I know others have put together weekly warm up pages and had their students turn them in at the end of the week. I briefly tried that in the middle of the year with little success. I’m not sure if that is a direction I want to go. My main concern is that students do the warm up. I don’t want to grade it. Any suggestions for setting up the classroom culture so that students do them would be appreciated, especially if after you read what I am considering doesn’t seem to set up such an atmosphere.

So, day by day, here is my thought for warm ups:

** Monday:** (or the first day of the week if we are off on a Monday) I am going to do the Math Forum Problems of the Week this year. Every other Monday, I will post the Scenario for the Problem of the Week and have the students write their noticings and wonderings on paper. Then they will share them with their seat partner. Each pair will share one notice or wonder with the class and we will put together their list to use later. On the other Monday, I am considering doing either a Brain Teaser or something else.

** Tuesday:** If we don’t have school Monday and it is a Problem of the Week start week, we’ll do Notice and Wonder. I am thinking maybe Visual Patterns here. Fawn Nguyen has done an awesome job assembling over 100 visual patterns for students to work with and figure out the 43rd term. Thanks James for reminding me about this great resource in your post.

** Wednedsday:** I had learned about John Stevens‘ Would You Rather website at the beginning of summer and heard more about it at Twitter Math Camp. I am going to dub this as “Would You Rather Wednesdays.” The idea is that students have to decide which scenario they would rather do and explain their reasoning. I think that John originally said he was targeting middle school , but I think my freshmen will enjoy it as well.

** Thursday:** Estimation 180. My students enjoyed doing this last year and I think it is worthwhile for them to work on their estimation skills. Andrew Stadel has done a phenomenal job putting this site together and I’m looking forward to another good year using it.

** Friday;** James also reminded me about the Friday letters that Rebecka Petersen shared as a My Favorite at Twitter Math Camp this summer. I think I am going to give students an option of that, KenKen, or possibly a couple review problems. Still a little hazy here.

So, that’s what I have. I’m still looking to firm up Mondays when I’m not doing noticing and wondering as well as possible suggestions for Fridays for students who don’t want to write a Friday letter. I look forward to your suggestions in the comments or on Twitter.

]]>My first reaction to the picture was, “Wow! I cannot believe that I got so heavy. I can really see that in this picture.” You see, I have been working with a nutrition coach to improve my eating and get to a healthier weight. I have lost about 45 pounds since just before Thanksgiving, 2013.

I still have a ways to go to reach my goal. I am closer to a healthier weight than when I began. My eating habits have changed. However, over the last few weeks (well, maybe most of the summer), I have stalled in my efforts.

The stalling is due to how I have been eating over the last few weeks. I did all right at TMC a few weeks ago, but in the last week at EnCoMPASS, I had very little control over my choices. I ate well this week. The food was absolutely delicious. I ate more dessert than I should have this week. I am sure that the food was a little more fat laden and calorie laden than I have been choosing to eat. However, I really enjoyed the food. I got to try some wonderful food this week and I am glad I ate what I did (for the most part). I am pretty sure that if I had access to a scale to check my progress this week that I would find that my weight has crept up a bit. And right now, I am okay with that. The experience was wonderful and it is not something I would do on a regular basis. I am on vacation this week with my family and I am sure that I will have some of the same issues this week, however, I have a bit more control over my food choices. By the time I return home, it will be good to get back into a more solid eating routine. Hopefully I won’t have done too much more damage to the scale and I can get back on track.

As I was drifting off to a nap this afternoon, I had thought of a blog post tied into my weight loss journey. As I look back at where I was in October, it’s not that I look horrible to me. But I can see that I am not where I would like to be. I have been at that point in my teaching journey as well. I’m not doing a horrible job, however, I am not where I would like to be. In fact, I have noticed that as my weight crept up, I took fewer pictures in general and specifically of myself. I have been that way with blogging over the last year. As I tended to drift back into what I knew how to do (instructing by telling students how to do something, using the few structures I was familiar with and comfortable with for practice such as Around the World), I blogged much less this past year. In both cases, I was not comfortable with where I was. I didn’t want to share or have a record of it. But in the process of not recording it, I don’t have any record of where I was at that point in time. In addition, I have very few pictures of my children when I wasn’t taking pictures of myself. Likewise, that means I don’t have a record of what I was doing with my students or their reactions since I didn’t blog about it.

