Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Increasing Engagement through Video Story Problems Teaching Idea

My friend Ben Rimes has a great idea:

Increasing Engagement through Video Story Problems Teaching Idea


Increasing engagement with real world problems is a lot easier if you bring the real world into the classroom. In collaboration with another teacher, I've created several math and science related video story problems for teachers to use when introducing a concept, or looking for a way to give students a more real world example than what's printed in the text book. From exploding jars of applesauce to calculating distance, problems related to content area are shared via Vimeo.

Education Level(s)

Pre-K/Kindergarten, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12


Math & Science, Student Engagement & Development, Technology & Innovation

Learning Objectives

Students will be solve authentic problems, complete with distracting data and information that have to be carefully separated from the pertinent information. Both conceptual and procedural problems will be presented to the students in the areas of science and math. Students will view video story problems that take place around their school, community, in addition to problems from other schools and scenarios in order to make connections between school and real world problem solving.


Handheld camcorders, cell phones, and webcams will be used to capture video for the story problems, with iMovie, Movie Maker, and other movie making tools being used to produce the story problems. Vimeo.com will be used to host the videos for easy sharing and embedding of videos between school buildings and school districts.

Other Information

There are a few example videos already hosted on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/album/1545575). The quality of the videos changes from movie to movie, as the quality of the camera I have available to me is never a constant. Having a camera that could be dedicates to the project would be helpful. Vimeo is the choice for hosting the videos as it's easier to get schools to unblock it than YouTube. Getting a premium Vimeo account would mean the videos could upgraded to play on Apple mobile devices too.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

Yesterday I went to the volunteer orientation for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. There was a group of about 15 people. Not only did we learn about what they do, how they do it and why, we also got a tour of the facility. I filled out the application and hope to help out in whatever capacity they need me. If you would like to do the same, they have the application available online. And for those of you thinking about adopting a pet, they have cats, dogs, rabbits, turtles, guinea pigs, hamsters, and sometimes even birds! Here's a look at some of the animals that were up for adoption yesterday:

Lots of kitties available

This guy just had surgery. He was so friendly!

What a cute little guy! I definitely see the appeal - he would totally fit in my purse!

This guy just came in from running around outside.

And if you're considering adoption, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria has a "Sweet Sixteen" promotion running right now. There are 16 pets that can be adopted for just $16! Check out the photos on their Facebook page.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Help support outdoor seating for Food Matters

In 1996, Greenvest L.C. purchased Cameron Station in Alexandria, Virgina. The mixed-used residential plan consists of 2,510 units including single family, townhome and multi-family dwellings with first level retail space.

Food Matters is located in a building run by the Cameron Station Condo Association but pays rent to Main Street, LLC. According to the Main Street Board President of the Condo Board, Steve Maquire, Greenvest was the one that setup the Main Street, LLC. Which seems a little convoluted to me but I guess that's not unusual for commercial real estate.Under the current terms, the condo association is liable if anything bad happens, not Greenvest, and so this spring the condo association decided to restrict the restaurant's use of outdoor seating.

As a long time Alexandria resident, I am strongly in favor of having outdoor seating at Food Matters. In fact, I would love to see the seating expanded! Part of what makes the community of Cameron Station so great is the gathering of people throughout the neighborhood. It enhances the entire neighborhood and makes it a really great place. Food Matters provides a meeting place so popular that when Max and I went there for dinner this weekend, we had to wait to be seated because all the tables were occupied. Even the barstools were full. And it was a shame that the outdoor seating was not in place - it was the perfect night for it.

If you are in support of the outdoor seating please politely express your opinion to Main Street Board President of the Condo Board, Steve Maquire.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Costa Rica

Went to Costa Rica for the weekend with a bunch of friends. We had SUCH a good time. Delays coming back, plane didn't get in until after midnight. Luckily I took today off of work!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

West End Farmers Market

Last week was less than stellar and this week seems like it is going to be very busy, so I'm just trying to make it to Friday. That's the not so good news.

The good news is that the website I designed for the West End Farmers Market went live today! I've been working on the marketing since January and this morning when I saw the site for the first time was so exciting!

Take a look and let me know what you think.

p.s. Opening day is May 1