Monday, January 16, 2012

A Plan

Saturday, I blogged about my latest dilemma with my Algebra 2 classes. I am so appreciative to everyone who commented either here or on Twitter. Not only did I not feel alone in what I'm dealing with and going through with these classes, I got some good ideas to ponder. Teaching in a school with (only) 2 other math teachers can make it difficult to bounce ideas during the school day, let alone on a Saturday during a three day weekend. Y'all helped me when I needed it and that just goes to show the power of Twitter and the wonderful math Twitterblogosphere we have. Thanks.

So, after some pondering and checking out what everyone had to say, I decided to work with what @cheesemonkeysf suggested. Thanks too to @druinok who helped me hash out my plan.

On Tuesday when we return, I will hand back their quizzes. Since I had 2 of the 3 classes with me at home, I have already gone through those classes. When I get to school Tuesday, I'll go through the third class (which is, of course, my first period class). I have decided on "My Favorite No" for each of the problems on both versions of the test with the exception of the factoring problems. On Tuesday, we'll do the favorite no's for Properties of Exponents and Adding and Subtracting Polynomials problems (the graded learning targets). Now that I'm typing that, I may just do Properties of Exponents on Tuesday and Adding and Subtracting Polynomials Wednesday. After doing the "Favorite No's", I think I will have problems on the SMART Board for them to work out in class and then go over before the end of the period. Finally, I'll have them do an exit card with one more exponent problem and start Wednesday with that problem using the Favorite No strategy. Repeat on Wednesday with Adding and Subtracting Polynomials. Thursday I will given them a quiz on just those two learning targets. Students who have mastered both of these learning targets may take that time to re-assess a different learning target which they will have to tell me on Wednesday so I can I have it prepared. I think I may allow students who have mastered 1 of the 2 to re-assess one other learning target as well so that everyone is working on two learning targets in class. After their quiz, we'll start with the favorite no's from the multiplying polynomials section. I think on Friday I'll either put together a row activity for multiplying polynomials (I did find this one that I may use which also has them practicing adding polynomials again) or come up with something else for them to work on in class so they are practicing multiplying polynomials.

Next week on Monday then, we'll start over on factoring polynomials. First, we'll do GCF factoring again. Tuesday, I think we'll do some diamond puzzles before doing x^2 + bx + c factoring Wednesday and go from there. If anyone has some suggestions for practicing factoring in class, I'd sure appreciate them. I have some thoughts, but nothing fully concrete yet.

Thanks again for everyone's commiserating, well-wishes, and most importantly, suggestions. Hopefully there will be a time when I can help you all out.

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