Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer project

Each year my school requires us to give summer work to our incoming students. Usually its a packet of math worksheets for the middle school kids.
Last year I assigned a book report using the book Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
I had them write a report about the kinds of math used in the story. It was ok, and mostly my A+ kids were the ones who did it.  The others, well, they had emailed me over the summer and said they couldn't find the book and so I scrambled and signed them up for Academic Skill Builders and had them play some games.

This year I had a few ideas like having them write a report describing three to five examples of math they or their family  have used over the summer.  It could be anything from shopping, time, temp etc.  Then I threw it out on twitter and got back a response from Patrick Honner and really liked his ideas:
Then I started thinking about how I could tie this in to preparing them for class next year and  I knew already that I was going to give them the option of sending it to me on  My current 7th graders are already set up and I won't archive their classes until September, and new 7th graders will get a taste of Edmodo for the first time!  I will also encourage discussion but they will have to use their own examples.  And if they are the ones who just CAN'T get online...they can write it up and hand it in on the first day!

So what I'm going to do is give them a choice of a few of these projects!  I like choice.  The nice thing is that for the ones who embrace, I will really start working with them over the summer.  Posting relevant items about their projects and fun websites, maybe set some Manga High challenges etc, to get them ready for next year!

Monday, June 4, 2012


So I rerecorded  the stinky video over the weekend.  Still had issues trying to get sound on Youtube, but it was working just fine on  Well, for some unknown reason it seems the sound on Sophia started giving me trouble too.  I just don't get it!  I am also not sure how this practice is even going to go since I envision spending at least the first 3 weeks or so of next year training the kids how to do this.  I don't expect much  at all  tomorrow.
Anyway, I did get them using this really neat  which is a financial literacy web activity.  They really got into it and worked hard on it!  (well my 7th graders anyway, 8th graders have SERIOUS senioritis and I'm ready to choke them all)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Made my first stinks!

Holy moly what have I gotten myself into?! After talking to my math coach the other day, she suggested I "try this out" before the end of the year.  This way I can get a feel for some of the what to do/what not to do before I spend my whole summer working on this.

With my 7th graders, I've been giving them a little "what to expect as an 8th grader lessons" since the NJASK, so I figure I'll try out writing the equation of a line in slope intercept form given the graph.  We've gone through slope, intercepts, etc. so I figure this will be good.  I wanted something they don't really know yet.
I couldn't wait to see how it would be to make a video so I started with that.  I have an Elmo document camera and in my mind I picture my videos as my hand working the problem out as I talk. My principal really likes the I do, we do, you do model, so I am thinking my videos will be the "I do".  I did it just like I would if I was in front of the class.  How lovely not to have to stop for a million questions before I was done LOL!
My coach also warned me that since it is going to be a ton of work, I have to put perfection aside. UGH!  It looks the way I imagined, but my voice sounds funny, it is pretty much BORING, (but to the point) and there are so many things I want to change.  I actually brought my Elmo home with me and will be recording it again, but I know I can't do that with every lesson or I will never get anywhere!

Now I also have to figure out what I'm going to have them do in class besides review their WSQs.  The stinky thing is that they are d-o-n-e, they even told me flat out today.  We did a fun lesson from Mathalicious about Tyson Chandler and LeBron James and it was like miserable!  I finally had to say "you know this is technically 6th grade work we are doing?" and it didn't faze them! Oh well.  I am still excited about next year and flipping I'm just like them a little d-o-n-e with this school year!