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Showing posts from October, 2014

Stacking Cups

Yesterday's algebra class was great. We definitely fulfilled my goal of having more fun in math class. The night before last I had read an article linking curiosity with increased learning and engagement. Then yesterday's class illustrated that point perfectly.

We are finishing up our unit on graphing linear equations. There are many resources available online to support this concept, so many that it was very difficult to choose. I used Dan's stacking cups. Me being me, I made a handout.

I was so impressed by what seems like such a simple idea... a stack of cups... holds rigorous concepts that my students were determined to figure out. While they got that the lip height was the slope pretty easily, they wrestled with the y intercept. I resisted the urge to tell them and instead told them to measure total height for one cup, then two cups to be sure their rule worked.
They were engaged for the entire class period. I heard kids debating the concepts. The curiosity to learnin…

Digital Portfolio Action: Summaries of an in class task

My students have been working on graphing linear equations. We start off using intercepts method and then use slope-intercept. We started the lesson Not So Fast from Mathalicious as it was a great way to build from writing and evaluating expressions to interpreting slopes and rates. They give the fee schedule for determining speeding tickets and have students figure out fines for different speeds in different speed limits.

They actually never graphed the equation on paper but jumped right to Desmos to compare the current speeding fine equation with their recommendation.

I have said this before, but what I love about blogging in math is they get a chance to discuss their reasoning in depth which is a plus for open ended problems like this one. We could share aloud in class. That contribution  though would easily blend in with the class. Instead, by blogging, their polished responses stand for them to look back upon over the course of the year.

Take a look at a few of their posts:


I have even more respect for 180 Bloggers

While I was not officially trying to start a 180 blog... more like I was planning on blogging occasionally, I still take a photo of my agenda everyday and photos just need to be published. Hence, my thought to blog occasionally became a secret goal to blog daily, or almost daily. This wishy-washy goal for blogging resulted in almost a month of zero blog action. I can't just blame the weak goal setting - like all of us, my free periods are spent helping kids, planning, meeting, eating, making lists online, making lists on post-its and especially implementing standards based grading for Algebra.

Things have improved on the SBG front. I used to grade assessments a page at a time. Now I grade one student at a time which I think helped to make grading the unit 2 tests go faster. But because part of my plan involves frequent skill checks that need a quick turn around for grading and because I am still learning how to use Active Grade, I can't call myself an efficient Standards Based…