Friday, November 30, 2012

Purposeful Padding in the Math Classroom - Post 8

I was a fly on the wall, in the room, but not interacting, just observing.

Students headed right for the iPad shelf and got right to work with the Meteor Math App and I took a video of the room.  They were all in their seats three minutes before school started and hard at work on their app.  Not one tardy!  

When the bell rang, the kids checked their e-mail and started on the bell ringer which is a Google Form.  They swiped between Doceri and the Google Form to work out the problem and then swiped back to put in the answer.  Google Forms makes it nice since the kids can see all the questions at once before submitting the activity.

Instead of traditional notes, today the kids put on the headphones and listened to a Khan Academy video on equivalent fractions.  Afterwards, Gina revisited two of the problems that were discussed in the video and modeled a couple examples for them.  

Then, the students were all assigned four problems to solve and record their explanation in Doceri.   Here is the assignment:
Submit a recording for a grade explaining and working through each problem:

  1.     Simplify 16/24
  2.     Convert 6 3/4
  3.     Convert 18/5
  4.     Give two equivalent fractions for 2/3 and 4/5

We split the class into two groups of 10.  I took 12 of the students to my classroom and the other 13 stayed in their classroom to help reduce the noise while we recorded.  The recordings were e-mailed.  We have gone from paper to video assignments in just two weeks!

Lessons Learned
1.  Video is the learning modality of choice by many students.
2.  The Doceri recordings are powerful formative assessments.  By hearing the recordings, it is very easy to know if they understood the material and if they didn’t know it it was easy to see what needed to be corrected.
3.  All the kids were motivated to complete the assignment.

Written by Ann Feldmann

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Purposeful Padding in the Math Classroom - Post 7

Today I was in the room before the tardy bell.  As students arrived, they took their seats.  

“Do you want to grab your iPads and get started playing Meteor Math?” I asked.

They quickly grabbed  jumped up and got their iPads and those walking in the room joined them. Before long, everyone was working away on the Meteor Math app and the tardy bell had not even rung.

When the bell did ring, students were already engaged in the app! The head fake is they think they are playing a game and moving up levels, but they are really solving lots of math problems even before the day officially started.

In our quest to be paperless, I wanted to see if we could scan a QR code projected on the screen to move to our bell ringer, rather than sharing it on paper.  We discovered that the QR code must be bigger in order for them to scan it from their seat. So, we moved ahead with plan B, e-mail.

“Ok, tap the mail app. You will see an e-mail from me about your homework and you will also see a link to a Google Form for our bell ringer, “Gina Stukenholtz, 7th grade math teacher, said.

Efficiency. That would be the word for it.  They transitioned from the Meteor Math App, to the Mail App, to a Google Form and Doceri seamlessly and effortlessly. No shuffling papers, looking for pencils, finding page numbers, just a tap of the home button and all was well.

Another tap, they started a new Doceri project and began notes on fractions.  Instead of just e-mailing a homework problem in today, we took a bold new step and had the students explain their reasoning.  Using the Doceri app, students tapped record and then talked us through how they solved they converted a mixed number to an improper fraction.  It was a delight to hear the room full of students talking like mathematicians.  

Sharing the file was very easy, just a matter of dragging the recording to the mail icon, and voila, it was off to Mrs. Stukenholtz’s e-mail.  


Lessons Learned

1. E-mail is transforming classroom workflow for papers.  The two way communication is great.
2. Scanning a QR code works best on paper.  It is a great way to connect to the digital world without having to type a URL.
3.  Google forms seemed to be easier for the kids to use than
Socrative.  It was less frustrating for some students that had issues getting Socrative to start correctly on their screens.
4.  Students are engaged, solved many math problems, and are competitive playing Meteor Math.

Written by Ann Feldmann 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Purposeful Padding in the Math Classroom - Post 6

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” Randy Pausch
Today we had an off day.   The kids were chatty, our fourth attempt to use Socrative for our bell ringer failed, the kids were off task on the iPads, and we have a quiz tomorrow.   Compared to all of our other days, today left us a little flat.As Pausch said, “The brick walls are there for a reason.”  Gina and I put our heads together during plan time and shared ideas on how we wanted to move forward.    We reflected on the the past two weeks.  We have done an amazing job of integrating the iPads into all class activities, taught the kids how to use the iPads and apps, and now teach with the iPad and Apple TV.   She and I both had some great ideas for the Fraction unit.  Now is the time for us to move even deeper into technology integration.

I shared with Gina about the SAMR Model on technology integration created by Dr. Reuben Puentadura that I learned about on Twitter. Essentially, there are four stages to technology integration: substitution, augmentation, modification and redefinition.  As you move to new levels of technology integration, enhancement increases and transformation takes place.

