Interactive Notebooks…

I have attempted interactive notebooks with my resource class to some limited success… I have shamelessly stolen from Math Equals LoveMs. Dyer’s ClassMegan Hayes-Golding, and a few others. I do think my kids have taken more notes than previous classes and everything is theoretically in the same place for each student. I have not graded their notebooks as I used them as a surrogate textbook. I have allowed students to use these notebooks on quizzes and some other assessments as I accommodated their needs. At just over 100 pages listed on the table of contents my notebook doesn’t close anymore.

I had high hopes for some origami applications… that was a bust. We can’t follow instructions under the document camera. The origami paper I bought was not white on one side but was colored on both which, I suspect, hindered our ability to see folds. Whenever I had a new fold or new page type I would stand in front of the room and show them how to make the next foldable. This worked better than the document camera… probably in part as it is easier for me to ensure we are all following along.

I created very few original documents and mostly used stuff from others or stuff I had previously and just reduced to half sheets. The few things I did create I’ll post. Our school is using GRASP to progress monitor. Students have to type in their GTID to log-in, which most of them don’t know, so I created a page for log-in info to keep in their notebooks, which you can find here. I created I can statements for the modules of Georgia Foundations of Algebra and a list of the standards with check boxes for indicating coverage, all of which can be found here. All of these are word or google docs.






Vocabulary and Rabbit Trails…

I was reading Math = Love’s post regarding Algebra 2 and she had a discussion going about reviewing… So I posed the following “So… I teach resource math, co-teach and ESOL sheltered math. Every time I try to reuse a review activity from the previous unit, my kids start “not that again” unless it’s Kahoot but Kahoot only works (for me) for DOK 1 (basic recall) questions. I spoke to a reading teacher about teaching vocabulary and I feel like I have tried everything in 6 years (Frayer models, student created flashcards, teacher created flashcards, discretely teach vocab after the word appears, teach vocab as the word appears in our work, all with weekly cumulative vocab tests) her suggestion was to never do the same vocab activity in a 9 weeks. Is vocab a different part of the brain? Is that why I struggle so much? Thoughts? Other suggestions?”

Vocabulary kills my population, you can’t find the domain if you don’t know what domain means and while these questions are DOK 1 for the most part I still am frustrated by such a “simple” issue being the reason their grades … suck. (I couldn’t think of a better word.) Vocab is just an albatross for my kids and it frustrates me to no end that they refuse to study their vocab.

I find myself falling down the rabbit hole so often lately, especially when working on the dissertation… I find a decent article and then I look up an hour later, I’m reading part of a source that cited a source that was in the original document and I still haven’t finished reading what I started. A friend sent me this video on procrastination, he knows me well… and I was like maybe this random conglomeration of thoughts will become something… or maybe just maybe I’ll learn something… 🙂

So any suggestions about teaching math vocabulary would be welcome!!


What the BLEEP am I doing?

I am in my 13th year of post high school education… 13th!! I say it’s because I’m crazy… It’s in no small part because I love the act of learning, growing your mind, and becoming a better contribution to this planet. I’m working on my latest degree in Curriculum and Instruction and have been thinking a LOT about how teachers teach, how we teach teachers, and how to contribute to the knowledge base.

I’m supposed to be reading and writing for my dissertation and apparently I’m procrastinating yet again… 🙂  I digress. The math twitter blogosphere fascinates me.  I get lost for hours (or at least an entire planning period) digging into what has been published and how to utilize their amazing ideas in my own classroom. I am currently co-teaching all day, which is amazing, but I am constantly looking for ways to enhance my practice. (We are on a block schedule so I will have a resource class in the Spring).

Interactive notebooks are coming… I may spend all of winter break getting ready but I’m determined… I found daily warm-ups and plan to use them. Mondays are light on these so I’ll have to address that… and I’ve had to change some of the problems to make them work for Foundations of Algebra.

Sketchnoting…  I cannot wait to use this… (and Vicki at Cool Cat Teacher is my hero, js.) I’ve got a lot to learn about these and I can’t draw so I’ll have to work on that part too… But hey what’s teaching if you’re not learning?!? Dr. Mike White was presenting at a conference and said something like schools should be places were everyone is learning. I’m paraphrasing but still… He was right.

So I’m starting the journey… the journey to record what works and maybe sometimes what doesn’t… and the journey to add to the collective. One day at a time… Shel Silverstein had it right… so here’s to eating my whale…