Day 33: The One with 3 Reads

Maybe 3 summers ago, a colleague of mine did a session on the 3 reads protocol. The idea is to read a problem stem (a mathematics problem, but without an actual question) 3 times. First, the teacher reads and the kiddos look for the main idea. Next, the teacher or a student reads and the kiddos look for all the numbers and what they mean (Are they negative? What do they represent? and so on…). Then, the kiddos read and try to ask as many mathematical questions about the problem as they can. The teacher then either picks a question or reveals the question to be investigated.

Curriculum partner was out for the day, so I decided to give it a whirl.

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It was surprisingly easy to set up. It also gave kiddos a way to cut through the wordiness of the problem by getting them to think about the main idea and then the numbers and how they were related. They could bring in the rest of the words as necessary, but they weren’t a barrier. I spent about half an hour the night before trying to find the perfect problem in several textbooks and just ended up writing a pretty standard (boring) problem. Which worked fine.

Definitely on the docket to try again soon.

Day 18: The One with the First Quiz

We just gave our first quiz of the year (though technically the group quiz was probably the first of the year, so I guess this blog post is already a lie).

Thought process is that it’s pretty similar to the group quiz but with enough changed that the kiddos have to prove they know the concepts, but aren’t totally thrown by new, irrelevant things.

Got some solid work, especially from some kiddos who tend to leave their papers blank:


Fascinating also to see where kiddos get stuck. We asked them to draw their own pattern with the point (5,16) and it ended up being more of a stumper than we expected.

Also, the littlest advisee (the same one I spent my 34th birthday chasing around the school in an attempt to get them to do homework) drew me a truck instead:

(To be fair, they did try to take the quiz and they struggle with reading and got very little formal education in their country).

And a quote from another kiddo: “Mister, you look like a – (to friend) – ¿Cómo se dice ‘abeja’? (How do you say ‘bee’?):


Objectives:

Day 17: The One With the Review Day

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Having just given a group quiz, Curriculum Partner and I spend the next day giving the kiddos some structured study time.

We often joke that in a different world, in a different school, with different kiddos, this day would look different. Our kiddos would take their group tests home and figure out the answers and study on their own. So many of our kiddos don’t have those study skills or don’t have someone at home who can help support those study habits (though they have figured out how to send me messages through our school’s grading system, which is pretty cool) or have to work hours that put public school teaching hours to shame (one of my advisees has such a schedule and I tell him not to do anything in advisory except homework, but then he does the binder organizing and the poem reading anyway).

But we aren’t, so we have our review day.

The review day has changed the most of all the days of our 3-day testing cycle and that might just be because our student body changes throughout the years.

We currently start off by explicitly pairing the kiddos with someone who speaks the same language (Sorry, Russian speaking advisee singleton) but is at a different level of English. We have the kiddos make a dictionary and translate the words they don’t know. They then use the rubric to grade their own quizzes and make a perfect test (we’ve had them do this separately, but they kind of bled together this time and I’ll take it, I think). Then, then check for periods and capital letters, which aren’t a thing yet, apparently.

They all put their quizzes in their binders, so here’s the rubric, the task card and some extension problems (“Make up your own problem for the test,” I said. It’s a start anyway):2016-09-07-18-54-51

Gotta say, though, I was more impressed with this kiddo’s note sheet, largely because he took the time to write everything out, translate it, then write it again for a specific example:

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Objectives (in which I basically made the kiddos use their notes. #MathsHairDontCare):2016-09-07-18-54-19

Day 16: The One With the Patterns Group Quiz

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We start the week off (from a 3-day weekend, no less) with a group quiz. The idea is that the kiddos seem what the quiz will look like and have a chance to work through it and talk together as a group. They then take a study day, in class, to translate the words they don’t know and make a perfect quiz using a rubric.

Last question on a group quiz:img_8875I’m rather fond of the 4 square (OK, 6 square) format. I also had to chase down one of the kiddos in after-school tutoring to take this photo. Apparently, they’re all using their binders this year. Which is kinda cool (but makes #teach180 weirdly difficult).

Also, after giving 4 sections of group quizzes, I went to a school meeting and then a district meeting. Both worthwhile, both pretty busy. Then I went home and tried to write a meeting agenda until I fell asleep. #TeacherLife

Objectives:

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(Side note: We used the opening to generate norms which theoretically became the rubric for our participation quiz. Kinda sorta worked. Room for improvement next time)

Day 15: More Equations

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We do more practice with using patterns to write equations (using notes that we hastily took at the end of yesterday’s class). It takes me a bit to find the rhythm. One kiddo complains, after the fact, that the work is boring (their group trudged slowly through the 2nd problem). I show them the remaining problems and encourage them to keep their group moving so they can all move on to the more challenging work next time.

