An administrator came into Algebra today and I have my first of two formal evaluations for the school year.
I used Fawn’s Staircase and Steepness for the second year in a row. As always there were some hiccups along the way (like rulers turning into helicopter rotors and reaching maximum velocity). I want to write about the lesson tomorrow and use today to reflect on the positives and negatives of the lesson.
- Students were challenged in multiple ways (use appropriate tools, make sense of calculations, put thinking into words).
- The activity made math social.
- I had student buy-in across all ability levels.
- The students who had learned slope last year, had a tough time recalling the information (this says to me that there is value in the activity across all ability levels).
- I did not spend enough time pre-loading students with expectations for the day. Behaviors became an issues because students were uncomfortable with their thinking being challenged + loss of interest.
- All around time management could have been better.
STRUGGLE FOR THE YEAR (pretty much on a daily basis): I try and present math in a way which removes the mindset of memorizing equations/learning through repetition. When trying to do so, I have a hard time balancing that mindset and finding a form of classroom management that pairs well with it. I want my classroom to be social, which in turn is noisy. But students tend to push to the point where it becomes unproductive on a daily basis.
GAHHHHHHHHH….. IT IS SO HARD TO FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE.