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### Blog 2012-2013

 Here is the blog from Tara and Cheryl that was created during the 2012-2013 school year. It was the first year that iPads were implemented in their middle schools.

#### Choices for Students

posted May 23, 2013, 7:44 PM by Tara Maynard   [ updated May 23, 2013, 7:44 PM by Cheryl Wilson ]

 I have found that more and more, I am giving my students choices on what they want to do and it is powerful!  I've always known that, but I feel I am actually really doing it now.  For example, tomorrow in algebra, they are reviewing for their exponential test.  I am putting up a list of suggestions and letting them pick.  Finish quick checks (short assessments on thatquiz.org over each lesson)  ..  Search my name and you'll find 5 different ones that are public for ch. 11 which is all about exponential functions.Retake a quiz (we bombed - did some reteaching - hope it's better)iBook interactive features (keynote, review, gallery images)Finish any in-class assignment from the chapterPower point I made of word problems that could be linear, exponential or quadratic.  Students can just say the function type or solve for more of a challenge.  power point link  (It's nothing fancy!)Here's hoping they gets lots accomplished and I get a ton of time to help whoever needs it!

#### Let them fly!

posted May 16, 2013, 6:25 PM by Tara Maynard   [ updated May 23, 2013, 7:35 PM by Cheryl Wilson ]

 Last week Friday (5/10/13), in my geometry class, I started class with this statement."We are starting our last unit and it's all about transformations.  The chapter test will be two weeks from today.  Here's your iBook,chapter schedule with all the details for in-class work and quick checks, notes and explorations.  You may go at your own pace.  You may take the 2 quizzes when you are ready.  I've created a sample schedule that will get you ready to test two weeks from today, but it's really all up to you."I have a student taking the test tomorrow (Friday, 5/17/13).  ...   (Update - his score was 100%! - WOW!)When you open up the doors some kids just fly!It has been an amazing week in that class!

#### Reality Sets In

posted May 7, 2013, 6:46 AM by Cheryl Wilson   [ updated May 7, 2013, 6:46 AM ]

 I spent time planning over Spring Break to do a flip in my 8th grade math class. But... reality has set in. As usual there have been a bunch of detours and it still has not happened. I would still like to do a mini-flip before the end of the year, but we will see. On a better note, we are doing a webquest in my 8th grade math classes. We heard Jacque Melin speak again at a recent PD session. She encouraged us to try PBL, problem-based learning. I am going to visit Kent Innovations High School tomorrow, where their focus is PBL in the academic classes. I am excited to see how it is put into play. We are trying something, let's say, a step below PBL, by doing a webquest. My fellow teacher and I searched on Questgarden and found a transformation webquest that met the CCSS standards and our time frame. Here is the link to the webquest on Wallpaper Transformations http://questgarden.com/158/81/6/130502063111/. We were able to get a trial membership to modify a webquest that someone else created. It saved a ton of time. We are thinking about getting a math department membership for next year. So as reality has set in, I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I want to teach next year. I really want to flip, but I feel more comfortable with the PBL sort of thing. So, maybe there is a place for both. I will probably head more down the route of PBL sort of things, but also incorporate flipping as a mode of instruction. It will take time, but doesn't it always take time to do things well? So as this year rounds out, I feel that I have come a long way with teaching math again and also incorporating the use of iPads. Did I get as far as I had hoped, no, but that also makes me want to do even more next year. That is the true challenge of teaching, making it better the next time.

#### I'm going to try it (flipping)!

posted Mar 17, 2013, 11:21 AM by Cheryl Wilson   [ updated Mar 17, 2013, 11:21 AM ]

 Tara, you have me so itching to try it! I heard Tony speak at the MIA conference and now you can't go back... I must try it, but I am going to wait until after Spring Break. I need some time to prep myself and select one of our units to flip. I think that the kids need it and I need something different.  The iPads are going well, but I just don't feel like today's students can learn like we did in school. I hate standing in front of the class giving notes and explaining how to do do a problem, when most are not really engaged. I need to challenge my 8th graders before they go to high school! I did a project-based unit with my 7th graders a few weeks ago and I found it so much more successful. They were so much more engaged during the learning process. It was also nice to be able to walk around and talk with some of them. Right now I feel like I am only interacting with a few of the kids when I am teaching the whole class. So I need to prep myself about what quality flipping is and try it myself!

