Friday, December 28, 2012

Paperless Classroom

I am going to embark on a new journey.  I plan to turn my Algebra III course into a paperless classroom.  This journey is inspired by two huge factors --

1) I see no resolution in sight to the fixing of our copier.
2) All students taking this particular course are assigned a school laptop.

We have constant pressure to utilize these machines, and so I plan to take this challenge head on!
Here is the plan.

Develop a class wiki where students can go to access assignments and post work.  The site will also have a student edited section where they will work on a semester long project.

What do you think?

Anyone out there try something like this?

If so, of what should I be aware?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Goals Revised

Goal 1: Use a real gradebook.

Okay let me explain.  I got a new ipad and our school started using a new service called @engrade.  Engrade actually has an app for the ipad so it makes my life SOOOOOO much easier and less stressful.  For me, less stress = better teaching.

Goal 2: Have all Geometry students at 65% or better.

They did it!  (Not me.)  When I wrote this goal, it was more for me than the kids.  Well, I didn't have much to do with it.  I have a great group of children that worked really really hard!  Only a week to go, and I am sure that this will stay the case.

Goal 3: Revisit goals once a month.

Okay so I've never really met this goal except once.  I think I need to change this goal.  My new goal is to post on my blog once a week.  (Let's see how this goes...)

Summarize your fall semester in one sentence.

Fall semester is almost over and it was the scariest and most rewarding yet!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Long time, no see!

My goodness!  It sure has been a long time since I've posted anything.

I just wanted to reflect on something I tried in my Algebra III class yesterday and today.  I was reading one of my many emails from Dan Meyer when I stumbled onto a comment by a Daniel Schaben.  Daniel talked about the problem of cutting squares out of paper to make a box.  I was intrigued, so I gave it a shot.

I had some very different boxes, but overall the students seemed to get the idea.  After they made all of the boxes, I just posed the question, "Now that we have all of these boxes, what math can we do with them?"  To my shock and awe, they said things like find the area and volume.  This launched into a conversation on what makes a box a "good" box.  Eventually, with a little tooth pulling, we were able to get the function for volume and discussed maximum volume and domain and range of our function.

Now the question I pose, which I really hope someone reads and and replies is this.

I've learned so much about good teaching strategies over the past four years.  What I really need now are good assessment strategies!  HELP!!!