So ... thinking back ... I'd like to highlight the good for sure, and at least mention the not so good :)
The good ...
- We finished Unit 2 on systems of equations with excellent scores. Class averages are right at 88 ... I'm quite pleased! The focus this year shifted from previous years. In previous years we worked primarily on 2-variable systems. This year, we worked primarily on 3-variable systems, quadratic-linear systems, and systems of inequalities.
- Daily quizzing is becoming routine.
- Homework assignments are short (less than 15 problems) and review all lessons in the unit. So far the assignments are not spiraling past units.
- In Unit 2 we used laptops, iPads, and calculators - emphasizing choosing the best tool for the activity at hand.
- I personally felt more comfortable with Unit 2 lessons - the pacing, timing, activities seemed to flow better.
- It felt a little uncomfortable to do so much work with quadratic linear systems in Unit 2 when we haven't taught quadratics yet so we focused on using the TI 84 graphs and the quadratic formula. This is a curriculum alignment concern I shared with our district team.
- A few students have asked to drop my class because in their words, "I am not a computer person." We use technology in our class, it's a 1:1 environment with laptops with the addition of an iPad cart. The district has a technology focus, and one of our school goals is to increase the use of technology for formative and summative purposes. So I get angry when students are allowed to change classes just because they want a classroom that has less access to technology (and yes technology is not distributed equally throughout the school). I am also sad, because somehow I failed those students. I was unsuccessful in helping them see the value in the tech-based exercises. On the other hand, I have more students than my colleagues, so reducing my class load by a few students can be viewed as a positive change. That's just not satisfying though.
Going forward ...
- I'm working on a goal for students to self-monitor their progress in understanding course content. I've tried a couple of small things but with Unit 3, I'm putting a spreadsheet in place for students to track their understanding.
- I'm organizing Unit 3 a little differently - hopefully in a way that will simplify accessing lesson links. I'm also being more intentional in the way students will take notes. I've been allowing them some choices in note taking and with this Unit, I'm going to try specifying a least part of the note taking process.