I also thought about how I ate this past week. Although I know it was not my best week (and I was scolded a little bit by my nutrition coach as she looked at my eating online), I enjoyed what I ate. Although the food was not the most healthy, it was done well. Although this may be a bit of a stretch, I kind of thought about it being like direct instruction/lecture in the mathematics classroom. Although direct instruction may not always be the best thing, when done well, it can be helpful and the right thing at the time. In smaller doses than I am used to, it works in the classroom. It is okay to do direct instruction sometimes. In fact, in smaller pieces, it may work well. However, doing direct instruction often (especially as the go-to method of instruction in the classroom) isn’t as healthy for everyone involved, just like eating rich foods. As I continue to make changes in my eating habits and my teaching habits, I need to keep this in mind.

As I continued to move pictures out of my Dropbox today, I noticed how many more pictures I had taken in the last couple of months. I am much more comfortable in my own skin right now. I made a point to take pictures with connections I had made at Twitter Math Camp before I left. I didn’t do quite as good of a job with it at EnCoMPASS, but I did take some pictures. I have some more pictures of my kids within the last few months as well. I have found that I have missed taking pictures and I chose to clear out my Dropbox folder so that I can 1) clear out space on my phone and 2) clear out space on my Dropbox for more pictures.

As I have had time to reflect this summer and be present while at both TMC and EnCoMPASS, I am at a point that I am more comfortable with where I am heading as a teacher. I am certainly not where I would like to be, but again, I’m not there either with my weight. I am ready to blog more. I am comfortable sharing my thinking and where I am at with how I teach. So, I am finding that I am thinking about things to blog about again. I’m looking forward to seeing you more often here.

]]>I am not going to recap the institute ad nauseum. I do want to focus on some of my own takeaways.

**Learning**

One of my main goals in attending the Summer Institute this year was to learn as much as possible about The Math Forum Problems of the Week. Since this is a resource at my disposal, I want to be able to use it to the best extent possible. I mentioned in my last post that one of my two goals for this year is to incorporate more problem solving into my classes. This will allow me to do so. Our first session that we hung out with an online participant was spent exploring the available resources in the Problems of the Week. I was thoughtfully placed with Erin Igo and Sue Kouri, both of whom have used PoWs for several years. I learned a lot from them and had a good discussion about the website and some of the mechanics (for lack of a better word) of how to use them in the classroom.

We also spent some time looking at different upcoming Problems of the Week for the 2014-2015 school year. I spent some productive time with Mary Wren looking over the sequence we were given by Val Klein discussing what PoWs would make sense for the beginning of the year for Algebra 1. We spent some further time looking at student work for one of the problems and trying to categorize their responses and work with the software piece of this project. We had some valuable discussions later in the day about giving student feedback and I learned rather quickly that there are many things I had not considered about the feedback I give students. I appreciate the time that Mary and I spent together looking at problems and work and I hope we are able to find time to continue to bounce some ideas back and forth about the PoWs over the course of the year.

**Connections**

My other main goal this week was to spend time connecting with other members of the EnCoMPASS community.

Continuing a theme for myself that began at TMC14, I wanted to spend time participating in conversations with as many people as I could. Many times I was listening and not actively contributing content, but I was thinking about what was being shared and how I felt about it. I still have a lot to process from some of those conversations, but those of you who are reading this who were part of them, please know that they were valuable to me and I am curious to see where it will take me.

I am thankful to the late night crew, which consisted of (at various times): Andrew Stadel, Fawn Nguyen, Chris Robinson, Jeff Spoering, Justin Aion, Michael Pershan, Daniel Lewis and Justin Lanier (I think I got everyone). The conversations and wonderful times I will cherish always.

There were many wonderful conversations and connections I made across the week. I am also grateful to Arlene Smith, Laurel Pollard, and Natalie Perez who all sat with me at Tuesday’s dinner when I chose a table for four by myself. I made an especially special connection with Natalie over our children’s similarities and I am so grateful to her for some of the advice she shared and the conversations we shared as well.

