Beverly George's Blog (24)

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

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

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

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

Spaghetti Bridge Completed

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

Power Point in Place

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…


Added by Beverly George on January 9, 2011 at 9:59pm — 2 Comments

Barbie Bungee Jumping Now, Spaghetti and Textbooks Later

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…


Added by Beverly George on January 7, 2011 at 8:27pm — 2 Comments

Moving Forward with a Meyer-ized Project

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:


"Will a box of spaghetti (minus the box) support the weight of a…

Added by Beverly George on December 29, 2010 at 9:31pm — No Comments

Dan Meyer is my hero!

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…


Added by Beverly George on December 11, 2010 at 8:36pm — 5 Comments

Aahh.... Student Budget Lesson Delivered!

Well, due to scheduling issues, I ended up video-taping my lesson on the Student Budget Lesson. Although there was not a live teacher in the classroom to observe my teaching, we debriefed and reviewed the lesson at our After School meeting. We discussed my wait time on my questioning, along with the types of questions that I was asking. I've always tried to force myself to wait just a little bit longer for students to answer, so my wait time seemed to be pretty solid. As for the types of… Continue

Added by Beverly George on November 27, 2010 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Scheduling and Technology

Well, I'll be teaching my Student Budget lesson this week. I'm looking forward to seeing how my students will "problem-solve" their way out of this one. I've got 8th graders for Algebra, and I'm pretty sure they've got the background knowledge they'll need to make a success of this lesson. In addition, they'll get to see a real-world application to linear functions and how they can be used. Awesome!

Some fellow Algebra for All colleagues and I had an after-school meeting…

Added by Beverly George on November 15, 2010 at 10:26pm — No Comments

Day 1 Face-to-Face, Year 2 Reflection

Whew! Only one day down, and I've got so much information swimming in my head, I don't even know where to start.

Looking at the various components of creating a Math-Talk Community was a great refresher for something that I learned in grad school, but I really needed the reminder through the mathematical aspect. My group discussed questioning, and I realized that my "functions-based approach" classroom is conducive to some great questioning. I find myself as more of a…

Added by Beverly George on October 30, 2010 at 8:55pm — No Comments

Shapes of Algebra!!!

Ok, so I'm pretty excited that we've got the basics reviewed in my 8th grade algebra class... now, we're ready for the Shapes of Algebra, and I'm honestly VERY excited!! Last year, I did this activity in the first week of school, and I spent a LOT of time directing rather than letting the students explore the activity. They were just SO fresh off of summer, and their brains just were NOT ready for that higher level thinking.

Now that we've pushed through that phase (several…

Added by Beverly George on October 16, 2010 at 4:57pm — 2 Comments


Well... to be quite honest, it feels like I've been out of the Algebra for All scene forever!! Tricky technical difficulties can really throw your world for a loop these days. Fortunately, I'm back up and running, and now I've got to make up for some lost time - forgive me if I ramble a bit!

So, I posted a question about this in the Forum area, but all of the attention that has been focused on Finland the past few weeks really has me thinking! Under the control of the…

Added by Beverly George on October 2, 2010 at 4:40pm — 3 Comments

Potential Struggles for the Year

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…


Added by Beverly George on September 19, 2010 at 8:56am — 2 Comments

Great news from students...

So, I stopped by the Academic Support class this morning to find wonderful things happening. I modified some of the lessons learned in Algebra for All for my 7th grade class last year. It wasn't so much specific lessons that I used, but just a different way of teaching.

Anyway, our Academic Support is for students that struggle to have an opportunity to have some additional class time to complete assignments. I stopped by to see how my students from last year were doing in…

Added by Beverly George on September 13, 2010 at 10:28pm — 3 Comments

A New Year

Wow! I simply cannot believe that another school year is about to start! After attending the AFA summer sessions, I have had an opportunity to reflect on the Shapes of Algebra lesson and discuss how to use this lesson with my colleagues. Ahhhhh...... good times were had by all!

I know the push has been to implement Shapes of Algebra in the first couple of weeks of school, but the summer is pretty rough on those math brains, and the MEAP comes up rather quickly. I tried the…

Added by Beverly George on August 30, 2010 at 9:41pm — 3 Comments

Quadratic Functions

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…


Added by Beverly George on April 19, 2010 at 11:41pm — 1 Comment

Technology Has Completely Changed My Classroom

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…


Added by Beverly George on March 21, 2010 at 9:04pm — No Comments

I'm already reaping the benefits!

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…


Added by Beverly George on February 15, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments

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