Thursday, July 31, 2014

TMC '14 Recap and iPads in the classroom

{Note: the Algebra 2 link has almost all of my INB pages up! I am still working on attaching all the links. If I haven't attached one that you want the word document to, let me know and I 'll send it.}

TMC Recap
I figured I needed to recap TMC before I forget and then could never look back. I have been exhausted since I came home..primarily because I stay up way too late and also due to the fact that my mind was stretched so much at TMC in a good way!

I am so passionate about what I do. Personally, I could never be in a job that I know doesn't make a difference. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I'm anything extraordinary but I do know that I have a love for these kids, their well-being, and helping them develop a passion for growth. I say a passion for growth instead of learning for a reason. For the rest of our lives, whether we want to or not, we are learners. We learn how to be wives and husbands, moms and dads, how to deal with insurance and budgets, and how to be a good friend and person. But, not everyone tries to live their lives growing. Learning really isn't a choice but growth is. I want my students to be passionate about growing and learn to love the learning process, as well. TMC brought to my attention so many more ways that I can use to cultivate growth-minded students.

The best way to describe how I felt at TMC was inspired. I told my husband as I was going on and on about how much I was loving it was that "They just get me there." He thought that was pretty nerdy of me to say but he knew he married a nerd from day one :) What I meant by that statement was that I felt like I was surrounded by people who understand my passion and my dreams for my kids. You guys don't just want your kids to learn but to grow as people. So, beyond the incredible instructional tools that I learned about at my time at TMC, my biggest take away was the way it made me feel. Inspired and hopeful. Inspired because there were so many teachers who amaze me with their talent and ability to teach without fear. Hopeful because I'm reminded that others love and want for these kids like I do.

Here's a couple pics. Let me just say, these are NOT good pictures of me AT ALL. But, I am so glad I've been able to get to know these two.

Me and Elissa   

Me and Shelli (Let me say that her friendship has                                                                                           been such a blessing to me this past year!)

     My use of iPads in the classroom is nothing extraordinary. I began using my iPad more this year because it's just so convenient. Let me make a note that our school is not 1:1. We are making noticeable progress to getting there, but not there yet.

     I do not write down grades in my grade books. To me, it's a waste of time to write them down physically and then write them electronically, as well. I know many teachers that I work with that do both and I say hats off to you. But, I'm just too lazy for that. So, since we just got wifi in my classroom this year because my class is kinda secluded in a newly built hall, I decide to start recording grades and feedback with it as I walked around with the kids. Gradequick is a little more frustrating to use on the iPad but I think they are beginning to update it to be more user friendly. Throughout the year, I did a lot of checking on student understanding by walking around at the beginning of class and looking at an assignment or INB page for understanding of the concept. As I did this, I would give a small 10 point grade that, in the long run, didn't really make a different in anyone's grade. (I only do classwork/homework for like 10-15% total). For projects and activities, I often take pictures of their work on whiteboards, etc. and grade their assignments that way. It's just better, to me, than taking home stacks and stacks of papers to grade. I just take my iPad home and flip through the pictures, provide feedback on a half sheet I have them turn in, record their grade and delete the picture.

     Also, when the TI-Inspire came out on the iPad, they ran a huge sale on the app. I believe the app runs for about $20-$30 in the app store but I got it for like $7. It has a lot of pre-made interactive lessons for students to get visual understanding of the concept. Desmos can pretty much do the same thing so I intend to use that more often, as well. I bought a cord to hook my iPad to my projector and use the animations to help the kids. Now, I can use my iPad for anything I want to project to the kids. I wish I could do it wirelessly but, from my understanding, you can only do that if your school has AppleTV.

This is a screen shot of the exploring domain and range lesson. You drag Point P and it highlights the domain and range in different colors for kids to see.

Grab the points and it alters the graphing as you drag them. This particular lesson demonstrates graphing rational functions.

This is an example of a lesson that can be sent out to calculators (or if you have a classroom set of iPads) where students can respond to questions.

Another example of student's being able to respond to graphs that they have been shown or created.


  1. Reading your blog makes me wish I taught near you. You have so many great ideas and share a passion I recognize. I give so much to my kids and their experience, always trying to find ways to make it better. Keep sharing! (Also you may need to explain the acronyms. Education has too many of them. lol)

  2. We just got an opening and have to hire ASAP ;)