Thursday, August 7, 2014

They won't fall asleep this year!

Well, it might be the year that I need to retire my spray bottle of water.  In the past when students fall asleep, they get a squirt to the face.  Once the students realize this, they tattle on whoever is sleeping just so they can see them get sprayed.  It always warrants a few good laughs, even from the person getting squirted.  But now that I have whiteboards all around and laptops out every period, the students are BUSY!!  After having to sit in student desks for the last 2 weeks of summer, I definitely realized how uncomfortable they must be for 7 hours (glad I got to walk around all the time)!

In all classes, today's technology piece was how to get to their locker, google drive and class page on School Loop.  It took very little time as most students already had a google account.  Those that didn't made one with some help from me, but more help from their partner.  Students know so much about navigating that I learn from them (I LOVE THIS!).  I already announced (the first day) that while they would be learning Calculus or Statistics, I too would be learning how to use the technology that we ALL need to know to live in this technological world.  It's surprising to find out that as tech savvy as we think they are, there still are lots of things they don't know.  I want to help them learn how to use the tech more effectively and efficiently.

In Calc, we finished with web navigation and moved on to back-to-back graphing.  I found this activity on Study of Change (by Becky Hart Lyon) and I modified it a bit.  I had students facing each other, one looking at the projector screen and the other with their back to the screen. Students who can see the screen have to explain to the other how to draw what they see. They begin easy and get more "math like". Students drew on mini whiteboards and then held them up when they thought the drawing was correct.  They switched positions after each drawing.  I heard so many great comments!  And they were so busy explaining, drawing and switching, the time flew.  We would discuss some characteristics about the graphs after everyone got it correct to help them improve their explanations. Will definitely use this next year!

In Statistics, we were finishing up the Fruit Loop Activity from yesterday (see yesterday's post). Students were using the data and making box-whisker plots.  First they had to do it by hand on their whiteboards.  Then I showed them how to do it on their graphing calculators and finally we copied the data into Stat Key to do the same thing.  We found an "error" on Stat Key and had to decide what the program was doing.  It was great that they even asked the question!  The minute I said I want box plots on your boards, they were so quickly up out of their desks and talking was happening!  I love it!  I think the best part was when students asked "simple" questions, I got to say "What would you do if you were at home right now with that question?" and when they responded with "google it", I pointed to their laptops and walked away.  It is a mindshift when I don't give them the immediate answer, and I got the usual "but you're the teacher".  It will take awhile to get the spoons out of some mouths, but I have nothing but time to teach them how to be learners and use resources!  It's gonna be an AWESOME year!  I may have to change my blog to "180 days of best day ever!"


  1. Ha -- I totally forgot about the alternate way of calculating quartiles! Glad your students turned it into a great discussion point ( Just want to add that I also loved our marathon conversation and I'm still going through pile the links you gave me that night :)

    1. Ditto! I wish we had the opportunity to meet every few months and overwhelm each other with more good stuff!! I expect a long list of things at TMC 15!! :)