  • Substitution - Technology acts as a direct tool substitute with no functional improvement
  • Augmentation - Technology acts as a direct tool substitute with functional improvement
  • Modification - Technology allows for significant task redesignRedefinition - Tech allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable 
  • SAMR Model of Technology in the Classroom from
Up until now, we have been using the iPads for substitution.

Examples of Substitution
Without iPads: bell  ringer on paper; With iPads: bell ringer with SocrativeWithout iPads: notes on Paper; With Technology: notes in Doceri

Example of Augmentation
Without iPads: handing in paper homework; With iPads: e-mailing homework

For our new unit on Fractions, we plan to take the students to new levels! Our goal is to utilize the iPads for modification and redefinition of tasks!  Time for us grow even more!  Stay tuned to see what happens as the week continues! 

Lessons Learned
1. Socrative does not allow students to change an answer. Once it is submitted, there is no way to go back.
2.  It is time to use even more of the capabilities of the iPad do individualize instruction and move to deeper levels of learning.Written by Ann Feldmann

Monday, November 26, 2012

Purposeful Padding in the Math Classroom - Post 5

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, “ Leonardo Da Vinci.

Simplifying the classroom paper shuffle is the name of the game today!  Using the iPads, Doceri, and the mail app, handing in work has never been more fun, fast,  or easy!

By now students are now very comfortable using the Doceri apps for notes.  (If you haven’t been following the “Purposeful Padding in the Math Classroom” project, you may want to check my first post and follow along.) It was the natural progression today to show them how to share out their work via e-mail.   

Students opened a new Doceri project for the guided practice problem.  “Tap the happy share arrow and e-mail the problem when you are finished,” I said.  In a matter of seconds, bytes and bits flew through the wireless to Gina’s e-mail. 

Student work created in Doceri and shared via gmail.
As class ended, Gina’s work began.   A quick glance of her e-mail inbox showed all the files waiting to be opened!  

She sent me an e-mail later in the day that I quickly moved to my warm fuzzy folder.

“I am LOVING this,” she said. “It allows me so much more freedom to communicate with and give feedback to kids even though my face time with them is limited.

Even though it took a bit to get into this (which we knew it would), I am really starting to see the benefits!! So glad we're on this journey together!! “

Lessons Learned:
1. Slow and steady like the tortoise.  Teaching the kids how to use the app a little at time has been very successful.  They are getting more and more confident each day.
2.  An iPad is a personal device.  The kids are using the same iPad each day and have personalized it with their gmail accounts. This makes sharing very easy.
3.  Simplicity is key.  The iPad is simplifying and digitizing the paper trail.  It is very simple to share a file out of Doceri.

Written by Ann Feldmann

A Boy, 2 Trains, and 1 iPod Touch

Recently I took my 11 year old on a little field trip to the botanical gardens.  It’s a great way to get in the Christmas spirit.  You walk through a lovely little garden full of poinsettias, ponds, and old antique trains streaming along above you on raised tracks.  And outside is the historic park that houses two huge steam engines from days gone by.  To see the trains you have to hike up about 100 steps.  It was really cold and windy and the grandparents were along so we sent my son up to have a look around.

Rest assured he didn’t go alone.  He had his ipod touch in his back pocket.  So off he went flying up those stairs in the 30 degree weather with the wind blowing against him.  When he came back with rosy cheeks he had lots to show us.  He had taken several photos of the engines that sat atop this hill and he had even taken photos of the plaques detailing the history of those trains.  He told us all about it while showing us the photos on his ipod.  

It was such a great little learning experience for him and one that he could share immediately because he was able to use his ipod.  Why, I ask you, do we take these devices out of our students’ hands?  Some of us recognize the power these tools provide to kids, and for those of you who don’t believe me... well you just need to get aboard the train.

Written By:  Jennifer Krzystowczyk

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Purposeful Padding in the Math Classroom - Post 4

We are full steam ahead in iPad integration. Before the bell rang today, our iPad helpers had the iPads handed out and Socrative, an assessment app, was up and running  with students eager for the daily bell ringer. Today the iPads were no longer a novelty, but just a part of the tools we use to get our work done.  That is exactly the goal, transparency!

However, just minutes into our bell ringer activity, an unusual thing happened.  Half of the students got the bell ringer for today, while the other half got the activity from yesterday. So strange!  We even logged out and back in, still getting the old quiz. After class, I tapped my Twitter network and @danbowdoin suggested that we completely close the app with the red - sign.  Thanks, Dan.  We will give that a try on Monday!

