Monday, April 8, 2019

Pull Up Project: Month 7 Update

The lesson to learn here is that if you don't work on something, you're not going to get better at it.  Ugh.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Pull Up Project: Month 6 Update

I'll be honest.  I was thinking that this lofty goal was never going to happen.  Being able to do 10 pull ups by the end of the school year?! What was I thinking?  But after this latest video, I'm feeling hopeful again.  Maybe I can do this.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Digital Activities: Slope Given Two Ordered Pairs

One of my goals as a teacher is to show students that there are many sources of support out there other than me.  It's silly to think that one person can be the sole support system to about 100 students a day.  When I create an activity, I keep in mind how I can encourage the students to rely on each other for help.  One of my favorite activities for practice is my Sum of 3 (or 4) activity. 

Sum of 3 (or 4) Activity:
All classes over the size of 5 can be broken down into groups of either 3 or 4.  I create a unique worksheet for each student in the group.  When each student finishes their first problem, they add their solutions together and check the sum sheet.  If their sum is correct, they move on to the next problem.  If their sum is incorrect, they trade papers and look for errors.  If they are unable to find an error, that's when I finally step in. 
For the most part this activity runs smoothly.  I make it known that I'm not worried about completion of the questions, but rather that they are working together and helping each other, all while staying on task. 
Once in a while I will have a student who is more advanced than his group members, and isn't willing to help out.  He will work through all the problems on his worksheet and ignore the struggles of the others.  Usually these students are not friends, and will work in silence within their group.  Obviously as the teacher I approach this group, encourage them to help each other, blah, blah, blah.  But as soon as I walk away, they still don't speak to each other.  *SIGH* 
I was thinking about how I could 'force' the students to stay on the same problem until their found the correct sum, a way to force them to help each other.  That's where digital activities come in. 

I created a sum of 3 (or 4) activity on google forms.  Each problem set gives the students their 3 (or 4) problems and they type in the correct sum in order to receive the next set of problems.  Problem solved (pun intended). 

Check out one of these activities with the link below.  The topic is finding slope given two ordered pairs. 


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Pull Up Project: Month 4 Update

If you want to learn more about my Pull Up Project, you can read about that here.  CLICK HERE.

If I hadn't started this project, or at least told people about it, I would have quit a long time ago.  Sometimes I think to myself, "Why did I ever tell the students about this?".  It would have been so easy for me to quit if I just would have kept my mouth shut.  So here are my options: quit and be a quitter to my students, or just keep on working towards my goal.  I'll keep working towards my goal.  Overall, I am so glad that I told others about my's forcing me out of my comfort zone and I'm getting better at pull ups.

Spoiler alert:  I can complete 5 pull ups with a band!!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Pull Up Project: Month 3 Update

It's month 3!  At the beginning of November, I realized that I wasn't making the progress that I had hoped for on my own, so I decided to ask for help.  I joined the local CrossFit gym and I absolutely love it.  Well, I hate it while I'm doing it, but I can't wait to go back again.  I am seriously sore everyday now, no exaggeration.

While the main focus at CrossFit isn't pull ups (actually, we haven't done any), I am building overall strength.  I know that I will need a lot of strength to pull this off.

My focus for this month was to encourage students to ask for help if they need it.  There is no shame in needed help.  I need help with pull ups, they need help with Algebra, we both need to ask for help.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

I'm Done....Now What?

There is nothing more effective at getting a group of students to misbehave than having nothing to do.  I see it at home: If my older son doesn't have something to do, he will start picking at my younger son.  I see it at Sunday School:  If the students don't have anything to do when their parents drop them off, they start running through the building and chasing each other while screaming.  And of course we all see it in our classrooms.

I always have some kind of on-going task, activity, assignment, SOMETHING, that the students can work on when they have spare time in class.  When my lessons for that day call for something like that, my board will look something like this...

((insert image of board))

Homework:  I assign homework on schoology every Monday morning and it is due by Friday at midnight.  This way the students have all week to complete the assignment and can work on it at a time that is convenient for them.

Khan Academy:  I use Khan Academy to create longer and larger assignments than the homework.  I just did a smaller assignment as a test run, as I've never used Khan Academy with my classes before.  My plan is to give the students their assignment at the beginning of the Marking Period, and they have until the end of that Marking Period to complete it.  You can see a sneak peak of my teacher dashboard.

Old Stuff:  I allow students to reassess twice on any test.  They could use this time in class to prepare for retaking an exam or to actually take the exam (if there's enough time).  

I have found that with these three options the students ALWAYS have something to do.  And believe me, it has really cut down on the misbehavior in my classroom.  

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Pull Up Project: 2 Month Update

If you're new to my pull up project, click on the label "Pullups" to see all my posts about it.

This month's theme is to BE CONSISTENT.  So, yeah.  I did nothing to move forward with this project during the first half of October.  Then on October 15th it occurred to me that I only had about two weeks to make some progress.  At that point, I tried to do pull ups at least every other day.  I'll admit, I tried to cram for a pull up test and although I made progress, it wasn't near what I wanted to accomplish this month.  BUT I did make progress, and that is important to move forward and not backwards. 

Here is the link to this month's video:  Pull Up Project October Update