Thursday, September 7, 2017

Week 2: Days 3 - 7

On the first day of week 2 I passed out graph paper composition notebooks to 8th grade students to use for their classwork and homework. Students need reminders to use the front and back of every page and don't leave any blank space while still keeping it organized. I passed out CPM toolkits for my 7th graders to use. The notebooks could even be a task:

Name tents were a big hit again this year. It's great to have a back and forth written conversation with students willing to engage with you. Reveals a lot about what's important to them, if they are willing to reveal it.
After passing out the notebooks, students worked on figures 1, 4, 5, and 100 of a tile pattern. It created a great opportunity for students to see the figure number in the pattern and describe it's growth using academic language like row, column, horizontal, vertical, etc.

On Tuesday, I had a short Google slides discussing entering the classroom procedure, grades, Teacher Creed (from, rules, and then they continued on the second tile pattern for the lesson.

Wednesday was a short day, but I managed to check homework and do the algebra walk outside. Great introduction to x axis, y axis, origin, quadrants, lines, reading graphs left to right, increasing or decreasing, steep or flat, etc.
On Thursday students completed input output tables for inputs -6 to 6. This created a chance for students to see patterns, ask each other for help, and then share the results. We also did choral response once people described the pattern. We also reviewed homework problem 1-7 before that which has students reading 3 different x-y graphs about cars A and B in regards to weight vs cruising speed and more.

On Friday we used technology and a game to create a need for academic language after feeling frustration. I paused, related it all back to the algebra walk with interactive notes, and then they spent the last 10-15 minutes playing the game armed with better questions and vocabulary.

This year I teach 4 sections of grade 8 and one grade 7. The focus for 7th graders was a lesson on "Guess my Number" where I highlighted two primary strategies: guessing and checking and working backwards by using inverse operations. Students learned and used each others ideas. On Thursday, and Monday of next week students investigated the height of a million penny tower. As you can see some of the initial predictions were wayyyy off, but gave a chance for students to reflect.

I used Google Drive to take photos of student work to highlight different methods. Some used their table and saw that 1 centimeter was 7 pennies, 2 cm was 14, etc. They reasoned 100 pennies must be 100 / 7 or 14.2 pennies, and then could scale 100 up to a million by multiplying by 10,000 to 100 and 14.2. The other method, that was more precise, was this student below dividing a million by 7:
Instead of Estimation 180, the 7th graders are doing Which One Doesn't Belong. After 20 days of these, I am going to switch to 20 days of number talks with students recording new methods they didn't previously know, in hopes of using new strategies later.

A theme of some mathographies students wrote, and it's my job to turn it around:
I will be doing my first mystery student activity using student mathographies next friday before the first assessment.

8th graders will be assessed on skills 1, 2, and 3, which are diamond problems (integers & fractions), coordinate plane identifying, plotting points, knowing quadrants, and calculating percent error.

7th graders will be assessed on finding mean and median, converting between fractions, decimals & percents, and finding area and perimeter of rectangles, triangles, and a trapezoid.