Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Did you see this cool activity created by our own Mr. Foster? Of course not I haven't shown it to you yet.

A simple excel file Students are to label points on a number line. Then move numbers around to make the columns equal zero. Great for practice in adding integers, but also great for building the concept of finding zeros,
I'm also thinking it can help build the concept of equations, but putting the zero block in the center and asking students to add or subtract from the ends.
Feel free to play with it.
We were also talking about setting up a way for students to access these files and turn them in on their own. We are thinking a separate google doc for each student. You can access the document here. When you share the link (a setting in google docs) your students don't need an account to view the page.
There is also a company Zoho.com with many of the same features as google docs. I uploaded the document there also. I think the formatting looks a lot better than it did in google docs. In Zoho you can share the document with other Zoho users (free plan even) but you can't share outside of Zoho unless you buy the premium plan. They also have an option of sharing to a group.
One idea we did have is to differentiate the lessons and give some students more challenging spreadsheets. This of course would mean sending each one to individual students negating the advantage of a group.
One final thought is that sharing the documents will mean a link somewhere. Either a hyperlink in a class blog (try to find a blog that isn't blocked). The other option I can think of is a URL shortener.
A service like tinyurl.com will shorten the URL (the address of the web page) to something such as http://tinyurl.com/4amf5cc It is even possible to customize the last part of the link. Perhaps something like a name and a date. Then you can assign each student a different spreadsheet and they can remember the URL easily.
Enjoy your snowday, and share some of your favorite lessons.

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