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…Continue
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…Continue
Added by Beverly George on April 5, 2011 at 11:35pm — No Comments
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…Continue
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…Continue
I've got some great pictures to post, but the Spaghetti Bridge lesson is in the books for the year. I had a great Power Point, and great intentions, but I think there are some much-needed changes that need to be made to the lesson (or at least to the mind-set of the students). Here's the Power Point I created:
Added by Beverly George on January 15, 2011 at 4:12pm — No Comments
I've got my Power Point ready for this week's lesson on Spaghetti Bridges. Found a rockin' video to grab the attention of the class. Turns out the collapse of Galloping Gertie (Tacoma Narrows Bridge) has footage posted on YouTube from 1940! Talk about the integration of history and science!! Talk of the engineers' need for testing is a natural transition to the activity. I'll post the Power Point and a debriefing after the lesson.
Is it sad that I'm excited to go to…Continue
So, I did the Barbie Bungee Jumping this week. Yay! I honestly adore this lesson. There are so many skills that come together in linear functions. Besides, I've got some great pictures of some big, tough, 8th grade guys playing with Barbie.... what could be better?
Four out of seven groups were textbook cases. They followed the directions, asked a couple of minor questions, and were on their way to making predictions about how many rubber bands it would take for Barbie…Continue
After our most recent after-school meeting, my colleagues and I decided to move ahead with a linear function project that we are going to "Meyer-ize". Our plan is to present the following:
Added by Beverly George on December 29, 2010 at 9:31pm — No Comments
Every time I see Dan Meyer, I can't wait to get back into the classroom and try something new! His theory of having students build a solution to a vague question is problem solving at its best. Isn't this what the real world is like? In the work force, we are encountered with these types of problems several times... a colleague needs to leave early, and we work together to find out a solution as to who will cover her class... a new design to a part is needed on the assembly line because the…Continue
Added by Beverly George on November 27, 2010 at 7:00pm — No Comments
Added by Beverly George on November 15, 2010 at 10:26pm — No Comments
Added by Beverly George on October 30, 2010 at 8:55pm — No Comments
Well, all positive talk put aside, I think the honeymoon of the new year is officially over. We just need to throw a full moon on top of things, and the year will have come to its REAL beginning. As I look to the year ahead, I see some potential challenges and struggles along the way.
I've got a student in my class this year that is mostly home bound due to an illness. I've been printing out class notes and assessments (we're mostly reviewing right now), but I fear when it…Continue
Ahhh.... I can smell the spring in the air and quadratic functions in Algebra class. I just LOVE this time of year!! I'm not sure why, but quadratic functions have always been my personal favorite, especially that good old quadratic formula. :)
Not every 8th grader in my classroom feels the same way, unfortunately. This is the first year I've had the luxury of some extra time without rushing through quadratic functions, so I'm feeling pretty good about myself and my teaching…Continue
As I have mentioned before, I teach in a small, rural district where there are more free and reduced lunch kids than not. We have a skeleton teaching staff, minimal para-pros, and there are no custodians in the building between 2 and 4pm, so if a kid throws up between those hours, we are pretty much on our own. These school characteristics are a direct result of the current economic status - causing added stress to area community members and the school budget.
HOWEVER, I have…Continue
Added by Beverly George on March 21, 2010 at 9:04pm — No Comments
In our small, rural district, I teach all of our 7th graders (3 sections) and one section of 8th grade algebra. I've been applying the function-based approach to my teaching all along with 7th grade students because our district has been a strong proponent of the Connected Math Program for years. However, with my 8th grade algebra class, I have typically taught with an equations-based approach, simply because relying on the traditional Prentice Hall textbook has always been so…Continue
Added by Beverly George on February 15, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments