A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

DERing with Year 9

Wednesday, 14 October 2009 | 3 Comments


Year 9 got their DER netbooks just before the end of Term 3. The first week of Term 4 will be the first time they have them in class, so I wanted to start term with some introductory activities, with a Maths focus.

This post is a work in progress, check back for updates.

20 Oct 2009: Go to update

The first week back has my class looking at expansion and factorisation – which don’t lend themselves to good computer based activities (that I’ve seen – I know about Algebra Tiles, but I’m not a fan). I don’t mind this Distributive Property Battleship game, although I don’t like the format of some of the questions.

So, rather than focussing on using the machines for this particular topic, I was going to be more general for the first week or two.

For starters, 7 things to try with the laptops, Week 1 is a great list put together by a Teacher Librarian (you’ll find a link to Google Docs in that post). I’m going to try 1. Setting up an email list for my class, 2. Set up a folder for their work and probably 6. Look at OneNote.

Some other things I’m going to do (not yet in a particular order – this list is a work in progress):

  • Make an avatar, probably using DoppelMe. Updated DoppelMe produces a rectangular image which doesn’t play nice with Win 7, so might try Face Your Manga – not as simple, but produces square images.
  • Maximise viewable area. A 1024×576 screen is small, so I want to show my students how to make the most of the screen by showing: 1. Auto-hide taskbar, 2. Double-click menu title in Office to hide it, 3. IE8: Hide the Favourites bar – use the Favourites button instead and 4. IE8 Fullscreen – F11 key.
  • Switching IE8’s search bar from Bing to Google. We’ll also add Wolfram Alpha to the Search Engines.
  • Introduce MS Maths – although not sure how? Maybe save for later?
  • Using the keyboard to get to things quickly.
    • Calculator – how to open it quickly. HOME + R, then “calc” enter.
    • Explorer – how to quickly get to your files. HOME + E
    • Minimise everything – how to quickly minimse everything. HOME + M
  • Bookmark a few important sites, like: my web-site for students.

Do you have any other ideas? Let me know on Twitter, or leave a comment here.

From Twitter, I’ve already received:

monk51295 @simonjob do you have a ning site for them? if not – do that – then they create the little activities… #

We’re supposed to have Moodle available this term, or I’ll probably use Edmodo – so I’ll get them to sign-up/in to that and save it to their Favourites.

taniakennedy @simonjob tessellations using Paint? #

woojm @simonjob what about using to demonstrate a maths concept like solving equations?

monk51295 @simonjob apps my kids are using… coolest ones toward the bottom

Kdmiller4 @simonjob Activity for Year9 Math students Free Web 2.0 animation site Example: Pythagorean Theorem


I broke the activities above to take place at the end of several lessons, the rough outline being:

Lesson 1:

  • Set up folders for Maths under Documents and My Locker
  • Add my web-page for students to their Favourites
  • Add the bell times, from the School Intranet, to their Favourites

Lesson 2:

  • Introduce Edmodo
  • Maximise viewable area of their screen
  • Change their default search engine

Lesson 3:

  • Keyboard shortcuts for common tasks
  • Create an Avatar
  • Change the desktop picture

Posted in • ComputingTechnologyDigital Education RevolutionLaptops 4 Learning | Short URL:


Ruth Buchanan on  14 October 09  at  04:46 PM #
Great entry - thank you for sharing your ideas, and thank you for the lovely mention of my seven things list (it seems to be finding friends all over!). Cheers!
monika on  15 October 09  at  03:06 AM #
here's more: 1. we're using voicethread for the very instructional piece. created by me and them. then they watch it whenever suits them. they can watch once or rewind as much as needed. 2. one of their fav sites... they love the way she describes/explains. 3. we're creating groups per each kid's passion ie: [url=][/url]) 4. and we started out making me videos - in order to hook up with college/kids professionals in #3 above ie: [url=][/url] 😊
hearing school on  23 November 09  at  10:29 AM #
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Post a comment

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

New  Subscribe to the …

email newsletter

Get updates…

Twitter   Facebook   Pinterest


Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
MathsClass is about teaching and learning in a maths classroom. more→


by date

by category


updates via @mathslinks

Recently read/found.

View All | RSS