**In ****Gratitude**

I wouldn’t have been at this institute if it weren’t for Max. Had he not reached out to me 3 years ago on my blog and began to challenge my thinking, I would not be where I am at professionally today. He continues to support me and answer my endless questions and pose many more for me to think about. Suzanne has also been part of those conversations at time and she, too, has helped me grow. I think I’ll be chatting with Annie more also, especially in the light of some questions I posed even before we officially started the workshop on Tuesday morning. I am looking forward to hearing more from Steve on Twitter this year, but I am especially grateful for his guidance of The Math Forum. I also appreciate the conversations I have had with him at various points. The Math Forum people are all wonderful, but I especially wanted to mention them.

**What’s Next?**

Well, from here, I head off for some much needed R and R. It’s time to get ready for the year and I have some goals in mind. I will be spending some time reflecting further on the week and refining my thoughts about the upcoming year. Thanks to everyone at the EnCoMPASS Summer Institute 2014 for all the ways you have helped me grow.

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On Saturday afternoon at Twitter Math Camp, we have flex sessions. One of those sessions was about how to deal with resistance to change. I think the original thought was to talk about dealing with that resistance within our own departments but if I remember correctly, it was born out of some of the comments I had made in my previous blog post. My original plan was to bop between three different flex sessions, but the conversation was so good that I couldn’t even think about tearing myself away from the session. Before I knew it, it was 5:00 and time to wrap for the day.

Lisa Bejarano led the session with some questions and thoughts. Probably the largest thing I got out of the session had to do with this graphic about why change is successful and not successful.

There are five things necessary to have successful complex change: vision, skills, incentives, resources, and an action plan. If one piece is missing, then there is no success. From looking at the diagram, I felt that if more than one piece was missing, the later listed skills were the most important. So, in other words, first most important was an action plan, then resources, all the way down to vision.

If an action plan was missing, then false starts occur. This is the place I have been for the last couple of years. I have had good intentions but never anything to follow. This year I am going to have a plan. I am starting with deciding what I am going to work on and have it visible. I have two goals: 1) I am going to blog once a week throughout the school year as well as be more active on Twitter. 2) I am going to incorporate more real world problems into my courses.

I have in mind already what the action plan will be for #1. I am going to put into my calendar a reminder on Saturdays: “Did you blog this week?” I keep my calendar on my phone so I am hoping this will help keep me on track. I am also going to make more of an effort on Twitter to not just read tweets, but respond. This may be a little more difficult at first. I think I am going to have to make a concerted effort to engage with Twitter for a certain amount of time each day. I am not quite sure yet what I am going to do as my action plan for number 2. I hope that my time at EnCoMPASS next week will give me some guidance on this.

The second most important thing is resources. If there are no resources, frustration ensues. I don’t think in the last few years of wanting to make this change that I have lacked resources. The Math TwitterBlogosphere has a wealth of resources.

The third most important thing is incentives. Without incentives, there is resistance. For most of us trying to take these things home, this is where we run into problems. Our colleagues that resist don’t have incentive to change.

The fourth most important thing is skills. Without skills, there is anxiety. I am pretty sure that this is where I am right now. I know I want to change. I have access to the resources to help me change. I am working on putting together a plan for making changes. But I really don’t feel like I have the skills to make some of my changes happen. This has also been my stumbling block for several years. I am really going to have to work at this one to make the changes I want to happen.

Last is vision. If there is no vision, confusion reigns. Once again, I don’t think this has been much of an issue for me in my personal desire for change. I think where I have seen this the most is as the various changes have been occurring on a larger scale (such as at a district, state, or national level).

I think there were 8 of us in this session. We talked about what 1 or 2 changes we wanted to make and at that point we ran out of time. As I have had time to reflect on it, I keep coming back to this chart. Seeing it helped make perfect sense out of what I have been through in the last three to four years. I am not even sure what to call it. But as I step back and look at it, why my frustration with myself (that boiled over in my last post) is there makes a whole lot more sense. I now have a better understanding of why I wasn’t successful with making changes that I feel I really need to make.

