Sunday, November 3, 2013

P16 Best Practices Math Summit 2013

  This past Saturday I attended the first P16 conference in Sugar land, right up the road.  I was extremely excited about going to a conference so close to home that focused on math.  Free breakfast and lunch was a bonus on top of all the great professional development that I would receive once the day had ended. 
   While enjoying a lite breakfast, Greg Tang, National author of Grapes of Math and Math for all Season, and math teacher, set the stage for a great day of learning.  Tang had us laughing, engaging and thinking about math with new perspective.  I could not wait to look up his free website and game site and get the wheels in my head thinking about how I could incorporate his site into my math class. So here they are: and his game site 
   I attended sessions that focused on math discussions, and how to get our students talking about math and using vocabulary, Photo story and , Flipped Math class, which I have homework to complete and can't wait to do it, and integrating iPads in math other than the typical.... lets play an app activity.  All in all, it was a great day and I can't wait to attend next year.

Monday, August 6, 2012


       This will be a very short post.  Just wanted to let everyone know that T3 is happening in LCISD August 7th. Yep, Tomorrow.  I, like a crazy person, will be presenting two sessions.  I think I am a little nervous, but I am also excited about sharing what I have learned over the past year with technology in my classroom.
      So here it is: 9:30 to 10:30 I will be presenting Twitter & The Math Class - Let's Get Techy. Then right after that session I will be presenting my iPads/iTouch for iMath.
     The first session is about "some" of the neat techy stuff I have discovered from my PLN off of Twitter.  Yes, I said Twitter.  Everything in my presentation, I discovered from following great educators that have shared their wealth of knowledge.  Of course I had to check out the link and learn about the tool or resource on my own.
     The second session I tweaked a bit from my CAMT 2012 presentation and thought I would share what I have learned about using iPads and iTouches in the math classroom.  My students love to get on these devices.  If I could find a way to teach every lesson with one, I would. I just might, but I would need more than 3 in my classroom!  But I am one of the lucky ones, in that I do have more than 1 in my class. 
     I have attached a link here to google docs and my project folder.  I have put both presentations in the project folder and I have also made an Edmodo group -Techy Math (sijoe4) and both presentations are there if you would prefer to get the presentations that way.  You will also find a lot of other gyms in that folder, so check it out.  Hope to see you at T3 2012!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

TeachHUB Summer Giveaway & other great finds!

Ok, I don't usually post about giveaways, but as the school year approaches, we all need a little surprise.  TeachHUB has a great summer giveaway and you can access the page here at: . It's free and you might win some swag.  Oh, but don't tell my children I called it swag, they think I am way to old to be calling it that. 

    Another great item you could win this summer is a Casio Prism.  Ok, this requires a little more work then just checking out a site.  You have to take their on-line 3 part course.  Once you are done, the calculator is yours.  You must finish the courses by September 15th.  You can access that giveaway here:

  Teaching Blog Addict has a page set aside just for teacher giveaways.  Check in every week and see if she has something you want.  These items could be teacher created or offered by a company.  But still free.  Check her site out here:

   Who doesn't love Oriental Trading?  They have a $500 a week giveaway until August 25th.  You must enter weekly and only once:
  Well that's all for now.  I am not real lucky, but if I never enter, I am sure not to win.  So I am going to try my luck, hope you do to.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CAMT 2012

Today I attended the first day of a three day conference being held in Houston, Texas.  This year makes the 10th year I have had the fortune of attending CAMT (Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teachers) in my home state of Texas. 

    Today (July 18th) I attended some great sessions like Todd Whitaker's "What Great Teachers Do Differently", talked with a great friend (Jean Frankie), walked the exhibit hall and met the producer (Jimmy Pascascio) of one of my favorite teacher tube videos Mr. QUE and PEMDAS, tweeted about laughing and building your PLN and volunteered monitoring rooms.  All in all, I'd say I had an awesome day.

Tomorrow I have some great sessions lined up and I am presenting iPads & iTouches for iMath, with my colleague and friend Casey Chapman.  Only downfall is I'm missing the great luncheon and speaker Debbie Silver.  But it's ok, my session is going to rock.  Friday I present again with Casey. This time she takes the lead in a Smart board session.  She is so techy and helps answer all my "I'm stuck" questions. 

