Monday, January 4, 2016

A New Start: First Day Back!

So, January gives us all the feelings of a new start (even if it is in the middle of the school year). It actually works quite well at my school, as our semester ended before break and a new one began today.

My friend, and necessary accomplice in my mission to implement a Problem-Based Curriculum, Miriam and I met this morning to talk about changes/thoughts/moving forward in Geometry.

(Have I mentioned that I love having the same planning period as all the other math teachers in the high school?)

As a result of this conversation/meeting, I started one of my Geometry class periods (the other one doesn't meet today) talking about these important things:

  • We had made a poster of Class Norms at the beginning of the year. We reviewed them and talked about how we had done with them during the first semester. We also toyed with the idea of adding/subtracting (or "multiplying/dividing" as one student suggested..."why limit ourselves to just those operations?") from the list, but decided we were happy with it. 
  • We reviewed the rubric for Class Contribution, so students have it fresh in their minds. 
  • I gave some tips on subtle things they could/should do for improvement (make sure their phones are always put away, leave more room in their notebook for each problem, etc)
  • Talked about a new policy to allow for retakes on Skills Quizzes (and require a retake if the score is 6/10 or lower...would love your feedback on this!) 
Then we jumped into solving some problems. I thought it was worth the 15-20 minutes we spent on it. And students asked great questions, and it helped to bring us back to the idea of us being a community! 

That's my success for the first day back! 

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