Friday, July 25, 2008

Math & Website Design Week 3: Final Results

Today was the last day of our Summer Academy, and this week I tried to reconcile the math and website design facets of my course. As I mentioned last week, I wanted tie more actual math problems into the class into the limited time we had left. Things didn't go exactly as I had hoped, but I'm happy with the results and I think the permanence of this project will have positive effects far into the future.

On Monday, students tried to complete their Mystudiyo-built quizzes, which were then easily embedded into their websites (hosted at Synthasite). I also put together and distributed packets of 10-15 problems drawn from Barron's MCAS in Math that were individualized for their respective topics. I urged them to use their websites and the skills they had been practicing to find additional online resources to help them.

Then on Tuesday, students were still trying to complete their quizzes, although there were some complications that I'll talk about in a future article. Only a handful of students got the chance to jump into their math packets at all.

We visited Northeastern University on Wednesday. For many, this was the first exposure to the concept of college as a possible future, not to mention their first visit to a college campus. Our school is young but committed to building a stronger culture of achievement and success, and this is a great building block to that end.

When we returned to campus on Thursday, students were given this Final Presentation rubric, which contains a website checklist and the questions I would be asking during their presentations on Friday. I also made sure to clarify how to not only save but publish their websites, so I created the slideshow below using screen caps (edited with IfranView) and Photobucket. It should be helpful for any teachers trying to use Synthasite with their students.

Finally, it was the last day of (summer) school! I had the chance to see a few of my students' websites earlier, but this was my first chance to see everyone's completed projects. I was very impressed at what they came up with:
The sites marked with stars (***) are the best of the bunch IMHO. Jonathan's site and Maira's site were special achievements because both are ELL and were thoroughly committed to improving their English language skills. Overall I think this experiment was a tremendous success, and it has given me a lot of ideas and inspiration for the coming school year.

More About This Project
  1. Watch my Math & Website Design course unfold as it happens! [First post about the project]
  2. Math & Website Design: Creating the Websites
  3. Math & Website Design Week 2: Experiments and Progress
  4. Mr. D's Math & Website Design Class Blog [The site will remain online as a useful math resource and of course a testament to our hard work.]
  5. Final Presentation rubric [via Google Docs]
Coming this weekend: End of summer student survey results and my reflections on best practices and pitfalls to avoid.