Tuesday, August 19, 2008

DonorsChoose.org. Great Way to get Class Materials

Today, I submitted my first DonorsChoose.org grant for the school year. I submitted a need for a video camera and tripod for my classroom. I've had great success in the past with DonorsChoose.org grants. Over the past three years donors have bought some excellent technology for my classroom. Thanks to the generosity of various donors, my classroom has been equipped with a Bluetooth wireless keyboard/mouse, a XGA TV converter, a USB 1GB memory stick, a presentation remote, and a TI-Presenter. I haven't been awarded every request, but its certainly paid off to keep trying. DonorsChoose outright tells you that requests costing less than $400 have the best chance of being funded. This has proven very true in my experience. I have applied for other grant opportunities with no success. I will continue to try for these other grants, but I strongly recommend that every eligible teacher appeal to donors on DonorsChoose.org to get what you need for your classroom. I also recommend starting small so that you build momentum toward getting higher priced items.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Physical Education and Math

Had a great conversation today with one of our P.E. teachers. He was looking for a way to integrate fitness data with the math curriculum. We discussed ways students might electronically store their fitness statistics. (Heart rates, # push ups, # sit ups, running times, ... etc.) It was a fortuitous discussion because I have deliberated several times over the past year about ways to used data that is meaningful to students in teaching data analysis and graphing. I'm excited about the prospect of the 8th grade math department collaborating with the P.E. department to find ways to make math personal for the students.

I really enjoyed the conversation because it testifies to the climate of our school. We have an amazing professional staff and the professionalism is contagious. It looks like we're off to a great start this year.