Tuesday, March 03, 2009

PowerPoint, Logic Puzzles, and Differentiated Instruction


One of my teachers is doing some pretty cool things with PowerPoint.  She is the 8th grade Science and Math teacher at our school.  Everyday she puts up the daily agenda including homework on a PowerPoint slide and then projects it at the beginning of class.  As class goes along she tweaks the slide so that it reflects how far they got in the lesson.  She keeps a PowerPoint file for every month and can easily go back and see what her class did on any particular day.  It also makes it very easy to give students assignments that they might have missed when they were absent. 

This teacher is one of those great teachers who is constantly learning and pushing her boundaries.  She came to me the other day with a question about how she could use technology to help her with the logic puzzles she is giving her class.  She is hoping to demonstrate to the students how we each learn differently and help them determine what way they learn best. She wanted to have the students only read the logic puzzles the first week. Then the students would only hear the logic puzzle being read to them the second week.  The third week the students would read and hear the logic puzzles.  She needed help figuring out how to record the logic puzzles for the second and third weeks. 

What we decided to do was take a screenshot of the logic puzzle from the website.  We then made the puzzle the entire size of a PowerPoint slide.  We then went to the Slideshow tab (in MS PowerPoint 2007) and used the Record Narration to record her reading the instructions.  We then simply used white boxes to cover two areas of the screenshot.  We had one covering the instructions – this won’t be shown the second week and one covering the answer.  We used Custom Animations to make everything come in on a mouse click.  It worked beautifully.  She is recording more of them now and will soon have a PowerPoint file with a ton of logic puzzles all ready to go that she can use year after year.  Let me know if you need clearer directions for doing this yourself!

Anyone else have cool ways of using PowerPoint?

Great Logic Puzzle Sites
Brain Boosters - http://school.discoveryeducation.com/brainboosters/
Braingle - http://www.braingle.com/

Image Attribution
Image: 'thinking red,green and black'

<---Cross post from Katie Christo's Edublogs site--->

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