weasel and the Quadratic Formula

A student teacher that I had many years ago taught the quadratic formula to my class by song and it was a hit. I have students coming back to my class and telling me they remembered the QUADRATIC FORMULA because we sang it in class. I just used this recently. It is a great time for the class. Of course I sing it. More importantly, I have many of my students sing it. (sometimes I give out extra credit) Let's try it now.

Hum Pop Goes the Weasel to yourself...
Hum it one more time...
Now put these word to it...

X equals negative b
plus or minus the square root
of b squared minus 4 a c
all over two a

I found someone else did it to on you tube. Check it out.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


It is usually May when this happens to me as a teacher. I get crabby. One of my students will ask question, and I think, can't you figure that out on your own? I then proceed to answer their question with an attitude. That is a bad attitude. It certainly doesn't make me feel great about myself, and more importantly, my students suffer.
Crabbiness happens to all of us teachers. It is what we do about it that will make us different. Let's brainstorm.
  1. Share with another teacher your heart. Explain what has been happening and commit together to a positive outlook.
  2. Give your students a heart to heart. Be truthful and apologize for being crabby. Your students will certainly lift your spirits.
  3. Take a personal wellness day.
  4. Make a list of why you got into teaching.
  5. Commit to 100% concentration when the next student asks a question. Kind of like saying "Drop everything and Answer the Question"
What do you think?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Newspaper Generator

I made this newspaper picture very easily at the site listed below. I can see this being a nice tool for students to have while creating papers or for entries for blogs. It is a free service. You put in the title, the date and some information and you can save the result as a jpeg to your computer. Newspaper Generator
Check it out.


It took me a total of about 20 minutes to make this 30 second clip. It is of my daughters and I during a daddy daughter dance in 2007. This is a free tool. It is very reasonable if you are interested in making a longer version. ($3 per video) I uploaded my pictures, and then picked some music from their selections. After that it took a few minutes to mix on their computer. Then it is finished. What a great product and very simple for students to use in their class. Give it a try at www.animoto.com.