Photo: Looking at patterns in order to get the equation.2016-09-02 17.58.04-1

Objectives:

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Day 14: The One Where We Start Equations

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It’s about this time that Curriculum Partner and I realize that we are almost done with the unit. WUT?

The last part of this unit (which is technically continued as part of Unit 3) is starting to write linear equations. We have the kiddos sort different pattern representations and then look at how they are similar and different. I’m wishing we had made the connection to all parts of the equation (not just slope and y-intercept) clearer. But maybe that’s for another day or another year.

Photo: Kiddos used whiteboard markers and sheet protectors to talk about different representations of the same pattern. (I drew the shapes the night before in our first 7pm night of the year. Uy.)2016-09-01 09.06.17

Objectives:2016-09-01 15.26.27

Day 11: The One Where Kiddos Make The Pattern

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It’s fascinating to see how kiddos generalize patterns (going from specific figures to one that can represent any figure in that pattern). I used to think that they needed to show rows or columns of x’s, but I think I’m more interested in them being able to label dimensions.

Photos: One kiddo’s work showing figures, a table, a graph, generalized figures and observations.2016-08-29 08.59.28-2

I’m co-advising a multicultural club again this year. Monday was our first meeting. Good attendance and lots of participation. I came back to find one of the kiddos and an older sibling sitting outside my door. Older sibling also texted me (from a new, unknown number) to ask if kiddo had turned in their homework on Friday. Touching.

Objectives:

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That part of community circle where we discussed our favorite food and the idea that adjectives go before nouns:2016-08-29 15.38.14

Notes:

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Day 10: The One With Multiple Representations

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After a few short days of extending patterns and reviewing graphing, we move into connecting patterns (Curriculum Partner and I briefly discuss changing the first box, “Picture”, to “Figures”, but then wonder what happens if and when we have a problem about rabbits and leave it as “Picture”). Kiddos work in groups to figure out representations of a pattern, then we come together as a class to talk about how to show Figure 0 (y-intercept as we’ll call it in 2 units) and growth (slope).

Photo: One kiddo’s representations. There’s a version in color, but it’s less artsy (for me; probably more artsy for them)2016-08-26 17.35.45-1

Objectives:2016-08-26 17.31.16

Day 7: The One With the Patterns Stations

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So, we’ve been making the kiddos draw patterns for a bit. Last time we taught this course, we decided we wanted to make the kiddos create their own patterns. And we wanted to do it with stations. Fond memories of this lesson (though in hindsight, many of them went the “Figure One has 1 square, Figure 2 has 2 squares” route. While it does help them make the connection, it’s super boring. Ya heard that, kiddos? Booooring).

Photo: One group knocking it out of the park. You can’t see it, but Black Fingernails is basically teaching 2 total newcomers how to speak English and how to make patterns at the same time. 2016-08-23 13.18.42

Objectives:2016-08-23 18.04.14

Notes:

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Context: The Mathematics Twitter Blog-o-Sphere – a group of mathematics teachers who share their practice on the internet – is dedicating the month of August to writing a blog aday. It’s spearheaded by DruinOK. If you’re looking for ideas (and who isn’t?), prompts are here.

Day 6: The One with the First Reading Guide

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The beginning of the year is always a new start, but it’s a big start. Bigger than I remember at the end of the year. While some of our kiddos from last year (especially the ones who arrived at the tail end) are showing tremendous growth in English and leadership, going through all of our structures, which will soon be familiar enough, always takes longer than I expect.

Today, Curriculum Partner and I introduced reading guides. The reading guide is a structure that we use a lot, but for many of our kiddos who have never seen it (or saw it briefly without perhaps fully internalizing it), this is a big step. The kiddos are supposed to take turns reading sentences and then work on related mathematics problems together. Today’s reading guide focused on patterns and extending them.

Photo: Typical work sample from today. What do you notice? What do you wonder?

 

Toothpick Patterns Reading Guide

We did our first community circle in advisory. Circles look a little different this year as a result of a training I went to this summer. Kiddos actually go around in a circle, which makes when they’re speaking easier to predict. We also talked a lot more about norms, so kiddos were a bit more respectful than usual.

Photo #2: Things that make kiddos feel safe and successful. What do you notice? What do you wonder?

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Today’s objectives:

2016-08-22 17.52.03Context: The Mathematics Twitter Blog-o-Sphere – a group of mathematics teachers who share their practice on the internet – is dedicating the month of August to writing a blog a day. It’s spearheaded by DruinOK. If you’re looking for ideas (and who isn’t?), prompts are here.