So, it is time to finish the action plan. And then, I need to figure out how to get the skills to help me to be successful.

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I am at TMC14, which was described by my friend Glenn Waddell as follows:

I heard #tmc14 described this way yesterday. 150 teachers who all believe they can change the world. Here they are. pic.twitter.com/Xa2bz01o9r

— Glenn Waddell, Jr. (@gwaddellnvhs) July 24, 2014

Steve Leinwand shared this tweet today to the group in the opening of his keynote presentation. As I read this, I so felt not worthy of this tweet. And I as have continued to read people’s reaction to TMC14 and seen similar tweets, I continue to feel not worthy. The theme of most of them is something like this: “150 of the best, most amazing math teachers in the world at TMC14…”

I am not the best math teacher. I am not an amazing math teacher. I have a LOT of work to do to improve.

There. I said it. I wrote it in my blog and I am not taking it back. It is there in print.

Ever since I have been involved with the Math Twitterblogosphere (MTBoS for short if you are not familiar), I have felt this inadequacy. I see what other teachers are doing in their classrooms. I have tried some things. Even blogged about what I have tried. But for the most part, I haven’t changed a whole lot in my teaching since I started Twitter almost 5 years ago. Every school year, I start the same way. I am going to make this change, that change, and the other change. And every year, the same thing has happened, particularly in the last three years.

(School) life gets in the way.

For the last three years, I have had changes galore thrown at me in my professional life. Whether it has been new curriculum (now we’re teaching Common Core for the basis of the curriculum) or a different prep, I have had curricular changes the last three years. And there have been lots of TLAs (three letter acronyms – thanks Eli!) thrown at me in the last three years as well. I barely deal with the changes as they are happening to me. And I revert to what I know.

Teaching procedural stuff as best I can because I can explain well HOW to do it.

That’s not to say that I haven’t incorporated some conceptual stuff, because I have done that. But the reality is that many of my days in the classroom have been as the teacher who is teaching the procedural stuff I do it well.

But, I’m not incorporating real-world into my classroom. I see the stuff that Dan Meyer is doing with three-act math and what Mathalicious is doing with real world problems and I am intimidated as all get out. I have been an EnCoMPASS fellow for a year (and am signed up for year two!) and I want to do some of the wonderful Math Forum Problems of the Week and I have even started it with my students once and I gave up. I don’t know how to teach this way. When Steve Leinwand said today that math teachers today don’t have the support to teach the way we need to teach, I knew he was 100% correct. because I am one of those teachers.

I have asked advice from many. I have exchanged many emails with Max and Suzanne at The Math Forum and sought advice from Steve Leinwand and Dan Meyer and Bill Thill (after meeting him at a NCTM conference) and have done nothing. Done. Nothing. I’m scared and overwhelmed with all of this change.

Intellectually, I know I need to do it. What I heard from Steve today did nothing to change that belief and confirmed that I **must** make the changes. I have to help students make sense of the mathematics. I have to ask the right questions of my students. I need to encourage them to convince me why they know something mathematical is true. But I also know I need help. Steve is very correct in saying that we cannot do this by ourselves. I know that. However, I also know the reality of the people I teach with. I am in the minority, I believe. Which, is why I come to Twitter and Blogs.

As much as I would like to collaborate with my colleagues I see face-to-face, I am not confident in that. So I turn to the resource I have been able to count on for the last five years: the MTBoS. Help me to learn. Share with me how to make the changes. Help lead me there if you know where to go.

In return, as I work to make changes in my classroom in the upcoming year, I will do my best to share here on my blog. I have gotten away from it too much in the last year. It isn’t all pretty, but I write as I am and share what is mine. I need to get back to it. So I am making public my first goal of the new year: I am going to blog at least once a week during the school year. I look forward to seeing more of you this year.

]]>I know I have been down this road before. I have written many posts over the course of the last year or so looking for some help, feedback, etc. (here or here just in the last 6 months). If I have learned something from blogging for almost 4 years now, I do a much better job of working through things when I get them out of my head and out here where others can comment, commiserate, and offer support.

