My budding love of teaching, stemming from my larger love of math and learning

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Math Videos

I'm trying to write a rubric for a 2nd semester project in geometry. I don't want everyone to do videos, but the ones below are sooooo funny!!! And I know that I have creative enough students if I give them enough time.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thank Goodness for Thanksgiving Break

Those who are not teachers are always saying, "...but you get so many breaks...", and thank goodness we do. As I was heading into this week off I was so thankful, because I was starting to be ornery to my kids, to my coworkers, to friends. 

But one great thing happened this week: A young man, who misses a lot of school, who is troubled in so many ways, but is more intelligent then he gives himself credit (or other people give him, for that matter too!), walked into class on Thursday with a 52%. He walked out with a 71%. Turning in missing work does wonders!!!!!!!  He beamed when I told him his updated grade.  Hopefully, he keeps up the work through the rest of the semester.

I also received this dedication: 

For the record: I always want to help him, and he does come in to ask, although this student spends more time in the hallway then he does him class. And not that he is a behavior issue because he is mean and defiant, he just has some focus issues. 

I can't decide if this is suppose to be funny, sweet, or if its making fun of me?!?!?!?!?!

Oh and this was on his English project...nothing to do with actual math class. 

Last week, this same student move their desk into my "space" (aka right up next to my desk) because he missed me. This was during a quiz, so I tried to not make a big deal of it. I wish I had had someone else take a picture because the situation can not be described in words. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

All or Nothing Quiz

A few weeks back I gave the students an opportunity to get 100% on a quiz. The catch...I was super picky on formulas, work and notation, and if they were not 100% correct, they got a 0% (which I never put in the book, but the students still freaked out). I called it an All or Nothing Quiz.

I have 4 Geometry classes and about 70 students in those sections. I gave the kids an incentive of a sweet treat if everyone in one section got 100% on the first try. I was sure one of the classes could do it. Boy was I wrong!!!

Only 8 students got 100% the first try and boy did I upset some kids.

The type of problems that I put on the quiz: Draw an angle of a specific measure; Measure an angle; distance formula; 2 multi-step, variable on both sides problem.

Students didn't get 100% for things like: not writing the distance formula (and a formula is an equation, NOT an expression!!!!), not labeling the angle correctly (including arrowheads on the rays), giving a positive answer when it should have been negative.

I got responses of the sorts: "you gave me a zero because I didn't write d =?", "Just because I didn't label the angle I have to do this again?", or "my negative is up here, just not on the answer!"

I kind of felt bad, but I wanted them to be aware of the little things that effect their grade. These are things that they normally loose points for, but very little in the scheme of their entire grade. But those little things will be really big things later on. And actually the writing the whole formula is huge because they don't know how to work backwards in equations...because they do not write the ENTIRE formula!

I felt bad until one of our book study sessions. We are reading two books, which is another whole post in itself. But I did get something from from the book that my group is reading: Driven By Data - A Practical Guide to Improve Instruction. There is a section called "Increasing Rigor Throughout the Lesson", and guess what? I AM DOING SOME OF THESE THINGS!!!! YAY!!!

From the document:
Model "Right is right": press to get the 100 percent correct answer.

I take this as, "I can do these all or nothing quizzes and the students hate them because they hold them accountable".

I still have 3 or 4 kids that haven't got a 100% yet, I am going to have to follow-up with them this coming week.