Featured User: Matthew Forrest

We are excited to get to know Matthew Forrest, who teaches Precalculus, Calculus, and AP Calculus at St. Augustine Prep in New Jersey.  He is involved in many after school programs, works at a friend’s restaurant for fun, and loves spending time with his bird, cat, and dog (all of which love accidentally interrupting his ShowMe performances.)  He has been able to accomplish much more with ShowMe than he could ever do in tradition methods.  Let’s find out some of the ways that ShowMe has changed his classroom and helped reach students and teachers across the world.

Check out Matthew’s extensive portfolio (which he loves to share!)
http://www.showme.com/Matthew-Forrest

Tell us about yourself?
I have a bachelors in Mathematics with a Minor in Computer Science from Stockton University. I grew up and currently reside in South Jersey. I have been teaching for 7 years. Besides teaching, I coach football and track, and I’m the moderator for my school’s math club and Model UN club.

What inspires you?
I will never forget what my calculus teacher, Mr. Trenelli, did for me. He rekindled my passion for math. I bombed precalc and thanks to my calc teacher’s passion and willingness to work with me, I got an A+. He not only made me realize that I was capable of the material, but reminded me how much fun it is when I know what is going on. To this day, I owe my career and essentially my life to him. I will never forget what he did for me.

Every year I strive to be that teacher for someone else.

How has ShowMe changed the way you teach?
Last year I tried the ShowMe semi flipped method and I finished the same curriculum a month early, which is really awesome since it allows me time to review and practice for the AP exam. What used to take 3-4 days to cover in class takes 2-3. I’ve found that it allows students to learn at their own pace. The really bright ones might watch a video once or even skip part way through it, while the ones who struggle a bit more can rewatch it as often as needed until they feel comfortable. It’s kinda like having me at home and going at each student’s personal speed.

I assign a nightly video to watch along with a small set of problems to go along with what the video taught. I then reinforce the video’s material in class.

I also provide it for my non-AP courses as supplemental material. If a student is absent, falling behind, or just studying for a test they can watch a video to get the help they need.
They are great for cyber learning days. In my school, if we have a snow day, we are supposed to still send the students an assignment, and this works perfectly.

What tips do you have for ShowMe creators?
Spice it up. Don’t be monotone, if you are bored making it, imagine how the students will feel watching it. Keep the videos to 15 minutes or under for high school students, any longer and they will lose interest/focus.  Know your target audience level. Don’t make the videos too hard or too easy.

With over 200 followers, how do you feel about reaching teachers and students other than your own?
I make the videos for my students first and foremost. It’s a bonus for me when people who I don’t teach watch my videos and get benefit from them. I am very happy to have created three courses and still have alumni and students that attend my school that I don’t teach that ask me for help and I love to tell them to watch my video series on ShowMe.

What are some other cool tech tools you having been having fun with in the classroom?
I use notability on my iPad and, along with apple tv, where I mirror my screen onto the smartboard. This allows me detach myself from the front of the classroom. It also allows me to save the notes that I use and use them through all of my classes, without having to recopy them every time. I can also open up worksheets in here and do the work right on them or email them to the students to do for home/classwork.

Matthew’s commitment to his students, growth as an educator, and success with tech tools in a traditional classroom are only some of the reasons we have chosen him as our featured user this week.  His ShowMes are easy to follow, well-made, and will continue to support students and teachers for years to come.  Thank you for taking time to talk with us and for helping to build the ever growing ShowMe community of amazing educators!

Featured User: Ivona Maric

Today we have the privilege of talking with Ivona Maric, a math and physics professor in the Cleveland area. She shares our passion for reaching students in a meaningful way and shares, “If I can do it, anyone can, no matter what it is.”    She is excited to start expanding her ShowMes past her own classroom and into the world with Courses, Groups, and the Explore feature.

Visit Ivona’s awesome ShowMe Portfolio:

http://www.showme.com/Ivona-Maric

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I have a Bachelor’s in math and physics, and a Master’s in math. I have been a college adjunct instructor since 2007 and have taught at more than ten colleges/universities in the greater Cleveland area.  I always enjoyed sciences and explaining math to other students, even while I was in high school. It seemed like second nature and I am very organized and planned ahead that teaching seemed like the right route to take. It has been difficult to find a full time teaching job but I teach for the students, not the money. One interesting thing about me is that I was born in Bosnia (in Europe) and moved to the wonderful USA twenty years ago. I have achieved so much while overcoming new experiences that came with moving to a new country.