Stukenholtz shows Socrative results.
Instead of letting that slow us down, we just forged ahead.  Gina Stukenholtz, 7th grade math teacher, seized the opportunity to show them the results from our Socrative on Monday.  She took the time to show the students what the results looked like and how many people got all the problems correct and how many incorrect.  “We can see that we need to step up our game so we have more people getting both questions correct,” Stukenholtz said.

We continued to use Doceri for notes, but went a step further and had students do one homework problem in Doceri!  The kids were enthusiastic to get started on the problem and got to work just like bees flocking to a soda can. I was impressed  with how the students showed all their work using the cake method to find the LCM and GCF!  An added bonus was students started to spontaneously switch colors!  Color coding is a simple intervention and made it so much easier to find the numbers they needed to work with.   Doceri also makes it simple to erase and try again.  No more smudge marks!  As usual, the clock ticked down too quickly  and the bell rang before we were able to record and e-mail the Doceri homework.  That will be on the top of our list for Monday!

Lessons Learned
1. We need to log out of Socrative and also CLOSE the app! (double tap home, hold down until the apps jiggle, then tap the red minus sign).  
2.  Students are now feeling more accountable for their bell ringer work because the results are immediately available to the teachers via Socrative.
3..  A new classroom workflow is developing.  Socrative and Doceri are making the classroom paperless.
4.  We need to allow time to record and e-mail homework/notes.  Although the app is intuitive, it does take time for students to learn the workflow.

Great post on Socrative by @danbowdoin at 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Purposeful Padding in the Math Classroom - Post 3 -

Monday, Monday!  I got to work an hour early today to make sure all the apps synced up on the iPads correctly.  For some reason, four iPads did not get all the apps and one iPad would not connect to the wireless. What started off as a relaxing morning turned into a rush as time disappeared quickly. The last apps synced up just as the 8:30 school bell rang.

Relief. Yes, relief poured over the students faces as Brent and I appeared in the doorway with the iPads!

The row helpers came up to the front and took the five iPads for their rows and we were off!

“Ok, students, join my room in Socrative and do the daily bell ringer math problems,”Gina Stukenholtz, 7th grade math teacher said.

The room fell silent and the kids began tapping the iPad with a purpose.
We had no problems at all with the wireless. Everyone joined the room and had no trouble with the app. For those who finished early, they did a quick multiplication race in Fast Facts Math.  Meanwhile, Stukenholtz had a good pulse on their understanding of divisibility rules as the live results rolled in to her Socrative App.

As Stukenholtz went over the bell ringer problems, most students paid attention, but several drifted off into iPad land.  Quick redirecting and they were back in the game listening to explanation.

As we moved into new learning, it was time to take notes. Stukenholtz
used the Apple TV and popped her iPad up on the projector with the Doceri app ready to go!

7th grade student using Doceri to take notes in math class.
 “Ok, tap your Doceri app, get a color for your pen, and we will start taking notes,” Stukenholtz said.

The kids tapped the app and with little guidance, they were using the app as easily as answering a phone.  The best part is their work is automatically saved.   As class quickly came to a close, they simply tapped the home button and shut the screen covers.  

“You will need to do your homework on paper tonight,” Stukenholtz said. “But tomorrow we will do your homework on the iPad and you will e-mail it to me!”

Lessons Learned:
1. Kids do need to be taught how to use the apps.
2. They are very engaged with the iPad.
3. Doceri was a great tool for note taking. It is very easy to erase mistakes, change pen color, etc.
4. The kids are handling the iPads with great care.
5. Having row helpers was genius!  Much smoother end of class.

Written by Ann Feldmann

Friday, November 16, 2012

Purposeful Padding in the Math Classroom - Part 2

23 iPads ready to go!
Today is the DAY!  The iPads rolled into the math classroom! Excitement filled in the air.  I felt like a kid walking down the stairs on Christmas morning.  The day had finally come!  

A stack of 23 numbered and labeled iPads greeted the students as they walked into the room.  They immediately had a surge of excitement course through their veins too!  

“Whoa, are we using iPads in math?”, one student asked breathlessly.  

All of us could barely wait for the bell to ring, announcements to finish, and class to start.  

As we handed the students the iPads, their eyes were round and full of wonder and they had lots of questions.  “Do we get to use these every day?”  “Can we put our picture on the home screen?”   “Is this mine?”  

“The answer is YES!  For the next five weeks, these iPads are yours,” said Gina Stukenholtz, 7th grade math teacher.

First things first!  We started personalizing the iPads in Settings. Students added their e-mail addresses and changed the lock and home screen pictures.   Then we showed them how to move the apps we will use the most to the dock. They thought it was great fun to make the apps shake and jiggle and drag them around.  

