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?

Day 52: The One With the Equations and Representations


Another short day for the Halloween Dance and some vertical alignment and portfolios planning. We put the kiddos into partners (generally the same partner from yesterday) and had them read an equation, identify slope and y-intercept and then make a graph.

As it’s practice, it still takes a bit of time. I noticed that one of the kiddos was in a mood and needed a bit of alone time. So I had him sit and do a reflection. On his own, he asked how to do the first one and tried to solve problems, which was about as much as he usually does. So I think I’m ok with that decision. 2016-10-28-17-09-16-2

Day 51: The One With the Linear Equation Posters


After the surprise challenge of yesterday’s representations and equations, I was looking forward to having the kiddos make posters about linear representations. And it turned out to be a pretty cool day. I ended up taking photos of all the posters (for another learning community that I’m part of) but the one that stuck with me most was the scratch paper that some kiddos used to try and explain their idea to other kiddos. So much good conversation and group work (mostly). And lots of learning/releaning of important concepts.2016-10-27-18-28-11What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Day 50: The One Where We Use Representations to Make Equations


Partner task where students use a representation (words, table, graph, pattern) to generate an equation. We pulled this from the curriculum 2 years ago, which was probably pulled from the District curriculum. We also added on the “Next, make the…” new representation, which was probably unnecessary.2016-10-26-10-37-29-2What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Day 21: The One Where Multiplication Beats Addition

Today was the first day we looked at linear equations as a class. Curriculum partner and I set it up as a station rotation where students looked at an equation and another representation (table, graph or figures) and then had to make additional representations. Didn’t get them quite as far as we wanted (trying to balance taking time at each station versus seeing a variety of equations), but we’ll be looking at linear equations in our third unit, so we have time.

Photo: Multiplication beats Addition
Multiplication beats Addition

The kiddos had to figure out how many squares were in Figures 25 and 43. Some students still insist on adding the numbers until they get to the 25th or 43rd figure. In a (rare) fortunately-timed teacher move, I watched one student (who was largely absent last year but has turned it around this year) repeatedly add 2 to the number of squares in the 4th figure, aiming to get to the number of squares in the 30th figure. I waited until they got to the 20th calculation and then wrote the multiplication problem on the other side of the paper. “Yeah, I guess we should have used multiplication,” they admitted once they saw the answer.

Side note #1: Curriculum partner likes to talk about how lazy math teachers are. Multiplication is definitely easier than addition.

Side note #2: we’re preparing for assessments for the end of our first unit: group quiz tomorrow (graded on participation with an eye to having students practice for the individual quiz), written reflection on Thursday and individual quiz on Friday. Any guesses as to the average student grade?