Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Algebra I Progress . . . even a little feels great!

Spent an hour this morning getting my videos put into a "playlist" on itslearning.  I am going to back this all up on youtube along with keeping them at

I have a couple more videos to create for Solving Equations, then I will move into Inequalities.

The biggest thing for me is development of quality, varied in class work . . . this is where I think I'll need to put the most focus and energy over the next 2 months.

But excited to finally have something after all the thinking I've been doing these past few weeks.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

You Tube Channel

So finally started to make my flipclass videos for Algebra I.  I have Unit 0-1: Expressions completed, and now have gotten half of the Unit 0-2: Solving Equations completed.

Kind of strange without an audience to talk to and kind of guide through . . . I am a "feel" type teacher. If I sense the majority of the class has the material down, then I can move quicker.  And vice versa.  It's going to be interesting to see how the different levels of understanding are going to become apparent I think more quickly in the flipclass set up.

Also, those with motivation/effort issues will be apparent quickly as well.

themathboyle you tube channel

I am using to create the screencasts.  Just seems so simple at this point.  I'm not worried about the editing and all that.  I really want to get the content side of the videos together . . . as I become more experienced with the flipclass, then I'll look more into the editing.

Would love to get some feedback and ideas on how to make the videos more student friendly.  Not sure how to set up question spots and other options.  I think those will be videos I create on the fly when I realize that there's a need for a special focus video.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Unit Layout

I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I want things to flow on my google site ( in regards to information shared with the student, assessments, assignments, etc. etc.

I have a more solid idea now thanks to Andy Schwen ( who has developed google forms that collect assessment/assignment data and puts it into graphs/tables to look for strengths/weaknesses.

I really thought about using Mr. Schwen's system but then what about itslearning LMS that the school purchased.  itslearning does the same things as his system.  And I can learn with other teachers with itslearning as they progress through the learning management system (LMS).

Here's my Unit Layout (as of today!):

  1. Units (per CCSS traditional layout)
  2. Sections (based upon the CCSS / my development of "standards" students must meet
    1. Pre-Assessment (online / googlesite) - if 80% or higher can skip lower level of section assignment sheet
    2. Powerpoint (notes / focus will be on vocabulary) - posted on google site
    3. Problem Solving Video - flipclass (googlesite)
    4. Assessments (googlesite)
  3. Assignments - this will be the "in class" side of things.  I want to create an assignment sheet up that uses Bloom's Taxonomy to increase the levels of the points earned for specific types of questions.  i.e
      1. Knowledge / Knowledge Mastery (1 point)
      2. Comprehension / Comprehension Mastery (2 points)
      3. Application / Application Mastery (3 points)
      4. Analysis / Analysis Mastery (4 points)
      5. Synthesis / Synthesis Mastery (5 points)
      6. Evaluation / Evaluation Mastery (6 points)
    1. This will be the most difficult part for me . . . going beyond basic knowledge/comprehension.  I will set it up like a Crossfit WOD - certain types of problems that fit into the "areas" listed above.  Once I get one created I will post it.
    2. Thinking I may end up grouping 1/2 together, 3/4 together, 5/6 together . . .
    3. My struggle the past few years is differentiating my instruction - it's the 1/3 principle - 1/3 of the students have it before I teach it, 1/3 will get it once they get a "glimpse" of the material, and the final 1/3 need my intervention throughout.  How I can keep the 1/3 challenged without moving ahead of the bottom 1/3 has been my issue - I feel like I tailor my instruction for the middle/bottom and want to turn that around to be the middle/top.
I have been a lot of thinking, and not as much doing because I have felt like I've needed to get a better grasp of how I wanted to get the information to the students, how to assess them, and how I wanted to create assignments in class - I want to focus more on the standards (not ready to jump 100% into standards based grading yet) and not so much on effort points . . . more on knowledge points.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Class Site Address

Here's my class site (via

This is where it will all go down next year . . . #fingerscrossed

It's in the early stages, but it's a start!  Would love any feedback from teachers on things to add or what has worked for you etc.  Thanks!

