Monday, November 26, 2012

Sequences & Series: Cartooning

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving break! We just returned from a whole week off! Of course, I gave my children loads of work to do over this vacation so I now have a ton of stuff to grade :(

My plan for the day was pretty easy and eased the kids back into the swing of things before they have finals in 3 weeks (again, we are on a semester schedule). Trigonometry was supposed to start unit 6, sequences and series, today but that was slightly altered to accommodate for the poor test results of unit 5. However, I wanted to still get them to start thinking about the unit at the end of class.

I started out by discussing what unit we were about to embark in and how it was very important to notice patterns. To warm us up, I created a series of broken up comic strips and placed them into baggies. Their job, was to place the comic strips back into the correct order. Now, this wasn't an entirely easy feat as I placed the pieces of 5 different comic strips into one bag (and this could have been made even more difficult if I had chosen comics that used the same characters).

After the groups raced to complete the comic strips, I allowed for them to read the comic strips (they were all math related, woo hoo!) and then we discussed what strategies they used to solve the comic strips, which was then related to problem solving and looking for the patterns = finding the common ratio or difference in a sequence.

Overall, I liked this as a unique introduction to Sequences & Series and the kids enjoyed it slightly, for the brief amount of time that they did it. Next time, I'd love to make it more difficult or even have the kids create their own sequence of events. Tonight, they get to start taking notes as my preheating/flipped classroom esque style.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Unit Circle Tic Tac Toe

It's the last week before our week long Thanksgiving Break. Thank goodness! I think we are all ready for a little break. The trig kids and I are just finishing up the 5th unit, the trigonometry unit. As I had talked about previously, we clearly spent some time working on our unit circles. After discovering special right triangle values, I waited a little to give them a little way of remembering the main guys.

I had learned this during my student teaching from my mentor teacher (thank you Jerry) so I can take no claim to this but the kids seemed to like it, a lot. As in, their unit circle quizzes were covered in these. Of course, I had kids who preferred knowing the triangles (I love the ones who want to know why) but this helped a lot of my kids. Plus, it perfectly sets you up on finding tangent values!

My warning, however, is that it will confuse the order of the coordinates so it's important to emphasize that it's (cos,sin) and NOT (sin,cos).

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

I hope you enjoyed my video! I was super excited to take a step into a more tech saavy aspect of my blog! Perhaps I can do another one of these soon with graphing trig functions! Below is just a screenshot of the final product.

Happy Thanksgiving!

p.s. Sorry, I had posted the wrong video before.... I had clearly tried to do this before and whoopsy! I'm still learning but it's fixed now!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Trigonometry - Learning to Graph Sine & Cosine

In trigonometry, we've begun our Trig unit. Of course, we did our unit plate (here's the link to this lesson) but this time, I did it slightly differently. I'm hoping to post about that at a later time.

After grilling on this for a bit, it was time to dive into graphing! (We have a week long break for Thanksgiving so we discussed why we should test before break and not after).

I started out by having the kids fill out the x/y table for the positive radians of cosine. Of course, I did the first three with them and then set them free. Next, I walked them through the negative radians referring to my unit circle plate and going around the circle with a pen. This helped them fill out the first two and then again, I set them free! I started to hear, "THEY"RE THE SAME!" and of course they started to get all excited. After confirming this fact and creating proper x/y tables, I had the kids graph the coordinates and connect the dots. We then analyzed the domain/range/period/symmetry for cosine.

We repeated this process for sine and examined the differences between the two (because of their symmetry). The kids loved to see the patterns and things were starting to click. Now of course, this was difficult if the kids didn't know the unit circle as they had no idea where the values were coming from. Their homework for the night was a discovery worksheet where they looked at the various translations of a trigonometric graph (amplitude/period/phase/vertical shifts).

Tomorrow, we begin looking at them all happening at once... but together :)
Learning to Graph Sine & Cosine

Monday, November 5, 2012

Graph Me a Circle Project! .... again

Welp! I've done a lesson again! I'm pleased to say that I was successfully able to use a project/assignment again in a different class!