 If you are attending the iPads & iTouch for iMath session, here is the link to my presentation:
Or you can access the presentation through Edmodo by joining my new group Techy Math @ sijoe4. I hope to add more tech info and other presentations here.

If for some reason you can not access the presentation, just shoot me an e-mail at or contact me via tweeter @dakretschmer and I will be glad to get you the presentation.

As the conference closes on Friday, I will reflect on the past few days and begin planning next years adventure.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Just Thinking! Why do I blog?

I find myself reading a lot of post, but not knowing what I really want to blog about. 
I wanted to blog about great technology that I have used in my class, and I did for a bit.  I wanted to share what I had learned with other teachers, especially math teachers. 
Great thought, didn't work.  I blogged, but not consistently, and nobody read least that's what I think.  But does it matter if no one comments on your post? I've decided no.
 The fact that I, a math teacher, with little writing skills, have set out to write about math is good enough.  I wanted to share what I've learned and try to get techy in my classroom, and I have done that.  I still need a lot of work on the blogging and I am going to do more of that starting today.  Sometimes just thinking about what to write about can seem overwhelming.  Sometimes we just need to dive in.  I will say that I tend to live on Twitter more than I blog.  I love Twitter.  I have learned so much from following great people like @coolcatteacher, @teachingwthsoul, @web20classroom, @rmbyme, @MrZerber and the list could go on.  I check out hash tags such as #mathchat, #icafelc, #edchat, #edtech and so many more. 
All the technology, with the exception of Twitter, I learned from developing my PLN(Personal learning network).  Where did I build my PLN?  From Twitter.  My district is awesome and offers great training for teachers in all things "techy".  I attended Interact and got my feet wet, but truly didn't know what I was doing.  I then joined a group of educators from my district as we  put on the first ever iMath training three years ago.  While developing our plan and goals and revisiting many techy ideas from Interact, I started Tweeting and mostly following lots of great people(Thanks to @ChrisNilsson & @chadtheteacher).  My kids said a monster was born!!!! Ok, I like to learn, and I love sharing what I have discovered with others.  But sometimes, time just slips away and how I share becomes a web with no real pattern. 
  As with all new bloggers my url is not the easiest.....something to share with new bloggers...don't use crazy long url's like mine:  What was I thinking? Oh, I wasn't thinking, I just wanted to blog!  Now, it is time to dive in and stay. So I hope to blog more and about all things, not just math and technology. Of course I will still be living on Twitter and my new passion Pinterest!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Ok, I know it has been a while since my last post, but I have been so busy that I forgot about me!  I actually love to find new technology and share how I will use it in my classroom.  But as usual, I let life get away with me and I forgot to blog. But, I am back, and I found a really neat site for students to create their own bookmarks of important sites and activities on one topic.  Now I know there might be other sites, but Symbaloo looked fun.  I thought about my students and what they would like and Symbaloo seemed to be the best choice.

What is Symbaloo?  Organized links.  Ok' if you have a lot, this might not be the way to go.  But for my students, it is extremely user friendly and they can access their most common links all on one page.

Then my thought was, "How could I use Symbaloo in class and show students how great it was?"  Review, that's it.  I designed a project were they would have to create a " webmix" or one tab in Symbaloo that would review Rational numbers.  I designed the project sheet with step by step instructions and graphics that explained the process.  Then students would always have a tab to go to if they needed to review a fraction, decimal or integer concept.  This project would allow them to explore Symbaloo and find great links to review math.  Students must have an email account accessable at school.  Our district just set up email accounts for each student this year, but my students are still having trouble accessing them. So my students set up a gmail account because our school allows access to this email.