Software I'll be using . . .

Here's a couple of things I plan to use to flip my classes next school year:

  1. - you create powerpoints, then you can webcam yourself discussing the slides of the powerpoint - going to use this as the "notes" for my class.  More of a focus on examples with answers and vocabulary.
    1. plan to have students create an ongoing vocabulary page on their eportfolio googe site.
  2. - screencast software that I will use to create problem situations / assignment scenarios - will create the lessons using my mimio interactive board software.
  3. - an awesome way to get instant feedback from classes - exit tickets, see who watched the video the previous night, or even a quick quiz / game.  This program will work great since each of my students will have a tablet.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Algebra Unit 0 - Intro "revised"

Here's my revised idea for the Intro to Algebra I.  These topics seem to flow together better, build upon each other smoother, and give lots of opportunities for students to move ahead or get intervention where needed.  Also, these are a great indicator for me as to my student's ability, effort, focus, motivation, understanding, etc. etc.

Module - Expressions
Variables and Expressions
Open Sentences
Distributive Property
Expressions Review
Module - Solving Equations
Solving Equations by Addition or Subtraction
Solving Equations by Multiplication or Division
Solving Multi-Step Equations
Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides
Solving Literal Equations/Formulas
Module - Solving Inequalities
Solving Inequalities by Addition or Subtraction
Solving Inequalities by Multiplication or Division
Solving Multi-Step Inequalities
Solving Compound Inequalities

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Unit 0: Intro & Construction "Construction Zone" Geo

Turned my attention last night to Geometry (Honors Geometry) and my Google Class site. Right now, the Intro unit is the same for both Honors and Regular Geometry - this is a great gauge to see how actually "honors" my Honors students will be - expectation = they work quicker and more successfully through this unit . . . we will see.

Unit 0 - Below are the Common Core State Standards for the Unit.

G.CO.12 Make formal geometric constructions with a variety of tools and methods (compass and straightedge, string, reflective devices, paper folding, dynamic geometric software, etc.).
  • Copying a segment;
  • Copying an angle;
  • Bisecting a segment;
  • Bisecting an angle;
  • Constructing perpendicular lines, including the perpendicular bisector of a line segment;
  • Constructing a line parallel to a given line through a point not on the line.
"G.CO.13 Construct an 
  • Equilateral triangle
  • Square
  • Regular hexagon inscribed in a circle.
My focus for this Unit is getting the students accustomed to using GeoGebra.  Big picture:  I hope and plan to use GeoGebra a lot during this school year.

I am still working on the idea of having GeoGebra on the Acer tablet and hopefully by summer's end I am successful.  If not, looks like I'll be using laptops at school which is okay, but hurts my students ability to work ahead and control their own progress.

I have created a GeoGebra Essentials Series which is made up of 9 lessons.  Each one is an introduction to the buttons, action keys, and all the other ins and outs of the program.  I must give mass props to who put all the lessons on his website - I modified the lessons to fit my needs but a lot of the underlying information is his.  If you want to find out information on GeoGebra and more technology options for the classroom, then visit

Future goals for Geometry/Honor Geometry:
  • The students will create a e-portfolio (google site - need to create the template)
    • post each units "challenge"
      • i.e.  equilateral triangle construction
      • i.e.  square construction
  • Create "Challenge" list for this unit and subsequent units.
  • Create "assignments" for Geometry(Honors) on itslearning.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Unit 0 "Construction"

Looking to create a "pre-algebra" unit for the students to begin the year with and to get used to all the itslearning LMS, googlesites, etc. etc.

This will be a good opportunity to see where my students are in terms of motivation, knowledge level, ability to take chances, to make mistakes.

So far . . . I have the pre-assessments for most of the sections.  Have included a link to my google site for help videos and practice.  For this unit, the videos are more of a support than a "lesson leader".  Once I get into the Unit 1 material, I plan to then create more lesson focused videos.

Progress has been made, so . . .

itslearning and googledocs seem to work well together
created a voki as a welcome to my google class page