Friday, May 4, 2018

#MyFavFriday - It's MAY!!! EKKK

Happy Star Wars Day!!! :)

I swear, May is both the fastest and slowest month of the year!  The time literally flies from May 1 until the AP exam, then slows to a crawl until the last day.

Due to the walkout, we had to add days to our year, so we have exactly one month left of school.  As each day goes by, I fluctuate between "I'm so ready for summer" and "I'm going to miss these kiddos so much!"  But until that last day comes, I am determined to enjoy every moment with my kiddos, so with that said, let's move on to this week's favorites...

My Favorite Forensics Lab:
This has been a GREAT week in Forensics.  We are smack dab in the middle of our Handwriting / Document Analysis unit, which I think the students have really enjoyed.  This unit has some of my favorite labs and activities and several of them happened to land this week!  First, on Monday, we had the 2nd day of a guest speaker on art forgery, where our students did some research on artists and then tried to determine the real vs the fake painting.  We followed that up with a Chromatography lab (see photo) where we explored the ink breakdown of various markers.  You know it's a "win" when you overhear several students exclaiming "This is my favorite thing we've done all year!".  To finish out the week, we looked at the document analysis part as it applies to counterfeiting.  I love the "ooohs and aaaahs" that happen when the students find the hidden micro-printing treasures on our paper money.  All it all, we had a GREAT week in Forensics!

My Favorite "A-ha" Moment:
As I was planning my Geometry lessons this week, I ran across the idea to have the students discover the inscribed arc / intercepted arc relationship, so I decided to try it.  I remembered that I had a set of "Safe-T Compasses" at home, but of course, I forgot them at home on the first day I needed them!  During my first class, I used old-school metal compasses and I quickly remembered the struggle with fine motor skills... :)  As soon as I got home that night, I put my Safe-T Compasses in my bag and it went SO much better on day 2!  We measured the central angle / arc, then drew in an inscribed angle to see the relationship.  We also looked at 2 angles with the same arc as well as the inscribed angle for a semi-circle.  Hopefully the hands-on aspect will pay off on the assessment :)

My Favorite New Review Strategy:
After 18 years of teaching AP Statistics, one might think that I have it all figured out - that person would be very wrong. :)  Every year, I struggle to figure out the best way to prepare my students for the exam and every year I wish I had tried something else.  I tried a few new things last year with success (Skills Checks and Flipcards) and with this year's walkout, I knew I would need to maximize the impact of the reduced review time.  On Wednesday, I ran across an idea that sparked a memory of reading about One Sheets at Julie R's blog and I knew I wanted to try it this year.  Yesterday I assigned each group to an AP topic and they created their One Sheet.  Today, we started Topic #1 with a group presentation over the One Sheet, then spent the rest of the hour working on Free Response problems.  I loved how the One Sheets turned out - the kids were required to go back and review content from the class, plus with the group presentations, they aren't listening to me talk AT them.... that's a WIN! :)

My Favorite Surprise of the Week:
This morning I received a message from a former student asking me if they could pop by during my lunch.  I've not seen this young lady since she graduated in 2012 and it was so good to sit and visit with her!  She shared a bit about her life since high school and we spoke at length about the time management skills needed when balancing a career and grad school.  It wasn't until after she left that I realized that even as busy as she is, she still took the time to reach out to me (and her other former teachers) prior to the walkout to see if she could do anything to support us, including coming up to clean our rooms or grade papers.  It really made me pause yet again to recognize how blessed I am by my students, current and former!

I hope all y'all have a great weekend - it's another marathon grading weekend for me as I work through Mock AP Exams... :)

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