Mr. Reilley's iPad Page

Teaching is a lifelong learning process of learning about new philosophies and new strategies, learning from the parents and community, learning from colleagues, and especially learning from the children. Children (especially my own) have taught me to open my mind and my heart to the joys, the innocence, and the diversity of ideas in the world. I can not wait to start the IPad initiative and see what we can accomplish together as a class.

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September 17th-
I read an article today (actually several) that I wanted to share. This article holds truth to what we all witnessed in the middle school on Friday when our 24 students walked through the doors in the morning and left in the afternoon. If you get a chance read it. I think anyone involved in the pilot program will agree with it. How Technology Fuels Learning .

September 24th-
This week we have received and sent assignments by email. We have used Pages, Paperdesk, and Whiteboard in completing some assignments. We have also uploaded tasks and activities from webpages. It has been a pretty good week in exploring the various ways to share data.
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October 6th-
We have explored the app Screen Chomp. How cool is this? We can not only show a video or clip on how to do something but give a narration as well. We have also used this tool to ask questions to one another. For example, did you ever have a situation that it was easier to just show somebody what you mean than putting it into words? It happens all the time in math class. With this handy dandy ( yes, I said handy dandy app) you can not only ask your question but show how far you got in the process and where exactly you are struggling. Not only that but you can send that to a friend, relative, parent, teacher or any other resource you may have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And to answer my first question: VERY COOL!!!

October 18th-
For the next couple of days we will be creating a project that displays how fractions can play a role in operating a successful restaurant. We are very excited in trying to perform such a task. In examining the ability to divide things into smaller parts or amounts we hope to discover the importance of this skill. We will incorporate it in an activity that we can display all the skills that we will perform throughout the year. As it stands now, we have gathered all the data and photos/videos we need. We will be performing the project as a Culminating project in the 4th marking period. Please look for the final project in May....

October 31th-
Wahooooo.... we have the new operating system. Just when I thought we had everything at our finger tips. We also have some new apps that will sharpen our math skills, move over Words with Friends here comes Sudoku and KenKen. We also added apps that will help us in the area of fractions, our four operations, and integers.

November 7th-
We are wrapping up the first marking period. (Wow, that went fast) In the next marking period we will be using some more apps such as SketchPad, Edmodo, and Comic Strip. I believe these apps will help us in prodiving more interesting results when discovering and discussing the next two units which are Geometry and Fractions/Decimals/Percents.
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November 29th-
We are under way in analyzing angles. Geometry can be a lot of fun. We will be posting keynotes, imovies, and/or other apps demonstrating the importance of measuring and creating angles. It is amazing how many angles (acute, obtuse, right, straight, reflex) there are in the world if you stop and look around. The latest app we are using is Edmodo. Here is an example of how easy it is to stem a conversation on various math topics...
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December 11th-
We now have an Edmodo Math group. I like how quickly we can enter thoughts, ideas, and perspectives on topics that we are currently covering without having to actually be in class. Also, this Monday and Tuesday the Middle School teachers are going to be meeting with Jane Keyes from Digital Literacies. I am very excited. She is very knowledgeable in the area of technology and curriculum. The best part is that she has taught in the classroom for several years before consulting, which means she actually knows and believes in what she is showing us. I hope to learn many new things and share with the students new ways and apps to integrate the iPad in our classroom.

January 7th-
Our introduction to Polygons is coming to a close and our Keynotes are due within the next week. Next we are revisiting are old pal Fractions. We will be using apps such as Fill the Cup, Fractions (McGraw Hill), and Virtual Manipulatives. We will be using some other websites in reinforcing our ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions (as well as mixed numbers). As soon as the Keynotes arrive I will be posting them.

January 22nd-
Here are some excellent Keynote examples of how even Geometry can be fun...Hahaha....
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February 10th-
In the month of February we covered the topic of Measurement. We were finding the area and perimeter of any and all polygons and irregular shapes. While exploring the space inside and the distance around 2-dimensional figures we came across puzzles called Tangrams. The students found the area and perimeter of each shape and held a discussion about "if all the shapes have the same area and perimeter, if you put them together to form different figures will each figure in fact have the same areas and perimeters?" Well they didn't stop there. They decided to put their creatures into a Virtual Flipbook. Will post them after their final touches.

