Thursday, December 16, 2010

Algebasics - Free Math Tutorials with Audio

Frequently, I learn about new websites and online tools from teachers. In my work in technology integration, I  am always looking for new ideas, integration strategies, tools, websites, etc.  Today, I shared with a group of teachers and at the end of my demo, a teacher asked me if I had heard of algebasics.  This is a website she uses with middle school special education students and her students love it.  High praise made me curious so I checked it out and I am sharing it with my blog readers.
I love the algebasics motto, "show me how, now!" When kids don't know something, isn't that what they want?  This website provides free, audio supported solutions to math problems in 16 algebraic topics.  The site keeps it simple. 

This is the list of content on the algebasics website.

This is what students see under the sections.  There are three simple stops, as you can see in this screen shot.  You need audio, select an example and click on it to play. 

The solutions are clear and easy to understand in English.  If you are math teacher, I hope you share this site with your students.  I like that fact that students can listen and watch the example being solved as many times as they need or like. 
This is what you see when the problem is being solved.  It is not interactive but rather like an audio book of basic algebra examples with solutions. The site shows you "how," as their motto says.

Algebasics is now on my list of best tutorial math sites and I hope you check it out to see if it meets your needs.  If you don't teach algebra, pay it forward by sharing it on to a colleague. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Connecting Standards to Practice

In this blog, I've shared tips and tools to help teachers integrate technology into the curriculum. Today, I am sharing a post by Collete Cassinelli, Tech Curriculum Integration Ideas.  The post offers specific activities that connect to to the International Society for Technology In Education (ISTE), National Education Technology Standards for students.
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Research & Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations & Concepts
Ms. Cassinelli's post keeps it simple while providing educators with concrete examples, using easy to access tools.  I'm not about re-inventing so I am paying it forward by sharing her thoughts in my blog. 
Consider posting a copy of the ISTE NETS for Students in your classroom.  This will provide you a ready reference as you align lessons and activities to your curriculum standards.

In addition, I encourage you to visit the ISTE website.  You will find a wealth of information and ideas to support integration of technology and your professional learning.
If we teach today as we taught yesterday, 
 we rob our children of tomorrow.
                                John Dewey

Thank you for taking time to read my blog.  I hope you find something that you can use and practice. 



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teachers Should Like Google's New Search Option

Last Friday, Google added reading levels to its search tool.  Click to read more. Barry Schwartz wrote this blog about the new reading level option and he keeps it simple.
In the advanced search, you can choose basic, intermediate and advanced reading results for your search.  The "advanced search" option is located to the right of the search box.

This new option offers teachers more options for teaching search skills and helping students find appropriate sites for research projects.  I shared the option at an elementary school today and the teachers felt that it would help them find resources for students that they could read and that they could use in their lessons.  There are additional features in the advanced search that allow you to delineate the file format in a search.  This is another way to narrow your search and can yield more of what you are searching for.
I hope you add the reading level option to your search bag of tools and that you share it with your students.  Try it and see how it works for you.  Write a comment about your use, what your students think about the option or any questions you have.  Happy searching!