Saturday, September 5, 2015

Week 2 Reflections

Second week reflections ...

1. I started most classes with high fives.  When I missed some high fives, some students asked for them.
2. Random assignment to groups is going well with playing cards. I have a deck of cards for each class.  I stand at the door ... high fives, pick a group ... instructions are projected!
3. Interleaving, lagging homework is going well also.  Each homework assignment has been between 12 and 15 problems, with review problems from algebra 1, previous lessons and then current lessons.
4. This past week we started quizzing.  I used Google Forms for the immediate feedback and the stats on individual questions.  I also shared links with students where they could quiz themselves online.
5. Our work with the iPads is getting better daily.  Most students are able to resolve their own log-in issues.  We are logged in quicker, using fewer precious learning moments.  We used Nearpod mostly this week ... I like it but it looks like I might have to pay for it to use the features I think we need.  That bothers me some so I hope to load Classkick on the iPads this week and give it a try.  I'm using the apps that allow students to write out their thoughts - draw, graph, explain.
6. I was consistent this week in asking students what they noticed.  In working on transformations, we started with sliders in Desmos.  Students matched graphs, and wrote what they noticed.  We developed our notes from their noticings.  In solving absolute value equations we started with completed examples and asking students what they noticed.  From their noticings we built steps for solving.
Areas to improve ...
• We are rushing too much ... need to slow down a bit.
• We haven't played Kahoot yet ... there hasn't been time for any "fun".
• I know some names - not enough!
• Many students are with me, making good progress; I'm missing a few students. I need to make sure everyone is succeeding.
I spent much of the summer thinking about this first unit and how it might be designed.  Now I need to focus on the next unit ... lickety split! I don't have the luxury of time to ponder, create, and revise!

The next unit is on systems - a favorite unit.  I am enlisting students to help me video our opening scenario - a modification of a 3-act task by Pearce.  As soon as we have it put together, I'll share.  Beyond that start I have no plans yet.  Hopefully there will be time tomorrow to put together at least the outline of content for each day!

Our Open House is Tuesday night!  I look forward to meeting students' parents.  I have a video for the parents - it's too serious, but definitely informative.