Podcast #113: Phone the Algebra In.


In Medical Terms
A man told his doctor that he wasn’t able to do all the things around the house that he used to do.
When the exam was complete, he said, Now, Doc, I can take it. Tell me in plain English what is wrong with me.
Well, in plain English, the doctor said, you’re just lazy.
Okay, said the man. Now give me the big, long, complex medical term so I can tell my wife.


NCMSA Want to send a message from your school to outer space? Send it on two lightsail missions. http://bit.ly/8ZQBqO

On Our Mind:

Gender Equity:

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Thank you to Language Arts Teacher for the iTunes post. We greatly appreciate it!

To all of those who are now our fans on Facebook – Thank you! (You know who you are!)



Service Learning
Students take leadership roles. They develop the activities.
•    Raise money for local charities.

◦    Alpha House
◦    Humane Society
◦    Lion’s Club
◦    Faith in Action
◦    Hospitals
◦    Make a Wish
◦    Chamber of Commerce
◦    Special Olympics
◦    Elementary schools
◦    Local Church events
◦    Senior Centers
◦    Knights of Columbus
◦    Usher local events
◦    Salvation Army
◦    Food Gatherers
◦    American Red Cross
◦    Library
◦    Fire Department

•    Make a partnership (Lions Club)

◦    They talk about why they volunteer as adults
◦    They want the school connection

•    Do a service learning class.
•    Dance Marathons

◦    Stand on your feet for those who can’t stand themselves.
◦    They raise a minimum amount of money to participate.

•    The kids pick the projects. They keep a list of organizations.
•    Gets the kids in front of the community.
•    In class, they practice social skills.
•    Tie in with Social Studies classes. (eg. Studying famine, did chores for charity – brought in money to donate to address famine.)
•    Pin awards to kids with service of 25, 50, 74, 100 & 150 hours of service. Present the pins to the kids at a school board meeting.
•    Presidential Awards are also available online. ( 50,75, 100 hours per calendar year).
•    The idea is that students will always be part of a community.
•    9 week class. Starts in 7th grade. Goes for 2 years. (Building is 7-8)

◦New kids every 9 weeks.
◦ Creates culture of helping.
◦ Custodians participate as well.

•    Middle School students need to be needed.
•    Kids need to know that not every community service opportunity is for everyone. Some kids may not like working with little kids or old people.
•    National Junior Honor’s Society
•    Mill Creek CS&L website on Dexter Schools.
•    Join Middle School Student Council (Michigan Association of Student Councils)
•    Exchange Day between schools


Solving Algebra on Smartphones

Research shows that a project to use the devices as teaching tools in some N.C. districts has had a measurable impact on student achievement in math.

Students, some initially skeptical that a phone would help them do better in math, have been quick to embrace the idea of using the mobile device to learn, says Denton, who attends Dixon High School in the 24,000-student Onslow County, N.C., schools.
For some math classes, particularly Algebra 1, Project K-Nect had mathematicians at Drexel University in Philadelphia develop short animated video math problems that teachers can assign to students as homework or classwork.
Some students have taken the technology a step further and created movies with graphics, student actors, and stories highlighting math. Particularly popular are student-created movies with a “CSI” theme in which the drama uses math to solve a crime. One student produced and posted a rap song on polynomials, which was ultimately posted to YouTube and spawned thousands of imitators, says Gross of Digital Millennial Consulting.

Learning Science:

learningscience.org is an organization dedicated to sharing the newer and emerging “learning tools” of science education. Tools such as real-time data collection, simulations, inquiry based lessons, interactive web lessons, micro-worlds, and imaging,  among others, can help make teaching science an exciting and engaging endeavor. These tools can help connect students with science, in ways that were impossible just a few years ago. Take a look at a few different types of “learning tools” at this link, Tool Examples. At this point in our project we are highlighting some of the best web resources for science concepts. Although our main emphasis is on students, teachers, and parents, really anyone interested in science education will find the site useful and informative.

Using the National Science Education Standards (1996, National Academy of Sciences) as our framework, we highlight only the best of these “learning tools” for students and teachers. All of the featured tools go through a  review process. Once a “learning tool” is submitted it is analyzed by an editorial panel of science educators and scientists for content and design.

learningscience.org is proof of concept project and a work in progress. Most of our “learning tools” are web based and free. We will remain a totally FREE online learning community that researches, reviews, and recommends the best of world wide science education interactives. This means that most of these are accessible to teachers, students, and parents who have access to the Internet.  For some of the concepts, we have only a few “learning tools”.  That is why it is important that you join us in this effort. If you are a science professional, or someone who enjoys science, please consider sending us your ideas.. If you have found science resources that we should add,  please share your ideas with others, we would love to hear from you. Just email George Mehler with your suggestions.

learningscience.org is a collaborative project of the Central Bucks School District (PA,USA), the teachers of the Central Bucks School District, The College of Education at Temple University (PA, USA), and George Mehler Ed.D.  George Mehler can be reached at gmehler@cbsd.org or 267 893 2044.

Slum Dog Millionaire and Education:

“Having watched hundreds of Indian children learning without teachers at the Hole In The Wall computers, it became obvious that all children can work by themselves, if they want to,” Mitra says.
“Most British children grow up with the internet and have the means to learn what they want in minutes, and this challenges the traditional idea of school being about learning things that will come in handy in the future. They become disengaged.”
Mitra is not alone in noticing this problem. John Dunford, head of the Association of School and College Leaders, last week told the group’s annual conference that computer games and websites have made children impatient and harder to motivate.

NCMSA10 Conference Notes (Todd Williamson)

MAMSE10 Conference session notes hosted by Dexter Public Schools.

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