Good morning and Happy Friday! After yesterday's post, I decided to deviate a bit from the "Yule Blog" Challenge prompts and share some of my favorite moments from the fall semester. If you would like to participate in the "Yule Blog" Challenge, just jump right in and share your post either in the comments or via the hashtag #MTBoS12days.
My Favorite Moments from Fall 2017
My Favorite Use of Technology
I'll be honest that I really didn't use technology as much as I could have or should have this year. I did a few Kahoots and the like, but overall, I was too busy preparing for a new prep to really dig into technology much.
But during one block day, I was prepared to teach a LOT of material for Geometry. I usually try to limit that, but the semester was winding down and there were still quite a few topics left to teach, one of them being the Triangle Inequality Theorem. I last taught Geometry 10 years ago and at that point, I often used toothpicks or other manipulatives, but this year I decided to look for a virtual option and of course, it was Desmos to the rescue! The kids had a great time recording their data and discovering patterns.
My Favorite New Formative Assessment Technique
I try to implement a lot of Formative Assessment Strategies in my classroom, but a new one to me this year was "Hold Ups". I thought I had taken a photo of these, but apparently I didn't, so hopefully the explanation will work well. A huge part of Geometry is vocabulary, so I wanted a way to check on how well students could identify various vocabulary terms. For example, when we learned about angle relationships, I gave each group a set of laminated cards that had Supplementary, Complementary, Vertical, Linear Pair, Adjacent, None of these. I would project a geometric diagram and ask them to identify the relationship between specific angles. As a group, they had to discuss and hold up the appropriate cards. I loved how easy it was for me to see how well they were grasping the differences in the terminology.
My Favorite Warmup
Not to pick on Geometry again, but this year, I really wanted to work on thinking skills. To be honest, I really wanted to work on numeracy, but I haven't had a chance to fully read about Number Talks, so instead, I decided to use the card game 24 for "Mental Math Monday". However, instead of only trying to get to 24,the students are trying to get ALL of the numbers from 1-24. What I didn't expect was how much they would really get into it - including my other classes! I post student solutions on my board, including any that we couldn't figure out and throughout the week, students often come up with a solution for those missing values. The engagement is one of the main reasons I want to try a puzzle table in my room if I can figure out the logistics!
I really regret not using #MyFavFriday this semester as a positive reflection tool. Sometimes, I can be too hard on myself about how I failed to reach this kid or how that was a dud of a lesson, but there are positive things every year that we need to celebrate! I am going to try to do a better job in the spring... :) Someone hold me accountable please! :)