Writing Math Stories using My Maps

The last couple of weeks I’ve worked on several different workshops and a presentation. This has made me think quite a bit about active learning and students as the creator.  I’ve also grown to understand students internalize their learning when it is meaningful and authentic to them. This is when I thought why can’t My Maps be used to help the students collect data. After they’ve collected this real world data the student can open a Google Slide and create a “Math Stories about the My Map Journey” they created.

The beauty of this is in the end the student may link the Google Slide Math story to the My Map Journey. Imagine a math journey where you can actually zoom in on the roads being measured. The student may include actual screen-captures of the roadways and locations mentioned in their stories.  A project like this can unlock the creative writer as well as the mathematician hidden within every child.

Creating a Directional My Map

  • Have students map a bicycle journey from school to a nearby location
  • Open My Maps
  • In search window type beginning location
  • Example address or name of school, store and etc…

Maps Type location here

  • Drop Pin for the location

Map Click Here to add the Marker Pin

  • Click “Directions to here” icon
  • Add a second location

map add 2nd location

  • Click layer where first pin was dropped
  • Drop pin above the second location
  • Title the marker with the name of the location

Map click layer.gif

  • Now click the measure distances and areas ruler
  • Measure between the two points double click to add the distance to the layer
  • Click the layer options settings (3 vertical dots)
  • Select open data table
  • Edit the table.
  • Under Description for the starting point type “0” miles & starting point
  • Edit location 2 with the milage from measuring & type from start or beginning point

map final.gif

  • Now drop a pin to add another location
  • Type the location name
  • Measure from the last location to the new location.
  • Repeat the process until you create an end point location
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Crowdsourcing Powerful Edu Support

While preparing a “Google My Maps” presentation is when I discovered the “Power of Crowdsourcing”. Over my cup of morning java I had a revelation and created a map for sharing tips & ideas for using Google for Education Tools. I tweeted the map along with sharing how Laurie Guyon and myself were going to use it as part of our Learning with Innovative Technology Conference Presentation.

Immediately I was amazed by the responses from educators all over the world. This is when I realized what a “Powerful Tool” crowdsourcing could be. Thanks to the teachers who added ideas I  have expanded my knowledge bank with “NEW ideas” for integrating these tools. It opened my eyes to the benefits “Crowdsourcing” may have for supporting education.

How Crowdsourcing Supports Edu

  1. Use to gather information from anywhere in the world
  2. Creates an Authentic Learning experience outside the classroom
  3. Supports Collaboration skills
  4. Creates a new resource for information
    • Students can access info 24/7 from anywhere
    • On a variety of digital devices connected to Internet
  5. Strengthens communication skills
  6. Reinforces using Digital Citizenship Skills
  7. Builds a network of professionals
  8. Provides Authentic Feedback
  9. Supports Critical Thinking

Using My Maps for Inquiry Projects

It seems the most popular programs used for inquiry project presentations are Google Slides, Microsoft PowerPoint, Prezi, Emaze and etc… Sometimes we overlook tools which may empower students to dive deeper into their research. One such tool is Google My Maps! Google My Maps may provide an arena for students to collaborate together as they create and share inquiry projects.

One of the beauties of using Google My Maps for creating inquiry projects is the sharing of information in one convenient place. This can be used by individual students for further exploration. Another reason why I like My Maps is it provides the student with authentic exploration tools. Thanks to the linking of Google Maps, images and 360 exploration authentic locations may be visited.

This paves a road for further travel and forming a deeper learning experience. What might “tip this lesson over the top” is including Google Expedition while using VR Glasses! Please Note if an Android compatible Chromebook is used the student may reference a Google Expeditions to explore. If the user has a Chromebook or iPad with the  Expedition APP this will let them explore 360 degree 2D experience for further inquiry investigation.

Student Summer Journaling Activity

Summer has arrived and school has let out. The learning and fun with Ed Tech devices doesn’t have to stop here. Why not keep the brainpower energized with a simple creative writing activity. This doesn’t take much time to do and could be a fun way to share a little part of yourself with the class.  This summer I’m attempting to keep a Google Map Journal for my favorite summer activities.  I can’t wait for September when a student or teacher asks, “So Ms. Drasby what did you do over the summer?”, and in response I’ll open my “My Map Summer Journal”.

I believe an activity such as this could be used as a community ice breaker or a learning experience filled with real facts. You might even want to add a personalized touch by creating custom markers. It is amazing to think a simple map program may present an opportunity to unlock doors for exploring core content areas.

Creating a Google My Map

Did you know Google My Map is located within your Google Drive? Please follow this steps to learn how to get started with Google My Map.

  • Sign into Google Drive
  • Click Blue New Button
  • Scroll Down & Click More
  • Scroll until you find My Maps

New My Maps

Once My Maps is open it is best practice to give it a Title

  • After the My Map has a title
  • Add a layer
  • Title the layer

Now your ready to drop a pin!

Create a Custom Pin

 

Why Use a Custom Pin?

  • It allows the student to personalize their project
  • Pins can easily help identify an activity
  • Enhances the map with a more personalized look
  • Allows the user to add content specific images as the pins

Journaling with MyMaps

This activity will help provide basic steps for journaling about real events. Google My Maps will support the students with the ability to map their personal adventure. If they map a real walking adventure and the weather permits the class can go on the hike. Before the real hike begins the students can add up the mileage provided by the lines between the destination points. This will help them with internalizing the actual distance unit they will walk.

They can also have fun by capturing photos from the walking adventure and adding the images to the Google My Map. When adding the new image to the map the student is responsible for creating a title and summary about the image.  When writing the summary they can answer questions such as:

  • Why did they take the photo?
  • What is the image of?
  • How did the object get there?

Create a Journal with Google MyMaps