Happy Pi Day!

[Posted By Cory]; “Map” Up Writing Instruction by Karen R. Chichester from the Monroe Jefferson High School and the Eastern Michigan Writing Project http://goo.gl/OrrtXo

Link to list of Virtual Field Trip resources: http://vft78.weebly.com/ [posted by Anne]
Holland Christian's Resources on Writer's Workshops: http://goo.gl/CdxStI

Several of you (myself included!) enjoyed hearing from English teacher David Theune from Spring Lake. He may have shared this with those of you who attended his sessions, but he has a blog that he keeps up regularly. In his lightning session about nurturing empathy, he also spoke compellingly about the work of Slate columnist Emily Bazelon about digital citizenship and empathy. She has a book ("Sticks and Stones") on the subject, but the resources she makes available for free are very impressive, and go well beyond tech-related matters. Jeff
Differentiated classroom tools (mostly middle school oriented): icebergeducation.weebly.com
(leah) 1,000,000 sites for infographics
Infogr.amEasel.lyCanvaGlogster - TimelinesDipityPiktochart - Graphic DesignRe.vu - Timeline/BiographyTagxedo - Word Cloud with StylesPixlrSource: Julia Vandermolen
stream your classes for free using www.ustream.tv
Using Photography and Video to Support Math Learning (Could be applied to other disciplines) [Posted by Jonathan]http://thegeometryteacher.wordpress.com/macul14-presentation/ (Download the presenter's PowerPoint and check out other resources on his page)There are three steps to the activity he described.
  1. Show a picture or video related to the topic of the lesson and ask the essential question. (Hook)
  2. Ask 2 questions: What information do you need to answer the question? What will you do with the information when you get it? (Information)
  3. Give students the necessary information (control for factors you don't want to use) and let them figure out the answer to the question. You can conclude the activity with a discussion. (Answer)

4-Dimensional Teaching: Engage Your Students Like Never Before [Posted by Jonathan]
Here is some advice from the presenter for improving the design and effectiveness of a PowerPoint presentation for those of you who currently teach using them, or plan on using them in the future.
  1. Use only one point per slide. It doesn't cost anything to create another slide for another bullet point, so put only one point per slide. This makes it easier to focus on one simple message making the point more meaningful. Also, students aren't in a rush to copy down a hundred words into their notes before you advance the slide. More slides means less clutter.
  2. A picture is worth 1000 words. It has been found that words supported by pictures enhance the meaning and impact of the words. Include a picture that is relevant to what you are talking about at that point. If you want to teach give a presentation about Hurricane Katrina, don't show pictures of Typhoon Hainan. Incorporate the "Rule of Thirds" to make the pictures more dynamic and increase the impact they have. Having images take up the entirety of a slide increases its dramatic effect. Leave out the cheesy clipart!
  3. Got data? Leave out complex tables, charts, and graphs of data. Only include the information that you find important for your students to know.
  4. Don't make backgrounds foregrounds. Keep your backgrounds simple. Don't let the background of your slide overshadow the content.
  5. Put data into context. If you want to talk about something that impacts one billion people in the world, show an image of the earth with one fifth of it cut out. This way, students can visibly see how big of an impact that topic has. This YouTube videodoes a good job at contextualizing income inequality in America.
  6. Contrast. Put light text on dark backgrounds. Put dark text on light backgrounds.
  7. Fonts. Use Sans Serif fonts for presentations. These are the fonts that have letters without curved endings. Use Serif fonts for typing papers.
  8. Animations/Transitions. Use animations and transitions within and between slides sparingly. They can be pretty cool to watch, but it takes away from the content of the presentation and distracts students from the lesson.
  9. Less words, more story. Although there are many students who many not like listening, it is important that most of the content in a lesson is from spoken words, and not from the PowerPoint presentation slides. The slideshow should support your lesson, not serve as your lesson.

Book recommendations from the presenter:
(Books about methods of learning)
Design for How People Learn - Julie Dirksen
Story Proof: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story - Kendall Haven
Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School - John Medina

(Books about presentations and using visuals)
Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences - Nancy Duarte (download this for free using iBooks from her site)
slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations - Nancy Duarte
Multimedia Learning - Richard Mayer
Beyond Bullet Points: Using Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Presentations That Inform, Motivate, and Inspire - Cliff Atkins
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery - Garr Reynolds (also has a blog site with the same name)

Here is a link to the Google Folder with some other MACUL notes (we created this before we knew about the wiki).