I had my evaluation meeting this week with my principal. We had a good conversation. I am in a much better place than I was last year, which is a good thing. I know that my classes will be the same next year as last year, which I am happy about. For the first time in about 4 years, I will have time to truly work on improving what I taught last year rather than have to start something new. I need that time. I have been thinking about how I want to change things next year. I am going to focus specifically on my Algebra 1 course, but some of this will filter down to my Applied Algebra course as well.

I want to incorporate more real world applications and problem solving. My students have not had a lot of exposure to problem solving. Our Middle School has placed a heavier emphasis on state testing and even though there is problem solving on it, I feel as if they are focusing on teaching what needs taught for the test. My Math 1 classes this year have taken the PARCC Field Tests for Math 1 (we did the Performance Based Assessment in early April and will do the End of Year Assessment next week). As I have looked at the PARCC Field Tests, I can see the need for students to be able to apply concepts. I know that the general push right now is for students to be able to apply as opposed to just doing practice problems on how to do something. Even after looking at my own results from in class benchmark testing, I can see my students are not retaining the information as they should. I believe that placing a stronger emphasis on problem solving (for lack of a better phrase) that retention of information should hopefully increase.

After conversation with my principal, she really has me thinking now. We talked about students having access to resources (notebooks, etc.) when being assessed because in real life, that would be the case. But, if I did that, problems on assessments would need to be of the application nature rather than 10 problems you have to factor. I am intrigued by this. I have students using interactive notebooks (which I really do like and hope to do a better job with next year) and I can see the possibilities of letting them have their notebooks available to them. I am struggling with how I would have students practice without giving away the assessment situation (i.e. if I have them practice 15 factoring problems and the assessment is 8 factoring problems, it’s pretty much there for them in black and white). I am also still struggling with balance – students need to practice the procedural stuff but they need to be able to look at the problem situation and apply the concepts. How do you teach them how to do that?

I know where to find some resources (nRich, Math Forum, Mathematics Assessment Project, 3 act math, Mathalicious, Yummy Math, Emergent Math’s PBL Maps, etc.). However, I don’t know how to restructure my teaching, my classroom structure, homework, assessments, etc. In short, I need HELP!

Here are some immediate questions I have:

What are some good resources to read on how to start, how to structure classes, homework, assessments, etc.? We have 50 minute periods. Although I know of some good websites (see above) – I have not had real time to dig into them. If there are specific things on these websites, it would be great to know where to start. I am also open to reading books, other websites, etc.

Who are good people to ask these questions of? Who has already been doing this in their classes successfully? Preferably, I’d like to talk to HS Math Teachers, and even more specifically Algebra 1 teachers. If they are on Twitter and/or have a blog, even better.

How do you get students to “buy in,” be engaged, not kick and scream so much – especially when this is a new (to them) idea of how math class goes? How do I keep going with it when they are struggling? How do I learn how to teach them how to deal with this without giving away the whole thing?

This blog post has gotten long, but as I continue on this journey in my head and get closer and closer to actually pulling the trigger and doing it, my questions get more specific. Any and all advice is welcome. I’m curious to see what you all have to offer here. Thanks in advance.

]]>*How does a math class look/operate/function that is NOT based on direct instruction? What does a typical day look like? How is direct instruction infused in when needed?*

Background on my question:

Andrew Stadel in January had posed a question on Twitter about finding and implementing tasks. Since then, I have been pondering on and off how I would change how I currently teach. I do quite a bit of direct instruction. I know that I should be looking at other options and not relying on DI so much. However, I find that when I ponder how my class would change, I feel completely clueless. And when I start to really think seriously about it, someone (usually an adult) says something to me like “You do such a great job of explaining to your students.” Usually this is prefaced or followed with an explanation of what the person has seen in another class and what was lacking that I seem to provide. And then every fiber of my being says, “See – you shouldn’t take that out of your class.” But yet, I keep coming back to making changes in my class structure.

