The One with Graphing Negatives

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One of the weaknesses of the curriculum we wrote for the school year is that it mostly focuses on graphing in the first quadrant. As I was reminded while writing and pulling activities for this summer, that’s where many of the “real world” problems are. (I know, I know. Not all math needs to be “real world”)

Fortunately (and as a reminder to my future self), problems with money and days can extend into work with negative numbers. My Summer Planning Partner also came up with the idea of using a 4-quadrant axes regardless of where the numbers fall (at some point, School Year Planning Partner and I made the decision to print 1st quadrant graphs so that kiddos could focus on bigger, more easy to see points. Maybe I regret that?)

2017-06-27 18.12.09Photo: Because we didn’t put in a table to scaffold, one (some times distracted) kiddo wrote their own work on the bottom, then made the graph without much prompting at all.

What do you observe? What do you wonder?

The One with the Linear Representations Scaffold

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One thing I’m finding, 3 weeks (to the day) into summer school, is that when in doubt, lean on your routines (I’m fairly certain I read this in Carl Oliver’s blog, to give credit where credit is due). We have about 5 weeks with 50 minute classes, so there is not much time to teach or to plan (let alone condense everything into a cohesive, project-based unit that may or may not sync with the biology class next door).

It’s taken me a while to remember this, and to get back into it.

I do recall that one of the structures that was most successful from our linear functions unit is the multiple representations paper (It says “Different Representations” on the actual paper and that is how the kiddos largely refer to it. Change it? Leave it? The eternal dilemma…)

For some reason, the kiddos love this one. There’s enough to talk about, there are different sections, and (added benefit of teaching summer school to some awesome multilinguals, many of whom I taught some portion of the year to) enough kiddos know something about the things that we’re seeing that most kiddos have some access to the content but still need to practice what goes where in the table or why we don’t just put the y-numbers from the table on the y-axis.

I’m also fairly certain that only our school talks about “Figure X” as I had to stop class and review it every time. It’s sometimes a bit too complicated for my tastes, anyway (but makes a nice stretch point).

Photo: Different Representations Paper

2017-06-21 15.35.24What do you notice? What do you wonder?

Stay Focused: The One with Scratch Paper

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We have many scaffolds for many levels of English during Portfolios. Some of our more beginner kiddos (including those who may not know how to read or write in their home language) tell me what they want to say, I translate it, then write it down, and then they copy it. Maybe not the best way, but it’s a start. It’s the best idea I’ve currently got and it’s much better than my first years of teaching (where I would shrug and not know what to do).

They’ve come such a long way. And such a long way to go.

What do you notice? What do you wonder?

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Day 66: The One With the Self-Made Scaffolds

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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.

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Day 134: The One Where the Diamonds and Rectangles Come Together

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So interesting to be back today after basically 3 days away (“Mister, were you here yesterday?” *long pause* “No, Katrina…were you?”). We’re in the middle of teaching factoring quadratics, so it’s been interesting to see what kiddos have picked up and remembered and what they haven’t.

2016-03-23 18.40.10

I love a good group task, so it’s always interesting to see when individual practice goes over well. To be fair, we’ve been learning about how to factor quadratics based off of CPM‘s diamond and generic rectangle problems. So there are many parts and it is procedural and it is tricky to watch it all come together. That being said, it feels like students got a pretty solid idea of how the whole process works. We gave them an example that they had to explain to other students and then let them practice. We try to think a lot about scaffolding and not scaffolding, so it was great to see students adding back scaffolds that they found useful once we removed them.