Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 24: Recording Simplifying Work & Writing a Linear Equation from 2 points

Today's estimation was the number of papers in a package of yellow pads. Some students thought there were 50 in each pad, while others thought it was 100.

I reviewed what it meant for an expression to be in parentheses preceded by a subtraction sign. A few students remembered it means it could be that expression just in the negative region. I gave students time to write expressions of the Left and Right sides and encouraged them to write them unsimplified using the previously mentioned method. When I found students that had done it after circulating, they told me what to write on the board. I then had a volunteer operate the computer so students could see the connection between the tiles and the simplifying steps, along with the explanation in the right hand column. I just realized I forgot to take a picture of this. Bummer.

Then students looked at a sample students simplifying work and figured out what simplifying steps they did and recorded it. Then I gave students 15 minutes for the Friday assessment. We also did a raffle before the test.

In accelerated, students got started quickly. I had 1 student go back outside and enter the room again because they were too loud. I wasn't happy with how yesterday went with the level of respect, focus, and lack of cooperation. I reviewed the Teacher Creed. I admitted, that I was doing a poor job of letting students stop me from teaching and others from learning. I let them know I was aware of this, and that I would do my best to improve. I also reviewed rules, and cited examples of rules that were broken yesterday and other times in the year, without naming names. I then went over the Study team norms. I once again reiterated that by working together, and trying to explain your thinking in multiple ways, you are deepening your understanding.

There was an intense conversation at one table between a student who is a great task manager and at working cooperatively and a student who receives outside enrichment and is notoriously an independent worker. While it was intense, I think we got the person to see what it is like to work together. The independent worker thought that working together is doing a whole problem, then going over how each of you did it. This was a misconception. The other student clarified that you read part A, share how you would approach it, and then everyone works on it while talking it out. Then move on to the next part. Come to think of it, I think this would be a good time to do the Fish Bowl strategy, and possibly do some role playing. The only issue is, the students are learning a high school course in a middle school so the schedule is already impacted.

I noticed some students, when calculating slope, were subtracting the x coordinates, and dividing by the y coordinates, and then flipping it around (reciprocal). I asked what they knew about slope. They knew it was the rise over the run. I asked what part of the graph measures rise? They said the y axis. So, does it matter what order you calculate it in? We will be going over this on Monday.

Students graphed a cubic function on the test and I think they struggled with the scaling of the x axis, and some students switched the x and y axes around. Also, students were taken off guard when I asked them to also graph y=3 and x=-2 and identify the slope. We have discussed this, but it still threw them off.

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