Saturday, November 30, 2013

#MTBoS Mission 7 - A Day In A Life

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     At the start of October I signed up to participate in #MTBoS as a way to connect with more math educators and learn about different strategies/activities that could help me as a first year math teacher. I'm not exactly sure what I did wrong, but I signed up to get the weekly challenges emailed to me and added their wordpress blog to my Feedly account and for some reason I never got any updates!

     8 weeks later... I noticed that a few of the bloggers that I follow have jumped on the #MTBoS wagon and are blogging about week 7! At first I felt mad because I felt like I've missed out on so much and I didn't understand how come the information didn't get through. Then I felt embarrassed because I was so busy with everything that comes as a first year teacher that I never remembered that I could just go back to the original website to check instead of expecting everything to always get sent correctly.

     Regardless, I'd like to participate in both Mission 7 & 8 this weekend, it is never to late to learn and share!

Mission 7: A Day In Your Life

You’ve read about what other people are doing in snippets and snapshots. You’ve shared about yourself in 140 characters or less. This week is your chance to know more, and to share more. Just about this time last year, a concurrence of events led to people who were frustrated with the perception of teachers by the general public. We wanted the world to know exactly what it is like to walk a mile in our shoes. Some of our shoes drive a long commute while others walk across campus to get to class. Certain teachers’ shoes are tied tight to race from one class to the next as they try to beat their students. Others have a change of shoes as they get out on the track or court or field to coach. All of us have a different story to tell, but we all have tired feet by the end of the day!

     I don't only just teach math (I also teach Grade 7 Science, Grade 8 Science, and Grade 8 Art) so I'm going to share what my day was like on Wednesday as I have all of my math classes on that day.

Period 1-2: Grade 8 Science

Period 3: Grade 8 Art

Period 4-5: Grade 8 Math
- This week we started our new unit on Squares & Square Roots.
- Every class begins with a mental math activating activity. Students
  participate in mental math every day, which they keep in a duotang
  in our room. Every week we have a mental math hand-in day where
  students can select 1 mental math activity from their duotang to hand
  in for assessment.
- As I introduced our new units, students were provided with the
  definition of what it means to "square a number". We then went
  through representing squared numbers with symbols, multiplication,
  and pictorial representations. For this, we alternated between
  teacher-lead instruction and student-lead example questions. In our
  math class, we use individual white boards ALL the time when
  practicing questions so we utilized these while going through this
  practice:

individual white boards in math instruction
This isn't my classroom but it allows you to get an idea.














- We also created a benchmarks chart that summarized our
  perfect squares from 1x1 to 13x13.

LUNCH

Period 6-7: Grade 10 Essential Math
- This week we started a new unit on Consumer Decisions.
- Every class begins with a mental math activating activity. Students
  participate in mental math every day, which they keep in a duotang
  in our room. Every week we have a mental math hand-in day where
  students can select 1 mental math activity from their duotang to hand
  in for assessment.
- We've been having discussions about consumer decisions as we've
  lead up to this unit (especially with Christmas shopping season
  starting), so my students had a good background on what this unit
  entailed before we officially started. We started by brainstorming in
  table groups about why consumers might pay more for an item than
  its actually worth:
     - Location (sports stadium, theatre, remote area)
     - Timing (holiday season, in demand products, natural disaster)
     - Etc
- After sharing these ideas as a class, we began discussing unit
  pricing. As part of this discussion, groups were presented with a
  shopping scenario:
     - Starting a new sport & need equipment
     - Going on a camping trip
     - Accessorizing their new vehicle
     - Etc
  Students came up with a shopping list of 5 items that fit their
  scenario and then researched what their unit price would be in our
  area, what it would be in our province's major city, and what it
  would be in a city in the US.

Period 8-9: Grade 9 Math
- We are working on a unit on Power Laws.
- Every class begins with a mental math activating activity. Students
  participate in mental math every day, which they keep in a duotang
  in our room. Every week we have a mental math hand-in day where
  students can select 1 mental math activity from their duotang to hand
  in for assessment.
- We've previously gone through 6 Power Laws in group settings as 
  well as in a full-class setting with student-lead example questions.
  Students are now practicing their application of these laws. I
  provide students  with three different sets of practice questions &
  they get to chose what set they want to complete for each Power Law.

HOME TIME

     So that is a glimpse of what one of my days might look like. I feel like I could dedicate post(s) to each of those individual classes so if you want more details on anything don't hesitate to comment!

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