Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I had totally forgotten requesting a set of calculators from Texas Instruments. When I opened the black crate and saw those shiny TI 84 Plus Silver Editions, I was soooo excited! I brought one home to play with and spent about a couple of hours last night familiarizing myself with the calculator and its functions. I simply cannot wait for Monday to share this with the kids!
In all actuality, I should wait a few days to use them, but I am so totally geeked up I know we are going to use them Monday in all 3 classes. My two math classes have some experience with slope, y-intercepts and linear equations, but not really enough to do much on the calculators but I think just using the graphing function to see how slope and y-intercepts change the graph, looking at non-linear equations, and playing with exponents will be enough to hook them.
My prealgebra kids however, don't have much experience even in slope so they really are not ready to do many of those things. But this is such a bright group of kids, I know they will pick up on the concepts quickly.
The coolest thing.. we just spent Thursday and Friday on Building a Garden Gate where they looked at how a fixed perimeter changes areas and side lengths. Students graphed all the possible side lenght combos for a 60 ft perimeter fence two ways, one comparing side lenght 1 to side length 2, which is actually a simple linear equation, as well as graphed length of side lenght one compared to the area. I am hoping to use this actitivty as a springboard for writing equations and using the graphing calculator. I think since they just made their own graphs, using the calculators will be more meaningful.
My husband is a math phobe as well as a technology phobe. When I was able to have him write the equations as well as use the calculator to make the graphs, seeing the excitement on his face, I KNEW my 7th graders were going to be totally geeked about this.
My biggest concern for Monday is those SLOW laggers who are always a couple of steps behind. This will be a whole class activity, with me walking them step by step through the process, but I can already predict which of my little lovelies will fall behind. I am not sure how to deal with them, other than type out step by step instructions, which most likely they wouldn't follow anyway... and that would give some others a license to forge forward without understanding what we are doing, so I refuse to do that, at least for this intial exposure to the calculators.
TI has so many cool activites posted on their website, I am sure I can find followup activities to use as well. I only have the calculators for a month so I want to make sure I use them as much as possible.
So yes, call me a geek... I love trying something new!!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Part of Marcus's list.....
Another perspective:My question is why do we need to set those goals ONLY for black boys? Whynot for Native American males? Why not for the girls in our schools? Whynot for white boys caught in a hopeless foster care system? Why not forHispanic children?
I am not denying the statistics for black males as being dire, however,society is also allowing all our children to fall through the cracks. Wespend more on prisons, war, unemployment and politics than we do oneducation and health care for EVERYONE in this country. Children are no longer taught to respect authority, appreciate education,or even a basic dedication to excellence and a work ethic. It seems everyone and every group is out for themselves, without regard for whatbenefits the larger picture.
The list in the begining of this post should be rewritten and become the MISSION STATEMENT of our country, and every school therein:
1) Teach ALL CHILDREN to read at grade level by the third grade and to embrace education
2) Provide positive role models for ALL CHILDREN
3) Create a stable home environment for ALL CHILDREN that includes contactwith their fathers
4) Ensure that ALL CHILDREN have a strong spiritual base
5) Control the negative media influences on Black boys
6) Teach ALL CHILDREN to respect all girls and women
1) Invest as much money in educating ALL CHILDREN as in locking up PEOPLE
2) Help connect ALL CHILDREN to a positive vision of themselves in thefuture
3) Create high expectations and help ALL CHILDREN live into those highexpectations
4) Build a positive peer culture for ALL CHILDREN
5) Teach ALL CHILDREN self-discipline, culture and history
6) Teach ALL CHILDREN and the communities in which they live to embrace education and life-long learning
I live in a small rural community with few blacks (This is my 13th year teaching here and I have my first 2 black students this year), a fair number of Native Americans, and an overwhelming sense of despair,unemployment and "there's no reason to get an education because it won't help me anyway" attitude. By refocusing our political and financial priorities in this country to promote the above ideals, wouldn't ALL CHILDREN benefit?
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I was recently tagged by Nancy Flanagan to be a part of the ever growing Passion Quilt.
My image to the left shows what I am passionate about: kids DOING math. Not worksheets, not rote memorization, but actually making their own meaning of math.
I want students to leave my room with a feeling that math may be, no, make that math IS hard, but they CAN do it. I try to make math meaningful, fun and active.
I hereby tag the following and ask them to submit their posts to the Passion Quilt:
Here are the rules
Passion Quilt Meme Rules:
1. Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
2. Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
3. Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
4. Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce.
And here's a link to the Original Rock-On Boy, The Tempered Radical, Bill Ferriter.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
In math and prealgebra, we are drawing to-scale models of student homes. Most are working, digging in, enjoying the challenge. However, 5th hour, the majority of students still have not brought in their measurements at all. It is frustrating and I am not sure what to do. Many students in the other 2 classes have chosen to build a model instead of simply drawing the floor plan. Many are using cardboard, but others are building with toothpicks and popsicles sticks. I can't wait to see their final products!
Two more days until break... thank goodness.. we are all sick, tired and in great need of a break.