All Blog Posts (183)

Last After-School Meeting

Well, it's a sure sign of spring when the snow has melted, the kids have gone absolute stir-crazy for summer, and my colleagues and I gathered for our last Algebra for All After-School meeting.


This time, we had so many things to talk about - there wasn't much time to waste.


First on the agenda was the upcoming final project for our last face-to-face meeting in May.  I came across an astounding lesson in the Connected Math series that we tweaked and adjusted…


Added by Beverly George on April 25, 2011 at 7:51pm — 3 Comments



I just finished reading the book "Focus" by Mike Schmoker.  It it a great book for any curriculum, not just math. 


The first part of the book explores general teaching strategies and the importance of keeping things simple, providing clarity and prioritizing the curriculum. 


The second half of the book explores different curriculum areas: English, Social Studies, Science and Math.  Obviously, I concentrated on the math section of the second part.  The…


Added by Stuart Kane on April 12, 2011 at 8:33am — 2 Comments

end of course reflections

I really enjoyed the way that the course allowed us to participate in activities and think as a student would.  I thought that it did an excellent job at forcing us to pick at different components of functions, like cause and effect, similarities and differences, and especially at the relationship between one particular function and its equation, graph, table, and real life application.  The only thing that I found disappointing about the class is that my students… Continue

Added by Liisa Keski-Hynnila on April 9, 2011 at 4:14pm — No Comments

Final Project

I've been looking through tons of lessons and trying to figure out what to do for that final project - coming up with some type of assessement that will lead students towards more THINKING on their own.... more problem solving on their own.  I think the Spaghetti Bridge has been retired, at least for now.  I'm sure there's a great science teacher out there somewhere that will gladly pick up my slack on that one!  Lol! 


At any rate, I'm off to work on the lesson, and I'll be…


Added by Beverly George on April 5, 2011 at 11:35pm — No Comments


Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Good book with some interesting potential applications for testing. 

 I was thinking of applying this to what we do immediately before we give a test. 

How does that "set up" (if we do any)- impact our students to do their best.


BLINK is a fast read.  It gives the science behind why Gibb's gut works on NCIS.


Does anyone have a ritual to get their students in a good frame of mind to test well.


For a…


Added by KC Mowrey on March 30, 2011 at 9:11am — No Comments

What is a teacher worth?

Below is a playful (yet passionate) interpretation of the perception that teachers are nothing more than "glorified babysitters".  The author, David Coffey from Spring Lake, hits a chord with me and some of the frustration I have felt (as of late) regarding the public's perception of teachers.


Enjoy and feel free to comment.


BTW... this article is starting to pop up in newspapers throughout the state.  I found it at at this…


Added by Arthur Weiss on March 24, 2011 at 7:20pm — 2 Comments

Trying out the new video camera

I decided to try out my new video camera and set it up on a little tripod in the back of the classroom while I did an activity with my Algebra 2 class today.  It was a very interesting experiment!

I told my students what I was doing, it was for my own personal use and to carry on as usual.  Here are some of the observations I made while I was going through the activity:

It kept me really focused on my personal goals for the activity.  I was working on wait time, giving clear…


Added by Claudia Heinrich on March 21, 2011 at 6:41pm — 1 Comment

3-14 In honor of Pi

A friend sent me this link for a song about pi. It's cute, so I thought that I'd share it.

Added by Barbara Assenmacher on March 14, 2011 at 2:24pm — No Comments

Document Camera Freezing

I have the Avermedia document camera and I have had some issues with it freezing on me.  I will be doing notes or going through an example problem and the screen will freeze.  I have to shut down the Aver program and re-open it.  Now, some days I can use the camera all day long and no freezing, but then it will freeze every five minutes on other days.  Does anybody else experience this?  Any ideas on what to do?  And no, I'm not just accidently pushing the freeze button!

Added by Kelly Kroft on March 11, 2011 at 12:39pm — No Comments

After School Meetings

I've come to grow quite fond of our little After School meetings!  The discussion is always quite intense, world problems are solved, and the food is always good, too!


Last week, we met yet again.  Topics up for discussion included possible changes to our final project before the May presentation.  We talked about A4A lessons that we've recently tried in the classroom and plan to use in the future.  We discussed the Responsibility for Learning lens.  Finally, at the last…


Added by Beverly George on March 10, 2011 at 10:22pm — 4 Comments

Back to Health

This semester has started as a severe challenge for me.  I was tired and had upper respiratory stuff that just wouldn't quit.  I finally spiked a fever as I tried to teach one morning.  I ended up with terrible chills that came on very rapidly.  My principal had to take over my class until help could be called. 