#### Can't go back!

posted Mar 7, 2013, 6:40 PM by Tara Maynard   [ updated Mar 7, 2013, 6:40 PM by Cheryl Wilson ]

 Yesterday I taught a "traditional" lesson "up in front of class" for the first time in a few months in my HS geometry class of 8th graders.  What a disaster!  After 4 months of a flipped learning environment, one traditional lesson was enough to know that I can never go back.  I think about 1/3 of the class was actually with me.  I think the other 2/3 were checked out, not engaged, and really learned nothing.  I didn't enjoy it - the topic wasn't the most exciting, the Unit Circle, but I also didn't like being up front, not talking to the students one-on-one.  I know I didn't check in with each kid like I normally get to do in my flipped atmosphere.  Four months ago the students were a little resistant to the change, but seeing their faces yesterday told me that they are OK with the change now and don't want me taking away their work time, discussion time, and collaboration time in class.  I will be surveying them in the next couple days to really see how they felt about the lesson.

#### So proud

posted Jan 31, 2013, 7:29 PM by Tara Maynard   [ updated Jan 31, 2013, 7:29 PM by Cheryl Wilson ]

#### Focusing on Assessment

posted Jan 22, 2013, 8:33 AM by Cheryl Wilson   [ updated Feb 8, 2013, 2:12 PM ]

 My school district is having Math and LA teachers at the secondary level attend 4-half day workshops on assessment, presented by Jacque Melin (http://www.formativedifferentiated.com/ ). The first week focused on selected response. We also spent a lot of time disucssing the fact that we need to present the learning targets in a "kid-friendly" way so that students can ask themselves if they really are accomplishing the learning target. Each assessment should have 3-5 questions about a given learning target (if it is to be selected response). This ensures that students are not just guessing and getting lucky. Our assignment was to use a selected response assessment this week to see if students are able to show us that they are accomplishing the learning targets. The other pre-algebra teacher that I work with and I created a lesson and short socrative quiz that we gave after the lesson on slope-intercept form. We were very pleased with the results. I have attached the PDF for the lesson (below in the files). We actually took pencil and paper notes for these (due to the graphing at the end). After the notes, we gave the Socrative quiz (SOC-740394). We both felt that the notes were good and the Socrative quiz gave us a good idea of understanding of the lesson. I found out that two of my three Pre-Algebra classes were understanding the material well, but the other one needs some more reinforcement.  We are going to be giving a quiz covering a few more sections in a couple of days. I am going to suggest that we re-write the quiz to have 3-5 questions on the learning target above, but that we also include some review from the previous sections. I will be sure to report back on how the assessment faired. This assessment could be a Socrative assessment, or even Schoology, because we are focusing on selected response right now in our workshop assignment. I have found that giving online assessments is great for several reasons: (1) results are easy to analyze (2) easy to grade (3) students can get back immediate feedback and (4) good practice for upcoming standardized tests that will be given using technology. I have also found that there is are several reasons why I don't love online assessments: (1) students do not always work out a problem on paper, they just do their best guess and (2) can be hard to show mathematical formulas and equations in some programs (like Socrative).

#### The highs of teaching

posted Dec 4, 2012, 8:19 PM by Tara Maynard   [ updated Dec 4, 2012, 8:19 PM by Cheryl Wilson ]

#### Frustration

posted Nov 26, 2012, 6:44 PM by Tara Maynard   [ updated Nov 26, 2012, 6:44 PM by Cheryl Wilson ]

 So, I spent a better part of Saturday night and Sunday late afternoon through evening making my first ibooks interactive textbook for geometry.  (I only had it done for 3 of the 8 sections.)  I made 4 videos using camtasia software.  I used iBooksauthor to create a textbook that can be downloaded into the students iPads.  The textbook contains the videos, written text, pictures as well as interactive reviews that students can check their work on right away.  The benefit to this is that the videos are then on the iPad and the students don't need wireless or internet to make them work.  Huge bonus!  Level playing field for kids!  ...   However, when I logged into edmodo this evening, there were 12 posts saying the video wasn't working.  Apparently it starts to get blurry about half-way through??  I tested it out on my iPad, through ibooks, and sure enough - BLURRY!   Ughhhh!  I was so excited, I stuck my neck out, tried something new and wham - it blew up in my face.  So, where do I go now?  ...  I watched the next video (homework for tomorrow night) and it seems to be working fine.  Do I take the risk?  Do I just teach it traditionally?  ...  I can't throw in the towel.  Too much time invested and sights of how cool this can be.  ...  I'll update soon to let you know how tomorrow goes.

#### 1/3 and where am I?

posted Nov 25, 2012, 5:30 AM by Cheryl Wilson   [ updated Feb 8, 2013, 2:14 PM ]