Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Getting to Know My Students

We started school on Wed, Aug 30th, had school on August 31st, and then off for the four day weekend.

I teach Accelerated Algebra 1 (freshmen), Accelerated Geometry (mix of freshmen and sophomores), and Accelerated Algebra 2 (mix of sophomores and juniors), so I could possibly have students two or three years in a row.  I try to use new stuff whenever I can, especially with my getting to know students at the start of the school year.  Here is what I did this year:

In all my classes, I start by meeting them at the door, greeting them with a welcome, and handing them an index card with a math problem on it asking them to solve for x.  The directions are on the board.  They are allowed to write right on the card.  If they have an asterisks, they can use a calculator.  They can ask friends for help.  The answers might be positive, negative, zero, fractions, or decimals.  I have the answers written on a piece of masking tape, one on the corner of each desk.  They do the problem, then find their desk - like musical chairs.  This becomes their seat for the month because I change seats each month.  I send around a seating chart and they fill it in.
      Next, I ask them to flip the card over and write their full name and birthday.  If their birthday is in the summer, I ask them to write their half birthday for my poster.  Gotta love multipurpose things!

In all my classes, I showed My Summer Story made with an app called 1SE for 1 Second Everyday.  It is a paid app and it looks like a calendar.  You upload a picture or short video every day and then it puts it into a short video for you.  Mine was 1 minute long for my entire, action-packed summer.  I show the kids, with some music playing the background and then I discussed some highlights and ask them where they went or what they did this summer.

Accelerated Algebra I:
     We did the 3-Act Bucky the Badger.  This introduces them to the 3-Act, gets them making predictions and hopefully more comfortable guessing.
     I give them an Autobiography to complete for homework.  I read through them and made notes.  I noticed I had 5 students whose names started with A.  I noticed most of the students were involved in sports.  And, I noticed 3 kids are twins.  I thought that was cool!  I pointed it out to my class of 28 - three of you are twins and their twins are not in class with them.  I said, "It is you, you, and you."  Then, someone else said, "I'm a twin."  Then, someone else said, "I'm a twin, too."  Then, someone else said, "I'm a twin."  And, yes, another student said, "I'm a twin, too."  To which I said, "Are you kidding me?"  She said no.  I asked if I already counted her because by now I was too confused, so I said, if you are a twin, raise your hand  - I kid you not 7 Twins in my class of 28!!!!  Wow!

Accelerated Geometry:
    This class was new to me and I did the Visual Pattern like I learned at TMC17.  I blogged about it here.  I loved it.  It went so well.  I have 3 classes of it.  At first, I didn't think it was going so well because they weren't delving as deep as I would have liked, but I turned it around.
   On Day 2, we did this drawing activity on #VNPS that went really well. I assigned a Math and Me on Desmos for homework.  I adapted Emily Sliman @emilysliman and Anna Scholl @mathteachscholl versions of this.  I am excited to learn about them tomorrow.  Will try to update and edit here.  Here is a new blog post about some of it.

Accelerated Algebra 2:
   We did the Cup Stacking group activity and I heard "This is frustrating." Another student added, "But, we can do it." 
       Then, they played 31-derful, so fun!
      I had them take a Mrs. Fairbanks Quiz and we went over it.  The most correct was 7 out of 13 questions about me.  I love how low their guesses on Twitter followers is.  I asked them to guess the name of my blog.  Some guesses included "Mathtastic", "Fun Math", and "Math is Fun", LOL.
    Then, I had them turn it over and make up 5 questions about themselves on a Kid Quiz.  The answers were to be numerical multiple choice answers.  I read through them tonight.  Some that stood out to me:
*In what year will I have my golden birthday?
*On a scale of 1-10, how confused am I this year?
*How many languages do I speak?
*What is my favorite card in a deck of cards?
*How many businesses do I own?
*How many pairs of shoes do I own?
*How many earrings are in my right ear?

Thanks for reading.

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