Previously, I used this project in my geometry class when teaching equations of circles. You can refer back to the post from before.

This time, I added an additional requirement. In the conics unit, we're building off of our completing the square knowledge so my kids were also required to create the equations of circles in general from, or the expanded form.

It was also quite convenient since 1 point was already built in for being turned in on time so the kids who want to earn the points again, can already get no more than a 90% :) Perfect!!

Here are this year's results!

Circles and Paper Plates, OH MY!

We're halfway into our conics unit in Algebra 2. This, infamously, is their least favorite unit, according to the students. So I decided that it was super necessary to make it a little fun. The four conics are parabolas, circles, ellipses, and hyperbolas.

In my opinion, the circles are by far the easiest and therefore, the best to have some fun with! Now, I'll confess, I have seen this idea on pinterest through another fabulous educator's blog and now I'll talk about it myself!

After doing the lesson on circles, I showed two example plates on the screen before showing the instructions (see below).

I liked this activity as it allowed for the kids to focus on the basics of an equation: radius and center. After this activity, I lead into my Circle Graphing Project, which I'll post about later as well. Between the two art projects, kids were doing different skills required for the circle conics. Crossed fingers that this was good news!

Here are a few of their plates! The first one was voted prettiest in my one class :)

As you can see, I have a rather tall board...... It can be a struggle. I reach approximately half of the board. The rest of the board has to be reached by standing on chair. Anyways, allow your kids to show their creativity and they might just enjoy math a little :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Joy of Teaching

I am infamous, to my students, to responding to my email. I'm attached to my phone and am often very good at trying to coach them through homework problems. I have several students who take advantage of this and I am grateful for their effort.

At the beginning of the year, I decided to create a folder in my school email called "Lovely." In this folder, I keep all emails that mean a lot to me. As I've referred to them before, it's the little things. My students continue to put a smile on my face (along with gray hairs at my young age) and today was no exception.

I received the following email from a student:

"hello guess what i can do the unit circle all myself. look at this i did it all myself and took a picture of it to show you, i only looked at the one we did in class to check my and to look at the ones i was not sure or didn't do. are you proud me"

I love my kids. I really do.

The tutor room is in my room after school and I had kids practicing their unit circle on my boards before I left. Lightbulbs were going off left and right and this student had asked about before I left and I encouraged her to ask one of her peers as this would continue to help their solidification of their knowledge.

I love my job. Thank you little moments.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Converting between Exponential and Logarithmic Expressions - The Snail Method

The last unit in trigonometry was Exponential and Logarithmic Functions. One of the early learning targets of the unit was converting between exponential and logarithmic expressions. Now this topic can be taught a variety of ways and initially, I had asked the kids to look at the patterns and what usually was happening. I then had a very excited hand shoot up in the room and ask if she could teach her classmates a trick. I can take no credit to this trick as she had learned it from a previous teacher but she called this method, The Snail Method. It's best to approach this by going from log to exponent and then doing the reverse.

The method goes like this. Create a snail head around your log base b. And then you create the snail shell by raising this b to the power and being set equal to our last part.  Now, my kids loved this method  but weren't truly convinced that it looked like a snail (we slightly forced it).

It's important to also discuss the inverse property of log base b and the exponent with base b as this leads into being able to solve exponential/logarithmic equations but if you constantly refer back to this method, it creates a comfort zone, a Linus blanket, if you will. I used this method to also discuss graphing logarithmic functions in terms of an exponential function.

Welp, that's really all there is to this short cut but it did create an "ah hah" moment and also created some of the success in this unit. 98% of my trig class doesn't have to retake their test. It's part of my policy that kids have to retake a test if they do not master any learning targets. When I announced this stat, both classes applauded. I haven't heard applause since the day I let them listen to Dr. Seuss. So thank you, my student, for your enthusiasm and helping your classmates out, a practice, which I always ALWAYS encourage!

Winning Miss Rudolph, Winning :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Are your kids just not motivated? Do they think they can get by with the bare minimum? Do they keep blaming you and making excuses?

