Thursday, October 30, 2014

Where have I been?

Buried under mountains of lesson planning, paper grading (not so successful at this), letter of recommendation writing (why do so many have to be applying early?!), and attending conferences or presenting at them.

I have had to leave photos of myself around the house so my husband actually remembers what I look like and an occasional leftover meal in the fridge (that's probably still warm when he gets home at 10:45 because I just made it). At least my dog does still recognize me when I get home!

This journey has left me exhausted most days, but after running into an old friend at the grocery store on my way home (at 9 pm), I apparently look younger.  So I'm thinking that despite all this ridiculously hard work (making video lessons and planning new activities for class time for TWO AP classes), the fact that I enjoy my job SO MUCH MORE is pushing time back on my looks! Glad I ran into her!

I'm excited that I got asked to pilot the new version of Chromebooks at our school (guess someone trusts me!) and that I found some awesome websites on 2-way tables for my Stats students to use:

Here was the entire lesson (well, I overshot a little, so it actually took 3 days):
Day 1:  I started with Card #1 (from @gwaddellnvhs) that had practice problems (I can't find the link now, but I will keep looking).  Since we had done some other stuff at the beginning of class, the students only had time to work on Card #1 (two-way table w/questions).

Day 2: I had them start with some practice problems first because I feel like a little bit of 2-way tables is intuitive and working together will allow them to help each other.  Besides, the practice problems were multiple choice and had instant feedback on the website. When they completed the problems, I gave them the notes page and had them go to this site to copy the first table. I instructed them to complete the lower tables by filling in with both the fractions and the percents.  I caught some of them just copying the percents, so I had to stop them and restate the FRACTIONS required part.  I knew they wouldn't know where the percents came from without the fractions present. They had to finish the notes page for homework.

Day 3: We started by checking all the tables they had filled in on the worksheet.  Then I had them make sure they were happy with the questions they wrote.  Now we got to the fun part: they had to go to someone else in the room, exchange papers and work each other's question; repeat for Q2 and Q3.  At the end, we chose the person's paper who had the "trickiest" problem on it and everyone had to work it.  They had some good questions! I will DEFINITELY use this lesson again!  We then went back to the cards (from @gwaddellnvhs).  The students only had time to complete #2 in the remaining time, so we will get to #3 tomorrow!  I have found some other 2-way table practice from some sites online that I plan on trying out tomorrow as well.

While the students think that these are easy, they realize that they REALLY have to carefully read the questions in order to decide what the conditions are within some of the problems.  They have noticed that the word "of" is important.  I know they don't have it all figured out, but they are getting there with all the trial and error.

What I noticed today is how little they ask me questions.  They really rely on each other!  And I know it's not because I won't answer them, but they have just gotten so comfortable learning from each other.  It's just so awesome to roam the room, eavesdrop, and simply coach, or nudge or monitor those who are not on task (very few).  I know this is going to be such an important skill for them moving forward, and it's one of my goals for this new environment.  I guess what I didn't expect is for it to happen so quickly.

Just goes to prove, we simply need to empower the students and get out of the way!!


  1. I am trying to learn that skill of getting out of the way and letting them learn the content their way. Since we are building a new course- it is taking some time. we just do not know how things should really look. (In a way that is better- but it can be frustrating for 9th graders who have never really experienced such high levels of learning)

  2. I wish I had seen this last week about the 2-way tables!