Friday Funny

Happy Friday everyone! Here is your joke for the day:

The optimist sees the glass half full.
The pessimist sees the glass half empty.
The chemist sees the glass completely full; half in the liquid state and half in the vapor state.

Twitter for Teachers

Chances are if you are using an online homework system in your classroom, you may have heard of Twitter.  You likely have an account that you check into from time to time, but have you considered actively using Twitter as a valuable tool for professional growth in the education field? Twitter has become widely accepted as a source for breaking news, entertainment, and updates on day to day life activities.

However, Twitter is also an excellent tool for interacting with some of the most progressive and influential educators who are more than willing to share their ideas and teaching tips.  It is also a great way to get some quick feedback on new teaching methods among a group of people dedicated to improving education.

Check out the presentation below for an introduction to Twitter:

Please see the following list of resources for more information on how you can successfully use Twitter as a teacher and share any twitter tips you have used with us on @Webassign.

100 Tips, Apps, and Resources for Teachers on Twitter

10 Steps for Educators New to Twitter

Teaching with Twitter

Twitter for Teachers: a Professional Development Tool

10 Commandments of Twitter Etiquette

Feature Teacher – Jen Grady

This month’s spotlight is on a teacher who is engaged in top student learning potential in her AP Physics Class. Jen Grady is a teacher at Hononegah High School in Rockton, IL and is in her 20th year of teaching! After graduating from SUNY Geneso with a BS in Biology and a teaching certificate, Mrs. Grady went on to receive an MS ED in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Illinois University. After teaching Biology, Botany/Zoology, Life Science, Chemistry, and Physical Science, she finally settled on Physics. Says Mrs. Grady, “I honestly can’t imagine teaching anything but Physics. Not only is the material incredibly challenging, but the variety of teaching materials is so vast, particularly internet based ones.”

Being an experienced teacher, Mrs. Grady offers some helpful advice for her colleagues in similar teaching fields, “I think that students that sign on for the challenge of AP Physics are generally self-motivated. However, keeping them trying while they are frustrated by the material is the bigger challenge. In all teaching, you need to walk a fine line with your audience. You need to challenge them to keep them interested, but you have to give them enough of a safety net so they feel comfortable making mistakes and not giving up. In AP Physics, I think certain material can sometimes seem unconnected to their everyday lives, so I work at making that connection.”

Using WebAssign in her classroom is one way that she is able to help students make that connection. “When used correctly, I think WebAssign can be a very helpful tool for students to become more aware of the depth of their understanding of problem solving,” Mrs. Grady indicated. “Being able to give students multiple attempts and instant feedback is an important step forward in homework. In using WebAssign, I have seen a large increase in the number of students coming in for help before school- and being able to answer small questions as soon as a student has one is a much more effective way to teach vs. a student who waits for days and has enormous misunderstandings.”

Of course in the high school setting variety is key. “I strive to strike a balance between individual and group work, independent and collaborative work, the internet and paper work, lab based vs. lecture oriented work, practice with multiple attempts and high(er) stakes assessment,” Mrs. Grady explained as a key teaching method.

“Overall, I still think that WebAssign is preferable to pen and paper homework. It streamlines our learning process. I can hone in on the questions the students are struggling with. It lets the students know immediately when they need help. I also think that the format engages the student more than traditional homework, my students work harder to get the green check!”

We would like to thank Jennifer Grady for sharing her teaching story with us, and if you would like to learn more about her classroom teaching techniques you can visit her website!

Where in the World is WebAssign?

Want to catch up with some of our great WebAssign employees in person?  We regularly participate in relevant conferences and exhibits across the country.  Next up?  The Two-Year College Chemistry Consortium in Melbourne, Florida from September 16-17.

Are we going to be in your area sometime soon?  Check out our scheduled events below or go to our website for more information!

American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges
37th Annual AMATYC Conference
November 10–13, 2011
Austin, TX

American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America
Joint Mathematics Meetings
January 4–7, 2012
Boston, MA

American Association of Physics Teachers
AAPT Winter Meeting 2012
February 4–8, 2012
Ontario, CA

APS March Meeting 2012
American Physics Society Meeting
February 27–March 2, 2012
Boston, MA

2012 NCMATYC Spring Conference
March 15–16, 2012
Wilmington, NC

Pearson Addison-Wesley & Pearson Prentice Hall
24th International Conference on Technology in College Mathematics
March 22–25, 2012
Orlando, FL

American Chemical Society
ACS 2012 Spring National Meeting & Exposition
March 25–29, 2012
San Diego, CA

National Science Teacher’s Association
2012 National Conference
March 29–April 1, 2012
Indianapolis, IN

Friday Funny

In order to help get your weekend started off right, we bring you our favorite math, science, or teaching related joke every Friday.  If you have a favorite joke you want to share, drop us a line and we will post them to share with everyone!

A neutron walked into a bar and asked, “How much for a drink?”

The bartender replied, “For you, no charge.”

Tips & Tricks: Integrating WebAssign with Blackboard

Are your students accessing their WebAssign classes through Blackboard?  Having multiple online portals for assignments and homework can get confusing, which is why we have created a step by step PowerPoint guide detailing exactly how to do this.  To avoid frustrated students and repeat questions, make sure your class is prepared with all of the necessary resources from the start.  You can share this link to the powerpoint with your students, or retool for your own purposes.

As always, please let us know if there are any other tutorials we can build to help make your WebAssign experience a smooth one.

Accessing WebAssign through Blackboard