Monday, February 21, 2011

My 21st Century Math Classroom!

I've been waiting ALL YEAR for the tech dept to get me internet access on my new sftp/ftp/SAGE servers....

So, I am using sftp on the new server for my AP Computer Science class to do their classwork. I gave them an Ubuntu Desktop as a client and setup the new server as an Ubuntu Desktop plus openssh so they can write their java programs.  I also added vsftp to that server so I can share some files with them. The problem is that all this is only available to them during class! My old servers had external IPs as well so my students could work from home.

I also used to share all my SmartNotebook pdfs and mp4s on the old ftp server for my Math students to access from home. Access to these files from home was a great added resource to my classes. If a student is absent, they can easily see what was missed and catch up. If a particular topic is giving the student difficulty, he or she could load up the files from that class and review what we did even if it was months ago! I am using the new server as an ftp site too, but its only accessible in school via Linux. That's great for my computing students except for no access off campus. However, most of my Math students don't use Linux and liked accessing these files from home.

Enter the 21st Century Mathematics Classroom! I just started uploading my pdfs to just like my old ftp site. Also, all my videos are already on for my students to view. I'm also looking at to link all these resources together! Edmodo is fashoined after Facebook, so the students know how to use it already. I created a teacher account. Then I added a group for each of my classes. Each group gets a unique access code that you can give to your students. When they make a student account, they provide the access code and get a private Facebook-like wall for the course. On that wall I can post assignments for the week and links to the slideshare pdfs and youtube mp4s.

BTW, just for the record, I take full responsibly for coining the following terms.

MultipleChoice Mondays: 
I give an entire Part IA or Part IB every other Monday. I give AB exams in the Fall and BC exams in the Spring. I have my students complete only as many as one class period allows based on real AP exam time limits (about 2 minutes per question without a calculator and 3 minutes per question with). I start this around Thanksgiving after we finish most AB topics in my BC class. One week is the exam, the following Monday we go over it in class. In this manner, we cover 10 Parts I in the 20 weeks leading up to AP Week. 
TakeHome Tuesdays, 
I give one take home per quarter with Free Response Questions of my own making that review what we've done so far and extend the students' knowledge using topics from AP Physics C Mechanics as I have a lot of those students in my BC Calculus class. 
YouTube Wednesdays: 
I show a funny 5-10 minute clip (Calculus Carols, etc) or part of a documantary related to class usually from YouTube, sometimes Ted, sometimes PBS/Nova (see current blog post about Nova). 
Think-a-lot Thursdays: 
Every 2-3 weeks, when we finish a unit, I give a pretest reviewing topics on the test the next day. Students are placed in groups of 3-4 and compete for bonus points as a group toward individual test on Friday. 
FreeResponse Fridays: 
Every 2-3 week unit ends in a test of my own design similar to past Free Response questions emphasizing the use of technology.  

Teaching with Technology, 


  1. Russell King ( 23, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    I have read some of your posts on the AP Calc discussion board, which has led me to see how you are using tech in teaching math. Great stuff! I too use tech for teaching math, but I've barely gotten to making any videos although my home office is all set for it. I started asking my students to "Edmodo" last year and some of them like it. Need to build incentives around assignments. It's not always enough to suggest that they can collaborate and get the homework more easily and successfully!

  2. BTW, IDK why people have such issues posting comments here. I get most comments about my blog privately via email. If you have a google account you can login with those credentials. If not, just use anonymous as I did here.