I know there are things I could be doing differently, but I don’t know **how** to. I teach based on how I was taught. Granted, that was a long time ago and it worked well for me. I’m sure it still works well for motivated students who are usually at the top of their class. I want to make sure that whatever changes I make benefit as many students as possible and in particular help those students who generally would fall in the middle and bottom.

I know I should be integrating rich tasks into my class – how does that work? When you have students who are not used to doing rich tasks and are used to being taught to, how do you help them make the adjustment (especially students who have tended to struggle with math)? I have so many questions going through my head it is hard to articulate it all. The more information and detail you can provide would be helpful.

I’m not looking to flip my classroom, meaning that I am not looking to move the “direct instruction” portion out of my class time. There are many reasons for that but the main one is the lack of available internet for many of my students. I am looking to minimize the amount of direct instruction and to provide it in a meaningful, natural manner. So how does that look?

I appreciate you taking the time to read my questions and I even more appreciate those of you who will take the time to respond. Every bit helps. Thanks.

]]>20 | I can describe the center of the data distribution (mean or median). | S-ID.2 |

21 | I can describe the spread of the data distribution (interquartile range or standard deviation). | S-ID.2 |

22 | I can represent data with plots on the real number line (dot plots, histograms, and box plots). | S-ID.1; N-Q.1; N-Q.2; N-Q.3 |

23 | I can compare the distribution of two or more data sets by examining their shapes, centers, and spreads when drawn on the same scale. | S-ID.2 |

24 | I can interpret the differences in the shape, center, and spread of a data set in the context of a problem, and can account for effects of extreme data points. | S-ID.3 |

25 | I can read and interpret the data displayed in a two-way frequency table. | S-ID.5 |

26 | I can interpret and explain the meaning of relative frequencies in the context of a problem. | S-ID.5 |

27 | I can construct a scatter plot, sketch a line of best fit, and write the equation of that line. | S-ID.6a; S-ID.6c |

28 | I can use the function of best fit to make predictions. | S-ID.6a |

29 | I can analyze the residual plot to determine whether the function is an appropriate fit. | S-ID.6b |

30 | I can calculate, using technology, and interpret a correlation coefficient. | S-ID.8 |

31 | I can recognize that correlation does not imply causation and that causation is not illustrated on a scatter plot. | S-ID.9 |

I will be honest with you all, dear readers. I pretty much had to create stuff from scratch. I have pulled some problems from various places on the interwebs, but I could not tell you where stuff came from. I don’t have many activities here. Just trying to find practice problems to meet what I felt the standards were looking for was a challenge. All of my note files are formatted for an Interactive Notebook. They are set up for 2 to a page, landscape (5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches).

Please feel free to use and adapt what I have published here. If you take something and make it better, I would greatly appreciate a link back to this blog post as well as a link to whatever you can created. I hope you find the materials helpful!

(Many of these are labeled with the Learning Target (LT) designations from above – you may want to look at the table to help you know what goes with what.)

Learning Target 20 Examples – Examples used in class for LT20 (I can describe the center of the data distribution (mean or median).)

Learning Target 20 Exit Slip -Exit Slip for LT20 (I can describe the center of the data distribution (mean or median).)

Learning Target 21 Notes - Notes used in class for LT21 (I can describe the spread of the data distribution (interquartile range or standard deviation).)

Learning Target 21 Practice Problems – Practice Problems used for LT21 (I can describe the spread of the data distribution (interquartile range or standard deviation).)

Measures of Spread and Center Survey Project – An in-class project I had students do to demonstrate understanding of measures of Spread and Center.

Learning Target 22 Examples – Examples used in class for LT22 (I can represent data with plots on the real number line (dot plots, histograms, and box plots).)

Foldable – Data Plots on the Number Line. Set to print double-sided landscape.

Learning Target 22 Practice Problems #1 - Practice Problems Set #1 for LT22 (I can represent data with plots on the real number line (dot plots, histograms, and box plots).)

Learning Target 22 Practice Problems #2 - Practice Problems Set #1 for LT22 (I can represent data with plots on the real number line (dot plots, histograms, and box plots).)

Learning Target 23 Notes - Notes used in class for LT23 (I can compare the distribution of two or more data sets by examining their shapes, centers, and spreads when drawn on the same scale.)

Learning Target 24 Practice Problems – Practice Problems for LT24 (I can interpret the differences in the shape, center, and spread of a data set in the context of a problem, and can account for effects of extreme data points.)

Learning Target 23 and 24 Practice Problems – Practice Problems for LT23 (I can compare the distribution of two or more data sets by examining their shapes, centers, and spreads when drawn on the same scale.) and LT24 (I can interpret the differences in the shape, center, and spread of a data set in the context of a problem, and can account for effects of extreme data points.)

Learning Targets 22-24 Review 1

Learning Targets 22-24 Review 2

Learning Target 25 Notes – Notes used in class for LT25 (I can read and interpret the data displayed in a two-way frequency table.)

Learning Target 25 Exit Slip - Exit Slip for LT25 (I can read and interpret the data displayed in a two-way frequency table.)

Learning Target 25 Practice Problems – Practice Problems for LT25 (I can read and interpret the data displayed in a two-way frequency table.)

Learning Target 26 Notes - Notes used in class for LT26 (I can interpret and explain the meaning of relative frequencies in the context of a problem.)

Learning Target 26 Exit Slip - Exit Slip for LT26 (I can interpret and explain the meaning of relative frequencies in the context of a problem.)

Learning Target 26 Practice Problems – Practice Problems for LT26 (I can interpret and explain the meaning of relative frequencies in the context of a problem.)

Learning Target 27 Notes and Examples – Notes and examples used in class for LT27 (I can construct a scatter plot, sketch a line of best fit, and write the equation of that line.)

Learning Target 27 Exit Slip – Exit Slip for LT27 (I can construct a scatter plot, sketch a line of best fit, and write the equation of that line.)

Learning Target 27 Practice Problems #1 – Practice Problem Set #1 for LT27 (I can construct a scatter plot, sketch a line of best fit, and write the equation of that line.)

Learning Target 27 Practice Problems #2 - Practice Problem Set #2 for LT27 (I can construct a scatter plot, sketch a line of best fit, and write the equation of that line.)

Learning Target 27 Practice Problems #3 - Practice Problem Set #3 for LT27 (I can construct a scatter plot, sketch a line of best fit, and write the equation of that line.)

Learning Targets 25-27 Review

Learning Target 28 Examples - Examples used in class for LT28 (I can use the function of best fit to make predictions.) **NOTE – I had students create their own lines of best fit.

Learning Target 28 Practice Problems – Practice Problems for LT28 (I can use the function of best fit to make predictions.) **NOTE – I had students create their own lines of best fit.

Learning Target 29 Examples - Examples used in class for LT29 (I can analyze the residual plot to determine whether the function is an appropriate fit.)

Learning Target 29 Notes – Notes used in class for LT29 (I can analyze the residual plot to determine whether the function is an appropriate fit.)

Learning Target 29 Practice Problems – Practice Problelms for LT29 (I can analyze the residual plot to determine whether the function is an appropriate fit.)

Learning Targets 28-29 Review

Entering Data in TI-30XIIS - Directions on how to enter data into the Texas Instruments TI-30XIIS.

Entering Data Examples - Examples I used to have students practice entering data into the Texas Instruments TI-30XIIS.

Entering Data Practice Problems - Practice problems I gave students to practice entering data into the (scientific) calculator.

Learning Target 30 Examples - Examples used in class for LT30 (I can calculate, using technology, and interpret a correlation coefficient.)

Learning Target 30 Notes – Notes used in class for LT30 (I can calculate, using technology, and interpret a correlation coefficient.)

Learning Target 30 Practice Problems – Practice Problems for LT30 (I can calculate, using technology, and interpret a correlation coefficient.)

Learning Target 31 Notes and Examples - Notes and examples used in class for LT31 (I can recognize that correlation does not imply causation and that causation is not illustrated on a scatter plot.)

Learning Target 31 Practice Problems – Practice problems for LT31 (I can recognize that correlation does not imply causation and that causation is not illustrated on a scatter plot.)