There are two sites for Symbaloo.  There is SymbalooEDU at  and then just Symbaloo at .  The difference between the two is that the EDU site has webmix's set up that are educational already and you can actually pay for an educator package.  I of course am a poor teacher and set up my free account at SymbalooEDU, but had my students set up theirs at Symbaloo because it was also free for them.  Downfall, they have to publicly share or send out address to all of their classmates if they want to share and to me in order to access their Symbaloo.  It is also a little harder for me to grade, because each student had to give me their URL or sign in so I could grade their project.  Not that big of a deal, but if your a teacher that hates to spend excess time checking each, via my process, then free might not be for you.
If you would like to use my project page just click on Symbaloo Project and sites sheet to access my google doc.  Feel free to change it up and use it how you like.  If you have suggestions on making it better, let me know. Here is my page I made really fast for an example to show my students:
If you click on it, a link will take you to my Symbaloo.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Today's Meet in Math

School has been underway for 6 weeks now and I have been so busy. But not to busy to try some new technology in my classroom. I have been exposed to so many apps, sites and activities that I think I was overwhelmed. I want to really engage my students, and teach them math in exciting and new ways. One of the first activities that I wanted the class to try is TodaysMeet.

It is very similar to Twitter in that my students can only type a 140 character statement. We can chat back and forth and they can tell me what they think. What makes it unique and different from Twitter is that it is a private chat room. Only the students you invite can enter the "meet" and chat with you. Your room stays up for 2 hours, 8 hours, a day, a week. a month or even a year. I usually just set mine for a week in case my lesson gets off and I have to adjust my plans. I don't have to go back and re create the link.

You might ask, "How could I use this in my classroom?" I used the room as a place for students to post questions about the lesson. Some students are real shy and do not want to ask out loud. This format allowed them to ask questions in the room and I could respond during the lesson without embarrassment to the student. It's like back channeling. Other students can even help out with the questions and you can really see what they are understanding from the lesson. I have three iPads and some laptops for use in my room. I like to set up a review game and instead of having the students yell out their answer, the first group to type in their answer in our chat room and get it right, is the winner. It's great because there is no argument over who got in first. The students love to review this way. I have not done this yet, but lets say you know the topic you taught was a struggle in class. You could have your chat room open from 6-7 pm for students to ask you questions from home. Or you could be on for review right before a test. Keep in mind that you will have to let students know how to properly respond to post and that this is for educational use only.

If you haven't had a chance to try out TodaysMeet, just simply click on the link above, set up your first room and give it a try. It's free and simple. Hope to post again real soon. Have a great 2nd 6-weeks, and try something new to engage your students!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

TinyVox App

I really like TinyVox. It is a free app for your iPhone, iTouch, or iPad. I have TinyVox installed on my iPad. It is a cool little recording device that allows you to record your message and send it out in an email, to Facebook, to Twitter, or to a SoundCloud account.

How could you use it in your math class? My thoughts were to let students record their thoughts about the project you had today, or what they learned in class, or just about any question you ask of them. It could be their ticket out the door. Instead of writing 140 characters or less on Twitter, they can record their thoughts and send it to Twitter. One way to post larger bits of information as your students Twitter. You can also post their TinyVox to your class blog just to change up how students respond to your question or post. I had to create a class SoundCloud account to get the Html, but then it was real easy to embed. The only downfall I found was that ads run across the top of the recorder. But I can live with that.

div>Just download the app, and start recording. Once you are done, you can preview the recording. If you don't like it, just start over. If you do, just click on the tape deck at the top to give your recording a name and send it out. It is that easy. If you have used TinyVox in your classroom, or have thoughts on other ways to use it, let me know. Have you sent your first recording?

Check out my TinyVox:
Viewing via iPad:

TinyVox in Your Classroom by Gatormath7

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Week 5 asked us to start a blog via Edublogs, wordpress or blogspot. I of course have been blogging now for 2 months. I actually set up this blog site over a year ago and thought I would start my journey then. But I got side tracked and found my way back when I was asked be a part of our districts iMath committee again this year. We have great technology colleagues in our district and Chris Nilsson and Chad Jones stopped by to talk technology and iPads with us. I was re introduced to twitter and my tech bug was started again. I decided that I would devote the Chanceinmath2010 blog to technology. What was it and how was I going to use this tech tool in my class. Gatormath7 is my classroom blog site for just my students and I.

I try to post a blog once a week, usually Sunday mornings before church, but not always. You have to find the time and just set it aside. I really like expressing my thoughts about all the great technology that I am learning. I hope that others share their thoughts and advice about the tools they have discovered or used.