With our dock set, we tapped right in. I created a two question iPad survey for the kids to take with the Socrative App.  The purpose was twofold. First to learn how to use the app and second to get a feel for their level of experience with the iPad.  That’s when hit our first little bump when all the kids hit the wireless at once.  About half of the kids were able to take the survey, and the other half had to close the app.   Instead of panicking, we just kept it all in perspective and kept rolling.

Next we use the Fast Facts Math app to practice multiplication facts.  When out of nowhere, the bell rang! The kids moaned!  We all wanted math class to be longer!

The last few minutes of class were a bit hectic as we quickly collected the iPads by number and stored them on the shelf.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Everything took a bit longer than we planned.  
  2. There can be no assumptions made that just because these are mobile kids, they will know what to do.  
  3. We learned that it isn’t the end of the world if something doesn’t work quite right, we just move one.  
  4. We also realized that we need to have class helpers.   We will have one person in each row in charge of handing out and collecting the iPads every day. We will have another person in each row in charge of charging the iPads every other day.

    -Ann Feldmann

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Purposeful Padding in the Math Classroom - Post 1 - Getting Started

Gina Stukenholtz, Teri Clapper, and I are going on a five week adventure that I am calling Purposeful Padding in the Math Classroom.  Over the next few weeks, 23 students will complete Unit 3 from start to finish using an iPad, specific apps, and their gmail accounts.

Purposeful padding means that we will be intentionally selecting appropriate apps and activities to transform learning. Melhuish and Falloon (2010) said that, “For applications to be effective as part of an individual’s learning pathway they must be pedagogically sound in their design,foster interactions that is grounded in M-Learning theory, rather than focusing solely on content, engagement or ‘edutainment’.” (1)

We recognize the iPad is a personal device, so for this project, each student will be assigned their own iPad for the project. They will personalize the iPad with their e-mail and home/lock screen and use it daily in the classroom and throughout the school day.  However, at this time, students will not be able to iPads home.  

Topics we will cover in Unit 3 include, LCM & GCF, Divisibility Rules, Fractions, and Vocabulary (multiple, factor, sum, difference, product, quotient, GCF, LCM, numerator, denominator).  Pearson curriculum materials will be used along with the free and purchased apps.  

Apps for the Unit
  1.   Socrative:  Socrative is a free app for multiple choice and short answer formative assessments and exit tickets.  
    • We will use it every day to review one to two questions from the previous day to check for understanding. 
    • Responses will be automatically recorded and available immediately to download as a spreadsheet. 
    • Students will use the Socrative App for the daily bell ringer and discussion.
  2.   Doceri:  Doceri allows them to write and record notes and homework on an endless chalkboard. 
    • Students will use Doceri App for note taking, homework, and vocabulary.    
    • Their work will be saved on the iPad to the camera roll and shared via e-mail with the teachers. 
    • Students will demonstrate mastery of concepts by both written work and with their oral explanations. They will convince us they have a thorough understanding of the concept by annotating over their work as they verbally explain the topic using the recording feature in Doceri. 
    • These screencasts will be shared via e-mail to the teachers.  To aid in the written notes, a stylus will be provided to each students.
  1.   Google Drive: We are a Google Apps for Education School District (GAFE).  Students will use the Google Drive to access Google Docs for daily journaling their growth towards reaching both district goals and individual student goals.  
    • Students will share this Google Doc with all three teachers so we can read and add comments to their docs throughout the unit!   
  1. Fast Facts Math:  This app on the basics skills will be used for remediation on basic skills.  Student will use this app two minutes a day to improve their speed and accuracy on multiplication and division, key skills for being able to factor successfully.  
    • Results will be e-mailed to the teacher.
  1. Middle School Math: This app will be used for RTI.
    • This factoring section of this app will be used for reinforcement of factoring skills.
    • Results will be e-mailed to the teachers.
Summary of Participants, Apps, and Materials

Gina Stukenholtz - 7th Grade Teacher
Socrative - Free
23 iPads, Stylus, and Ear Bugs
Teri Clapper - Resource teacher
Doceri -  Free
Apps synced to the iPads using Apple Configurator
Ann Feldman - District Technology Trainer
Google Drive - Free
Apps purchased with the Volume Purchasing Plan
One Math Class
Apple TV w/HDMI cable
Twenty three- 13-14 year students
HDMI Converter box

1 Melhuish, K. & Falloon, G. (2010). Looking to the future: M-learning with the iPad. Computers in New Zealand Schools:, page 11.

-Written by Ann Feldmann