One of the things that frustrates me about blogging is the inability to show the kiddos talking and debating while they work. This work is from 2 kiddos I had last year who spent the entire period talking and working.
As a whole, our school has chosen to focus on differentiation. This is particularly relevant, given that the recent immigrant population at our school means that some kiddos have done formal education for years (actually some of the best schools in their country, we’ve been told) while sitting next to students who studied for a few years, then dropped out. (This is not entirely an exaggeration, though I usually try not to place students in the same group that have such a wide academic gap between them).
We teach simplifying and solving every year. It’s actually one of the few topics (along with area) that we’ve taught every year of this course sequence. This means that some students have seen it and know it, while some students have never seen it.
So, we gave them an exit ticket. We spent one day going over simplifying with algebra tiles and then asked them to show us what they know. This can be tricky since one day isn’t quite enough for some students to dust off what they learned last year while others might have been confused because they can solve equations, but never learned how to use algebra tiles.
This is an exit ticket from a kiddo who I taught last year and did good work with algebra tiles. They are able to draw representations with the tiles but didn’t correctly use them to solve the equations. Also, I made them gave me my pen back afterwards (I don’t think they’d thought I’d noticed at first)
Came back from a sub day (got to attend a meeting with fellow rookie math and science teachers) and went straight into two check-ins and a group quiz.
How was your Monday?
Photo: Area, Perimeter, Surface Area and Volume Group Quiz
After we switched groups (did I mention today was busy?), kiddos pretty much got right to work. At Curriculum Partner’s suggestion, we did an opening about what groupwork looks like, cleaned out folders (sort of) and got to work.
Kiddos got most of the class period to work together and talk through four problems. Problems are written so that kiddos fill in what they know – they get some basic information to get them started, but have to fill in steps or explain or pick and justify an answer, so that everyone has a bit of access, but still has to say what they know.
Individual test tomorrow. So many projects still to grade. We’ll see how it goes.
Grading is the worst. Projects are challenging. We’re at that part of the Packaging Project where groups find the surface area and volume of their package.
This group got off to a solid start. I gave them a less scaffolded version of the Find the Surface Area and Volume page. They called me over at one point and we had a talk about what to do next. We figured out how to find volume
And then one of the kiddos turned this in:
I remember asking myself, “How do I grade this? They haven’t shown very much of their work. But I know they can find the volume because they told me how to.”
In the end, I think I gave them a C+ for that part of the project. They can do it, but I want them to explain each step. I wish I had made that clearer somehow.