Today I gave two 35 min sessions on why you should blog in the classroom at iMath 2011. I gathered all of my material from fellow colleagues and blogs I have read over the last two months. I might have given too much information, but I wanted the participants to be able to sit down and go through the material at their pace. I do think our district needs to offer a blogging 101 for beginners that actually helps teachers set up and create a classroom blog.

I am attaching my presentation here. Take a look, and run through a blog or tutorial. If your not blogging, why not start today?(You need to right click and download in order to view these powerpoints once you open the google doc.) Blogging & iPad presentations, iMath 2011
Here is my wiki for NT BOOTCAMP


Wetoku what? I have to do a live what? A Live Chat! Ok, I was not looking forward to this because I don't like to be videotaped. You know the reasons. My makeup looks bad(but I don't wear any). Is my hair ok. Will I say something dumb? And the list could go on. Thank goodness my colleague and friend, Casey Chapman, agreed to be the other guinea pig in my experiment with Wetoku.
The tool is extremely cool. I have watched Lisa Dabbs(@teachingwithsoul) use Wetoku three times interviewing teachers from across the country. Each week we have had an assignment to do about some tech tool. The first two weeks Lisa used a Voki, which is also neat. But the following weeks we were able to hear first hand from teachers about how they used the technology in their classrooms.
So how does it work? Just go to Wetoku an sign up for your free account. Once you have invited a colleague to join in the Wetoku, your ready to go. They do not need an account. You fill in the title and add the interviewee's name, and your ready to get the URL to send their way. Once they connect to the URL, you will see each other on the screen and can talk with each other before you record. Just click the start button, and you are recording.
When your done, you stop the interview and then you can go to your recordings and copy the link to show to your class, or HTML to embed in your blog.
Now my first interview was great. Casey did a wonderful job answering the questions I asked her about her experience at CAMT 2011, in Grapevine, Texas. The only real problem I could tell was a double voice for Casey. My fault of course. You have a mic on your screen. I believe, when I was not talking, I needed to mute that mic. Thus solving the problem of the double voice. All in all it was a great experience and I can definitely see my students using Wetoku in my class this coming year. If your checking out my blog and you'd like to connect with my students this coming year, send me a tweet @dakretschmer or leave a comment and I'll get back with you. Let's Wetoku together!
CAMT 2011 Wetoku:

Sunday, July 24, 2011


This week my task was to sign up for Storybird, create a class Avatar and then create a Storybird. I believe that this was the hardest task so far. I'm a math teacher, and writing stories sounds a lot like an English project. Trying to complete my project in a hurry, I wrote a short story about being alone. I of course threw math in at the end by asking you to write a problem based on one of the pictures you saw in the book. How do you get started? Just go to Storybird and set up your account.
Then you need to select teacher and class. This will open up the rest of the registration, with an e-mail confirmation to follow. Once you respond to the e-mail, you are ready to create your first Storybird. Get your account set up and it will bring you to the screen below. You can watch a tutorial, set up your class Avator, add an assignment for your class, or read other Storybirds. I decided to set up the Avator first and then read other Storybirds.
Once I was done with the Avator and looking at other great Storybirds, I decided I should watch the tutorial. Then I was ready to create my very own Storybird. I clicked on the create tab at the top and it took me to a page with wonderful artwork.
There are so many pages of art. You can get inspired by the art or have an idea of what your looking for and keep scrolling through until that one picture catches your eye. I was just looking for art that was interesting and that caught my eye. My story was going to have to be inspired by the art. Once selected, you are ready to start your Storybird. Select a cover and let your creative juices flow.Your students will be creating exciting books. I thought in math that students could write a story problem based on the art and have a question to answer at the end. The last page could be the editors notes where they describe how you solve the problem in the story with the answer. If you can think of other uses in math just let me know.
In the end you have a beautiful story, at least I thought mine was. I never have written a book before. No Pulitzer, but still my first book and something to be proud of. Check out my book below and start your Storybird today.

