Sunday, November 21, 2010

SURN Lesson Plan

I am finally finished making my revisions to my SURN lesson plan. The topic is exponential growth through the lens of making connections. The power tools I am using are Reader's Theater, Golden Lines, and Exit Tickets. I found a video (with transcripts) showing the escallating rat population in a country in Asia. The students will do the Reader's Theater using the transcript (the first half of the transcript) from the video. They will read the rest of the transcript independently. As a class we will then make connections with the transcript as a class and gathering all findings on their Golden Lines template. The lesson will end with an M & M lab exploring exponential growth and an exit ticket with a real world example of exponential growth.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Applying the Properities of Functions to Real Life Data

I had the task of teaching maximum, minimum, increasing, decreasing, domain, and range. Instead of using the generic graphs that the book gives I wanted to find applicable data. I wanted to find data that the students could relate and connect to. So I researched a popular topic: teenage pregnancy rates. I ended up at the Virginia State homepage. I found graph and article addressing teenage pregnancy trends across the different regions of Virginia. Surprisingly, the tidewater area was the second highest area for teenage pregnancy. We spent about 10 minutes connecting with the text and the graphs. I asked, "At what year was the rate at a maximum?" I then asked, "At what year was the rate at a minimum?". Afterwards, I asked them to look at the graph and tell me at what years there was an increase/or decrease in teenage pregnancy. I then asked, "Where do the years of the data begin and where do they end?" I then told them that that is called finding the domain of the graph. This activity made it a lot easier for students to apply what they had learned to any graph they would see.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Students Struggling

Students are having a difficult time solving equations. We have been through three days of practice and I don't feel they are still ready for a test....Unfortunately pacing says we have to move on....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Implementing the Magnificent Seven: Making Connections

Well now that the introductory period is over in my classes I am starting to blend literacy with my lessons. In my Honors Math Analysis classes I will begin functions, relations, graphs, et cetera. So for my opening lesson the students will be reading an article about the best and worst items to order from local restaurants. I am going to have my students use Marginalia to Make Connections with the text. After this they are going to draw a relation with the calories as the input (domain) and the fat grams (range). Their first relation will represent a function with one input for every output. The next relation will show an example of what a function is not (an input going to more than one output). Then the students will state the domain and range in set notation.

I have to admit that I am enjoying the process of finding different ways for my students to connect with mathematics!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Properties performance

Today as my bell ringer I had the students get into groups of three(of their choosing). Once they were in their groups they had to choose a property to act out together. It went off without a hitch! The students loved it so much they were excited when I invited the another math class in to guess the properties they had chosen. For example, the group of boys that chose the associative property acting out being on the football team in the fall, then the seasons changing so that they were on the basketball team in the winter. They adding a butt slap at the end to remind the students that they needed to look for ( )( ), hehe. They also wanted me to invite the administrators to test their knowledge.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beyond One Right Answer

In this month’s Ed Leadership there is an article on questioning and mathematics. The author, Marian Small says that one way K-12 math teachers can effectively differentiate instruction is through the questions they ask and engagement in meaningful activities. Both of these items were explored by SURN project staff, teachers, and administrators last fall. So consider what else can be gleaned from the article. The author focuses on open questions and parallel tasks.

Open questions are purposefully broad so that multiple student responses are appropriate given the students’ level and multiple perspectives are gathered on the same concept. This encourages more math sharing than single rapid fire responses. For example, if the perimeter fence of the skate park is 160 feet, what is the area of the town’s skate park? Student A could say 1600 square feet since the sides are each 40-feet long. Student B may say 1200 square feet because the length is 60 and the width is 20 feet. Student C might say…you get the picture. Then a discussion could ensue about the relationship of the width and length making up the perimeter on the area within.

Parallel tasks have students working on the same concept at different levels of difficulty. A teacher may have common questions for all students to answer and a student choice option between simple and complex problems. The author provides examples for what good questions may be at grades 1, 4, 8, and 11 (p. 32) to support the reader in applying her research to their practice.

CITATION: Small, M. (2010). Beyond one right answer. Ed Leadership, 68(1), 28-32.

You can read the article online

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cheat Sheet

I use this strategy every year in reviewing for the SOL's. I explain to students that in math we have learned a lot of concepts. I then display a pre-released SOL exam and tell the students that we will create a Cheat Sheet that they can study from. I then instruct the student to fold a piece of paper into eight sections. (Students will utilize both sides of the paper).I explain the importance of creating a cheat sheet(study notes) and how on the day of the exam, the student will remember what strategy to use to solve a math problem.

Focus Question(s):
What type of information can we put on our cheat sheet?
How can we use a cheat sheet to study?
Why is it important to know the mathematical concept? :Teacher will go through each question on the Released SOL exam and create cheat sheet based on the question concept. Teacher and students will list important strategies on the cheat sheet

Focus Question(s):
What math concept can we identified from the question?
Can someone reword the question?
What test taking strategy can we use to answer the question?Teacher will ask students to explain what their study strategy is for this upcoming SOL exam.