Marcus Matters

VOL 2 ISSUE 7 April 16, 2014

How to Get the Biggest Caffeine Bang for Your Buck?

Jan Hutley and Amy Hazlewood's all year PAP Chemistry/Algebra II students recently completed a project based learning experience designed to engage them in expanding and applying learning about moles and molecules while also introducing, learning, and using exponential and logarithmic functions. Students applied learning and skills to a real world problem of analyzing their favorite caffeinated beverages to determine which supplied the most caffeine per dollar spent. Science and math concepts seamlessly blended together as students determined the logarithmic decay of caffeine in the body, created graphs analyzing data leading to an understanding of how logarithms can be used to solve exponential equations, considered biological factors influencing benefits and risks of caffeine use, reflected on their own caffeine consumption, and even calculated the cost per molecule of caffeine in different products. The students had plenty of opportunity for engaging in 21st Century skills as they collaborated in groups, employed problem-solving strategies for research and analysis, used iPads and other available technology to conduct research and create commercials promoting a beverage supported by their research as a "caffeine bang for the buck". The project culminated with the presentation of commercials to the entire group and the opportunity for students to vote for a winner!

Meaningful, Relevant, & Engaging Learning Happening Every Day!

Algebra Can Help Me Catch Fish??

Matt Schwolert's Algebra I students are currently learning through a problem-based experience he designed. Students were presented with this problem: Given a budget of $300, what 3 fishing reels would you purchase to effectively present each of these 3 categories of bass fishing lure: Spinnerbaits and Topwater, Jigs and Texas Rigged Worms, and Deep Diving Crankbaits? Who knew that you could use Algebra to determine the optimal equipment to use with certain baits and lures? Students participated in an entry event playing with rods and reels and exploring the different available lures. Mr. Schwolert allowed students to explore the relationship between different equipment and lures through inquiry as they developed their own list of "need to knows". Students are using this problem-based approach to achieve the intended learning outcome of discovering and applying the algebraic concepts of slope and rate of change through questioning, internet research, peer conversations, expert discussions, experimentation and observation. They will ultimately present their findings in the form of a graphical representations, practical applications in the sport of fishing, and by considering other areas in which the algebraic concepts are utilized, all through a multi-media presentation.

Blended Learning Coming for 11th Graders in 2014-2015

Four Marcus High School teachers are piloting blended learning opportunities for next year's 11th graders. Students can choose to take US History, English 3, Algebra II, and Physics in this flexible setting next year. Students will attend class on campus two days each week and then choose where and when to work for the remaining three days. Students might work from home, in the classroom, in the library or other campus flexible spaces, or get together outside of school at a location of their choosing. Blended learning teachers for next year are Chris Porter, Jason Poe, Sandy Lumley, and Adam Hovde.

There is an informational parent and student meeting this Wednesday at 6:30pm in the library. Students who are already enrolled or even those interested in changing can attend.

Check out this informational video: MHS BlendED video

February 17th Tech Buffet

February 17th was a great day of professional learning for Marcus, thanks to the enthusiastic presentations and facilitation by our staff, and even a few students! Kuddos to all of the life-long learners here at Marcus for supporting each other as we continue to build our capacity to meet the needs of our 21st Century learners!

Teacher Tech Talk

Do you ever find great articles, blogs, or interesting websites while browsing the net or checking Twitter, but don't have time to read them right away? Easily save them for later with the add-on app Pocket. Check it out!

Have you tried the new Google Apps add-on Kaizena? It allows you to leave an audio comment or feedback on a Google Doc - let students hear your feedback instead of reading it! Check it out

Please email Rebecca Clark at with a tech tip or application you would like to share.

We can't wait to hear from you!

Mac Tips

Did you know that you can preview files from Finder or when you choose "Open" in any software application? Single click on the file so it is highlighted in blue and click the spacebar... a small preview window will open.

Do you need to take a screen shot?

Command+Shift+3 = takes an image of the whole screen

Command+Shift+4 = gives you a directional pointer to choose the area to copy

Both of these options save to desktop as "ScreenShot" with a date/time stamp

Do you want to take a screen shot and edit, crop, annotate?

Use the same options above +Control (ie: Command+Shift+Control+3)

This saves the image to your clipboard. Access the clipboard image by going to Spotlight, searching for Preview, and from the Preview menu bar at the top choose File and Open from Clipboard. Now you can use the Preview tools to edit and save the image.

Tell Us About the Great Things Happening at Marcus...

Are you or a colleague designing an innovative learning experience? Are you or a colleague integrating technology in a way that supports enhanced student creativity, collaboration, or critical thinking? Please let Rebecca Clark know about great things happening with student learning that we should feature in the next newsletter... we can't wait to hear from you!