Sunday Summary Week 1

Jumping on the #mtboschallenge to do a 3-2-1 summary of the week.

3 Good Things:

1) The Best Department Chair in the World Ever took it upon herself to talk to the admin about making another PreAP Precal class and the admin was nice enough to do so.  It meant changing around at least 40 students’ schedules, so it was a lot of work for everyone.  But that means I no longer have class sizes of 31 (actually, I was about to have class sizes of 32 which is when I started to freak out–my room could not hold another desk!) and I got to rearrange into groups of four!  Yippee!!!!!!!!!  The rows were just not working for what I wanted to do with groups.

2) I sent out a plea for help and many people put a lot of time and effort into crafting wonderful replies that really got me thinking about my role in the classroom and how to be more effective for everyone.  I will do a recap post soon of everyone’s replies, but for now be sure check out the comments on the post (and also lots of great discussion on twitter.  And it’s also never too late to add your own answers.).

3) I had an awesome day in every single class on Friday.  Each class had begun discussing word problems the day before (ok, yes, I still spend a day teaching word problems.  True, some of them do not have real world connections, e.g. “find 3 consecutive integers whose sum is -3,481.”  Yes, I also want to do Mathalicious lessons and more organic problem solving, but baby steps, people.  Baby steps.) I started class Friday by putting up a timer for 7 minutes (thanks @rachelrosales) for them to finish and turn in bellringers, and get signed up for edmodo/remind/google survey if they had not done so (I posted a checklist so they could see if they had).

After that was done, I handed out the big whiteboards and one marker per group.  I stated the rule that the person writing can only write what the other people tell them, which some followed better than others, but I didn’t have the heart to enforce it when they were having good math discussions.  And, yes, that means that THEY WERE HAVING GOOD MATH DISCUSSIONS.  And CHECKING THEIR ANSWERS TO SEE IF THEY MADE SENSE.  And ARGUING NICELY WITH EACH OTHER.  And I DIDN’T SEE ONE STUDENT NOT PARTICIPATING.  And EVEN THOUGH THEY GOT DISCOURAGED THEY KEPT TRYING. I think because they didn’t have pages of “wrong” stuff or piles of eraser dust, THEY SIMPLY WIPED OFF THE BOARD AND STARTED OVER.  And EVERYONE COULD SEE THE WORK BECAUSE IS WAS ON THE GIANT WHITEBOARDS.  And I COULD SEE EVERYONE’S WORK.  And because they had to finish the rest of the problems for homework, THEY WERE ALL WORKING TO GET AS MANY DONE AS THEY COULD.  As in, in almost every class, I WAS THE ONE TELLING THEM TO STOP AND GET READY TO LEAVE.

so, um, yeah…..I like the giant whiteboards.  As an added bonus, after the first problem I checked, I had them give me their names. (Yes, it is the 7th day of school and I know about 3 names so now you realize when I introduced myself to you for the 103rd time at TMC14, it was not because you weren’t memorable. I just am horrible at remembering names. Especially if you have the audacity to wear a different outfit the next day so I can’t remember you as “boy in blue striped shirt.”) Then as I returned to each group to check more problems, I recited the names again.  So maybe I will remember some of them tomorrow.  If they sit in the same seat and wear the same clothes.

2 Things I Made This Week that I’m Proud of:

1) My order of operations talking points worksheet.   Link to doc file

CaptureTP

2. Some fun posters!

four principles one poster chalkboardstop staring start writingCapturepartymathAll of them (and black and white versions) can be found in this folder.

1 Thing I’m Struggling with This Week:

How to do less directed teaching and more discovery when it’s really just a whole lot of definitions to cover this week.

Make sure to visit and leave some love for the other challengers (and add your blog, too, if you’re UP TO THE CHALLENGE.)

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One comment on “Sunday Summary Week 1

  1. How about a definition scavenger hunt of some sort?

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