Middle School Math iPod Touch Blog

Integrating Technology into the Middle School Classroom

Can I get back that new teacher excitement? It’s almost time to start anew! April 29, 2011

   Here it is – the final stretch. As I come to this time of the year, I keep students after school often and try to motivate and encourage them to gain every last bit of review possible before the year-end test. I develop study booklets on each strand of mathematics for review at home and at school. We practice during class and after school trying to push everyone’s understanding of the skills higher. (It sounds a bit like teaching to the test, doesn’t it? I really don’t teach this way the rest of the year, but right now it is review, review, review).  I am doing my best to focus my time and energy on my helping my students, but also realize I have needs too.

    When I work with new teachers, I show them the phases of teacher evolution during the year. Many teachers are familiar with this diagram, “Evolution of a Teacher”, that accompanies the article, The Evolution of a Teacher by Dr. Mark Littleton and Dr. Pam Littleton.

    There are so many teachers who spend a great deal of the time in the disillusioned phase, and not nearly enough in the Rejuvenation or Anticipation Phases.  I am not a new teacher, but I feel myself follow this downward slope of emotions yearly. I don’t believe I am disillusioned nearly as long as this diagram depicts, but certainly January through March are challenging months. Well, I am nearing the end of the year, I am reflecting, and feeling rejuvenated, and I WANT THAT NEW TEACHER FEEL AGAIN! Think of how many “new” things are fabulous. I love that new car smell, the crackling of a new book, and the excitement and joy felt by a new christian just bubbling with enthusiasm. I want that new teacher feeling back!   When I was a new teacher, I didn’t mind as much when students said really “cooky” things just to get some giggles from their friends, because I knew they needed that attention.  New teachers don’t hear as much of the complaining that goes on between other teachers, they don’t notice the “extras” being asked of them because it is all new, and they wake up in middle of the night with fabulous ideas of how to bring the content to their students.

    Teachers are fortunate in that we can start fresh every year. This year I have faced some struggles that have made me feel similar to new teacher, because all of the technology I was using was so new to me. It was wonderful at times, but challenging and disappointing at times. I had to work hard and spend extra hours finding apps, programs and developing lessons that would incorporate technology more effectively in my classroom. Overall I have been successful, but I am in the reflection/rejuvenation phase where I am looking forward to my “new start”. We are fortunate that we can start over each year, and can always aim for this year to better than those in the past. I am hopeful, optimistic and excited about a new start in just a few months and look forward to all the challenges, successes and craziness the new year may hold. It makes me think of that Meg Ryan favorite in “You’ve Got Mail”, “bouquets of sharpened pencils”. I am looking forward to that new teacher experience all over again!


Many thanks to twitter pln for ideas on using iPods in the classroom! April 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — msmathteachr1 @ 1:01 am

This slide-show was made as a public Google-Doc by various twitter teachers and techies. I hope it inspires you and motivates you to continue using iPods in new ways.



Flashcards on Touches March 24, 2011

This sounds easier than it is (for me at least). I was so excited to see Quizlet where there are many sets of ready-made flashcards, or the ability to make your own flashcards. They are not what I would call “user-friendly” when it comes to exporting the flashcards. I searched on the web to find how to get these great cards onto my students’ iPods and found several apps. Unfortunately, the best one was free earlier in the month but is now $4.99. We are not allowed to purchase apps so I am trying to find another route. We do have gflashcards on the iPods, but as far as I can tell students need to download the cards themselves, which means a lot of downtime in my classroom.

If anyone knows how to get these great study tools on the touches, without having to do it individually, please let me know. I know I saw someone’s tweet earlier about it. I will go back and look, but please let me know if you have a suggestion. I feel like the flashcards are just telling me “catch me if you can” because they are just out of reach of being extremely helpful in my classroom.



Feedback for students February 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — msmathteachr1 @ 3:25 am

Today we used our iPod Touches to help practice skills related to fractions, decimals and percents. We first played Freddie Fraction to help students recall equivalent decimal and fraction values. We then used Scribble Lite to answer questions to a Powerpoint review on tax and tip. Students enjoy writing their answers on the iPod and holding it up. They just need to be careful not to erase their answers by moving too quickly. If anyone has suggestions on how to fix the iPods where Scribble doesn’t erase, please let me know.

I am excited about loading a couple of new apps on the Touches for the students to use in checking their work with proportions. The Proportion app allows students to get the correct answer to a proportion, which will be very helpful in giving students immediate feedback on their work. This will also hopefully keep them more engaged in an otherwise drill and practice activity.


My, Oh my! February 17, 2011

My class used the Macbooks today for differentiated practice on percent of a number, and determining the tax, tip and discount. I thought I had figured out how to get the Macbooks to work more readily by having students log out instead of shutting down. That was not the solution. In one class, it took over 10-minutes of waiting for the Macbook to turn on, access Safari, and go to my website. This allows too much time for students to lose focus, a lack of time on task, and causes a change in the once positive atmosphere of the classroom. I certainly need to speak with some other teachers in the county to find out if they experience the same issues, and what can be done about it.


Tuesday’s Technology February 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — msmathteachr1 @ 1:20 am


Today, we used the Macbooks and Mrs.Wayne’s Math Place to learn more about integers. We practiced our timed multiplication, we multiplied with positive and negative integers and then started to add integers. We had a few issues with Firefox so we ended up using Safari, and up until 5th block it went well. For some reason our internet does not work well in the afternoon. Overall it was a good lesson and everyone showed they understand how to multiply integers!


Welcome to my math blog! January 31, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — msmathteachr1 @ 1:02 am

   The purpose of this blog is to discuss how technology, specifically the iPod Touch and Macbook, are being used in my seventh grade math class. Students will be selected from time to time to tell how they feel about the technology we are using in class.  They can share their stories about likes, dislikes, achievements and struggles with family and friends.  This will also allow students the opportunity to see how to use technology such as blogging in an appropriate manner.