Sunday, September 7, 2014

#MTBOSChallenge Week 4 Summary - strategies and pondering the mundane

Week 4:  3 - 2-  1 Summary 

3 Strategies I want to try in the next week or two
  • Chalk Talk is a strategy we read about and discussed in #eduread chat last Wednesday.  I can see its value in making thinking visible.  I'm still thinking about in what lesson I want to use it and what words/phrase/statement/problem will be the focus.
  • Odd One Out was also mentioned during #eduread last Wednesday.  (If you haven't joined us you are missing out on good discussion.  We read one article a week and discuss it!)  Odd One Out is perfect for our discussion about parent functions.  It makes a great review of the attributes ... a perfect warm-up for this week!  See my Odd One Out example here.
  • Word Toss is a strategy that Shelli used this past week - she wrote about it here.  I am building review stations to use in class on Wednesday and Thursday.  Word Toss will definitely be a station!  I plan to have students use the words from our first unit (intro to functions) and write their sentences on sentence strips.
2 Procedures/Processes that are working out well
  • Last year I felt like I gave notes in a random scattered way.  Interactive notebooks are not my thing.  So this year I am using a Cornell template to organize all of our class notes.  I already appreciate it ... everything is organized and clear.  Right now I am formatting the notes for students - using fill in the blank, sentence starters, and questions to help teach students how to take notes in this style.  Later in the year, students will format their own notes in this way.  Here are links to a couple of samples - unit 1 sample, unit 2 sample.
  • I've been assigning an online video or desmos demonstration each night as a prep for the next lesson.  So students have 2 short homework activities.  One reviews the lesson just learned, and the other preps for the next one.  This is making our class discussion more meaningful and providing more time for practice.  Here are a couple of examples ... from edpuzzle on parent functions and on desmos prepping for transformations.
1 thing I'm thinking about - wanting to improve
  • I blog daily (supposedly) on my 180blog.  We have an A/B block schedule so I have two days alike.  This summer my plan was to blog one day about the warm-up - especially focusing on numeracy skills.  And the second day I would blog about the questions we discussed in the lesson.  Well ... that was really ambitious.  I wish I had that much "good" stuff to write about.  And yes, I know I can write about the failures.  It's the mundane that isn't fun to write about.  And there is already a lot of mundane.  So I'm pondering this ... how to improve the mundane, and what snapshot I should share daily.


  1. Did you make the Desmos presentation? It is fantastic! I had no idea you can add lines of text so you can ask questions or give directions. On the nights when you assigned edpuzzle and Desmos, did you also give a problem set? Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Shelley -

      Yes, I made the presentation. It's so easy! Love Desmos! And my students will also do homework there ... then share the link with me. I have them drop the link in a Google Form so that I can just click through the spreadsheet and see their work. So for example we have our systems unit coming up. Solving word problems on Desmos will be their job. They can explain in text and support their solutions with graphs.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Oh nevermind on hw question. I reread and I see two short homework assignments (instead of one longer one).