Sunday, August 26, 2012

My First Unit

I was super excited when I read one of this weeks prompts for the Math Blogger Initiation project.
Find one worksheet or activity or test or unit or question or powerpoint slide or syllabus or anything that you are proud of. Share it.

Well, I wasn't exactly excited when I read it on 8/21 when it was sent out because I didn't have anything I was proud of-yet. See, over the summer I have been researching and studying and trying desperately to make my class better. I kept coming back to the following three ideas: the flipped classroom, Interactive Student Notebooks, Layered Curriculum. They all sounded like they were exactly what I needed to help me engage my students and differentiate instruction. The two MAJOR areas I had to improve and FAST! It also seemed so overwhelming. There was no way I could do all three...way to much! However, over the past 2 days it has all just come together(well on paper anyway)!! I just knew that if I had left any of these things out this year or did not give my best effort in trying them I would be left with a big "What if?" floating around my head and I despise that feeling!

What I am actually sharing here is my layered curriculum assignment sheet. The reason I am so proud of it is because of how hard I worked on them-I did 7th and 8th :) So it is not perfect, but I am so proud of myself for getting it done, this is a 2 week mini unit. I know that once I get rolling with this my assignments will greatly improve, mostly a lot of solving problems from the book, worksheets etc. But I did make sure to get a lot of word problems especially the worksheets. I know I need more collaborative projects, but I have to start somewhere.  

Unit 1-A Assignment Sheet
I will also outline the structure of my class.

The master plan goes like this:
1. Do now- always some sort of assessment which will not be graded but used to focus the students work. (I'm going to try out for the 7th grade with this one.)

2. Daily small group discussions on the current topic (the topic from last nights video if there is one)  Since they are young I will train them to just answer the following questions as a team:

  • What are we learning about?
  • How does it relate to what we already know?
  • Can we think of real life examples?
  • What are we confused about or stuck on?

While they are discussing in groups I am checking their notebooks and assessing their learning, they will have to copy the vocab from the video and do 2-3 example problems they get from the video, this will be when I check that they did homework.

3. Mini-lesson which will probably be making a foldable to add to the right side of their ISN and something for the left side.

4. Finally they will have anywhere from 55 to 30 minutes to get to work!  I am going to require the first 65 points for C level.  Our school motto is "Failure is not an option!" so I am really going to prove to them its not just empty words.  I will also expect every single one of them to attempt the B and A levels.  This will take time, but I am hoping that the first week I can really convey my high expectations for them.  And if not I will show them I mean business, with my school being so small I can have all 72 parents on speed dial if I have to! 


  1. I am eager to see how this works for you! I remember one of my college professors used something similar and I really liked having the choice of what to do. Thanks for sharing your assignment sheet!

  2. Thank you! I already changed the level names from A, B, C to Gold, Silver, Bronze. I don't want them thinking that reaching a "C" is good enough. Even though I will require them to at least attempt all levels. Two days until we start, I can't wait!

  3. I LOVE these! I do a version in my own classes called a "Make Your Grade" and they are amazing. I will definitely try to get a unit up soon to share!