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March Project PLN: The 21st Century Library

Hot off the press, the March issue of Project PLN is here! This month we focused on reading, we got fantastic posts about reading, 21st century libraries and media specialists.  This is a fantastic issue packed with great ideas and a clear passion for literacy.  We hope you enjoy the March issue and will contribute to the April issue! For the April issue: Mistakes. We have all made them. Sometimes it is easy to forget about them and move on, but we feel that mistakes are an important part of what makes an educator. We tell students to learn from their mistakes because it will help them grow as a person. Educators are not different. We love to share are greatest success with the world, but sometimes our slips can provide support for all of the teachers out there who think they are the only one to make a mistake.  Share your learning with all of us by sending your posts (remember these can be re-posts you have already written.  Send us what you’ve got to projectpln10@gmail.com projectpln10 – The March Issue – The 21st Century LibraryCreate Your OpenZine   Once again, thank you to all who contribute and help Nick (@thenerdyteacher) and I pull this off each month.  I feel so lucky to be working with Nick to pull these outstanding posts together into one magazine that I get to share with all of you!  It is fun to meet more of our PLN up-close and personal.

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Algebra Lab

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Science, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 01-10-2012

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What it is:  Algebra Lab may not be much to look at graphically speaking, but the resources here are pretty stupendous!  Algebra Lab was created by Mainland High School teachers in partnership with Georgia Southern University and a host of student assistance.  The site includes really well done lessons, activities, practice pages (online), study aids, glossary, and word problems.  Algebra Lab is like a free, living textbook.  It has enough substance to help students work their way through algebra, while understanding the connections to how that algebra is used in a practical sense.  I didn’t appreciate Algebra until I took physics and chemistry.  When I saw what those equations I learned were actually used for, I could appreciate the learning requirements in algebra.  Algebra Lab does a beautiful job of helping students learn algebra within a context so that they really get a grasp of what these numbers are doing.

How to integrate Algebra Lab into your curriculum: I have enjoyed watching the debate over Algebra unfold in the last year or so.  One side of the argument asks if it is really necessary that EVERY child be required to take algebra.  The other side argues that algebra has great thinking skills that it develops, it gives students additional tools to understand the world through math.  I’m not sure where I land on this debate.  I don’t know that I believe that algebra should be a requirement for every child, and yet I think that my exposure to algebra was valuable.  Maybe the debate just needs to be reframed…HOW should algebra be taught?  I’m all for things being taught within context.  If you can teach any subject in a way that sheds light on other learning it is valuable.  I love when students make the connections between something like ratios and a site like Miniature Earth.  They not only get excited about the math (yes, really) they see a purpose for wanting to learn more about how it works.  Sometimes I think our job of teachers is really to help students see the overlaps that occur in learning so that they can make connections and have a cause to want to dig deeper.

I digress…

Algebra Lab is a great resource for math (and non-math) teachers.  Here you will find lessons, activities, word problems and practice opportunities for students.  Students can directly access the site, or you (the teacher) can pull ideas out to use within any other teaching you are doing.  The site is great for students to explore on their own (blended learning algebra style) or with guidance from a teacher.  As a non-math teacher, I appreciate the way the site helps me think like a math teacher.  It reminds me how all of these pieces connect to other learning.

Tips: If you have a one-to-one setting, students can practice directly on the website for immediate feedback.  Very helpful!

***Want to do your part as a CHANGE MAKER in personalized education?  Check out, support and spread the word about the Learning Genome Project!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Algebra Lab in your classroom!

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