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Showing posts from September, 2015

Week 3: Defining Midpoints

Last week was our 3rd 4 day week in a row, making this feel like a slow starting school year. Three weeks in and I haven't given a significant assessment. Perhaps that is okay as I have given several small skills quizzes to Algebra and two in Geometry. They are getting feedback from me and I know which topics to spend more time on.

This week in geometry included learning more basic terms, triangle inequality (activity inspired by someone in the #mtbos), starting proofs and developing definitions for midpoint and bisect.

I really like how my lesson on the definition for midpoint and bisect went this year. I facilitated a math talk punctuated by discussions in pairs.

Step 1:
Show them this image and ask them to come up with an If-then definition for point M that is general and doesn't name any points or segments from the diagram.

Step 2:
Gather ideas from the class and polish the grammar until it makes sense. Other possible items to clarify might be using congruent rather than e…

Back to School Day 2015

It was so nice to meet my new students' parents and say hello to former students' parents on Saturday. Back to school day is always a joyful, energizing day, though rushed too as I attempt to fit a 20 minute presentations into 10 minute slots!

In addition to introducing myself and discussing course content, I want parents to know why I teach the way I do. It is difficult to explain problem based learning, game based learning, digital portfolios, mindfulness, neuro-plasticity, cognitive science backed learning strategies, growth mindset and standards based grading in 10 minutes... From my experience the last few years, it is actually impossible! Hence, writing a blog post to sum it all up is on my to do list.
For parents who missed my break-neck speed presentations, or for those who want to check out the information again, they are below.
I am looking forward to a great year of learning with your kiddos!

Week 2: Paired Problem Solving FTW

True, to form, it is has taken me to the end of week 3 to finish my week 2 post...


Tuesday  in Geometry, students learned to use Geogebra while also learning about transformations - prompt here.

Wednesday  in Geometry was spent reviewing for a quiz and writing their own chains of reasoning blog.



In algebra, we are spending a lot of time taking questions on homework. Sometimes 10 minutes, which in a 40 minute class, is a significant potion of time.  Interleaved problem sets are harder, which is the point. The reasoning behind mixed over masses practice is that having to go from topic to topic forces the learner to concentrate more. More thinking = more retention. So yes there are lots of questions as they are remembering a lot of different concepts, but the time spent for homework review is  valuable.

I am reading Creating Cultures of Thinking and late last week, right before school started, I read about another method for Paired Problem…

Week 1

Having long decided that 180 blogging won't fit my working mom of two life style, this year I am going for weekly blogging. It is important to me to blog to model ongoing learning for my students - I blog to reflect on my teaching and to have a place to receive ideas and feedback.

I am already behind as I had planned to do this over the weekend, but I can blame grad school (this time) as I spent time working on my research project.

Last week was great. The beginning of the year is typically a simultaneously draining and energizing time and this year was no exception. On top of getting into the rhythm of my new schedule and meeting my new students (who by the way this year seem to all be named Isabella or Madison or Ryan), I also sent my own son to school. William (I know, a far more unique name) started kindergarten and suddenly, I am a mom of an elementary kid. I am breaking all the rules from parenting books on how to get your kid to talk to you by grilling him everyday on the car…

Transformations with Geogebra

Tomorrow we will learn to use geogebra. Students will use transformations and publish their results on their blogs.

Here are my instructions.

Here is my sample.

Criticism: My instructions are pretty specific and don't leave a lot of room for exploration. I am hesitant to give less structure though as this will be their first time with geogebra this year.