The One with Tzeltal


Only fitting to end the Video Project with a video. But I’m too cheap for that WordPress option, so here’s a screenshot.

You can see the kiddo (kind of). You can see the tiles. What you can’t see is the kiddo speaking Tzeltal (an indigenous Mayan language).captura-de-pantalla-2017-02-21-19-02-20What do you observe? What do you wonder?

The One with the Video Project Jobs


While this blog has helped me to reflect on my work, as well as to keep an archive of sorts, I fear that the thing I will remember most about today’s lesson is that a lot of the kiddos summarized the jobs they had to do for the Video Project instead of just writing their names like we wanted them to. Apparently no amount of mental wishing made this happen. English Language Development for the win (when just plain efficiency would have done).

Photo: Picking roles within the group to ensure that people get to do a range of videos explaining how to solve equations with algebra tiles:2017-01-18-17-35-28What do you notice? What do you wonder?

The One Where the Kiddos Teach Algebra Tiles


One of the tricky things about having kiddos for 2 years and constantly taking on new kiddos (emerging multilingual/recent immigrant school) is that many of the kiddos have seen or already learned things that are important to know (like, say, algebra tiles) and half the kiddos have never seen it (or the mathematics leading up to it. Or a class in English. But, I digress…).

Curriculum Partner and I were both excited at various points about a lesson we did last year where kiddos who had been in school longer taught their group members about the algebra tiles and had them do practice problems.

We did it again today and it was about as awesome as we remember it. For all the worries that creating status and rocky starts to the year bring about, kiddos generally did really good at teaching each other and helping each other. In groups where there were multiple kiddos who had seen the algebra tiles, they often (somewhat) naturally co-taught or translated or otherwise differentiated their support. I tried to videotape one group, but they promptly stopped talking.

This photo taken shortly after trying to talk one kiddo down about phone calls home and shortly before the video caused them all to awkwardly stop talking:

2017-01-06-11-12-56-3What do you notice? What do you wonder?

(Context the first: This is from a mathematics class for students who are all emerging multilinguals.

Context the second: This blog is part of the #MTBoSblogsplosion, spearheaded by Carl Oliver (Thanks, Carl!). The Mathematics-Twitter-Blog-o-Sphere is a collective of mathematics educators on the internet who commit to blogging a certain number of times throughout January.

I’ve said I’m going to post a photo of student work every day for #teach180 (Thanks Sarah Carter!) and one post every weekend on more reflective things.)


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.