Day 39: Presenting the Finished Pamphlets


Day 4 of the Voting Project. We attempt a field trip with 3 days’ notice (this is the 3rd active concurrent field trip permission slip that my name is on). Some kiddos don’t quite bring their field trip slips in, so Currriculum Partner takes most of both classes to a nearby thoroughfare (!) to hand out copies of their pamphlets and explain to potential voters why they should vote and I have the remaining kiddos practice in class and then do Ken Ken.

Photo: Script and final product:2016-10-11-16-18-00-2

What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Day 28: The One With the Last Minute Video

Day 2 of the Simplifying Video (p) Project. The kiddos need to write a script and record themselves describing how to simplify a complicated expression with algebra tiles.

Having practiced using the script on Tuesday, writing the actual script on Wednesday, today is filming day. It is also a short day; we have professional development after school where we look through our departments’ scopes and sequences. And I am out tomorrow for a personal day.

I hand out the tablets (borrowed from another teacher whose 1:1 school doesn’t need the extras). Some kiddos ooh and ahhhh (“Son lindos,” coos one of the kiddos. They’re so cute.)2016-09-26-23-15-53

Some of the kiddos have done this last year. We’ve made the prompt a bit more sophisticated and there are more extensions. We’re able to record a video in Arabic and in Portuguese. The video in Mandarin gets lost in the shuffle.

One of my advisees arrives for the first time in about a week. I basically hover their shoulder for the last 10 minutes of class. Our video is as much my voice as his voice. I regret it a little bit, but I also want him to not fail. He is able to name the different tiles and is able to make zero (though he requires help to do it in the actual video).

After class, I make him sit for an exam that he missed. He actually does OK, having missed quite a few days of school. He will get a D on his marking period grades instead of an F.

Day 55: The One With the Grading Question


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:

2015-11-09 17.45.46

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.

Day 51: The One With the 2D and 3D Drawings


2015-10-31 13.43.17This photo is from the middle of the Packaging Project. Kiddos found the volume for 6 everyday objects (pencils, tape, gluesticks or erasers) and then had to design a package to fit them. One part consists of drawing 3 nets (2d versions of a 3d shape) and finding the surface area and volume.

Around this point, my coach told me to stop intervening so early and to wait for a group to call me over with a group question. Interestingly (and probably obviously to everyone but me), when I don’t intervene, students work it out.

The two kiddos who were working on this paper did a good job. At some point, we did go back and correct the misconception of 2d versus 3d. But it was pretty cool to see them talk it out and work so hard while they did it.