Alone by gatormath7 on Storybird

Monday, July 18, 2011

NT Bootcamp week 2

I survived another week of bootcamp. Yea! My mission was to comment on a voicethread from the camp and create one, then copy a screen shot of the thread to my wiki page with a link. I was also tasked with thinking how I could use this tool in my classroom.
The voicethread is pretty easy. Commenting was another story. The actual task is easy. You can use a web cam and video your response, record your voice, or type in your answer. I decided to use the web cam. This was more difficult then I thought. First, I didn't like my hair up, then my voice sounded funny, then I moved the computer and cut off half my face.....this went on and on and on, until I finally said this one is it. After the web cam ordeal, I chose to just use voice recording on my thread for the wiki space.
Thinking of what pictures you want to include and how to incorporate the math with the thread required much thought. For the bootcamp, I simply put a picture up that I took at Baylor University and recorded a thread asking students to identify all the 2-D and 3-D shapes they could find. Very simple concept and not to high on Bloom's taxonomy. But I just wanted to create my first thread and this seemed simple.
How do you do this? First you need to register for your free account at Voicethread.
Once you register you are ready to upload your picture(s) and add your instructional thread and open it up to your students. You get 8 free threads with the account. Your students can sign up for their own threads to. Here is a link to my first voicethread: 2-D & 3-D shapes. Keep in mind, it was my first and it is very basic!
How could you use it in math?
1) Geometry: Add photos of different sites and ask kids to draw on the picture and describe what they see.
2) Word problems: You could post word problems or pictures of how two different students solved the problem and ask students to show where mistakes were made or what was done correctly.
3) Portfolios: Students can design their own thread and take pictures of their work throughout the year and describe what they learned from the activity, worksheet, test or whatever assignment they post in the thread. They would then comment on each of their pictures.
4) Videos: The video could be from a web site or one the students created and you could ask students leading questions about what they saw, and they could comment about the video.
I am sure there are many more uses out there. Ideas or thoughts, let me know. It's free, why not create your first voicethread today!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

CAMT 2011 Attachments

Since the google site attachments aren't working correctly, I figured you still wanted all of the hard work that I have done to track down the SmartBoard Presentations that you came looking for, they are!!!

6th Grade Material -

7th Grade Material -

8th Grade Material -

Activity Games & Templates -

CAMT 2011 Grapevine, Texas

This a little different then my usual post. I have been waking up before church to blog about all the great technology I have stumbled on this summer. But today I find myself packing and double checking all my materials for this years math conference. After a 12 year absence from presenting, I find some major differences.

1) I was in a different district with different colleagues
2) All our handouts where thick and bulky....going as green as I can get this year.
3) Presented a section on measurement that was fun, but require teachers to make all their manipulative material

This year I'm heading to Grapevine with Mrs. Chapman and Mrs. Harris, both colleagues and friends. Mrs. Chapman and I have 2 presentations & they both are "Techy" in nature.

I have had a smart board in my room now for two years and the first session is about all the interactive lessons I have found on the web and how you can use them in your classroom. Here is that session if you plan on attending the conference this year:

"Smart" Choices for the Interactive Classroom
Tuesday 10:30-11:30
Appaloosa 1

The second session is about some of the "techy" tools that Mrs. Chapman & I have been blogging about on our post. This session is exciting for me because these are tools that will inspire great lessons that I believe will excite your students like never before. No more worksheets, cut outs and dull moments. Students will be blogging, making interactive posters, "Jogging" the web, making wordles, and voicethreads to name a few. Interested, check out this session.

Get "Techy" In Math
Wednesday 1:00 - 2:00 & 2:15 - 3:15
Mustang 4

Well, I must go my ride will be here in 10 minutes. Can't wait to see what exciting tools and lessons I discover at this years math conference. Hope to see you at CAMT 2011.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I found myself signed up for a five week course over five different technology tools that I could use in my classroom. How did I find out about this free on-line course? Twitter- yes, Twitter(#ntbootcamp, @teachingwithsoul-Lisa Dabbs, course is sponsored by Edutopia). After 3 weeks of building my PLN, I have found numerous free courses, and sites that have opened my world to an abundant array of tools that will change how I teach math forever.

Back to the basics of this blog. Week one was to learn about wordle and to think about how you might use this tool in your classroom. I of course had heard of wordle, but I thought it was more of an English/History type tool. But I was wrong. My students could use wordle to show results from a survey, tell about themselves at the beginning of the year, use as a tool for vocabulary terms to display around the room, and use as a way to describe the key points in a word problem and what was the most important part of the problem. What was even better, was that the course listed great sources that gave examples, and I am an example kind of person! Here are the links that helped me out: NT Bootcamp week 1, Wordle, TED Teacher's Network - this one is actually listed in the blog, but it was the most helpful for me.

