My first class was Pre-Calc at 10, but I had to get to campus before 9 so I could stop by another teacher's 8am calc II class, which had too many students, and recruit for my 1pm calc II class, which had too few students. (Many of the science students are in labs at that time.)
I finally got a chance to look at my Pre-Calc classroom and was disappointed to find out it's not a 'smart' classroom - no internet to screen capacity. I showed it to a colleague who prefers chalkboards. He said he'd think about switching rooms with me.
Here are my notes for Pre-Calc:
Before class: Push desks into pods of 4, number the groups
Stand at door with handouts for exercise, and seat cards.On side board:· “Look here every day,· make a name tent (diagram)· make sure to sign the attendance sheet neatly (groups diagram)· adds at end of week
Axes exercise: (10:10-10:25)· Groups do it· Share out
Do ‘good at math?’ exercise (10:25-10:35)
Talk about brain function and learning: neurons, synapses, myelin sheath, confusion (10:35-10:45)http://vv.carleton.ca/~neil/neural/neuron-a.html
Crossing Tiles problem: (10:45-10:58)Do in groups
Announce: (10:58-11:00)· Must have a textbook, can use older edition, see me to learn how to one for under $10, you will be dropped if you don’t get one (I want to give my effort to those who will care enough about succeeding to take care of their end.)· Photos on TuesdayHand out syllabus pack at door at end
I wasn't able to get into the room before the students did, so my seat cards were useless. But the students helped me move the desks, and the grouping gave us more space between the groups - very nice in our crowded classrooms.
It was so different from my usual first day. I talked way less, and they got to play with math more. The axes exercise went well, and I used it in all 3 classes. I wonder if any problems will arise from not going over my policies. I handed out a 'syllabus search' as part of their homework in 2 of the 3 classes, so they'll be nudged to read the syllabus. The times I used on my plan were no use at all.
[Please let me know whether the links in this post work. They're to documents I've shared in google documents. It's my first time doing this. I am so slow to pick up each new techie bit - that's why I had to go to Maria's workshop.]
|Work in the middle of the table with your team. Label the x and y axis each with an attribute (no physical|
attributes please) such that each dot represents one person in the team.
This came from the Complex Instruction workshop. I loved how much mathematical thinking they had to do while being prompted to get to know each other. For next year, I think I'll change the instructions on the bottom. (People thought the dots had to represent them in the same order they were sitting. Question for CI (Complex Instruction) experts: Is it better to have less instruction on a sheet like this, so they have to figure it out?)
If I were good at CI, I would have been writing myself notes about good things students were doing, so I could let them know how their actions helped their group. Mostly I had no time for that. When I did have a moment, I had trouble hearing enough to know what was going on.
In the Pre-Calc class, I got one volunteer for the share out, and rolled dice for a second 'volunteer'. I had 10 groups but no 10-sided die. I rolled 2 dice, and thought about how the odds were stacked against group 7. I didn't bring that up, but I might another time. We clapped for the brave souls who came up and explained their group's work.
We discussed conventional ideas about what qualities someone who's good at math would have, versus what's really true. That's about all we got to.
I want to remember to use the side board for instructions. I want to keep trying to respond to their questions with questions, instead of answering them. I'm not good at that.
I had two hours between class, but I still had to print out my syllabi. I had purposely not prepped much for this class, since I wasn't sure it would go. We got 16 students, so it's good to go. And I know from last semester that more people may join us over the coming week.
This group was slower to get started with the axes exercise than my lower level classes. Once they got into it, they did it well, and enjoyed talking to each other, but they seemed less comfortable with jumping into something that was strange to them.
As they finished, they picked up a Calc I review sheet.
I had no homework sheet for them, so I told them their homework was to find 5 Calc I problems they could do and do them, and to find 5 they couldn't do and write them down to share with their group tomorrow.
Terrible classroom. One whiteboard covered in information I thought might need to stay, one chalkboard on wheels. But we worked with what we had. I'll try to change rooms, but it might be impossible.
This class is part of a program funded by First Five money, and has a smaller enrollment cap than our usual 40. Unfortunately our computer system can't handle the quirks of this class, so there were lots of people who came, hoping to get in, even though it was full. And everyone who is in still has to register online for this one, but I couldn't get their add codes, because WebAdvisor was down.
It took a while to get all the registration details taken care of, but this is a 2 1/2 hour class (5:40-8pm), so we had plenty of time to do some math. Their homework included putting some fractions in order, and the suggestion to play Flower Power at Manga High if they had any trouble with that.
After our break, I use Energizing Brain Breaks, a little book I bought online; I find a silly physical exercise in it for us to do together, to wake us up. I also talk about how cross-lateral motion is supposed to help brain development.
At 8:30pm, after 12 hours at work, I dragged myself home, mostly content. And now I'd better get to work prepping for today!