Wednesday, January 4, 2017

December/January Projects & Tasks

So, in keeping with my goal to get back into blogging on here, here I am.  I want to first reflect on December, which is usually a crazy month for us teachers, but I must say, this was probably my smoothest (and most fun) December yet.

6th Grade
My 6th graders finished up Let's Be Rational and I modified this Operations with Fractions Cookbook Project for their unit project and they came out awesome.  They really went above and beyond, which was adorable.  This week we started Covering & Surrounding, which will end with their biggest project of the year, The Coke Package Design Project.  I switched this unit with Decimal Ops, to follow CMP3s suggested pacing order this year, so we'll see how that goes.  The Coke Project will take us right up to Mid-Winter Recess next month.

7th Grade
My 7th graders finished up Moving Straight Ahead and and then I extended the Desmos Marbleslides to include all the Desmos Linear activities, which both they & I loved.  Last year, I didn't introduce my 7th graders to Desmos until the end of the year, and I am glad I moved it up and fit it into this unit this year.  I also modified this amazing Road Trip Project as their unit project.  One of my classes finished it before Winter Break, and my other class is working on it this week.  I wish I knew about this project last year because it is super fun and a great real-world connection to linear relationships.  Our next unit is What Do You Expect? on probability and expected value, which has so many fun experiments, and I found this unfinished 3 Act Task on bottle flipping (it's big in 7th grade right now) from Dan Meyer and want to look into how I can bring it into my classroom (more to come).

8th grade Algebra 1
Last but not least, my 8th graders finished up Looking for Pythagoras last month and we learned how crazy the Pythagoreans and their cult of numbers really were.  Two of my favorite tasks included having them create their own Wheel's of Theodorus (which became by December bulletin board) and this awesome task from NASA (yes, the NASA) where they had to analyze different routes for the Lunar Rover and create a proposal with their recommendations.  This week we started Butterflies, Pinwheels, and Wallpaper.

All three grades had some really great Mathalicious tasks, that fit nicely into our December units.  Next week all three grades will be taking their second interim assessment of the year, so I will get some testing data to look at.  I also got picked to score the Algebra 1 Regents at the end of the month, which I am grateful for, since this is my first year teaching algebra 1 in a while.  Last month myself and the Living Environment teacher attended one day of NY Ed Tech Week and in two weeks I signed up for the Google Teacher's Lounge, which I am curious about, and of course, I have been keeping up with the MTBoS on Twitter.

In a few weeks, we will be at the halfway point of another school year.  Even though teaching five classes across three grades is a lot (I am forever behind on grading) I really do enjoy what I do, and I am very lucky about that.  Hopefully I can keep this up an continue to grow and get better at what I do.  Here's to an inspiring start to the new year!

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