Thursday, June 8, 2017

P16 Summer Summit Presentations

On June 7, I had the opportunity to present at the P16 Summer Summit at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tennessee. I presented four sessions, which I will describe below. I also have links for all of the sessions for your perusal. The irony is that I presented four sessions, and there were only four sessions for the day, so I didn't get to go to anything. :(

How Twitter Transformed My Teaching

  • This was my first session, and I had around eleven participants. Unfortunately, I didn't have any math teachers, but that was okay. I talked about how Twitter has had such a positive impact and influence on my teaching career. I gave strategies on signing up for Twitter, connecting with people, Twitter etiquette, and how it, in fact, transformed my teaching. 

Why Blog? Why Not?

  • This sesiĆ³n had only three people, two of whom were in my first session. I was pretty chill while presenting, and I showed them my blog to begin the session. I also showed how to use Blogger as a blogging platform. I then talked about why I blog and how blogging has been a nice tool of reflection. 

Desmos Activity Builder

  • I was excited that I had thirteen people in the session, and only one had even used Desmos AB before the session. I also was glad that I had a mixture of math teachers and non-math teachers. We talked about the features of Desmos AB, such as graphing, multiple choice, sketching, anonymize, class pause, teacher pacing, input/fill in the blank, marble slides, and Polygraph. We had to go very fast during this session, and I probably should've done it as a longer session. 

Plickers, Quizzizz, and Kahoot! Oh My!

  • In this session, we did a crash course on Plickers, Quizzizz, and Kahoot. I wasn't able to print Plickers cards, so we didn't get to go full course on that. However, we talked about the pros and cons of each tool. Then I created a Quizzizz and Kahoot with very basic questions so that participants could experience the differences. 
Overall, I think that the presentations went well. Maybe I should've snapped a few pics! If you have any questions about my sessions, just let me know! 

Blogging Session
Twitter Session
Plickers, Quizzizz, and Kahoot Session
Desmos Activity Builder 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

End of Year Projects

For our final week and project, my students created End of the Year projects. I took the idea from Miss Rudolph's blog entry from a few years ago. I used her rubric and her directions, so I won't blather on about the details. I also gave my students a lot of choice when deciding what to do for their project. I was really excited what my students came up with and created. 

Math Toss was a game similar to see ball. Students used their non-dominant hand and throw into the cup. Then students draw out a question from the cup. If they got the question correctly, then they earned the number of points on the cup. If not, students lost one point. 

This board was used as a game to teach box method division. 

This was an informative poster on doing polynomial division. 

These two photos were from Quadratic Formula Bingo. Students were given an equation to solve, and then they matched the answer in Bingo. 

This is a poster on the properties of parabolas. 

This is a poster from student-created surveys. 

String art with parabolas. 

These two photos are a game that could be used for any topic. The group chose to use equations of parabolas. 

These two photos were from a matching game on square roots. The directions are on the next photo. 

If you have questions about the project or anything that my students created, please let me know!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Mathematicians' Project

First off, if it were not for Annie Perkins, this project wouldn't exist. I first met Annie when she came to my session at Twitter Math Camp (TMC) 2016 in Minneapolis. Then she shared this project with me. I sort of take my own spin on it, though.

I typed up my list of names, of which I got many of the names from Annie's blog. Then I added some that were available in the Desmos AB anonymize list. Then I let students choose their own mathematician and create a Google Slide about it. I had students create their own Google Slide presentations, but this semester, I made all of the students put their slides on one large Google Slide presentation. I created the basic presentation and did an example slide, and I changed the features to "students can edit file" in Google Classroom and let them work. For the most part, it worked really well. I had to threaten students who were messing with other peoples' slides. Then that issue stopped.

My students learned some interesting facts about their mathematicians (and so did I)! The next day, I made the students present their findings to their classmates and to me.

Here is the rubric, and here is the list of mathematicians.

If you have any questions about how we did this project, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, I would also recommend checking out Annie's blog (as she is the expert here).

Saturday, May 13, 2017

WODB Project: Spring 2017 Edition

Every semester after End of Course tests are over, I always do the Which One Doesn't Belong project. This semester is no different. I first started this project in the Spring of 2016 after learning about what WODBs were and how useful they were in the math classroom. We do WODBs on Wednesdays as part of our Take5 (bell ringer), so my kids are very familiar. I decided to make a couple of changes to the project, though.