Long story short...after multiple tests including x-ray and the CT scan....pneumonia.  I was, however, very fortunate.  I only had upper right lobe and was able to be…


Added by Emily Ritsema on March 10, 2011 at 10:21pm — 1 Comment

What role does questioning have in your classroom?

I admit it.  I'm late. Today was the first day that I had a specific non-math objective.  The math related learning targets centered around understanding various parts of a graph (slope, y-intercept, attributes, etc), but I really wanted students to focus on asking good questions.  Overall, the lesson went really well and the questions asked led me to believe students understand more than they demonstrate on quizzes.  But... the issue was having students effectively question each other while…


Added by Patricia Ragsdale on March 3, 2011 at 9:14am — 3 Comments

Snow Days Interfering with Instruction

At some point, enough is enough. We only had 1 day of school last week due to the weather and two scheduled days off. Now, this week is the MME/ACT schedule to contend with. Next week, we must end the second trimester after losing 8+ (at some point I lost track!) days due to weather. Now, it becomes an educated guessing game of what I can "skip" without hindering their movement to another teacher next trimester. I am in better shape than some of my peers, but I don't like being in this…


Added by Barbara Assenmacher on February 28, 2011 at 11:18pm — 1 Comment

Graphing Quadratic functions in Vertex form.

If you are currently teaching this section as we are in Menominee, then you are really going to like this tool.  This is a great way to show students how the different variables effect the graph of quadratics when using the vertex format. 


y = a( x - h )2 + k


Below is a link to this little tool. My kids thought this was really cool.



Added by Jamie Tuch on February 24, 2011 at 11:05pm — 2 Comments

State of Michigan's Finances

I find myself very interested in politics, even talking about politics with friends and colleagues at times.  I try to keep up with the ever changing envirorenment in both Lansing and Washington.  With all of that being said, I found my jaw hitting the floor after I read Governor Snyders proposed budget (click here for official document).  


I did vote for Rick Snyder.  I also understood that…


Added by John Pizzo on February 21, 2011 at 4:30pm — 5 Comments

Debriefing Meyer-ized Lesson

My colleagues and I met to discuss our successes and failures with the Spaghetti Bridge lesson.  Oddly enough, others that tried this same lesson had the same exact problems that I encountered.  Students had no drive or motivation to complete the assignment.... sadly enough, we also discussed that is much the issue during ANY lesson.  Students lack the curiosity and work ethic necessary to complete an open-ended problem such as this.  They don't want to solve the problem... it's almost like…


Added by Beverly George on February 16, 2011 at 7:10pm — 5 Comments

Another Lesson Observation

June came and observed my lesson again today.  Unfortunately our timing did not match up this time.  I began the class with a warm-up and then passed out the test (not much to observe).  The warm-up was the peice that I worked on for this observation.  I am trying to work towards a more "math talk" like classroom.  My focus is on questioning.  My warm-up asked the students to further their knowledge with solving equations.  We have been working diligently on solving one- and two-step…


Added by Kara Roberts on February 15, 2011 at 8:55pm — No Comments

Book readers / Kindles for Printed Texts

There are pilot programs going on.  We will probably be seeing more of these in the future.  I found this example on line Clearwater, Florida is trading in textbooks for kindles.  The economics make sense.


There are many articles about this... this one caught my eye-- the math is compelling…


Added by KC Mowrey on February 13, 2011 at 10:15pm — No Comments

Rethinking the Mathematics Curriculum

This echos my own opinion

Endless Algebra—the Deadly Pathway from High School Mathematics to College Mathematics

Shaughnessy_52010 by NCTM President J. Michael Shaughnessy

NCTM Summing Up, February 2011 

For some time I have been concerned about the mathematics that we are teaching our K–12 students and whether it will prepare them for the problems and…


Added by KC Mowrey on February 12, 2011 at 9:15am — No Comments

Lesson Observation - Inequalities

It was a week ago now that June came in and observed me introduce Inequalities to my 6th grade class.  Last week was completely insane with Parent-Teacher Conferences and meetings, plus after school activities.  So finally, here is how it went...

I took your advise and assigned the warm-up that asked the students to compare numbers.  It was a great lead.  Then, all the sudden I felt somewhat unprepared.  It threw me through a loop that the students had never seen the symbol "greater…


Added by Kara Roberts on February 1, 2011 at 5:43pm — 1 Comment

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