Friday, November 13, 2009

A shopping trip...

Yesterday I spent some time at a the teacher supply store in Knoxville. I was on the quest for some colorful workbooks that I could use in presentations. (That's one of the great things about document cameras used with the AVerPen...I can have a colorful page instead of a black and white copy, and I can use it over and over again. Awesomeness!)

I always loved those stores as a teacher. All the neat lesson idea books, all the cool posters, the irresistable lure of cutely shaped post-it is indeed one of my favorite stores to visit!

When I would visit stores like that, I would walk up and down the aisles looking at all the manipulatives and games that would be so awesome in lessons, but always left them behind. Why? Because buying one set at $12 was not a big deal, but when I factored in that even with small groups I'd need four, five or six sets...the cost became prohibitive.

Yesterday though I realized that with a document camera, I can purchase just one set of manipulatives, or one game board, and use it under my document camera. When that dawned on me...I went a little nuts! I found my arms full of tons of cool things. (Okay...I eventually put most of them back as I don't actually teach anymore, but if I did, man oh man!)

Just a couple of things for you to think about:

I purchased two sets of dice for math. One set had numbers up to 30 and the other set had operations (+, -, x, etc.) Since they show up great under my document camera, I can use those for a math lesson. Add the AVerPen in there, and you could show the document camera image and then have students in groups solve the problem and show their work using the student pens.'s just math problems...but the dice rolling on the big screen, the collaborative work in groups, and the engagement with the pens takes it to a whole other level. Cost: $8 for both sets.

I also purchased a small globe. I was a social studies teacher and having a globe was always important. Yet in most of the schools I taught in, I could only have one globe for my class...maybe two. Why? They cost upwards of $50! Yesterday I purchased a small globe on a stand that rotates in all directions for $10. With my document camera, I can zoom in so close that the entire screen can be consumed by three letters of the word "Honduras"! It is awesome! (That's tiny made big...I could barely find the word "Honduras" on that little globe with the naked eye! ha!)

Other than the one colorful workbook I came home with, I saw a lot of other really great things...

-models of hearts, brains, and other body parts that broke apart into cross-sections
-spelling games
-money manipulatives
-science project kits
-magnet activities
and tons more!

Go check out what you can find that is suddently affordable because you only have to buy one!

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