Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to School-PD Day 3 of 5

Going to my "happy place" in my mind.  Taking deep breaths!

School starts next Wednesday and
1. We don't know our bell schedule yet.
2. We don't have our class lists yet.
3. Our student management system is not finished yet.
4. My 5/6 math teacher didn't agree with the training on Math in Focus and doesn't want to teach the bar method to his students.

I know these are things I can't control, so I'm going to just breathe deep and do what I can do!
Today's PD was simply training on our new math series: Math in Focus: Singapore Math.  I LOVED the trainer she was awesome!  I am really excited to start using the series.  I can totally work it workshop style, just most lessons will be 2 days like I was thinking.
So here is the takeaway from my training today...the goal is to create mathematical thinking!  Yay-love that!
They have thought of everything, as far as pretesting, remediation, transition, IWB lessons, enrichment, etc.

Ok, so here is the only thing I have to work on, there are about 4-5 teaching examples that are meant to be taught "whole group" with guided practice that follows.  It is meant to be taught in chunks in a we do, we do fashion.  I don't think I can throw all 4-5 examples up for a mini lesson and then have them work on the rest.  So that is what I'll be focusing on this week!  Lesson plans!!!

The bar method is really is basically this: it takes some time to get used to and if you are a real algebraic thinker set in procedures it will be really hard (that is why my colleague had such resistance) However, once you "see" it you REALLY see it and understand so much more.

Here is an example of a problem we did and how we did it with bar modeling: (not sure if I remember the exact wording, but this was the basic problem)

Mary cut a string into three pieces.  The shortest and longest piece have a ratio of 2:3.  The third piece was 1 and 3/4 inches shorter than the longest piece.  If the total length was 22 1/4 in. find the lengths of all three pieces.
Pretty cool right?  So this is just supposed to be a strategy something that leads them to understand why we would do: 2x + 3x + (3x-1 3/4) = 22 1/4

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