Edmodo ShareSpace.

Tomorrow will be my last “official” day with all of you, and I’m sad that I won’t be around Traverse City next year, whether you’re a second- or third-grader moving up, or a fifth-grader moving on. Since I’m moving on myself, though, I have a lot to look forward to. (Just like all of you!)

I’ve created a ShareSpace on Edmodo for all of you to participate in. You can use the account you may already have to participate, and when I reach Kaktovik and start teaching at Harold Kaveolook School, I plan to have my students there join the site, as well, so that everybody can share their experiences. You can e-mail me or contact me on Edmodo for the group code to join. Your parents and teachers (past, present, and future) are all welcome to join, as well, but please (with those exceptions), keep group participation to people who have participated in Math Clubs with us at Central Elementary.

Not everything needs to be school-related (I mean, we’re just getting in to summer, here!), but think about whether what you might be posting is necessary. I will be moderating (that means “keeping an eye on and removing things that don’t belong there”) the ShareSpace, myself, and if there is any spamming (that means “posting things, especially things that don’t belong there, a lot of times”) or inappropriate discussion going on, I will delete it and you might be removed.

That doesn’t mean I’ll be mean about it, though! It should be fun, in any case; just at least think about school or what you’re learning and doing outside of school while you’re there! I might introduce some cool discussion topics to the group, myself, so you might want to think about the book(s) you’re reading, the sports you’re playing, or the new types of math problems you’re doing while you’re there.

In a few weeks, I will be archiving (that means “closing and filing away”) the Math Club Edmodo group; you’ll still be able to use Edmodo, but this group won’t be here, anymore. So, join the ShareSpace!

Remember, too, the Classroom Compendium website I put up; Most of the things I have taught, am teaching, will teach, or have otherwise found, is up there (or will be – soon – when I find the time to type more of it up!). This will eventually include most of the activities we’ve done in Math Club this year, but I also hope to share some of the lessons and materials I’m using while in Alaska, plus more. This website also links to a bunch of other services that I use for my classrooms, including my class YouTube channel, the Class Compendium Facebook page, my class’s public Flickr galleries, and lots more.

Right now, all of these sites and services are more or less public, so you can post and comment away on all of them, but if it gets out of control, I will have to moderate (that means “keep an eye on stuff and delete what doesn’t belong there”). Please be considerate and respectful as you use these resources; you can have fun, but you can also be mindful of this.

I’ll look forward to seeing some of you on there soon, and hope you all have a fantastic Summer break! Maybe I’ll even see some of you around town before I leave.


The Classroom Compendium.

By now, all of you have received a notification (or two) that I will unfortunately not be returning to assist at Central Elementary in the next school year.  In late July, I will be flying north to teach middle-schoolers in a village called Kaktovik, on an island in northern Alaska! I’m excited for what sounds like will be some excellent experiences, and for my first full-time teaching job, but I will miss all of you.

Thing is: I don’t want to miss any of you!

For a couple of years, I’ve slowly been chipping away on a website and set of services for myself and for my future students to use, and with this new position, I finally have good reason to finish setting it all up. This morning, I finally worked out some kinks, and have a “front page” set up for my project, The Classroom Compendium: http://classcompendium.wordpress.com/

That particular part of the website (the “front page”) has links to many different sites (including this one) and outside content, so you can explore what I have, or bookmark it and check back a little later. I’ll be adding more content to it (and the other resources, like the Facebook page and YouTube channel) so I can be “caught up” with hopefully most of the teaching and sharing and internetting I’ve been doing over the past couple of years. My adventures in Alaska, however, will be shared on another blog I’ve created, called Notes From the Arctic Circle, which can be found here: http://arcticjoe.wordpress.com/

Parts of that website are password-protected (and I’m willing to share that password with you and your family, if you’d like; just e-mail me!) to keep the content off of search engines. All the content is, and will remain, kid-friendly, but I urge you to share it with your parents if you do check it out. In fact, feel free to share these links with your family and friends, and I hope that some of you will follow my future entries and share some of your ideas.

Surfing in Munich.

Remember the graphing activity from today’s math club? A popular question after the exercise was about how people could surf in a river.

So, here’s a video! This is right where water flows beneath a bridge, which is how these people can surf on the river in the middle of Munich (in Germany). Pretty cool!

“Why are mathematics important?”


“Math helps me with drawing because I measure when to curve lines so the picture looks right.”


“Math can help me play catch and keep track of the score. That’s why math is important.”


“On vault in gymnastics, math can help me calculate my steps and know when to hurdle and it would help me a lot and give me better scores at my meets.”


“I like swimming and I know I can calculate my strokes. It’s important because it helps me with my grades.”


“Something that helps me with math is dance. Dance helps me because someone can tell me to do a math problem, then if I got it incorrect then I would try again. And if I got it correct, then I would do a dance move!”

Why do you think mathematics are important?


Want to learn a little about programming? Getting started isn’t as over-your-head as you might think! If you have access to an iPad, check out the FREE app, Hopscotch, available on the App Store! Learn programming basics by creating simple games and demos in a user-friendly, drag-and-drop touch interface that integrates basic math principles and guides discovery of fundamentals of algebra.


Play SumDog from home! Challenges are set up to build basic skills, review old concepts, and apply learning to new types of problems in fun and fast-paced online game settings that you can play with friends, classmates, and other students from around the world!

Central Elementary has signed up with SumDog to use data from students’ performance in these games to help us better focus and personalize each student’s experience at school, especially during Math Club. The more you play, the more you learn, and the more we learn how best to help you!

All Central Elementary students have accounts set up! To log in, just visit the website at http://www.sumdog.com/ and use the following credentials:

Password: abc123456
School Code: central_ 64