Tuesday, February 3, 2015

One week into the new semester update!


This semester is off to a great start - with Math 2, Math 3, and Math 3 Honors classes. Here's a glimpse at what's changed for this semester, a few things that haven't, and what we've done so far.

What's changed:
  • Notebook setup (again!) 
    • Last semester, I had them use 2 notebooks, with the extra used for warmups and formulas/reference. This extra notebook was not as useful as I had hoped. I switched back to one notebook per 6 weeks grading period. 
    • Each unit now starts with the Unit TOC, then 2 pages for warmups. The unit TOC page also now includes a column for their daily quiz grades, homework grade, and averages for each. You can see more setup pictures in Evernote here.

    • I changed the punch passes to only 3 points for my honors classes - it made their grades a bit too high last semester.  
    • I'm trying to do much more difficult iterations of problems than in previous semesters. I really want my students to think, and to not have such a tendency to skip over word problems. I want them to be more confident! I'm also trying to make sure we discuss multiple ways to approach the same problem, so we can have conversations about efficiency, and multiple representations of the same situation. 
Things that haven't changed:
  • Still working a second job on Thursday nights and Saturdays - it's why I've been a bit absent as far as blogging. 
  • Still using a LOT of foldables and trying to increase gradually to infuse more tech into my lessons
  • Using Evernote to keep my interactive notebooks online. You can see Math 2 here and Math 3 here
Some cool tech stuff we've done so far:
  • Piktochart introductions
    • Super cool website! We spent about 30 minutes in class, then they shared their final product with me. Volunteers were allowed to present. They really turned out great! I had them do an infographic, and they had to include at least 3 images and 5 facts about themselves. 
  • Lots of Kahoot
    • It is SOOO easy to search for a public kahoot on a topic, and just edit 1-2 questions to fit my needs. My students love the competitive nature, and I love the easy data. 
  • Thinglink
    • I decided to try this after reading this post from Mathy Cathy. This activity went very well with my students, and I plan to use Thinglink again in the future - if you have other ideas, please let me know! I'm trying to brainstorm other uses of this tool. 

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