Sunday, September 22, 2013

More 1.1 ISN Pics

Well, it's been a while, so I have a few things to blog about, but I think I will start by showing you the rest of our first "section" of notes.  I posted what I had previously here.  Now, we have finished up and are working on 1.2, but I figure I better show you what I have...
This is a repeat from the other post, but it is the first page for this LT

Boring "left" side (output), but students created their own steps, not just copying mine.

Students looked up equivalencies on their own/with other students using any resources they could find.  My design of the table is pretty poor, but I have ideas for how to make it better next time...

Under the equivalency table students created conversion rates for 4 of their equivalencies.

As output students did some of there own practice problems.  We used these 8 problems as a gallery walk the next day. 
My Topics students took some notes under the practice problems on fractions.  We developed these rules about what makes a fraction equal to 1.

As you can see, there is nothing spectacular, but I am happy to have a more structured format for notes.  This first unit has been very difficult for me because it is less procedural algebra.  And I am teaching it in a way very unlike what I did last year.  Hopefully as the year goes on everything will improve.

Standards-Based Grading Note
After I assessed this unit, my students were still very low on using dimensional analysis to convert units.  I felt many could convert units, but didn't understand the specific structure that dimensional analysis uses.  I created a very differentiated day of practice in preparation for a class reassessment.  I had a set of extension questions for students who scored at or above proficient, and I had a set of practice questions for others.  I didn't lecture much more, but worked individually with students.  There were some challenging questions and some easier ones, so I could differentiate as I worked with students by guiding them to the problem I thought they should work on next.

The next day we created our own dimensional analysis questions (thanks to @jreulbach's suggestion) and had another student complete it.  I was impressed with how well everyone did with this, and it led right up to our reassessment.  I did not require all students to take it, only those who had scored below a 2.  However I did promise all students that I would not lower their score if they tried it.  Normally I don't do that, but I really wanted more kids to try to do better since I was giving class time for it.

I was thrilled with the results.  Only one student had a lower score (from a 3 to a 2.5), but I let him keep his high first score for the gradebook.  About 10 students scored the same.  These were either low students scoring 1s both times or students who were still proficient.  The rest of the students (40ish) did better and were bumped out of the "required" reassessment range.  I am very pleased to be able to say that I used a summative assessment formatively and reacted to my students' needs.  I don't know that I've ever done anything like that before in my teaching career.  Obviously I wish I could have gotten all students to proficient prior to the first assessment, but in the end it all worked out.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Warm-up Calendar

After much inspiration from our #efamath accountability group meeting this week.  I was feeling very down about not having implemented any sort of warm-up for my Algebra students yet this year.  Then came Heather Kohn's Calendar Project post, and I knew I had a solution.  My solution is this week's Made4Math!


Going off of Heather's calendar, I saw a way to easily provide all students with a warm-up problem for each day of class for an entire month!  With our ISNs, I would be able to guarantee that all students would have it everyday, too :)

Since I will be using it for warm-ups, I only included Monday through Fridays.  I also wanted to focus on the difference between solving, simplifying, and evaluating, since I have noticed my students struggled with that in the past.  And since we have also just worked on unit conversions, I figure it would be good to throw some of those in too.  Here is my calendar:

Click image to view the document in Google drive.  Formatting will be funny in drive, but you are able to download original from drive, which should restore formatting.

I did take some questions from Heather's calendar, since we have similar goals, but I changed many of them too.  I also really like her idea of having students create questions.  I might do that toward the end of the month and create my October calendar from those questions.  We'll see how it goes!