Friday, November 2, 2012

Second Nine Weeks is underway!

It's been over a week since my last post. Parent Teacher Conferences are over, Halloween is behind us and we are pushing toward the Holidays full steam ahead.

Algebra I

          We are working extra hard on Linear Equations, graphing, and Real World Applications.  80% of the ECA (End of Course Assessment) will deal directly with Linear Equations. I have been greatly encouraged with how hard the ENTIRE class is working on this topic.
          I have also started to produce a couple video lessons of my own using Camtasia. It is not exactly what I want, but it's ok to start with. I really am trying to produce Khan like lesson videos. I have noticed, and so have my students, his videos are not always the best. I just do things differently than he does. I will keep working to try to figure out how to do it in a better way.

Here are a couple examples:



 Today we watched another TED video on "Failure" . The question of the day is, "What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" We will blog about this on Monday.  I am really enjoying mixing writing in with my classes.

           Next week we will prepare for a Linear Equation Assessment, participate in Acuity testing, and continue to prepare for the ECA. It's sad that we put so much emphasis on the test. But, our state and country put so much value in this high stakes testing. This testing gets in the way of REAL LEARNING taking place.(Just an opinion!)


          This class has grown by 3 students since the end of the first term. I was a little worried about changing the dynamics of this class by adding students. During the first nine weeks we have grown to be a pretty close family. Even the students voiced their concern, (before the students started). But, the "Newbies" have been accepted into the family and we are moving on. Unlike the Algebra class, I have some great freedom to take my time and really work at teaching critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and communication through Geometry. 
          We have just started are first REAL PBL lesson. We have divided up into teams. Each team has been assigned a NEW HOME to finish. They will propose flooring, wallcoverings, lighting, and appliances for a newly constructed home. The teams have been given construction blue prints and will be providing a detailed bid to "Finish" the home. 
            Teams have made group contracts and are in the midst of compiling TASK LISTS. Next week they will organize these lists and develop a time table for the tasks to be complete.  I just love this type of real life work. Students take this work very seriously and have already impressed me with their brainstorming plans. 

          I love coming to these classes and being with my students everyday. My students are the greatest. They challenge me and encourage me every single day. They stretch me and my preparation and I hope I am stretching them also.   

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