First Friday

Today heralded the end of my first week as a student teacher at my placement high school.  P1 and P2 flew past with a minor technology hiccup in P2 since the newly installed LCD projector in the classroom went on the fritz so my CT could not show the W/U she put together; situations like this only reinforce resistance to embracing technology…but it is so like the real-world that it creates great teaching moments, FWIW.

The lesson today consisted of converting decimal degree measures into degrees-minutes-seconds format and vice versa.  My CT scaffolded this using a W/U problem in which she made chocolate chip cookies and each step had a specific duration in minutes and seconds.  Students mostly seemed to grasp how to tally minutes and seconds carrying sums over sixty into hours and minutes, as applicable.  This helped them grok the same approach for angle measures.  Not surprisingly, this procedure did not seem to faze the students; I need to modify this a tad for use with my future students though…not to be too much of a caveman, but freshly baked chocolate chip cookies are something I eat, not make! 🙂  Nonetheless, the general form of the example is a good one and can be expanded to many different use cases.

For P2, I took attendance while checking and “grading” homework solo for the first time.  There was some minor drama from one student when I gave her a 1, out of 2, for her homework since she skipped a key problem the CT wanted checked.  It is clear these students care about their grades and experience anxiety if they feel judged as missing the mark.  Several other students asked whether they received full credit as well.  Day 5 and they are on top of their grades…wow.

My CT also asked if I was OK pulling the lesson she wanted me to do on Tuesday forward to Monday since she had not alerted P1 & P2 students to the fact that they were going to be given a Math Analysis assessment offered by the state; that would not take place on Tuesday.  I stretched myself a bit further by asking if she wanted me to conduct the lesson for both P1 & P2 and she seemed very glad that I did – celebratory even!  Made me feel good to be of service to her, finally.

My lesson’s focus is pretty narrow: standard and coterminal angles.  I’ve already created a mini lesson plan and need to create a worksheet for an in class activity.  I’m thinking orienteering with a map and compass would be a great way to use as a real-world application.  I’ll let my fingers do the walking on the www to see what pops up or write up a set of problems using orienteering to orient them to these terms.

TGIF!!

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About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Secondary math teacher teaching math intervention, algebra 1, honors precalculus, and AP Calculus AB. I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
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