Friday, January 12, 2018

#MyFavFriday - Proofs and More

Happy Friday, y'all!

Holy moly is it cold out there!  After some chilly weather to start back to school, we had a lovely warmup with highs on Wednesday in the 60s.  Then a cold front moved in again and we're back under freezing.  BRRR!!!  I am ready for spring to show up! :)  Seriously though, if it's going to be this cold, it really needs to snow - at least then, I have a chance at a snow day :)  Thankfully we have a long weekend, so I plan to stay wrapped up in blankets, working on lessons and reading.

This week had a few down points, but overall it was a good week.... now it's time for a look back at my favorite things from this week:

My Favorite Learning Strategy:
I already blogged about this strategy earlier this week, but I really enjoyed using the "sample student responses" in my AP Stat class to help students determine the success criteria for a "good" vs "poor" paper.  Asking them to reflect on the papers with a star / wish was a last-minute decision, but one that I'm glad I did.  The level of detail that the students noticed really made me realize that I need to let them "be the teacher" more often.  It almost makes me excited to grade their FRAPPYs this weekend.  (Notice I said *almost*... I mean, does ANY teacher get excited about a weekend of grading????)

My Favorite Lesson of the Week:
This reflection question is so difficult for me!  So many good lessons happened this week - proofs in Geometry, simulations in AP Stat, blood typing in Forensics - how do you pick just one???

In high school, I adored my Geometry (and later Calculus) teacher and she is a huge reason why I ended up as a math teacher.  However, I remember NOT caring for proofs, at least at first!  Before we could ever use a theorem, we had to prove it, so our notebooks were full of proofs.  Once I understood them, proofs became one of my favorite things and I still love them.  Over Winter Break, when I was working on how to introduce proof, I tweeted out a request for ideas and my former high school Geometry teacher was one of the responses I received.  Because of all of the great advice from the #MTBoS on proofs, it's been a fabulous week of logical thinking puzzles, vocabulary practice, flow proofs, and two column proofs.  The best part is that the kids are ROCKING it!  I'm so proud of them! :)  The picture above is a couple of proofs from Mrs. Newell's Triangle Congruence materials - have I said lately how much I *love* my dry erase sleeves? :)

My Favorite Question of the Week:
Do you ever have a situation where your favorite thing isn't because it was really good, but because you learned a lot from it?  That's the situation with my favorite question this week.

The question on the left was the Daily Reflection in my Geometry class on Monday.  We had worked that day on connecting vocabulary words to conclusions.  I know it's hard to read, but under each "given" statement was a 2-column table, meant to simulate the idea of a 2-column proof with the left box saying "What can you conclude?" and the right box saying "Why?".  I really did not anticipate any issues with these questions, but oh my... :(  The number of students that really struggled with articulating a difference in right angles and complementary angles was surprising to me.  But I guess that's the whole point of the Reflection, right?  For me to know if they have learned what I wanted them to learn... :)

My Favorite Student Response of the Week:
I had two favorite student responses this week - one serious and one that just made me smile.

The one that made me smile came first.  I have started Test Prep Thursdays in Geometry with 2 practice ACT problems.  I loved the student drawing with "Not to Scale" written next to it. :) :) :)

Today, the Daily Reflection Prompt was about #OneGoodThing and this student response helped me put things in perspective.  "Something good that happened to me this week is I'm alive.  We don't own our lives so it's a blessing that I receive which money can't buy."

That response was truly a *mic drop* moment... leave it to a 16 year old to say something so profound, that truly makes you step back, take a deep breath, and count your blessings.

People say I'm crazy for working with teenagers all day long.  I say I'd be crazy not to!  My students make me smile and laugh, get frustrated and cry, and everything in between.  But ultimately, my students make me want to be a better person and a better teacher - and that, folks, is what it's all about.

Have a blessed weekend!

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