Monday, November 24, 2008

California Teacher Selling Ads on Math Tests

An enterprising math teacher in California is selling ad space on his math tests. Wow. I wonder if this will catch on?


Podcast #161 - Teaching Gas Prices in Class

Hello. Have your students been talking about the steady decrease in the price of a gallon of gas? Here in Liberty, Missouri we currently have some of the cheapest gas in the country. I filled up in Independence yesterday for $1.39 a gallon (see image above).

Our next unit in class is our unit on how the Constitution works today and we always discuss taxes - both federal and state. Gas taxes are always a great way to introduce this concept to my 8th graders. This podcast will discuss a couple of great websites to help you discuss gas prices in class with your students and make it a truly teachable moment.
If you have a great gas related resource for teachers you would like to share (insert any jokes you feel appropriate here) please leave a comment to this post.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Podcast #160 - Read the Words - Text to Audio Tool for the Classroom

Hello. Today's podcast is a very quick review of a free online application called "Read The Words". Many of you are probably already familiar with this application but I wanted to do a quick podcast to let everyone know about it. Read the Words allows you to convert word documents, PDF files, blogs, web sites, etc. into MP3 audio files. I think this application has some powerful potential in the classroom.

Please let me know what you think of this application by leaving a comment to this blog entry. I would also be interested in any comments from teachers who have already used Read the Words in their classrooms.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pearson's 2008 Teachers of the Year Videos

Several weeks ago I was in New York with the other state teachers of the year and attended our last activity as a group. We were the guests of Pearson and had the opportunity to create a short video answering the question "Why Do I Teach?" It was a great experience as each of us created a short video in one afternoon of work. The videos of all the 2008 state teachers of the year are now posted online.

Link to see all the 2008 Teacher of the Year Videos from Pearson

I encourage you to visit the site and view some of the videos. Over the past 10 months this group of teachers became incredibly close and I have enjoyed viewing each of the videos and recalling conversations I have had with each of them. These teachers have so much to share and hearing their stories is truly inspiring.

I would like to thank Pearson for the opportunity to capture our stories and allow us as a group to experience digital storytelling. Pearson also provided each of us with a Flip videocam to use for future projects and I have truly enjoyed using this device which I think should be in the hands of each teacher in America.

Friday, November 07, 2008

What Would You Tell Mr. Obama in 100 Words or Less?

This blog post is a special assignment for my 8th grade American History class but anyone is free to join us.

If you could tell Mr. Obama anything in 100 words or less what would it be? Would it be advice? Would it be words of wisdom? Would you tell him what you would like to see him do as President? Would you tell him which issue is most important to you? Here is his official website as he transitions to the presidency.

Please leave a comment on this blog post. I am asking my students to leave their comment as "anonymous" but leave their first name at the end of the post. No last names please. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day 2008 Report

Hello. Hope everyone is enjoying Election Day 2008. I woke up around 5:00 AM and took my 5 year old daughter with me to vote. We were in line at 5:45 AM, polls opened at 6:00 AM and we were on our way home at 6:45 AM. Not too long of a wait and everyone was pleasant.

The students of South Valley Junior High School here in Liberty, Missouri participated in the Kid's Voting Project taking place across the Kansas City. Our results will be available on Tuesday night here.

I'm participating in the US Voting project with the students of Diana Laufenberg of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadlephia, Pennsylvania and Kyle Steven's students at the Bishop Dunne Catholic School in Dallas, Texas. Here is my video report on how the voting went this morning.