Friday, June 3, 2011

In the Good Ole Summertime...

It's official - summer is here! Today's highs were in the upper 90s and it's downright yucky outside!

Last Friday was our official last day of school, but I went back for a two day workshop this week. To say I'm conflicted would be an understatement... As I had understood it, the goal of the workshop was to work collaboratively on inquiry based lessons. However, most of my inquiry focused more around the "Huh??" realm. :) One definitely positive outcome was having conversations with the science teachers on how they use math in their classrooms and what I can do to support their program within my math classroom. I think the key challenge will be finding places in our math curriculum where the science fits naturally as to not create a "square peg/round hole" forced situation. It was pretty natural to find places where statistics fit in (duh!), but it was challenging to find areas for Alg2. The best we came up with was literal equations, parabolic motion, and graphing stories (distance vs time, etc).

After our workshop, several Alg 2 teachers got together to plan out the first part of next year. One of our frustrations is that we spend too much time on Alg 1 review, which then creates a bottleneck when we get to the actual Alg 2 material. Our goal was to try to condense the first few chapters of material while reviewing the Alg 1 material in the context of Alg 2. For example, instead of reviewing slope and writing equations of lines and such, we would do linear piecewise functions and have them write equations and find slopes of the various segments. I'm very excited about the changes and reorganization that we worked on and hope that it really helps with making connections for our students.

By the way, for those naysayers that think teachers have all this time off, today was my first day with nothing planned out and what did I do? I cleaned my office and worked on some activities for next year. I did get a nap in though! :)

Edited to add....
I asked my twitter PLN for any examples of how math can support what they are doing in science. For sake of my memory, I am cataloging the responses here...

macsmath - linear & quadratic eq's --> 3d position & prediction - I'll post what I do with it soon (hopefully)

jsb16 - I'd be happy if my students came in with Alg1 concepts solidly understood. Most of my sophomores can't solve F=ma for m.

torquedu - direct/inverse/inverse square/sqrt/logarithmic/exponential variation as common relationships among variables (not x &y)
- Not strictly Alg2/Precalc, but stus could always use practice with unit conversions, sci notation, non-integer numbers & graphing

fnoschese - equation of line, slope, area under graph (by hand, no calculus), solving equations, systems of equations, right tri trig, vectors.
- stop using x and y as variables eg if height is unknown use h not x.
- Truck starts 100 m north of school going south at 20 m/s. Car starts 40 m south of school going north at 35 m/s. When/where meet?
- Another is when they need to use slope eqn and area equation for a graph at the same time b/c of unknowns.
- for example: slope = (10 m/s/s) = v/t, area = (45 m) = (1/2)(v)(t) . What is v and t?
- You have a graph of velocity vs. time. Slope is acceleration (given). Area under graph is displacement (given). What's v and t?

I really appreciate the information given by the science teachers!! Thanks to you all!

No comments: