I really did not want to think about teaching this summer at all as evidenced by my complete hiatus from blogging and twitter. Don’t hate me, let me back in to your circle! I swear I’ll read and comment on all of your latest blog posts… OK I’m begging now.
To get right down to it – I’ve begun working again. Okay, to be really honest I’ve been working for the past thirty minutes of this entire summer and I already need your help. Shocker. Next year I am teaching all seniors (YAY!). Semester PreCalculus like last year and new for me Statistics. As I am writing my Stats syllabus I am thinking about the most effective course supplies for my students. I struggled with this last year too.
Previously, I asked them to bring binders divided into three sections: Warm ups, Notes, Classwork. They had to complete out of class work outside of the binder (i.e. homework on loose leaf to be turned in). There were several problems with this system.
1. I always forgot to hole punch notes or hand outs for them so they got stuffed in the pockets and didn’t get organized in the system I created
2. The binders didn’t really fit on the desks
3. No spot for returned graded work and tests
4. The kids hated it
The only benefit was that warm ups were important. I am not certain this would be lost completely if they just completely everything in one notebook, but I did like that warm-ups had their own section. It provided for some helpful classroom management at the beginning of class.
Thoughts? What do you use in your classroom? What have you used in the past? What do you wish you could use? Do you think I should provide some structured freedom since they are 12th graders?
What happens when you stop participating in twitter and blogs for 2 months? You attempt to read them and catch up in one day. I couldn’t sleep last night. I want to do IT ALL. The good news: I still love being a teacher. The great news: I want to be a fantastic awesome math teacher like YOU! (specifically calling out these posts – Infinite Sums, @crstn85 , @jruelbach @mgolding).
I am going to attempt to do some variation of this interactive notebook. Due to school rules on homework, grading policies, and projects I will have to make some modifications for my first attempt. The good news is I have semester courses so if I royally screw this up first semester I get a total redo in January. What I am thinking:
- Spiral Notebooks for ALL notes.
- Table of Contents at the beginning, students number pages of their notebooks. Titles and dates on top of each (RHS?) page.
- Students glue or tape in handouts into RHS. Anything I do is RHS (right?). Students glue in activities and complete textbook problems etc. on LHS (right?)
- Up for debate – warm ups on LHS, sectioned off and above work done for the day.
- Returned, graded homework in separate folder.
Projects and more involved projects will need to be done outside of the notebook due to grading policies. The notebooks will stand as a more interactive way to take notes and be involved in direct instruction and guided practices. It will also be a place to store hand outs and glue in interactive activities such as matching, puzzles, dominoes, etc.
Next on my agenda: A review board like @mathymcmatherso has with 5 problem review cards for students to do in down time or to focus on certain objectives.