My (late) TMC13 post

Disclaimer: I am a very fact / list person, and I am not very organized, but I try to copy ideas from those who are and maybe trick folks into thinking I have my stuff together. This is the mess that is in my head after TMC13:

Websites to include in my life

    • remind101 – This is so cool, I don’t know why I did not know about this sooner. I’m all over this! Thanks @aanthonya
    • Use google voice so that you have a separate phone number to give to students & parents. Use message to text as an easy way to track parent correspondence.
    • 13 unsolved problems in mathematics w/ million $ prizes
    • Desmos – Its the best. Nerdgasms galore.
    • Bowman Dickson made a great Prezi describing SBG
    • Alabama has good lesson resources – whoulda thunk?
    • Insight has a nifty thing where it grades multiple choice test by holding the answer sheet up to the camera built into your laptop. Is free for 10 question tests, pay for more options. There is also an ipad app.
    • My students will benefit from my membership with Mathalicious.

Try in my classroom

    • Post or have available in a folder – a collection of constructable drawings for students to choose & attempt if there is down time.
    • Surface area “Tin Man Project
    • At the end of class divide a board or wall space into 4 quadrants, label them:

1) Work on         2) Don’t Forget     3) Question I still have     4) Aha! moment

Give students 4 post its and have them post 1 for each quadrant at the end of class.

    • Noticing & wondering – provides rich data about what students are ready to learn useful for instruction & providing feedback.
    • 4 to 1 – give each student in a group a different question, have them sum their solutions, then they can check their sum to verify that they are correct. If they get a different sum they have to talk and justify their work to try as a team to find & correct errors. I think Kate Nowak blogged about something similar a long time ago.
    • Ask: What is a ______? Have one group define then challenge other groups to draw their definition, but it is not a ______ (a counter example).
    • Use Oranges & marshmallows, or any 2 different objects to demonstrate combing like terms:
      • 5 marshmallows & 2 oranges = 5 marshmallows & 2 oranges cannot combine because they are not like terms.
      • 2 marshmallows & 3 marshmallows = 5 marshmallows see? they are like terms! you can add them!
    • After students finish a test, have them leave their pencil at their desk, check their work against an answer key, highlight their wrong answers, then get a “correction sheet” which they staple to the front of their test and they write problem #, why they are incorrect, and explain how to get the correct answer (or why they can’t). This really fits well with “How to Learn Math.” Mistakes are part of the process. The test becomes more formative, the teacher gets better information on where the student gets confused & bonus: less grading!
    • I’m trying Interactive Note Books with geometry.  Its going to be awesome. My dream is to bring a complete INB to TMC14 that is as useful & as pretty as the super organized and creative Sarah Rubin.
    • In Geometry, give an assignment where students have to write a program (using any platform they’d like – most would use TI-84’s) where they input 4 coordinates and it tell you the type of quadrilateral produced. Require that they include quality code notes & cite and sources.  Don’t be scared if you have no idea how to program. It will make you less helpful, which is kinda good. bonus: you’ll learn! Someone mentioned that would be good for this.

Philosophical shifts

    • In SBG, try to stick to around 5 skills / unit
    • Shut up & listen to kids
    • Notice & wonder: Max is really awesome, listen to Infinite Tangents & buy his book when it comes out
    • Be sure to ensure that students actively connect different solutions to a task (both correct & incorrect) This is step 5 of the 5 practices. Its often overlooked. I’m currently reading this and I love it!
    • If you are a teacher and you ask a question, wait for an answer! Don’t ask questions it there is no think time required!
    • Students ask 3 types of questions, only answer the questions that fall into the 3rd category:
        1. Don’t want to think anymore
        2. proximity questions – they ask because you are nearby
        3. they are genuinely curious about something

Tools / stuff I should buy & use in instruction

    • Bamboo writing pad – cheap easy tablet, but I have wireless slates in my class and I dont want to spend the money right now…
    • Circle Perfect compasses work well – I ordered these
    • Get small trash containers for each group for use with INBs from a dollar store: I think I may not do this because I have small classes and it is good for kids to get up & move during class.
    • Drill holes in my student white boards. Put those command hooks on the wall. duh. So simple. So wonderful. Kate in Conneticut knows things.

One thought on “My (late) TMC13 post

  1. Thanks for this wonderful list! (I love lists too – they are indispensable, and I get such a sense of accomplishment in checking things off.) It was great to meet you; hope I see you again next year! WM

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