Posts Tagged With: #tlap

Differentiated Instruction with Google Slides

I just watched Dave Burgess at #METC17 and it challenged me to go back through my lessons again and Pirate the heck out of them. And even though we want engaging lessons that kids want to learn, there does come a time, especially in math, when they need to practice. I  don’t think all students should practice the same thing. Some need more and some need less and some need something completely different. On these days we use differentiated lessons in Google Slides. I recently created two new ones (well, one was created by my amazing student teacher) that I will be using next week. Eventually, I’ll have an arsenal of these to use.

The idea behind these activities is to give each group of students a lesson and practice they need to be working on but allows them some independence so I, as the teacher, can walk around and have conversations with students.

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I used to assign all of them in Google Classroom and just tell each group which ones they will be working on but with Google Classroom’s new update, you can now assign separate slides to kids in the same class. I KNOW! Game Changer!!!

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Remember that all files are set to view only but if you File-Make a Copy then it’s yours. Alter as needed for your kiddos but if you share, please credit me.

Enjoy!

Categories: differentiation, Factoring, Google Sheets, Parallel & Perpendicular | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teach them to Learn

My focus for this school year will not be on testing, or homework, or even data teams, it will be on LEARNING.

Teach a student to

I’ve been reading Ditch that Textbook and Teach Like a Pirate this summer, as well as learning from my PLN on Twitter, Voxer and EdCamps.  All of these have reinforced the decision I made at the end of school last year to DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY! I will continue with Standards Based Grading but I like the phrase Standards Based Learning better. I will also be providing videos like a flipped classroom would so I can focus on projects and individualized learning in the classroom.  I won’t be assigning homework every night, but I will provide outside practice for those who need it. I want students to learn in the way that best suits them.  I don’t know how this will work but I’m excited to give it a try.  The most important change will be directing the focus on learning and not on a grade.  I want to eliminate the question, “What can I do to raise my grade?”  I want them to ask, “What can I do to learn?”  I can’t wait to have a classroom with students in control of their learning and a desire to be there.  I hope my inner Pirate comes out!

Categories: ramblings | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Another Year Over

Reflection-

ride-the-roller-coaster-they-said

This school year has been a roller coaster.  I feel better about this year than others, but I don’t feel like it was my best year as an educator.

I welcomed two new people to my Algebra I team.  It’s difficult to keep teachers in Algebra I with soooo much pressure placed on us to do well with testing and pass students.  About 1/3 of our students take Algebra 1 as an 8th grader.  Their MAP scores are very high.  Our 9th graders taking Algebra I do not include those students, so our scores are never as good.  I wish I could make “the powers that be” understand that. My two new people were a GREAT addition and I loved

i started the year with interactive notebooking.  I loved the idea, encouraged by blogs like Math=Love and Rockstar Math Teacher.  Things didn’t go smoothly!  Students complained, parents complained, other staff complained (well, it is a lot of copies)… By Christmas I was frustrated.  I still liked the idea of notebooking, so I started changing everything to note sheets.  I took a page from the sketchnote movement and made all of my pages VERY graphic.  Students (and parents) seemed to like this better.  Who knew that gluing in math class was considered a waste of time to parents?

We have a higher number of students who do not seem to find success in Algebra.  Many of them have not been successful for many years. Our school re-introduced Core Support this year, a 40 minute time built into the day for extensive help in core content areas.  This was very successful, although small scale.

Failing students was a huge discussion for us this year.  Many factors played into this, some out of our control [attendance].  By 4th quarter, we had discussed many ideas to increase the motivation and learning for these students, flipped classrooms, standards based grading, no homework grades, you name it and we had discussed it as an option.

We decided to pilot standards based grading 4th quarter while reviewing for the EOC.  We wanted our standards to spiral and evidence of mastery to occur at the end of the quarter.   I LOVED IT!  For the first time in a long time I felt I had a good handle on what students knew.  Students were also more excited about their learning when they knew they would have to opportunity to fix mistakes by the next assessment.  They also liked charting their progress with the standards. I had fewer A’s than normal for the quarter, but I also had fewer F’s; letter grades aside, I KNOW I had a larger increase in knowledge.  I also feel like their grades more closely reflected their knowledge.

Planning for next year –

I will, according to a phone call last night, be welcoming another new member to my team (we just can’t keep Algebra I teachers!) We plan to use a modified flipped classroom design so we can spend more time in the classroom on engaging activities and remediation.  We DEFINITELY plan to use standards based grading for the entire year.  My summer reading includes Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess and Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller. I’m hoping for tons of inspiration so that when next year ends I can say, “this has been my best year so far.”

Categories: ramblings | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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