Learning Targets 30-31 Review

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At the beginning of the school year, I had such high hopes. I had intended to go through as I planned my courses and do as much of what I “should” be doing – integrating problem solving, much more formative assessment, less me, more my students, interactive notebooks, staying connected on Twitter, reading through blogs and digitally categorizing/bookmarking what I wanted to use and what I did use, etc., etc., etc. A few of those things have happened to varying degrees. But mainly I find myself planning on a much shorter leash than I am used to and because of that, I don’t get to much of that list. And don’t even get me started on blogging. As much as I would like to blog, I have not felt like I have had the time to sit and do it (or being motivated to do it). I have spent most of my break so far just vegging on the couch, playing mindless games and trying to decompress. It is now Tuesday and I go back to work on Monday and I have not touched a single school thing (not that it’s a bad thing). However, I haven’t done much of anything else either. (Well, we did buy me a new minivan and we did go and visit my parents, but that’s about it). With only a few days left before school resumes, it’s time to do something.

However, determining what that something is is challenging me at the moment. Like, I should be working on cleaning up part of my house right now, but I’m sitting here blogging instead. Both are important on varying levels, but I am using one to put off the other. I have come to some conclusions though. The biggest one is this – when making changes, pick one or two things to work on. That’s it. Anything more is too much to swallow and it becomes overwhelming. I have said this to others and thought it but until I really went through it this year (rather uneffectively), I don’t think it really rang true to me. I guess I have to learn it on my own. Right now, I am working with interactive notebooks somewhat effectively and that’s a good thing. It has forced me to re-think (to an extent) of what students should record in their notebooks and it has forced me to re-think some of my base lesson structure. It still has a long way to go, but I am making some improvements. I have been doing a little better with formative assessment but it is still a very conscious process for me. I should probably take some time to really read Embedded Formative Assessment by Dylan Wiliam which I have started twice but never got as far into it as I should have and also go back and do the same with Mathematics Formative Assessment (#75facts). Though, now that I have I written that, I probably ought to switch the order around. That would give me two things to concentrate on rather than the laundry list I started with. I will probably still work on digitally cataloging my resources because some how I need to find my resources again. But I think that gives me plenty to focus on for the remainder of the school year.

I suppose I have procrastinated cleaning long enough. Off to tackle a few other things on my list. Happy New Year everyone!

]]>So, I am making myself a pact and so I’ll stick to it better, I’m making it public. I am going to read blogs more. If something moves me in the post, I am going to make an effort to comment to the author. Michael said that “Every comment on a post is worth ten replies to a tweet.” Not only do I believe he’s correct, I think he’s put too small of a value on a comment. I think I would say it’s worth twenty replies (not that I have ever gotten **that** many replies to a tweet). If someone comments on my blog, I know that something they read was valuable to them because they took time to respond on my blog, where the comment will be part of the post and others can read it. That’s way more permanent than a tweet, although you can go back and find tweets (but not always easily). Plus, since it’s longer than 140 characters, I believe the person really put some honest thought into what they had to say in response to my writing. I know how much it means to me when people comment on my blog, especially when I am asking for comments so I can ponder what others have to say. So, if I value people taking the time to comment on my blog, I should do the same to show my appreciation to others who blog. So, I’m going to do it. Of course, to do that, I need to start reading through the backlog of posts I have in my Digg Reader.

But I also miss the act of blogging. Taking the time to sort through the many thoughts in my head and putting it to computer. When I take the time to do that, even if I don’t have a definite end in mind, it helps me figure out the answer I am seeking (eventually) if I have a question, or it helps me sort out all the things that are bouncing around in my head. Twitter tends to be about connecting with others (or at least it does for me) or seeking quick answers and advice. Blogging, for me, is about reflecting on my teaching practice and sharing what’s happening in my classroom. If sharing that helps others, so be it, but in all reality, blogging tends to be a rather selfish act for me. Most of the time, when I take the time to reflect, I become a better teacher. And in the long run, that’s not only better for me, it’s better for my students. As a teacher, isn’t that what we all want – what’s best for our students?

So, I’m going to make more of an effort to blog more often and comment more often (but don’t go expecting these twice-a-day posts like I’ve done in the last week now, okay?). See you around – more often!

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