After participating in Ben Hazzard and Rodd Lucier‘s session during Educon 2.2. I realized that this might be an interesting way to create a math “reference book” at our school. The premise of their presentation was to allow the audience (both physically and virtually) attending to have a part in creating an e-book. So, how would that look in my classroom, or yours?

First, you will want to have an outline of what you want from the perfect book. This will most certainly contain some images, page descriptions, or prompts. The amount of items and depth of information will depend upon the students you are working with, but I would lean towards less information so that they discover what works best for them as they explore the topic(s).

My first attempt at this would be to create a reference book to prepare 9th and 10th graders for our state standardized math tests. I would make sure that I list the topics that are most missed by our students and by students throughout the state. I would have suggested headings for each topic such as how our state words the required knowledge to be deomonstrated on the test. Other essential headings, for me, might include example problems from released tests, problems solutions (with steps to solve), and comments about why this is missed by most students.


With that much guidance and a little Google Apps I would send them off to be fruitful and multiply. But, as with all projects being completed by 9th graders, there will be much to monitor. Are they including images or text from online that need attribution? Are they, in fact, solving problems correctly or will they need to have a workshop (our school’s term for direct instruction) so that they fully understand how to do this? Are they filling space with nonsense or improper words and ideas?

If you decide to take this on before I get around to it I’d love to hear how it went. Leave me a comment.

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2 Responses

  1. I like this idea. First of all, let me be effusive over it. 🙂 However, I am wondering…

    after getting my hand slapped by IT for using GoogleDocs because it is outside of the school firewall (control) (and that after the same IT group encouraged using GoogleDocs at the beginning of the year), do you see that as an issue? On top of worrying about students doing appropriate and correct things, is there a concern over opening up their minds to the world wide web?

  2. We have a good deal in that we use Google Apps with a capitol A. That is a walled garden and resides within our firewall. All of the New Tech Foundation schools have this. Thanks for the comments.

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