Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day 9

Today was m&m's and percents, and percent errors.   It was the first out-of-the box thing I've done with this particular class, and their response was enthusiastic but iffy in the effectiveness department.  It made me think of a day last year when I was whining to my principal about a particular set of punks not being able to handle a less-structured task. She said, "That's why they so badly need to do more of them!"

I thought this was fun:  One group found a half-candy.  I thought it would make for at least a minute of discussion about how to handle it.  Count it as a candy? Discard it as not part of the experiment?  But all four of them looked at me like i was crazy and wrote down 49.5

This was, by far, my favorite part.  One of the students noticed a mathematical anomaly ... soon several had appeared around the room.

Day 8

I wish I'd taught her this: 

 But it was clearly one of her other teachers.  I like the way she honed in on the key issue and re-wrote it in a way that made sense to her and clarified the question.

The rest of the day was pretty blah, which is why I'm glad they start with "peer mentoring."  The beauty of the k-8 program is the opportunities for multi-age learning, and every morning I take my crew of 7th and 8th graders down the hall to grab a kindergarten or 1st grade class.  And we hang out.

This week we made puppets.  Next week we will stage a performance. :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day 7

Lessons learned today:
1) Remember to take a picture during class.
2) Pictures uploaded to blog by email must be properly oriented before sending.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Day 6

Sorting real numbers.  Rationals go above the number line, irrationals go below.

Also, I bought a stamp with a groupon from vistaprint.  As I walked around checking student work, I stamped the kids who got the right answer.  The stamp turned out to be way more popular than I had anticipated.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day 5

I still had the Starbursts from Thursday's 8th grade irrational-number-exercise, so I pulled them out on Friday with the Algebra kids to have a shot at  pattern#3 .

My thought in using the starbursts instead of the toothpicks had been that the kids could move them around in hopes of finding a shape that seemed to make more sense.  When I suggested it, this is what they did. 

At first glance, I didn't think it had helped, but that group then came up with a curious recursive method that was not like the rest of the class!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 4

Exploring perfect squares and irrational roots.  Thanks Mathalicious.  I couldn't show their terrific video about Pythagoras ( and his belief that when you fart a little piece of your soul escapes) because my district's web filter marked their website as "adult content."  Perhaps it was the "-licious" part?

With the seventh graders, I used a gem I found at MathMunch's website:  a link to Abraham Lincoln's homework.  I cut out a problem about "if a footman can walk" so far in so many days, if the days are so long will it take ..."   We're beginning the section on unit rates, so this was a great way to talk about units.  They could intuit it, sort of, but we got to talk about how it's not just miles per day, since "day" had different meanings in the statement and in the question. 

We also got questions like:
"why could he walk longer on different days?"
"Is that a reasonable distance to walk in a day?"
"Would you really walk for that many hours without stopping?"
"what's a foot man?"
"Is that a 1 or a 7?"  (handwriting was different then)
"Did he get it right?  I don't see my answer in his work..."

Perhaps my FAVORITE part was emails I got from 2 parents saying how cool it was.  I loved the fact that they loved the problem enough to take it home and show it to their parents!

Day 3

I edited out the student who was demonstrating her solution to yesterday's pattern when the superintendent walked into my classroom.  That is unnerving!


Graphic organizer.  I tried to rename it G(grouping symbols), P(powers) etc, but it doesn't flow from the lips the same.

Day 2

Writing numerical and algebraic expressions with a prompt from the site

Saturday, August 17, 2013