What inspires you?

This is a tough question… I would say seeing opportunities that are out there and what steps I can take to make some of them happen. What also inspires me is seeing that students realize they make some things harder than they should be, especially after I speak honestly, in a realistic way with them.

What are some tips you can share with other ShowMe teachers?

Keep the videos simple, use appropriate backgrounds, and minimize graphics used. When I need to have certain things stand out, I use the notebook look, even the yellow lined paper. It subtly prompts them to take notes. Some of my students have said they play my videos while they are on the bus to just listen.  

Have an outline of the video on paper and then start creating a few pages before recording. Make sure to minimize noise as well as control any other interruptions, such as unsyncing your iPad from your iPhone so your video doesn’t get interrupted.

I encourage everyone to try ShowMe, for anything. I accidentally found it when I needed something to serve the purpose of creating videos for my students in a simple and affordable way.

What are some of the biggest challenges that teachers face?

I think the biggest challenge the teachers face is soft skills that most students lack. We cannot spend a lot of time teaching students how to take notes, review them, do homework, and study for the exam. Time management is a big key. This is what I have found at the college level to be the case, on top of attendance.

How has technology made a difference for your students?  

Many of them find it very helpful but there are some that resist it. Once they see my videos though, they love the flexibility of it and that they can make a request to me and a day later have a video ready to watch, without any need for a login.

When you’re not teaching, what can we find you doing?

Well, you can find me at home answering emails, grading, preparing notes or assessments, and binge watching shows I miss due to my busy schedule. I also enjoy reading but I don’t get a chance to read as often as I’d like.

How has ShowMe played a role in your classroom?

I mention it to my students the first day I meet them and continue to remind them to let me know what they would like me to make a video on. Some of them have used KhanAcademy before and then I show them ShowMe website and they are shocked that they didn’t know about it. It plays an important role for me because it’s easy for me to use and I promote it in all of my classes.

Thank you to Ivona for taking time to share with us about herself and how she helps extend beyond her classroom.  Be sure to check out her new ShowMes and upcoming Courses.

The Fresh New ShowMe 7.0

“The Showme videos allow me to give personal instruction to students who may need repeated views of the lesson. My students are excited to see the newest video.”

  –Nicole Washington, Math Teacher at East Hartford Middle School

Get as excited as your students for the newest update of ShowMe! We had you in mind with our 7.0 version, with performance improvements, easy explore filters, and best of all, a paid feature! It is now easier than ever to use, as we continue to build a platform for teachers to share and grow as revolutionary educators. 

Our look and feel now provides an even better user experience. Never lose another ShowMe with our autosave function, easily search and create courses, and make money for the work you have already shared across the world.  

 

ShowMe stands above other similar apps because of the community every user helped form.  We celebrate every teacher for their collaboration, you have helped build a foundation to share ideas and content across the world.  After all, we teachers definitely know how to share (just ask Pinterest or TPT.)  We are proud to provide a new way to keep sharing the love by getting paid for the great work you already do.

Simply go to the App Store and install our newest version. Enjoy exploring the new streamlined look, utilize courses to have meaningful interactions with every student, and start buying and selling great ShowMes.

With the new Paid feature, you can:

  • Sell individual ShowMes for $1.99
  • Sell a course for $9.99
  • Buy from other teachers
  • Collect revenue of everything you sell – $5.00 for each Course and $1.00 for each ShowMe

Continue supporting each other and our students of all ages.  We are proud to continue to be an effective tool in classrooms across the globe, and will always strive to improve and grow with the passion of over a 10 million users.  
For an overview of the new paid feature, check out this quick tutorial!

Student Conferences – made easy with ShowMe

With a new school year already here, you may find yourself already reflecting on how to grow as an educator over the next 9 months.  Maybe you’ll try using a new classroom management style, that cool new tech tool, or just keep your “To Grade” stack shorter than your coffee cup. Or maybe loftier, year long goals, such as having consistent meaningful assessment that will drive instruction.  Conferencing with students is one of the greatest assessment strategies in every teacher’s tool belt.  A few test answers can show what a student knows, but not how a student thinks.   Hearing a student describe how they got the answer in a one on one conference allows for targeted instruction based on what students actually need, or how to build upon what they already know.  How can you put up the scaffolding if you don’t know what the foundation is?