Until this point, I have had students only create one WODB, and I have set it up in Plickers for them to present to the class. This semester, I made students create three WODBs, one for shapes, one for graphs, and one for numbers, which are the three categories on the WODB website. I also re-did the rubric for the project and allowed for more comments. Here is the document that I used.

I let students work in partners to create their WODBs, then they picked one for me to prepare in Plickers to present. When students were finished, they submitted via Google Classroom, which made everything more organized for me! Then I typed the feedback on their documents and sent it back virtually.

Here are some examples of the projects my students created, and here is the assignment sheet on a Google Doc.




If you have made it this far, thanks! I still wasn't completely satisfied with my rubric, so I need to work on that again before I do this project again. I think that it allowed students to basically get 100% ,and I didn't assess toughly. I attached it above, and I would love any constructive feedback. However, this project is a staple, and I like the fact that is a low-floor, high-ceiling task, which allows for students of all levels to enter at the same level and also allows for many divergent paths. That in itself is another reason why I LOVE WODBs so much!

If you would like to do this project with your class, let me know. I would love to chat about it and make it an even better task.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Breaking the News

In my previous post, I came out and shared the news that I was leaving my school at the end of the year, which I have been at for the past four years. I submitted my resignation letter last week, and my position was posted on the website was posted on Monday. Let's say that word travels fast in a small town.

We had End of Course tests on Monday-Wednesday this week in my Algebra 2 and Geometry classes. A few kids heard the rumor, but I wanted them to hear it from me. I decided to wait until after the end of course tests were over to share the news.

I began by saying that the students may have heard some rumors that I am leaving at the end of the year. I then said that these rumors were true and that I was moving. Some of the kids were very upset, and a couple almost started crying. I don't do well in tense and sad situations, so I tried to lighten the mood, which helped a ton. I had one class say that they were going to throw me a going away party. I think a few were confused as to why I was learning. I said that it wasn't anything towards anybody or against them. I also assured them that I was their teacher until the end of the year, and that we were going to have a strong finish to the rest of the year.

I have tried to not discuss it as much or bring it up in conversation, but overall, people have been very happy and supportive of me. I have been fortunate to have great coworkers and students over the past four years, which helped a ton as well. However, I am ready for a new experience and a new grade level. So, here we go! See ya later to one school, hello to another.

Big Announcement!

I have some news that I am ready to share with my readers. I have decided to leave my school at the end of the year, and I submitted my resignation letter last week, to be effective at the end of my contract for the school year. I was offered a position a couple of counties away from where I currently teach, and I live between where I am and where I am going this fall. I have been teaching Algebra II and Geometry for the past four years in a small school in a small town in rural east Tennessee. I will be teaching 8th grade math and Algebra I at my new school in Knoxville, which is the largest city in east Tennessee. So, this will be a transition for me, not only going to a new district but moving to middle school.

The decision to leave wasn't easy, but I knew that it was time to move in a new direction. I am looking forward to the opportunity to teach in a new surrounding and to teach a new subject and grade level. I taught Algebra I in my first year (2011-2012) when I was in Mississippi, but I had been really itching to transition back to Algebra I from Algebra II. However, I will miss my students at my current school, especially some of the ones with whom I have the closest relationships. I have told some of my students that I would give them my email and that they could follow me on social media so that we can stay in touch, though.

So, here's to a strong finish to the past five years of teaching high school and looking towards the new experiences and challenges middle school will bring. Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Looking for a Place to Organize All of Those Teaching Ideas You Found on Twitter? Try Google Keep Today!

I knew that I wanted to try to organize all of the great ideas that I have found on Twitter over the years. I have tried Google Keep before on my school account, but I thought it was time to go over it on my own account. So, I took screenshots of all of the tweets that I had liked/favorited/etc and organized them into separate categories. It's still a work in progress, but it was a nice way to spend an early Saturday morning after you have woken up and can't go back to sleep.

I decided to share this idea on Twitter, not really thinking that anyone would care. I was wrong, indeed. 

Here is what part of my Google Keep looks like. As I said, it's a work in progress. 

What I would suggest doing is taking screenshots and then making your categories. Google Keep makes it easy because you can create many categories as well as drag images directly from your laptop into the box. Then you can click on your categories and edit within those. If you have any questions, please let me know!