Mind Map for 21st century learners

This mind map is a visual representation of the highlights contained in my 21st century lesson plan for third graders. Every aspect of the map attempts to engage all types of learners throughout the entire unit. It is amazing how many ideas can be generated from one key word. It is a great way to encourage creativity and think outside the box. Great resource and tool for students and teachers alike!

Flipped Multiplication Lesson Plan- Parts 1 & 2



The video contains two parts. The first part is the material that is being presented by the teacher. The second part is a review and allows for independent practice by the student. This front loaded lesson is designed to assist students with their multiplication facts and to introduce a variety of strategies other than rote memorization of facts.

Although, this lesson is not part of my technology unit plan due at the end of the semester, these are relevant to the current grade level I teach. I plan to load these on to my personal website at school for my students to use for SY ’13-’14.

I included the video of myself since I thought it would be helpful for the students to connect with me virtually. Some students may be so distracted by hearing by voice by audio only..that it may throw them. Therefore, I included the video portion. (Please do not grade me on my appearance:-)

I hope you find this video helpful.

TED Talks Response: Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover

I chose this video since I am an elementary school math teacher.  I really enjoy the math content I teach and want to pass this along to my students.  I feel that creating a love for math early on will establish a good foundation for math in the upper grades.  Math instruction should be hands on using physical manipulatives and real world situations. 

The speaker in this TED Talks is Dan Meyer, a high school math teacher.  He is an excellent public speaker and is able to engage his audience into his topic.  He describes the present as being an excellent time to be a math teacher.  He lists five symptoms that math is being done wrong in the classroom.  They are:  1.  lack of initiative, 2.  lack of perseverance, 3. lack of retention, 4. aversion to work problems, 5. eagerness for formula. 

Dan Meyer describes the manner in which textbooks teach math reasoning is the equivalent to watching a 22 minute T.V. sitcom and calling it quits.  His instructional technique involves conversation amongst students to practice patient problem solving.  He rebuilds standard problems and allows students to develop problem solving techniques that will enable them to answer the problem.  Lastly, he uses real world examples to hook his students into solving the problems rather than using 2 dimensional stick figure objects that students are unable to relate to. 

In summary, Dan Meyer suggests five techniques to engage the learner in math.  They are:  1.  use multimedia in the classroom, 2. encourage student intuition, 3. ask the shortest question you can, 4. let students build the problem, 5. be less helpful.  The tools are available to teachers today and should be utilized as much as possible.  Encourage patient problem solving as a teacher and give students the space to solve problems in a way that makes sense to them.

Flipped Classroom Blog

I read two blogs, “To Flip or Not Flip” and “Five Best Practices for the Flipped Classroom.”  I liked both of them for a variety of reasons since they provided different aspects of this new classroom structure.  For the purposes of this blog, I will choose the classroom teacher who is 110% convinced that the flipped classroom has transformed her way of providing instruction to her students. 

“To flip or not to flip” describes the manner in which a secondary math teacher is able to connect with her students and conduct enriching conversations in class as a result of front loading the math content through presentations that her students watch at home.  Students are coming to class prepared and ready to discuss questions, concerns, or new knowledge they have gained since they have a sense about where the instruction is headed and what purpose it is needed for.  This teaching strategy has allowed for peer learning to take place and effective discussions to occur amongst the students.  The teacher can also gain insight as to who has a good grasp of the content and who needs to take a step back.  

Test scores have drastically improved and student perspective of this teaching model is positive.  The classroom has ample opportunity for differentiation and utilizes technology in a useful manner. 

I enjoyed this teacher’s enthusiasm for a strategy that is working for her and her students’.  It is always exciting to hear what is working inside the classroom instead of what needs to be fixed.  It is also encouraging to hear that student attitude and performance is being positively impacted by a concept that so many can benefit from. 

Podcasts in the classroom

Yes, podcasts are something I would consider for professional learning in the future.  However, I think it would occur slowly and once I had a better comfort level with this type of technology.  I didn’t like the podcasts where there was no video.  I thought it was very similar to listening to the radio where I was easily distracted.  I am more inclined to utilize this technology where the audio and visual aspects are linked together to create the “whole package.”  I appreciate their importance and feel they could be a great learning tool in and out of the classroom.



Mobile Mathamatics- Leveraging math apps and powerful devices during math content in the classroom.  Creative way to encourage authentic learning by students in the classroom.  Suitable for secondary students.