It's week 2 of the New Blogger Initiative and I'll be honest, it has been a crazy week. It's my first week back and things have been beyond nuts. I apologize in advance for not offering much commentary here. As we've all said before, please take some time and check out these new bloggers and comment where you can. You know yourself how those comments can really help you. So, here we go...
Angie Eakland (@aeakland) - Coefficients of Determination
This week's post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "WANTED: Dead or Alive"and the author sums it up as follows: This post is about a project students worked on involving direct variation functions. It has all the elements of a good learning activity: higher-level thought, pulling out misconceptions, cementing good understandings, a little art, and a lot of fun! The project could be applied to almost any topic of study and the results were awesome! A memorable quotation from the post is: The results were amazing - less than 6% of my students showed any indication of needing any reteaching at all!
My reaction: This was a neat idea. Check this one out!
Jennifer Wilson (@jwilson828) - Easing the Hurry Syndrome
This week's post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "A Locus of Points"and the author sums it up as follows: Scaffolding questions for students in class can make a difference in both their understanding and their success. I scaffolded a few questions on the idea of locus of points using TI-Nspire Navigator Quick Polls, and I was pleased with the results. A memorable quotation from the post is: It may seem simple, but ultimately I want them to learn how to problem solve while they are taking their tests…to not be intimidated by questions they haven’t exactly seen before in class.
My reaction: I have not used the Nspire before. I liked how Jennifer incorporated the screen shots into her blog post - it helped me better understand what she was talking about as well as see how it was used in this lesson. Looks like some neat stuff!
Sherrell Wilson - Project Share
This week's post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Even teachers need a break!" and the author sums it up as follows: This blog is just a reminder to not let the stress of teaching get you down. A memorable quotation from the post is: The neat thing about teaching is that if you have a bad day, you can usually redeem yourself.
My reaction: We do have to remember to pamper ourselves.
Megan Morrison (@mathwmorrison) - Math With Morrison
This week's post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "How to recharge after a challenging day…" and the author sums it up as follows: This may all be silly to some people, but as long as I stay positive and reflective, my worst days become a learning experience and I can move on without hurt feelings or a damaged view. A memorable quotation from the post is: Tomorrow will be a new day!
My reaction: It is incredibly easily to be negative. It is much harder to be positive. Megan provides some nice things to think about when things don't go well.
Erin Goddard (@ErinYBaker) - Math Lessons on the Loose
This week's post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Proud to Share Algebra Boot Camp for Calculus" and the author sums it up as follows: I incorporated and will be incorporating some more activities and projects into my Calculus class to make it better this year. I used samjshah's idea of Algebra boot camp in Calculus. There will be more boot camps to come for my calculus students, but they already faced two boot camps that went very well. I also have a concept map project that will be a continuous project throughout the year. A memorable quotation from the post is: (x+4)^2 = x^2+16 = AAHHH!!!!!
My reaction: I like seeing how others have adapted stuff I have read from other bloggers. If I am teaching Calculus again in the future, I have thought that I would use Sam's Algebra Boot Camp. She shares her handouts, which is always helpful.
Mary - X Y Pi
This week's post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Learning to Teach: I'm Sorry" and the author sums it up as follows: As I start off a year with two full time student teachers, I need to decide what they really need to know. One of the key things I think they need to be able to do is apologize. It keeps things positive, shows the teacher taking responsibility and gives students a chance to do it right the second time, no matter what happened first. A memorable quotation from the post is: I say apologize because that’s what taking ownership of everything that happens in the classroom often seems to boil down to, and if you’re secure in what you’re doing, it helps everyone.
My reaction: This really helps take the pressure off students sometimes and keeps them going. A good thought to incorporate.
Scott Keltner (@ScottKeltner) - Good for Nothing
This week's post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Math Blog Initiation, Week 2: License Plate Activity" and the author sums it up as follows: As part of a course project for a Statistics class, I exploited the license plate format of my own state: three digits and three letters. Students collected their own samples, pooled together to create a large sample for the entire class, and were given a list of criteria to include on a poster project. I include sample artwork for a demonstration version I showed them, as well as project instruction sheet and rubric, and a follow-up story that includes a run-in with my state's Department of Revenue. A memorable quotation from the post is: What a great time to seek out a sample license plate to help introduce this project in class, showing just what 3-digit numbers students were to collect! I enthusiastically contacted the State Department of Revenue (do a Google search to see how many results you have for that phrase; I'm pretty sure I just broke the shutout on that search) to see the potential of getting a default "SAM 123" plate or similar plate being available.
My reaction: Neat project! Scott reminds us through his experience with the State Department of Revenue that all we have to do is ask for stuff for our classes.
Meagan Bubulka - variablesofmath
This week's post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "Cool Project: Math and Art!" and the author sums it up as follows: This is a Similar Figures Project that I am really proud of. I have done it a couple times now and I love the end products - so fun to hang up to show off student work! This is also a great way to incorporate art into math! Using cartoons the students are more invested in the project because cartoons are always fun! A memorable quotation from the post is: We usually do this right after ISAT’s (Illinois State Testing) as a relaxing way to do math OR at the end of the year when they are done and you are done!
My reaction: Neat idea! I've seen my students do something similar in art class, but I had not thought to use it in math class as an introduction. I might use this one with my lower level sophomores.
Jimmy Pai (@PaiMath) - The Pai Intersect
This week's post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "[Activity] Angry Birds" and the author sums it up as follows: I used Angry Birds in class for an exploration-based lesson. The students had a blast, I had a blast, and we all took away a lot from the experience. The interactivity where students were able to actually play with the game and talk about it was extremely helpful. A memorable quotation from the post is: I gave them some time to talk, get excited, argue, discuss, then I collected their responses.
My reaction: I do like that he brought Angry Birds into the classroom to discuss parts of a parabola. Like many of the Angry Birds posts, it left me wanting more. I would love to incorporate it into my classroom, but I have not figured out how to do it more concretely (figuring out the equations, etc.).
Emily Steinmetz - Crazy in Math
This week's post for the Blogging Initiation is titled "boxes, reasons, and proofs... oh my!"and the author sums it up as follows: I use different types of proofs depending on what the student is trying to prove. I love flow proofs for congruent triangles and two-column for algebraic, segment and angle proofs. I utilize my SMARTboard because it helps manipulate the diagrams, statements, and reasons. A memorable quotation from the post is: The one topic in Geometry that brings students to their knees quicker than any other, is proofs…
My reaction: I have no experience with flow proofs. I know 2 column proofs. I have a vague idea of how paragraph proofs work. But beyond that, I have not messed with other ways to show proof. It was nice to see how she sets up flow proofs. I would love to see what a finished one looks like - this method of proof is way more accessible to some of my students and I'd love to use it.