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Showing posts from January, 2015

Two weeks of average teaching

My classes for most of the month of January have been kinda boring. Sure, students listened, took notes, stayed organized, practiced concepts and demonstrated understanding on assessments, but save a game day or two and a Socrative Space Race, things haven't been fun. We haven't even added to our digital portfolios!

Excuses:
1. Grades and comments were due January 21
2. Polynomials
3. My husband, two kids and I got the flu for a week
4. I had to go to meetings
5. Not enough class time (yes, I always use this one)

Effect:
My geometry students took the biggest hit. They learned about the interior angles of polygons without doing much exploration or any application. Similar polygons was covered with a boring lecture in which I presented one example. Then they did a worksheet at their seats.

I have made my peace with the fact that not everyday can be a trip to Disneyland, but I do think I take my students' motivation and good study habits for granted.

Recovery:
I made an attempt …

EdcampLA and Sudent Blogging Action

I have gotten behind on updating my blog. I will get more into my excuses in my next post.

I know I am almost two weeks late, but I must join the bandwagon of those proclaiming the awesomeness of Edcamp. I went to EdCampLA on January 17th and ended up leading two discussions. My most recent experience giving a session at a conference had been presenting at UCLA Mathematics Department's Philip C. Curtis Jr. Center for Mathematics and Teaching Conference last February. It was a complete flop as I failed to consider that most of the attendees would not be lucky enough to work at schools with thriving 1:1 programs... #fail

So, I was quite nervous when I ended up leading a session on student blogging. Luckily, leading turned into co-leading with my friend Jed (@mathbutler), which turned into a friendly discussion with a great group of teachers across the curriculum and one administrator. 

I got to share my thoughts on blogging and show a few of my students' blog posts. It went well a…

Day 76: Color Wars (again) to review properties of Exponents

After two days of unbloggable lessons in algebra (lecture and practice with negative exponents), we finally had the skills to play a game.

After our routine review of last night's homework, students took a skill quiz. They are getting used to the frequent assessments required by the shift to Standards Based Grading (though I did overhear, "Didn't we take an LTC yesterday?").

By the way, I purchased a folder holder over winter break, which highly enhanced my reassessment system.

Anyways, back to today. The kids love playing color wars. Once they are in groups, all I do is give problems on the document camera and run around the room. Class almost runs itself. I love the high energy, engaged kiddos, running around the classroom, good competitiveness, and overhearing kids discussing how to do math problems.
I changed the roles a bit this time around. 

Algebra Blog Prompt: Make your own RTD System

I have used this prompt for my kiddos' math blogs for two whole years and I really like it. They are to research a create their own RTD system word problem. This works really well as a partner project in which they edit a google slides file together. We are a 1:1 laptop school, so I am able to give them bits of time during class for partners to collaborate, though I do start the assignment with nearly an entire class period dedicated to researching and writing.

Learning to work backwards to write a math problem is challenging for my students. During day 1 I am circulating, hovering really, questioning their work before they publish.

Samples:

Carly Brigid Bryce

Here is the prompt:
For this Blog post, you and a partner will research and create an RTD problem that requires a system to solve. You may choose to do a problem with wind/current speed, round-trip, total distance or one person catching up with the other. Look at your chapter 7 packet for inspiration. You may use a calculator f…

This lesson isn't so Bloggable

One take away from reading Nate's post yesterday was that perhaps I need to blog more about my average (or merely passable) teaching moments. Perhaps I will receive some awesome feedback and I'll be able to upgrade these average days to awesome? Or perhaps I'll just be putting forth a more complete version of my teacher identity, demonstrating that I don't "operate in a bloggable state at all times." Honest, real blogging will surely bolster the mtbos, though it adds the whole surplus of blogs problem...

Nonetheless, here goes:

Recently I overheard kids chatting in the math department with their computers open. To my delight, they were sharing their math blogs with one another and discussing their favorite posts. Funny enough, several of them shared that their favorite was the concept summary poster on the different forms of a linear equation. I created this particular assignment because I wanted them to clarify all three forms of a line. I also wanted them all…