It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.
The worst ... because ...
It was the last week of the marking period. Our school allows students to retake quizzes and tests up to a 70. And too many of my students waited until this last week to correct previous tests and quizzes. I find it frustrating that students weren't interested in making corrections three weeks ago when the matrices unit was fresh on their mind. They were only interested when they realized that the lack of corrections was going to negatively impact their six weeks grade. And then I remind myself, these are still children, yes young teens. And organizing priorities is not yet a strength for some of them.
And so I had students eagerly looking for help during tutorials, and a stack of corrections and retests to grade daily. (I know that sounds like students did poorly, but out of six classes, if just 5 students want to make multiple corrections, then the stack grows quickly!)
This is a pattern that I want to change. I am thinking about how I can facilitate the change - what can I do to motivate students to make corrections in a timely manner?
The best ... because ...
I enjoyed the lessons this week. We explored the fall of Javert, counting seconds of that one long note. Talked about the unusual height of a bridge that would have been needed for such a fall. I loved seeing the eyes of certain students light up when I mentioned we were going to visit France and the story of Les Mis.
We also took a trip to Switzerland for a famous blob jump. Students debated briefly if the jump could possibly be more than 50 feet. They loved watching the video of the jump. Some of them said they had tried that activity locally? So ... I checked ... blobbing originated in TEXAS according to Wikipedia :)
Students worked on more typical textbook problems in using graphs of quadratics to answer questions - how far did it fly, how long was it in the air, how high did it go? I like using stations. I like hearing the conversations that go with the work!
Coming up this next week, I get to participate in the first Google Lesson Plan Jam in the Austin Google offices on Monday. I am one of two teachers in our school attending. I'm a little nervous because I don't have a solid idea of a lesson to "Google-ize." So I'm taking 2 - 3 ideas about upcoming units ... some skill-based that could use a fresh look as well as the more likely candidate like the analysis of functions we haven't studied yet.
Also coming up this week is the test on characteristics of functions. I believe my students are ready for this test ... I am excited to see their work!
And last we jump into solving quadratics late in the week. We will start with factoring. I've been working on ideas for routine practice.
Twitter Chats are BIG this week!
On Monday, #Alg2Chat returns at 8 pm CST. We will be talking about lesson planing and 3-act, mathalicious and more ... matching engaging explorations to our algebra 2 curriculum
On Wednesday at #Eduread (8 pm CST) we are discussing student engagement from Marzano's book The Highly Engaged Classroom ... chapter 1. I hope to learn much from this discussion.
It's going to be a big week!