Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

November 18, 2009

A Wiki, Techy Wednesday

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 9:45 pm

Today the students and I had a discussion about web content and specifically, user generated content.  Many of them had heard about Wikipedia, but in class we clarified what makes Wikipedia and other Wikis different from print media.  We discussed the difference between the old paper World Book Encyclopedias and Wikipedia and how they both work differently to communicate and share information.

In the Spring last year, I began using a wiki in class to provide students with a tool to record things we learned in class and work in a collaborative manner on the web.  This year, all students in the class will get opportunities to add to our own classroom wiki, creating posts or updating them with their own knowledge and contributions.  I think the process of creating, manipulating, and updating web sites is an important one for the students to get a chance to experience and know a bit about, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with the Wiki to find new ways of working collaboratively.  In Vocabulary today, we began writing our weekly vocabulary sentences on the Wiki.  As time progresses, the students will work to contribute more to the wiki with definitions, roots, and sentences connected directly to weekly vocabulary lists.

In our weekly computer time, the students continued to experiment some with the music program Garageband on the Macbooks from the laptop cart.  In our last tech time, students learned about the concept of recording music in separate tracks, and got some experience recording a vocal track.  Today, students experimented with mixing together beats and instrument sample loops to create electronic multi-track music pieces.  In the coming weeks, we will work more with using Garageband as a tool for students to record and share academic information with each other in some fun and creative ways.

In Math we continued our very tech filled day with some Power Point Presentations on finding the amount of internal angles inside a polygon.  The students took turns voicing characters from the comic Tin Tin as the characters discussed what they knew about internal angles and figured out a system to find total numbers of internal angles in a given polygon.  One PPT file that I used was based on one I found on the website Mubblemaths.  There are a number of interesting math-based activities on the Mubblemaths website that use Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint files in unique ways to mimic some well known game shows and also present mathematical information.  I encourage you to head over and check the site out if you have a version of Microsoft Office on your home computer.

Yesterday, I passed out Poetry Packets that are due back completed on Tuesday, November 24.  The packets include 3 assingments:  an interview, a poetry memoir, and pre-work for a poetry reading.  Part of this project is also giving the students a chance to set their own schedules and pace themselves to complete all the work in time.  We will have some time to work on the packets in class tomorrow and Friday, but students are expected to do a bulk of the work at home and to budget their time effectively and plan ahead.  Please help them to make a schedule and stick to it.


  1. Language Arts – Vocabulary sentences
  2. Mathematics – Points, Lines, and Angles vocabulary page
  3. Reading – Read for 25 minutes and complete clarification section in Reading Log
  4. Language Arts Project – Work on Poetry Packet assignments. Complete packet due on Tuesday, November 24.

Mr. Weis


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