Saturday, December 2, 2017

Choice Day

I went to a session on personalized learning at our district inservice a few weeks ago. (I work in a really large district, so all of the math teachers get together a couple of times a year for inservice). I really liked some of the ideas that the presenters (who are teachers in my district) had about personalized learning and giving some students choices in taking ownership of their learning. I took some detailed notes, but I was still curious about the execution of the project.

I was thinking about some idea to jazz up practice instead of some basic worksheet or something (which remind me, I had another idea I could've used). Then it dawned on me. Why don't I make a Choice Day for the kids and let them choose what to work on that day.

The first topic that I did this for was Systems of Equations with Graphing, which many students had struggled with. We had spent four days on the topic, and I knew that they wanted something different.   Our district uses Canvas, so I found five videos on the topic and made a playlist. I had students watch two videos and take notes. Then they either had to do a Quizizz, Edulastic assignment, or worksheet as practice. The first choice day went well, but there wasn't enough to ensure accountability.

After some reflection, I decided to do choice day again with systems of equations by substitution, which is another difficult topic. I created another Canvas playlist, but this time, I had students only watch one video. Then I had four options for students: Quizizz, Delta Math, Prodigy (which is a free math practice website that is game-like), or Edulastic. I figured most would play Prodigy, but many chose the other options. I also required an exit ticket at the end of the class to help with the accountability piece. I also let students sit with whomever they wanted (as long as they were working).

I still want to work on improving the accountability piece and trying to make sure I act more as a facilitator instead of having kids rely so much on me. I would recommend Choice Day! It's not a whole lot of extra prep, and it's still manageable. Plus, it allows kids to feel like they have some choice in their learning. If you ever have questions about Choice Day, please let me know. If you do or try something similar to Choice Day, I would love to chat.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Function Task Projects

Disclaimer: I received this idea from another teacher in my district.

I got this idea from another teacher in my district, and when I came across the activity, I thought it would be perfect for my 8th grade Honors Algebra I kids.

We did a task in class relating to functions, and then, I had students create their own tasks. I want to share a few of them with you. I assigned this as homework and had the students turn in their tasks the next week. I didn't use a set rubric for this project. I just asked that they create the task and leave a blank copy. Then students had to work out and create the answer key for their task. I hope to use some of these in my classes next year! Enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions!


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipse Day!

I am happy to say that we were off for the solar eclipse yesterday, so we traveled about an hour and a half to see the totality. We live just outside of where the line of totality was, so we wanted the full effect. School was closed for several reasons. We are a large district, and we were (and did) expect a large influx of traffic because of the eclipse. Also, the elementary schools in our district dismiss around the time of the expected eclipse.

Anyways, here are some pics! Let me just add that these were taken around 2:30 P.M. Right around the time of the totality, the cicadas started chirping (thinking it was nighttime), and the streetlights came on. Then it was sunny five minutes later.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

New Gig, New Classroom

Here is my new classroom.  So, I wanted to share a glimpse with you!  

The bins are for students to keep their notebooks. I also have a bin for whiteboards as well as my "distractions box". have a bulletin board of the mathematical practices as well as some problem solving strategies. 

Here is my desk. I also have a growth mindset poster as well as my bookshelf and my St. Thomas poster from my girlfriend's mom who lives there. 

My laptop podium and our class math norms. 

Posters from Learning Scientists. I made them into posters from their 8.5x11 size sheets. 

The Math Rules was made by my girlfriend, and the triangle to the left was made by two former students. 

Group Roles Posters, from Jo Boaler's book Mathematical Mindsets.