Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More Math Sprints or is that Relay Race?

I am teaching Algebra II this year and I have already done Math Sprints on Log Functions it is a One Day Activity and I am also updating one I did on Circles, finding the tangent line, solving systems, etc...

Circles (Sprints)
Log Sprints

Friday, September 23, 2011

Time Flies...& SBG Thoughts for 2011/2012

I have been swamped! And that is putting it mildly. I have had a lax schedule the last 2 years and my new schedule is adding excitement but couple that with coaching football at a bigger school and being dad to a 4-month old has me swamped. I am using a modified SBG grading this year, my school district uses common grading percentages.
My categories are 40% - Test, 30% Quizzes, 5% Midterm, 5% Written Performance Final, 15% Final Exam and 5% Homework/Classwork. The Midterm and the Final Exam are multiple choice exams. I am using the modified SBG grading for Quizzes and Tests.
For Quizzes, I am grading them using Learning Targets and grading them using C/P/I’s for 3 questions on each learning topic. C means Correct, P means Partial and I means Incomplete.  The letters get combined for a rubric based grade. Each LT is worth 10 points. For more info go here: Got the idea from druin.
For test, I am grading them the standard way but grading each problem using a 4 point rubric ( and assigning problems points based on multiples of 2.  So if the problem is worth 8 points, I use the 4-point scale and multiply the result by 2 and likewise if it’s worth 2, I divide by 2. I think this gives each child a chance to earn the most partial credit and it is not based on my feelings about the kid but about what they actually know.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Preplanning and the First Days of School

School has started for me, August 8th to be exact. I was looking forward to starting school this year, I always am, but this year was different because I am at a new school, and I am teaching Alg II/Trig and Stats/Discrete this year.
I know some teachers always wonder what should I do for parents on registration and open house and we as math teachers always wonder about the 1st day of school activities for our upper level math classes.
1.     Registration – For us this the day where parents and students can pick up their schedules, walk around and meet their new teachers. I usually have an about me powerpoint on the board, including such information as my educational background, how many years I have been teaching and any special notes. I also make small little supply lists and hand them to the students/parents. If you feel comfortable in doing so I tell my students that if their parents email me by the end of the first week of school they get 5 bonus points on first test. This gets me a lot of email address from parents that I save in my inbox folders for later recall.  
2.     First Day of School – Dan Meyer the high school math guru himself created a first day wiki a couple of years ago here is the link I pretty much follow it 2 a T J
3.     Open House – I am working on something new for Open House this year. Last year I won a grant that included a HD Flip Video Camera. I am going to film me doing activities with the students first 2 weeks of school, have the kids do a what you need to know about our class video. Our procedures, rules, grading, etc… and show it to the parents on Open House. Open House shouldn’t be about here is my syllabus and grading scale. It should be to show parents what their child is learning and they can help the teacher in facilitating that goal.
4.     Emergency Sub Plans – Once again why re-create the wheel when someone already has keys to get us there. Here is Sam Shah’s post about emergency plans for Sub.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another Menu and Back 2 School..

In the wonderful State of Georgia, most teachers report back to work August 1st, so there goes my summer. I really never have 1 anyway. 19 days and counting....

I had some teachers ask me to show them another example of how to use menus to assess student learning. I am big on giving the students options as long as we can make sure all standards have been assessed. In the example I am posting now, a co-worker gives the students a quiz restaurant menu style.

They have appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts. Appetizers and Salads are worth up to 5 pts. each, Entrees up to 15 pts. each, and Desserts up to 10 pts. each. The maximum for the quiz is 45 pts, so students are able to weigh the problems they feel strongly about more, but all questions must be answered.

Enjoy the file Dinner For Two and if you want to know when the blog is updated you can always follow me on twitter @ tbanks1906.

Happy Summer, or what that is left!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Been gone for a while but back with new stuff!!

My plan of updating this blog went awry and FAST! But now that I have a "60" day vacation I hope to get back on track as much as possible.

I going to a new school, have a new baby (5 weeks), and I get to teach new classes which I am excited about.

Tonight's topic involves use of menus in class. I am a big believer in giving my students options as long as my goal as the teacher is met. which is proof of the standards being mastered.

This assessment is on solving equations. There are three levels of equations all with different amounts for each problem. Appetizers are 1 dollar, Side Items are 2 dollars, and EntrĂ©es are 5 dollars. The students have to do one of each and spend all 40 dollars. This allows the students to pick the problems they want but also forces them to try 2-step equations as well. Hope you enjoy feel free to leave any comments or questions!

Menu - Solving Equations

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Math Sprints or Worksheet Race...

One activity that I love doing with my class is what I call the Worksheet Race, others call them Math Sprints.

How do we do the activity you ask?

"For this activity, I print each page onto a different color of paper, simply for organizational purposes. I hand out page 1 and the kids work each problem. When they are done, they bring it up to me and I tell them which problems to continue working on. If they get all the problems on card 1, I give them card 2. The kids love this, mainly because they only have to focus on 5-6 problems at a time and get pretty much instant feedback."

Here is a link for one I just did involving, (Midpoint, Distance,Patterns(Inductive Reasoning),Conditional Statements).

Worksheet Race - Geometry

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Atlanta = Snowed IN = CABIN FEVER 4 some..

The Metro Atlanta area has been out of school all week due to the snow/ice storm that hit us Sunday. My kids should be at home enjoying a nice winter break. Tomorrow makes Day 4 of not being able to go anywhere and the temperature is not expected above freezing until Friday. So this post has a lot to do with what I learned from teaching last week.

1) Inductive and Deductive reasoning can't be taught together. I already knew that, but teaching inductive reasoning last week reinforced it, because the students took the full period to realize that Inductive Reasoning is pattern based. Would love to hear better ways to teach it :)

2) Stop using book formulas if you can create something better. Kate Nowak did for Coordinate Geometry. She came up with her own formulas for slope, distance and midpoint. Her distance formula worked wonders for my students who struggled the most last semester. I can't wait to try her slope formula next year. The midpoint formula works fine as is to me.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Treasure Hunt Activity

I am big into activities that I think engage the students. One such activity is a treasure hunt Dan Meyer style the king of math blogs. Here is a link to his stations Treasure Hunt Meyer.

Basically it is a review activity.  You have anywhere from 8-16 stations. Even though, trust me 8 is usually enough they take anywhere from 30-50 minutes. Students in groups of 2-3 do multiple choice problems and depending on the answer they get it sends them to the next problem. If they get sent back to the same problem twice, they made a mistake and you ask them to give you the order in which they did each problem and tell them where they went wrong.

Here is one I did last semester on Factoring Polynomials and Radicals. Please download, use and tell me how you think I can make them better!

Treasure Hunt (Factoring Polynomials & Radicals)