Monday, November 23, 2015

Fibonacci Day, Zero Socratic Seminar, SLCs, Genius Hour, Coke Project and Thanksgiving Break!

Well I made it to Thanksgiving week!  I'm still amazed at how fast it is all going!

Fibonacci Day aka 1, 1, 2, 3...
Today was good day.  On a whim last night, I decided to do an inquiry lesson on the Fibonacci numbers today (it being Fibonacci Day and all), which meant scrapping my lessons plans last minute, but it was totally worth it.  For my 6th graders I showed this TED Talk and this FoxTrot comic from the NCTM, and for my 7th graders, I did this activity from Teaching Channel.  It took some additional planning, but my 7th graders were really engaged and asked to do similar activities in the future, which was awesome, and inquiry totally ties into one of our schools core values, which was great.

Zero Socratic Seminar
Tomorrow is our "What is Zero?" Socratic Seminar with one of my 6th grade classes (since we have a double period) and Wednesday I am doing it with my other 6th grade class and my 7th graders.  I'll be recording all of them, for inter-visitations, and I cannot wait to have them discuss!

SLCs, Genius Hour, and Coke Project
We debriefed SLCs as a staff during our PL time after school today and the feedback was really positive. Our next steps will probably be to incorporate more student reflection on their work during advisory time (maybe once a month or so).  We also discussed doing Learning Celebration Conferences later on in the year.  Something really interesting that came up after debriefing with students (and that I hope to blog more about at a later time) are that with SLCs, students are already discussing their work with their parents and don't really see the difference in a 10 minute SLC at school vs what they do at home.  It just made me think about the differences I'm learning about teaching G&T students.

Another thing that I was reminded about during today's PL time is how I still want to try to incorporate a Genius Hour soon.  This would tie into my goals of doing more learning centers and self-directed learning.  Even though I do have differentiated work, my students are all starting at A, for example, then some of them work through B, C, D, and E, while some only get to B, which is fine, but I would love to give them more freedom to study mathematics, in class, that they are truly interested in (I say in class because I do have some students who are teaching themselves trigonometry outside of class).  I need to do some more research and make a plan to make Genius Hour happen.

I also paired up with the Science teacher about planning out parent engagement visits (she's doing one next month and I will follow up when my 6th graders do their Coke project in February or so).  I'm very grateful to have her a resource.  Random side note, I am also learning how similar the 6th and 7th grade CMP3 curriculum really is, and I'm happy (since I am the only math teacher) that all the middle school students at my school will go through this curriculum.    

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