Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Math + M&M's = Happy Students

At the beginning of the school year, (after school had already started AND my team teacher and I had already planned for Geometry), we were informed that our county was going to make the switch from Geometry to Math II effective immediately. Imagine my face when they break this news to us. I spent all. summer. long. prepping for Geometry. WHOMP WHOMP. Needless to say, my team teacher and I have been scrambling to gather as many resources and lesson plan as much as we can just to keep up.

Anywho, fast forward to today and even though it's still tough to get ahead, I think we're in a better place. Right now, we're on exponentials. I found this awesome math lab that models growth and decay and involves CANDY. My students really loved this lab so I thought I'd share some pictures and a link to the lab. Of course, I'm sure they loved the lab because they got the eat the M&M's afterwards, but despite this, they were so engaged and loved seeing them get so excited about math! Is there anyone out there teaching Math II? If so, I'd love some input as to where you get your resources from! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NCCTM Conference

This past Thursday and Friday, I was given the opportunity to attend the NCCTM Conference in Greensboro. It was such a great experience! I learned so much within the two days by attending classes that I was interested in.

The most beneficial classes that I attended were the common assessment and analyzing data, how to common core-ize materials, and how to incorporate tasks in classrooms. I also attended two classes on interactive notebooking and stations, but I pretty much knew what was presented. Still great presentations though.

With EVAAS scores (last year's EOG scores) coming in last week and they being as low as they've ever been statewide, it pretty much lit a fire under me. I've experienced so many emotions within a couple days from being upset, to pissed off, to motivated. So having the opportunity to attend the common assessment and analyzing data class really came at a good time. We've always been told to do a common assessment with your team teacher and look at the problems to see what the common missed question was. But we were really not shown how to do it. The ladies at the conference really helped me understand what to do, especially with the data aspect of it.

I loved the common core-rize session because my county does not have the funds to purchase anything! Everything we find, it's from somewhere online or samples we find on the internet. So being taught how to 1) turn textbook questions into common core questions, 2) how to make questions more rigorous and 3) how to incorporate the 8 mathematical practices was a WIN WIN! It is definitely going to take some time for me to get into the hang of changes a lot of things (there is NOT enough time in the day!), but I know it has to get down for the benefit of my kids.

I'm hoping to implement everything that I've learned from this experience and hope to report back good things that are going on in my classroom. And hopefully with this year's test data, my kids can blow that growth out of the water!