Monthly Archives: August 2014

Teaching Math in Geography

Teaching math in geography? Yes! Social studies, or social science, involves mathematics. Geography is especially mathematical as maps, globes, and GPS systems are all based in mathematics. My trip to the HSTW14 conference convinced me that, as a social studies teacher, I could do more to reinforce math in my courses and thereby make them more applicable to the real world. I set a goal of doing five FALs this year along with at least two LDC modules. I’ll post here as I develop and test applications of MDC concepts in the geography classroom. Below are some links to help include mathematics in the study of geography.


Daft Logic

Free Map Tools

Gizmodo: Google Maps Now Lets You Measure Distances

Math Shell

Sketch and Calc

WikiHow: How to Read a Map



Sharing Contact Information for Better Classroom and Home Communication

QR Codes on stickers
QR Code Stickers

Building the bridge between school and home is one of the critical tasks of the beginning of the school year.  To that end I created a WordPress blog, which I linked through the RSS feed to Twitter, Tumblr, Edmodo, and a Mailchimp email list. I used widgets, small areas on the side of the blog, to share information about Remind, Pinterest, Quizlet, and the aforementioned apps that echo the RSS feed.  However, my bridge still has a gap.  How do I make sure parents know all my online resources exist?

Paper.  Not every parent, or grandparent, has crossed the digital divide. Others may not take the time to look at the links I posted on my page at the school’s web site.  To improve my chances of connecting with all my parents I went retro to share my contact information.  I had posters with my web addresses printed and posted on each wall of my classroom.  I passed out business cards at open house and invited parents to use my classroom computers to join the email list through a widget on the blog.  (I thank my brother, Steve, for the posters and business cards that he made in his shop, Presscraft Printing, in Ozark, Alabama.)

When school starts for the students on Wednesday I’ll have stickers for them.  Sadly, my stickers do not sparkle and are not cute.  However, they compensate by providing my email address, student blog, Twitter handle, and voice number on Skype (a number that may be reached by anyone with a phone but goes to my Skype account). The stickers have QR Codes that link to the course blog.  I’ll also have printed sheets hole-punched for their binders with QR Codes.  I hope that my efforts result in closer contact with home, more assignments submitted on time, and higher achievement for all my students.

What are your tips for improving communication with home?  Share them in the comments below or tweet @pdblankenship.