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And the snow keeps piling up

February 3, 2010

Add another 4 1/4 inches to the grand total…and another winter storm predicted for the day after tomorrow!  We are loving every minute of it!

Before leaving for the day yesterday, I was able to begin updating my SmartBoard Math folder with this quarter’s assessments for Geometry, Algebra I, and Algebra II.  There is also a need for Trigonometry services in my current student population, so I may need to add an assessment or two for that genre as well.

I have taken on a few WEB2.0 projects this winter/spring – among them, plenty of SmartBoard lesson plans for both math and science curriculums, a WebCasters academy PD, and continuing to research Squeak (spoken of in an earlier blog post).  For the SmartBoard, AB Classroom is still awaiting install of the update to GSP and has not heard back from www.smarttech.com regarding our Math Tools upgrade inquiry.  This teacher has a PD scheduled for mid-March regarding SmartBoard use in the classroom, so he is going to let the SB inquiry slide until that meeting then attempt to get some answers.

The tax preparation exercise went well the other day – ESmartTax.com is highly recommended for those of you who dare to complete your taxes yourself!  Very intuitive, not too annoying (the free version has the occasional popup ad for addl help/upgrade), and for about $13, you can EFile both Federal and State returns.  I have been thinking of trying to create a mini-tax class for the students this coming April – it is good information, and can save a person alot of money if they can learn to do the job themselves.  I think that my father must have taught me how to complete the original 1040EZ way back when in the late 70’s, and I have been completing both Fed/State since then.  (I even did a short stint as a professional preparer on one or two occasions in the past, and no doubt learned a bit more along that career path.)

A request has been tendered for the district/VA DOE to pick up the renewal cost of Just Another Resource wiki (due in July, I believe).  The wiki is, on a scale of 1-10, rated at about an 8.5 in importance to my teaching acumen – if the request is denied, then the wiki may revert to the ‘free’ version which means that future updates would be less WEB2.0 in nature – no html/javascript or video/audio updates.  I think that everything currently in place will still be operable.

National Lab Day dot org – http://www.nationallabday.org/projects/944-prepare-your-own-income-tax-return– I have created another project idea:  teach a minilesson on how to prepare a personal income tax return.  I am hoping to use a free online tax preparation service to simulate the process.  Any one out there have any good ideas or wish to lend a hand?  Also, our plans to stream a 1st grade SSF assembly to AB Classroom is coming along.  The teacher from an elementary school in Duluth, MN is working with her principal and media specialist – currently considering the use of Bridgit for content delivery.  And, last but certainly not least, the Pi Day project is fast approaching!

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