Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Lesson in Map Reading

I would never say I'm an elite map reader. If I had to read a map under some kind of tremendous pressure I would likely take us (assuming you my dear reader are coming with me) in the wrong direction. Sometimes I think South is North and North is South.... but I usually eventually figure it out... this may be because I usually have somewhat of an idea of landmarks because I'm fairly familiar with the city I live in.

But I digress...

This is a story about the first time I subbed in the big bad high school (which wasn't actually bad at all... but big it definitely was).

Anyways, when I got there they gave me a map of the school because I didn't know where anything was.. but a map should make things a little more clear (they said and I thought).

Well... the thing is it didn't. The secretary pointed out where we were (at the office) and where I was going for my first class (which I found no problem - perhaps because I didn't use the map). I even found where my other class was located on the map. It was all working out just lovely.

Until I needed to find the staff bathroom. I went the way I thought the map told me to... but I did not see a cafeteria or a staffroom along my journey... so I turned a corner and there on my left was a door that just happened to be labelled staff washroom. So I used it. Something about it just didn't seem right though but that didn't stop me... I used it and found my way back to class no problem (and because I was a little concerned about that not being a bathroom I should be using I managed to sneak in and out undetected... I think).

So I'm back safe and sound in an area of the school I'm familiar with... the classroom I've already spent a few hours in. Here I am consulting the map to see where I went wrong in my journey to the staffroom washroom and I couldn't figure it out but now I needed to head back downstairs to go to my last class of the day (just to leave a note on the door). So I walk downstairs and go past the office where I'm assuming turning left will not take me outside (even though I'm quite certain it will)... when it does. At this point I decide my time would be better spent consulting with someone at the office about where to find this other room where she pulls out a bigger (just as confusing) map of the school. Luckily, she uses some hand gestures and left and right directions and I find my way there no problem.

Before I left at the end of the day I consulted the map again... I needed to find my way back through the school to where I had left my car. The map still didn't make any sense so I just figured there was some kind of misprint and the map was backwards... looking at the map as if it were backwards made more sense to me... and I meandered my way through the school to the doors I had not entered through. Ah well... at least I was on the correct side of the school my car was parked (I can only imagine how long walking around the perimeter of the school would take).

Or, to make a long story short. Sometimes maps don't make sense and I survived a day at the big bad high school!

FYI: Since writing this post I've returned a couple times to the high school. The map suddenly made much more sense the second time. By my third visit I was fortunate enough to not need the map at all (of course, if one day I teach a course in a different area of the school I'll be needing that map again!)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Substitute Student

"Ms. Penner is it possible to get a substitute student"

Said a student that didn't want to do their division work.

I told him it was highly unlikely... as that student would likely be going to school for himself or herself anyways and not able to sub for anyone else. He assured me he was going to try to find one for the next day anyways.... I suggested he not put all his efforts into the task.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

A Search Engine for Kids

A while ago I mentioned KidRex (a search engine for kids) and last week one of the EA's at a school I was at showed me Kiddle... another search engine for kids!... just in case you forget about the KidRex one.

Once again, it is pretty visual... a picture accompanies most (if not all) links that come up.

One thing that I didn't notice about the KidRex search engine (but was told this one had) was that Kiddle filters inappropriate language (I should note that I did try putting some inappropriate language into KidRex as well and it filters it too).  Then I tried something that a kid would try to look up but might not be considered an inappropriate word... so I searched "butt" nothing inappropriate came up on either search engine but KidRex wouldn't let it load at all... an "Oops! Try again" came up instead.  Kiddle loaded some things about Brent Butt and tv shows.  Later, I tried searching Brent Butt on KidRex and it still wouldn't let it load (because of the word "butt".

Kiddle also has an image search, news, and videos tabs... in fact it looks a lot like Google.

I don't have much a preferences either way with which one of these search engines I prefer BUT because Kiddle offers an image search I might be swayed that way... sometimes kids need to look up pictures to add to projects and this gives them a great (and safe way) to do it!

So, do you let your kids or students use Google to do searches?
Have you ever tried KidRex or Kiddle?
Do you think you will now that you know about them?

I personally think it will be hard to make the switch... and hard to get students to make the switch as well (they are so used to using Google!) but I would like to see it happen... even adding a bookmark to Kiddle could be a great start!

Friday, March 04, 2016

Five For Friday

I'm linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching for another Five for Friday post

Here are 5 things that happened at school this week

I taught Grade 11 Math and knew what I was talking about!

Okay, so I only became confident in what I was talking about AFTER I found the teachers notes (which is likely when we all became a little more confident in what we were doing)... but it counts... right?

I taught Grade 10 Dance

That's right, dance.  A Mennonite teaching dance in a Mennonite community.
Confession:  We watched a movie and no dance was taught.

I've been making the rounds at a new (to me) school

Huzzah for a new school that regularly books me as their sub!
Huzzah again for it being a really quick commute!

I left a book behind

This has happened a lot in the past... sometimes it's a water bottle.  Luckily, this is only the 2nd book I've left behind (and one was at my old school so I eventually got it back).  This one I'm not so sure I'll be back to collect... and I'm not from the area (or town for that matter) that the school is located.  *sigh* "What's With This Room" may not be my go to read when I go subbing anymore.

School wide breakfast!

I got to bring a class I was subbing in for a school wide breakfast with the local hockey team.  Muffins and cheese strings were devoured and shirts were won.  A fine time was had by all (and I didn't have a class to teach for the first period!)

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

It All Adds Up To Zero

I was subbing in a grade 5/6 class and the teacher had the students playing a very simple dice game to get them to add negative and positive numbers.  I tried to search for it online (she was calling it "It All Adds Up To Zero") but I didn't find anything... if you do know of a link add the link in the comments below!

Anyways, here is what you'll need (for each pair of students)
- one deck of cards with the kings, queens, and jokers removed
- one pencil
- 2 pencil crayons that are different colours
- 2 dice
- a piece of paper to draw out the board (or you could make one and print it off for them)

The board game would be simple enough to make (they could even use graph paper) just print off a sheet with squares on it and have them block of a playing area and an area to keep track of their scores.

How to play:

When it is your turn you turn over 2 cards.  Red cards are positive numbers and black cards are negative.  Also, a jack is 0 and an ace is 1.

You look at the 2 cards and decide which number you would like to write down (using your pencil) on the board any where you like (for the first player it really doesn't matter where you write your number).  Just make sure you write down the negative sign if it's negative!

Second player turns over 2 cards and chooses one to write down... this one doesn't really matter where you write it either (you'll see why in a minute)

Now it is back to the first player and they turn over 2 cards and choose one to write down.  The point of the game is to get 3 or more numbers in a row that will add up to 0 (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally).  So say you had a -3 and -4 already beside each other written down on the board and you happened to turn over a +7 (or a red 7) if you write it down beside the other 2 numbers you could circle them (in the colour of pencil crayon that you want to be yours) because those numbers all add up to 0 and get 1 point.  

Now that those 3 numbers are circled you cannot use all 3 of them again to make a longer set of numbers that add up to 0 (say you got a jack which is 0... even if you placed it beside the already existing chain you couldn't count it as another one).  You could use one number from that chain again in another one though.

You don't have to only make sets of 3... but the minimum number of numbers you need are 3.

When the space is filled up with numbers you can count up your points and see who won!


(boy I hope this made sense... if it didn't let me know in the comment section and I'll do my very best to answer all of your questions).
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