February 16th-
Here are a few of the most creative Virtual Flipbooks ever created in the history of Pennsville Middle School...
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Tangrams in the Ocean

MuTaNt JaWs

Nature Tangrams


February 28th-
We are still using Edmodo. We have found that it is a great way to continue a conversation after the bell has rung, gives us the opportunity to give an additional idea or point of view when the thought strikes us instead of waiting for class the next day, and many ideas stem from each others insight. Once the ball gets rolling on a topic many interesting inquiries and conjectures are made. Here is an example...
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March 20th-
We are investigating how Percents are used and what exactly do they represent. Many of the students (boys and girls) were familiar with the term March Madness. What better vehicle could we use in order to collect data than the NCAA Basketball Tournament. We had a blast. Students picked and followed teams over the course of the tournament. But best of all, we collected data to help analyze what team might win and also the results of various statistics that contributed to the victory. Are first idea was to use a very new app called Onlive. This gave the features MS Office on the Ipad. However, we came with the conclusion that we could collect and utilize data in a more productive manner if we broke up into groups. So we used Google Docs. We collected data and entered them onto spreadsheets in groups of four. The feature that helped the most was the ability to collaborate and work on the same document at the same time. Students were able to grasp the concept that you can also program the cells on the spreadsheet to calculate the data. I will post a groups final project in a few weeks...

March 30th-
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April-18
Here are a couple apps and sites that we have been using throughout the year. State testing is around the corner (first week of May) and we are sharpening our skills. The following apps & sites allow students to reinforce their strengths and improve on some weaknesses. The realm of Mathematics has many objectives and standards. Some easier than others. And since students in the class may not share all the same strengths and weaknesses these apps can help them target the specific areas that they would like to improve on. Here are four that we have found and used.
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*(Also, we are always on the lookout for more sites/apps. If you happen to see any worth recommending please feel free: rreilley@psdnet.org)


May-23
The class an I would like to thanks Pats Pizzeria (in Pennsville NJ) for helping us with our Ratio/Proportion Unit as well as our Data Collection Unit. The topic question was posed to the class; "If our Middle School gave out a local business award based on how it serves the community who would it be?" The class all said "Pats Pizzeria" (Like who in the Middle School doesn't like Pizza) So we contacted Pat's and asked if students could come over and do some data gathering, pictures, and videos. They were AWESOME... Pat's was very accommodating. We used the data that we collected to create ratios comparing the various ingredients, preparation/cooking time, and amount of customers. We also utilized the data to make graphs and tables to organize the data in preparation for our video the students were going to make as a project. Here are some questions, pictures, clips and the graphing site that the students used:

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The best part about having an iPad is that we can gather our own data (not a predetermined list), our own topic (relevant and more interesting to us), and the use of apps/sites make it easier to gather, present, and share our results. Once again, thank you to Pat's Pizzeria. Your data and secret for great service is safe with us.

June-11th-
I can't believe the 2011-2012 school year has come to an end. It feels like we just got done going though our iPad Boot Camp in July. If you were to ask me 100 times “would you do the iPad pilot program again?” I would say “YES” 200 times. The students and I have discovered a lot! We’ve learned a great deal about math, but hopefully just as much about ourselves, each other, and the responsibility and work ethic it takes to meet challenges successfully. I am so proud and pleased to have been a part of this program. I am very proud of this unique group of 24 individuals and of all they have accomplished this year. Some things were obviously visible with the projects they have completed. Others were internal, involving the courage, willingness to work with others, and confidence that comes with taking risks and doing difficult tasks. I believe in these fine students and I know that they are capable of amazing things! Thank you more than I can express for sharing this experience with me, for working so hard, and showing me how education infused with technology can be so enjoyable. I wish my Period 5 every joy and happiness. Enjoy your summer vacation and continue to be the leaders in the iPad Program as it spreads throughout our district.

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Thank you for a great year!!!