Monday, January 27, 2014

Google Drive! What are you waiting for Math Teachers?

Here it is.  You need to post EVERYTHING (except tests/quizzes) in Google Drive.  Homework.  Review Tests.  Class notes.  Class worksheets.  Goals.  Calendars.  Answer Keys.  It is so easy and your students will use the things you post.  Your students will use it on the bus, waiting at the doctor, while watching tv, and as a passenger in a car.  Make your class convenient for them.  They will reward you with accessing them often.  One of the best things about this system is that your students can never say that they lost something that you handed out.  Please see my folder that I use for my Precalculus Students:  Precalculus Student Folder  An added benefit of Google Drive is that when the students are viewing the documents, they have a preview of each document.  This is very convenient.   By the way, your students can't change anything in the folder.  They can only view it and download it.   Here is a short video on how to do this.  Or you could take the steps below.

How do you do this?
1.  Sign up for Google account.  If you have a gmail account, then you already have a google account.
2.  Go to Google Drive.
3.   Make a folder for your class.  For example Precalculus Student Folder  Do this by clicking the RED CREATE button and then click Folder naming it as you wish.
4.  Make sure this folder is public.  Right click on the folder itself and then click share.  Or check mark the folder, and then click on More at the top drop down box and click SHARE.   Change the access to PUBLIC.  At the same time grab the link for the folder.  
5.  Use the link on a blog or web-page that you own.  Just paste it to a location that the students can easily get to.  I like to make it smaller at  This is an easy site that you can shorten long urls to be your own unique name.  Of course it will have at the beginning.  I have renamed a url calendar at
6.  Download Google Drive onto your laptop.  This will enable you to store files directly to your folder on your laptop and thus straight to your students.
7.  Now, you can start putting things into this folder.  Remember that anything you put into this folder can be seen by your students.  You can actually put word files, pictures, powerpoints, movie clips and pdfs.    I would start by creating unit folders within this master folder.  Things like Chapter 1 Functions.  They will all have public permissions because your master folder is already public.  Here is the best thing of all.  Whenever you make a worksheet, simply drop a copy into your Student Folder on your Google Drive and your students will be able to access it.  Give it a try and let me know how it turns out.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Geogebra: The Unit Circle and the Reference Angle.

A couple of colleagues of mine have been showing me things in Geogebra.  I tried it this week with a unit circle problem.  It turned out great.  I had each student/pair with a computer in front of them.  We went over the Unit Circle and the students used the laptop or iPad to maneuver around the GeogebraTube post that I had made.  My colleague called this COMPANION Technology.  (They used it with their learning) Many of the students started out using the digital Unit Circle and manipulating it.  However, as time went on, many stopped using the digital technology and just did the work in their head or on paper. There was a homework assignment that involved the digital Unit Circle that I had made in Geogebra.  About half of the students ended up needing it.  The next day the unit circle questions and discussions were amazing.  They really had a conceptual grasp of it.
Here is the link to the  to see the unit circle geogebra worksheet.  Please note the questions at the bottom of the page.

Steps I took to get this up and running.
1.  Download Geogebra to your desktop.
2.  Make an interactive Geogebra File.  (see intro to geogebra youtube:  I used this video to help me:
3.  Save the file to a place where you can remember to retrieve it.
4.  Go to  You will need to login.
5.  Upload your file to Geogebratube and fill in all needed information.
6.  Get the link of your upload and distribute it to your students.

I hope you can give Geogebra a try,