Day 69: Is it a Square?


As it was with the rest of the unit, so it continues.

We do some work around trying to figure out whether shapes are squares or rectangles, ideally with coordinate geometry. But to start, we look at whether or not a shape is a square or rectangle as a shape (without coordinates).

Some fascinating conversations here. I wish I could have recorded them better. I also wish we had done this as a sort.


Day 68: The One where We Review Area


To prepare for using coordinate geometry to find area and perimeter, we have to review area and perimeter. This is a nice chance to catch up the kiddos that weren’t here at the beginning of the year and review for many more kiddos who maybe didn’t fully understand the first time. It’s also a fascinating exercise into how long kiddos will draw boxes before using the base times height shortcut.


Day 67: The One where We Read about Midpoints


This unit has been a chance to try and explore and tweak new things. One thing I’ve been exploring is the 3 Reads protocol, where we read over a word problem (minus the actual question) 3 times to look for the main idea, the numbers, and something we wonder.

We tried one today that felt a little less successful as the context felt a bit forced. (This is also interesting as it feels like this unit, which is short due to its placement in the year, lacks a context for the kiddos to wrap their heads around and engage with) Still, we made sense of numbers and thought about midpoints.

Photo: Student work and annotation.2016-11-22-17-38-52-1

Photo: Student wonderings:


Day 66: The One With the Self-Made Scaffolds


Continuing with Coordinate Geometry and finding the length of line segments. We didn’t quite get to the part where we take out the visual scaffolds, as seems to be the theme of this unit.

I’ve been thinking lately about how the kiddos annotate text and take notes to advance their learning, so my favorite part of this is the part where the kiddo wrote in their own scaffolds.


Day 66: The One With Multiple Answers


It’s fascinating to see what the kiddos learn and when. Our current unit is coordinate geometry, but builds heavily on our linear equations units.

This group of kiddos worked pretty dilligently (which is a huge step for them – they are mostly new to the school and groupwork and being a student at our school is a new concept to them). At one point, one kiddo says (en espaƱol) – “All the numbers for this question are different. Who’s right?” They were asking about calculating the slope using different slope triangles and, as it turned out, everyone was correct.

What do you notice? What do you wonder?2016-11-18-13-50-35-2

Day 65: The One with Parallel Lines


Coordinate geometry is a mostly new topic for me and we only have 7 days for it (we are that close to our 2-week semester end portfolios). Curriculum partner and I also realize that I’ve never actually planned a unit on my own and decide to each plan our own unit separately (if things go South, we don’t lose that much time).

I pull and adapt some things from The District. There’s not a lot of context to it; it’s mostly kiddos analyzing lines on a graph, but the kiddos seem OK with it for the most part, possibly because we’ve worked with graphs enough that they are not a foreign concept.

Photo: First task card and worksheet. What do you notice? What do you wonder?


Day 64: The One Where I Collect the Business Plan Project

“And just like that it’s over.”-somewhere in Hamilton, I think. 

I partner up the kiddos, give them time to practice their presentations (some with Google Slides, most just with their hefty packets), have them present, and then we vote for the best design in each class (which is a pleasant throwback to our elections unit).

I collect the packets. I will grade them later. I will tally the votes later. We’re onto coordinate geometry tomorrow. 

(I also remind myself that, no matter how ridiculous it sounds, if I have the kiddos staple their new pages to their packet every day, their turn-in rate is much higher).

What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Day 63: The One with Google Slides


With the writing theoretically behind us, we move on to presentation preparation. We write up a basic script, then try to transfer it over to Google Slides. This is largely to get our kiddos ready to do presentations for their semester portfolios (which are rapidly approaching).

Most kiddos log into their Google accounts and make a copy of the template. That’s good enough for now.

Some kiddos get a little further. What do you notice? What do you wonder?2016-11-16-23-14-17-2

Day 62: The One with the Essay


As a school with 100% emerging multilinguals, there is English Language Development integrated into all of our curriculum. It means we do quite a bit of reading and writing, even in mathematics.

This is convenient when doing projects as we get a chance to help the kiddos connect and summarize what they’ve learned.

We are in an odd place today since half of our kiddos walked out in protest on Friday (and about a quarter of those kiddos trickled back in towards the end of the day, meaning classes and groups are in very different places).

Photo: writing by one kiddo, who was gone Friday, but got some support from their group today. What do you notice? What do you wonder?2016-11-14-18-48-12-1