Little did I know, I was going to learn about 3 web tools that first week. Wordle, which I thought was the easiest was first, but then I had to master the wikispace. I had no clue what a wikispace was. I created my own space(which is still pretty blank), before I realized I needed to make a page within their wiki. But once I figured that out, I was on my way. I was able to add pictures and links and just about anything I wanted. I know there are lots of places to share information with your students like Edmodo, and your personal blogs, but it was nice to know that wiki's was another tool that I could use to create my own web page and share with my students and colleagues.

The last tool I learned about was JING. The instructions were to place the wordle into my wiki page. I know that many of you know exactly how to do that, but not I. So Lisa Dobbs gave step by step instructions and Jing was the tool she said to use. At first I was thinking, oh no, not another hurdle. But I think I am really going to use Jing a lot(Powered by math I found on the web and used Jing to clip just what I wanted). After you download the tool, it allows you to take a picture, or piece of any picture on your laptop and copy it. You can send it to friends, use it in your presentation, or save it for future use. There is a great tutorial that gives step by step instructions right on the web page. Really, really cool. I liked it so much I added two wordles to my wiki page.

Week one was exciting and new to me and I can't wait to really dive into Voicthread in week two. How have you used wordle, wikispaces and Jing in your classroom? Let me know. Great things will be happening in A204 next year and I can't wait.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Glogster EDU in the Math Classroom

Go paperless, save the environment, and receive projects that will blow your mind away.....Yep, that's Glogster EDU. Again, I will have to attribute my knowledge of this great tool to a colleague of mine, Misty Ortega. I really miss her in our math department, but she is now creating great interactive lessons in our science department.

I first used Glogster as a presentation tool for my students to review a unit on percents/decimals/fractions and then at the end of our 1st semester. I used a glog to introduce the project and explain the expectations. Students then designed their glog, working in pairs. The last day of the 6- weeks we viewed the student glogs and played some of the interactive games that students found on the web. That's right, interactive games. The glog allows you to post links, pictures, and videos of just about anything you want. I found a great post about Glogster at , check it out.

I thought I would do a different type of project the second semester, but all the presentation formats were old school, like comic strip, cube, and mobile. My students immediately requested to do a glog. I, of course, added a glog as a choice for them. Out of the 70 projects completed, 57 were glogs. I think the only draw back I had with it was students losing their passwords, so we went in and changed them to their ids and then we were set. I do think that I am going to investigate Join Me as a way to show the glogs with less time between loading them. Check out the link and look for a later post about Join Me.
Another way to show all your glogs, is to put the glogs in a glog. Check out Ms. Zaruba's class glog she put together. She designed a glog to explain her project as I mentioned above. Here is the link to hers: Ms. Zaruba's Guidelines & mine: Ms. Kretschmer's Guidelines for percent project.
Try something new this year instead of the traditional poster and watch your students get excited about explaining math and creating like never before.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jog the Web

Jog the web is an interactive free resource where students take charge of their learning. How does this "Jog" work, you say? It is relatively easy, depending on what you want in your jog. You simply go to, set up your free account and start the jog. You fill in your title, the URL, and a description of what you want the students to do, and your done.

An example of a great math jog would be one where you found a site that gives notes or step by step examples, or shows a video and then the students complete questions you have given them, a mind map, or simply asked to write three questions that a classmate could answer based on what they read or saw. Then you could add an interactive game site next for practice or a worksheet. Finish up with a quiz, or have students create a game based on what they learned at another free site, Sploder (

Check out this math jog at . Another great science jog I discovered from my colleague, Misty Ortega, had the free gaming site. Check it out to see how a science teacher might set up a jog: .
Don't have time to set one up, search the site and see if someone else has a great jog for you. Happy Jogging!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Would you leave education up to chance?

Times are changing and as educators, we can either keep up with the change, or be left behind. Over the next few weeks I plan on adding as much technology ideas as I can discover. If you have discovered a great site or app or techy tool, please let me know. Thanks!