Sunday, October 12, 2014
At first my students hated thinking through the questions. They worked in small groups. The did not like that I wouldn't help them. They really want me to hold their hand through every step of the problem. Using their brains really made them not like me for a moment but by the time they were done with the project I really felt like they understood quadratics at a much better and deeper level. Here are two of the posters my students made for their project.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
The first day of school consists of me going over the syllabus, the layout of my classroom, procedures for turning things in, picking things up, if they are absent, etc. that takes the majority of the 54 minute class period. The left over time my students write me an autobiography. The guidelines are simple. It must fill up the front of one sheet of paper from margin line to margin line, from the top line to the bottom line. it must be in sentance/paragraph form. I ask them to share anything they want to share with me about themselves. i ask them to share if thry have any special requests or situations about seating arrangements, etc. in these i have found out things like: a student was deaf in his right ear znd needed to sit one the right side of the room, one of my seniors helped her mom move out of their house the previous night because her parents are getting a divorce, I also found out one of my students has seizures but a classmate knows what to do. This is a very easy and quick way to start building relationships and repore.
This year has started out to be awesome! My students this year are very bright, energetic, and funny. Developing relationships are one of my favorite parts about teaching. I get to know all these awesome people in one of the funnest times of their lives, as they are developing their personalities. And if I can get to know them a little then they are much more likely to buy into what I'm selling.
We did two weeks of review lessons over linear functions and systems of equations. This was basically to get their brains started again. Once I reminded them of what algebra looks and feels like, we jumped right into quadratics. I LOVE QUADRATICS!!!!! My students, however, don't. :-(
I decided to try something different with homework compared to how I did it last semester. Students will have far less homework problems. Last semester I gave around 20 homework problems a night. I noticed really quickly that the only students who did the homework were the students who would have done the homework if I assigned 100 problems every night. So this year I cut it down to 10 problems a night. This seems to be the key. The students who aren't doing it at all are the students who won't do any homework. But I have a lot more actually trying. This seems an easier accomplishment so they are willing to try. They keep this assignments in their "math notebook" with their notes. These are to be kept highly organized with random notebook checks. After the first notebook check I decided that they weren't understanding how I wanted to notebooks organized so I made example notebooks of a good notebook and a bad notebook. After that they seemed to do better. I still have a few students who think its their job in life to question every thing I do. They think its fun to constantly tell me that all students learn different and not everyone is successful with a "math notebook" so they will not be getting one. I told them then its their grade that will suffer. After a few zeros in the grade book they had a notebook.
These are my thoughts and stuff from the first few weeks over school. Its a little scattered but I didn't write it all in one sitting. Please forgive me!
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Actually it was an awesome week! I have a great group of students this year. I'm more than excited! They all loved my room and the decor!
They really got a kick out of my syllabus. So I will share. It's so much fun!
Section 2: I have a lot of students who think being in the room means they are not tardy. I start off the year being very clear that they must be ready to learn to not be tardy.
Section 3: This is from the show.
Section 4: This is my contact information. I provide students and parents my direct desk number, my school email, and I have set up Celly (www.cel.ly.com) for my students to contact me at any time but this is safe and protected for both me and my students.
Article 2, sections 1 and 2 are from the show.
Section 4: Most of this is district and department mandated, but I think it works really well. To be completely honest they all cheat so much there isn't a lot of reason for homework. BUT if they aren't doing their homework it will reflect on their test.
Addendum's: These are some basic classroom procedures.
Article 3 These sections are all about absent procedures. My students are all juniors or seniors so I require them to be responsible for getting their own makeup work which I make sure is all in a central location.
The clause page is mostly fun. There are a couple of items on here that are actually part of my classroom rules. My students really start to open up and have fun when it gets to the zombie clause, because they all disagree with it.
Last but not least is the signature page. This is a great way to make sure that their parents read to rules and procedures (they still usually just sign it).
Sunday, August 3, 2014
If you keep up with NCTM, OCTM, or anything else in math then you've probably heard about this book. NCTM, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, has just a few landmark publications and this is one of them. OCTM, Oklahoma Council of Teachers of Mathematics, has adopted this book and the 8 principles. I have been hearing about this book all summer during my professional development. I ordered it a few days ago but it hasn't come in yet. Once I read it, or at least start reading it, I'll let you know more about!
If you have more suggestions please let me know. I am all about expanding my brain, especially if its about math or teaching... or even better BOTH!