3 Beginnings for the new year
- I introduced the use of several various mini-activities from Key Curriculum Press books – Logic Links for Geometry, Mathercise on patterns/reasoning for Alg. 2, Honors Alg. 2, Coll. Alg., Pre-Calc.
- I start each class with prayer and am re-visiting a practice of several years ago by praying for one specific student each day. I started this past Monday. A way to build relationships.
- First units in 2 classes are done except for the tests on Monday. The grading begins. (And the boys first soccer match is on Mon.)
2 Uses of Desmos:
- I really wanted to use the Desmos Central Park activity with a class. Since I have a small Algebra 2 class, I knew both the timing and the few library computers down the hallway would work. Although we only had about 20 minutes, a couple of pairings made it through the activity with figuring out the algebraic expressions and enjoyed doing it!
- The Calculus students had a mini project to chose 3 functions to describe themselves. In class I introduced the Desmos graphing site and how to do a screen clipping as an alternative in graphing by hand. Some did use the site for their project. A good start. I want them to get more and more comfortable with the site and the use in reports.
- I was hoping to do a card sort activity of my new cards that I made this summer, but that will have to wait for this new week.
Some possible ideas using Stella’s Stunners
Fun learning activity – Central Park Good for writing algebraic expressions – maybe smaller Alg. 2 class and possibly Coll. Alg. – use computers in the library??
Other Desmon activities
We had 3 days of in-Service and first 2 days of classes. Great to see colleagues again and meet some new ones. Our school is getting wi-fi and 2 carts of chrome books this fall with the fall fundraiser. I can see the teachers chomping at the bit to check them out. It seems like so few to share. So hoping for a VERY successful fundraiser to get even more! During the in-service, a colleague and I shared some on-line resources for a short professional development session. Much to share and so little time. And trying to cover K-12!
I loved Jon Bloom of Desiring God on True Grit. Seems like some of the common buzz education words are nothing more than Biblical character traits. Yet as our culture shifts away from a Biblical worldview, there is still a hunger for Biblical qualities.
Day 1 of students: Love that we can start off the new school year with chapel: grades 7-12 – about 220 kids, staff, and some parents – being transformed!
Day 1 of classes is always a strange mix of handing out books, syllabi, etc. and trying to do some math teaching. This year for geometry, I decided to not teach a math lesson. Since this is the group that hasn’t had me before, I focused on leaning names by asking about their favorite number. Since I had a look at their old student pictures from last year, I was able to to call some by name already. (And several had been in detention hall with me – so often the junior high behavior has improved and it is easy to have a fresh start.) I took a little bit more time to go over of my handouts. My two geometry classes were mixed and rearranged to form two levels of Algebra 2. I was a bit apprehensive about some of the relationships on day 1 but day 2 went very well – good attention, good discussion, and a little bit of work time. Also on day 2, I asked the kids to jot down a prayer request or two on an index card. It’s a great way to get to know them better, pray for them, and follow up when I can see them in the hallway or classroom. The students in geometry class are new to me, but the ones in my other 5 classes are returning students except 1. Calc class is set up with the Function Signature project with my encouragement to use Desmos and screen captures which I showed briefly on my smartbaord. Also I gave out the new group codes for Edmodo (and hoping 1 or 2 teachers will join in this year with using Edmodo). Overall I feel like it was a 9 out of 10 for the 2 days! Now to plan some of those changes for the week 2 – a card sort, some new bell ringer activities, maybe taking advantage of the few library computers with a small class just before lunch ……
Just saw the 3-2-1 challenge via Twitter so probably will join, indirectly I probably covered the information but not in the 3-2-1 format – maybe next week! (3 days of in-service; 2 days of teaching; 1 summary!)
One week from today I’ll be back at school officially! Although I have been there most days the last couple of weeks, I’ve enjoyed the setting of my own schedule, to come and go as I please. I bounce from one thing to another with 6 different preps. Also the admin. has asked another colleague and me to help with an integrating technology professional development presentation for P-12. So I have been exploring Google forms in making a faculty survey, checking out Kidblog, making a customized Google map of places I taught in Maine and southern Africa, and compiling a list of sites for the wide range of teachers.
I need to focus more this week on getting ready for my actual first couple of weeks of lessons – 1st day stuff of seating charts, syllabi, quarter assignments, 1st chapter materials, textbook username/passwords, Edmodo usernames easily available, etc. Also meet with my colleague to work on presentation for next Wed.
I have really enjoyed reading the many great math teacher blogs this summer and getting some ideas to help with my teaching.