Things still haven’t really taken off yet since I am still only teaching Trig, and we gave them a test this week. Even so, I have spent way too much time overthinking my lesson plans for trig and not enough time preparing for taking over my other classes.
I was really frustrated this week because I feel like I am going overboard with planning for trig. I try and plan these great exploratory lessons and activities and find cool videos to inspire them, but there is just not enough time to do everything. This is a college paced course which seems to mean most of the learning is supposed to take place outside of class. Problem: kids work, have sports, and are busy afterschool. After a long talk with my cooperating teacher we decided that I should change my mindset and understand that teaching college paced trig is very different from high school geometry. Therefore, instead of using the 5-E method, I think I am going to try a more Socratic/ flipped classroom approach- meaning I will ask students to read the section outside of class and then work on problems and ask questions to expand their understanding during class. We will also try to incorporate some group ‘quizzes’/ projects during class. The part I haven’t figured out yet is how we will fulfill our “one PBL a quarter” requirement.
So a couple of things I learned this week through ‘non-successful endeavors’-
-grading takes forever, and I can’t do it while watching TV (no matter how many times I tell myself I can)
– Don’t forget to always ask for way more than you’d expect to get, because then you many get what you wanted in the first place. In my constructions unit I am planning I added two extra-sections in that I really wanted to cover but didn’t thing they would go for. Well- they didn’t and we ended up cutting them out of the unit. I can’t help but think, what if I had included two more sections and then maybe I would have been able to keep those other two. Bargaining strategy 101.
-Don’t make commitments before I know what I’m getting myself into.
-ALWAYS check your technology- try the activities you’re planning bc they may not work out how they’re supposed to.
I was trying to think of a positive for my week, and I finally did- I ‘volunteered’ to plan a lesson for 9th and 10th grade seminar where classes are separated by MAP score ability. Being so, we are supposed to create a 3-level (differentiated) lesson for all teachers to teach in their seminar. I decided it would be fun to do a Dan Meyer 3-act lesson- (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjIqyKM9d7ZYdEhtR3BJMmdBWnM2YWxWYVM1UWowTEE)- a combination of “the Slow 40” and “Playing Catch Up.” Anyway, my principal agreed to run on video, and I think the kids are really going to like the lesson. Here is a first draft https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SPndFOXzXfEgGE_taEWsKwoFbkYxxDB3ZVyAFP7lwUo/edit