Wednesday, August 6, 2014

30 year mark was met with clapping!!

Today marked the first day of my 30th year.  It is hard to believe because it certainly doesn't seem like it's been THAT long.  I love my job more now than I think I ever have!  I have been rejuvenated and reignited by some of the following "new things":  Twitter, technology and what I can do with it in my classroom, technology and what my students can do with it in the classroom, white boards mounted all around my classroom walls, Twitter Math Camp 2014, Cue Rockstar, EdCamp and all the people I have met along this new journey into MTBoS.
It also marked the first day of my, hopefully, year long journey into flipped classroom.  I'm a little worried how I will fill up every day with so much awesome activities, but I know that students working together and discussing (or arguing) about math will be powerful for them.  I'm also confident that it will help the "average" students develop a better understanding than my traditional lecture format did, and those are the students that I really want to benefit.  The "overachievers" will still get the most out of it because of who they are and their work ethic, but I want to improve the level at which the other students are able to learn, and more importantly REMEMBER.

To kick things off, I had prepared a Go Animate to show each class as well as a Voki.  The kids loved them!  And, my first period clapped when they concluded!!  In my 30 years of teaching, I have NEVER had students clap for something I did!  It was AWESOME! The excitement continued all day!  Students were excited to be in a room with whiteboards surrounding them, and I heard several positive comments about the environment (remember, this is the first day!).  Then I blew them away when I opened up the cart of chromebooks!  To say students were engaged is an understatement!  When I went to lunch with science colleagues, they told me the students were talking about it in their classrooms.  That's the stuff I want to hear because I know I'm moving in the right direction!

My statistics kids were "eating out of the palm of my hand" (or rather their own hand) as they started the Fruit Loop Activity  and were sharing their information via a Google doc.  Tomorrow we will take that data and put it into Stat Key (thanks to Andy Pethan @rockychat3 for sharing this awesome website with me) to get the summary statistics and a boxplot. In addition, we will look at the graphing calculator and how it gives the same information. 

The Calculus students were "interns" who were trying to diagnose math monsters (an activity created by @samjshah and @mathdiva77.  Students were completely engaged trying to figure out diagnoses.  Some wanted to give up at first, but with a little push in asking what they had "ruled out", they got back into the rhythm of guessing and testing to eliminate procedures that didn't work and move toward ones that did.  It was a great review while moving them into Calculus!

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