Thursday, August 23, 2012

Great Ideas

The new math blogger initiative has allowed me to find a TON of new blogs to follow.  I'm already at 70 blogs (including food and craft ones, family ones, etc) and I have only added one set of the new blogs that have been covered.  Already I have found a few ideas that mesh with my curriculum or will solve some of the issues I have been having in my classroom.  Right now, I have great ideas bookmarked in my internet browser and starred in my Google Reader and pinned on Pinterest.  I plan to compile them all here so that I have one place to go to for these good ideas.

Linear Functions Foldable:
I love love love foldables.  I started using them 2 years ago with my Geometry students and the kids really took to them.  I never pre-print or fold them for the kids--it gives them a nice break from taking notes to fold the paper (and it's a great exercise in listening and following directions).  Linear functions are always a challenge and I love Kelly's idea of using a 5 section foldable for the topic.  I could use this for both my Geometry and Algebra 2 kids.

Backwards Inverse Functions:
I teach a 2-year A2T course, so my kids tend to be weaker with their math skills, but it allows me to be more flexible and responsive to their needs.  Over the last 2 times teaching inverses, I have noticed the students struggle with this topic.  One of the things we always do is to teach the students to switch x and y first, then solve for y.  I like the idea of solving for x as the initial way to introduce this topic--it's just algebra, not a fancy confusing process.  And I LOVE Emily's comics.

Homework Quizzes:
For the last 3 years I have simply graded homework on completion.  I like that it doesn't create a ton more grading for me (almost 30 kids per class adds up quickly) and that it supports the idea that homework is for practice and growth.  However, I don't think that I get great results from this--often the homework assignments have things written down for each problem, but I don't really get a sense for the quality of the work.  Other teachers in my department have said that they have noticed the quality of the homework increase dramatically when collecting work.  I have been searching for a quality solution to finding a balance between mountains of grading and simply glancing over homework.  A recent comment (vanvleettv's) on Sarah's post about the first week seemed like the best of both worlds--homework quizzes!  This is something I can easily put together by copy-pasting work I have already done and will give me an opportunity to more closely examine my students' work.

I'm sure as I read more posts from "new" bloggers that I'll find tons more great ideas.

1 comment:

  1. Homework quizzes have worked well for me over the past several years. I hope they work well for you!