 

Knowing a student’s thought process is only half the battle.  Even after using that authentic assessment, how can the understanding be related that into a letter grade or one word ranking on a rubric.  Each student’s thinking was deep, meaningful, and communicated to you in all the glory that is uniquely in their own words and ideas.  You can’t translate that into a simple letter grade or boil it down to a one word ranking on a rubric.  But you also can’t go home with every student and sit down with their families about how he or she solved a math problem.  

 

ShowMe allows for you to sit at every child’s kitchen table and have that conference.  As students work through problems on their iPads, they can also explain their thinking.  All can be captured and ready to send home to parents.  

 

“With ShowMe the learning that takes place in the classroom goes home with the students.  I enjoy ShowMe and the interactivity it brings to my teaching” – Frank Briganti, 4th Grade Teacher

 

Here is how to easily email a ShowMe to parents:

Tutorial: How to email a ShowMe

 

Make the most out of the year by saving time, communicating to parents effectively, and have less tests to grade (yay!) with one on one conferences created with ShowMe.

 

Featured Application: Homework Help & Home Extensions

 

“When teachers design homework to meet specific purposes and goals, more students complete their homework and benefit from the results” – Epstein & Van Voorhis

 

Effective educators are always looking for ways to bridge the gap between school and home.  However there can always be challenges for extending learning beyond the school day.  Whether students need extra support or parents don’t understand the content being taught, meaningfully learning outside the classroom can prove difficult at home, when the teacher is nowhere to be found.

Until ShowMe!  Now every student and their families can have access to their teacher anytime, anywhere.  Using technology to enhance learning isn’t just for the flipped classroom or advanced tech-happy teachers.  One of my favorite ShowMe applications can be used in any classroom by any teacher, no matter how tech savvy you are.  

“Teachers cannot follow students home, so it is important that parents are provided with the tools to successfully be involved with their children’s homework.” – Nicole Schrat Carr

 

Common Core can leave parents wondering, “Whaaaaat”, struggling to understand new ways to solve problems without the traditional algorithm.  It can also leave students frustrated, saying, “But that’s not how Mrs. Smith taught us!”  If you are a parent, I’m sure you’ve felt this frustration too, thinking Mrs. Smith might be a little crazy.  Here is an example of a ShowMe made just for parents, explaining the importance and strategies of CCSS in a division problem.  

Including parents in student learning is one way to effectively bridge the home-school gap, but taking personal responsibility and feeling the ping of succeeding on their own is also important for student growth.  ShowMes provide extra support and home extensions, giving every student the opportunity to have a teacher available at any time.


“Homework that students can’t do without help is not good homework; students are discouraged when they are unable to complete homework on their own” – Cathy Vatterott, ASCD author

Every student needs extra help at times, or even differentiated support.  ShowMe provides extensions and aid, or even just to see Mrs. Smith show one more example.  Here is a ShowMe created for students to work side by side with the teacher on a difficult math problem.  The teacher completes an example, then encourages students to try the next one on their own.  This helpful, yet independent support, allows students to take control of their own learning, get help when they need it, and apply it on their own.

There are many strategies to use Homework Help with ShowMe; here are 2 simple and easy ways.  Click on each link to watch a ShowMe tutorial about each tool:

  1. Create a QR code to put directly on the homework page
  2. Link the ShowMe to your teacher website

Resources:

References:

  • Carr, N. S. (2013). Increasing the Effectiveness of Homework for All Learners in the Inclusive Classroom. School Community Journal, 23(1), 169-182.
  • Epstein, M. H., Polloway, E. A., Foley, R. M., & Patton, J. R. (1993). Homework: A comparison of teachers’ and parents’ perception of the problems experienced by students identified as having behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, or no disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 14(5), 40–50.
  • Vatterott, C. (2010). Five hallmarks of good homework. Educational Leadership, 68(1), 10–15.

Office 365 Education Solutions

We are excited to announce our partnership with Microsoft Education Solutions!  Now you will be able to register or sign into ShowMe through your Office 365 account.  Just one more way to make education easy and effortless!

Microsoft is also featuring us on Office 365 Education Solutions!  Check us out here, where we are moving up to the 2nd app on the list.  This is one more way to continue to spread our passion for learning and innovation!

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