A facebook friend of mine had posted a video that she had showed to her kids in order to motivate them to take ownership of their work and be more accountable for their grades. I thought that it could really apply to my class. A couple of weeks ago, it was the halfway week of our semester (I think I had said this before but my kids take a year long course in a semester, yeah, it's pretty fast). Being the halfway mark and seeing how the kids, for the most part, were struggling to stay up to speed and do well in my class, it was time for an intervention. Our administration had mentioned in a faculty meeting that it might be a good idea to offer an "intercession" where the kids get time in class to continue to work on their missing assignments or low grades (likewise, we're on a mastery systems so my kids are constantly doing corrections or other work to fix their test grades).

Now being the stubborn person that I am, I didn't want to completely just hand the day over to them. I wanted my kids to think about it. So I showed them this video.

After watching the video, this is when I said, "I wish the ending had said "Earn Mastery" because you have to work for it. My class isn't easy, it's the last class you take for your required high school credit and next up, is college level courses. I won't just give you mastery. Just like Michael Jordan did, you will have to work for it and there might be some failure along the way but learning from your mistakes and fixing them, is what will get you mastery."

I then explained how the day would work and for the most part, I had a pile of grading to do with kids handing me all sorts of old material and tests corrections (I had also printed out a grade report for each kid with highlights and notes for each child).

So the next time you want to motivate your kids, maybe use this video or find another. If you do find another, I'd love it if you'd share :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Additional Assignment - I don't know, Prove it to Me!

Do you have those students in class who sincerely want to understand why? And this question of why came from them playing around with a few things and noticing a pattern? Have you ever been asked one of these questions in the middle of class when you are teaching something such that this new additional topic would completely lose your students?

What do you do in this case?

Scenario: "Miss Rudolph!!!!!!!!!!!! MISSSSSSS RUDOLPH!!!!!! Can you explain to me why ln(4)/ln(5) = log(4)/log(5)????????"

Me: Wait, where did this come from? (We were in the middle of another problem so I was caught off guard) ..... After a few moments....... Can I look into this a little and get back to you?

Child: But, but, but, but.... fiiiiiiine

So I tried googling it a little, because that's what everyone always does, right? Because of course I don't remember all the proofs that I did in college.... good times..... But I couldn't find it.

Now, let it be known, I put all of maybe 5 minutes into googling when I had other students come in that afternoon so I decided to provide the child with the additional assignment.

The next day in class... "Miss Rudolph, did you find out why?"

Me: No, I did not. So I give you this challenge, you prove it to me. You find out why, and I will give you points.

This child looooooooves points. So needless to say, the game was on.

The following morning:

Child (walks straight into my room): Okay, give me the points now. I've done it!!

The child proved ln(a)/ln(b) = log(a)/log(b) and let me tell you, wow do I feel silly for not having done it myself.

Let's think of it using the Change of Base Property!

ln(a) = Log(a)/Log(e) and ln(b) = Log(b)/Log(e)

Well, do a little division magic and poof! You get log(a)/log(b)

I felt like a very silly math major.... but the child got his points.

Challenge your kids, they may or may not surprise you. This lead into a discussion about possibly looking into being a math major. I informed the child that the proof and process that he went through by using properties was exactly what I spent 4 years doing.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Children's Book - Inverse Functions [The Results]

This past week, students turned in their children's book where they created a story that lead the reader through the process of finding the inverse of a variety of functions. The following day, we had story hour. To prepare the kids for story time, I had a little story time with the kids myself. I linked the post to the youtube video where the kids and I watched and listened to Dr. Seuss' "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish." This was the first time where there was applause in my classroom, sigh. They really liked watching the story time and they were even more ready to read their own stories. One suggest that a child produced was for me to show this when introducing the project. Next time, I might do this or perhaps I'd read them a story or ask a leading question: What stories did you love to be read at bed time as a child?

For the most part, the products were wonderful and the students were able to illustrate their ability to find the inverse of functions step by step. Mastery obtained.

I've uploaded a few highlights. Enjoy!

Below is the link to the rubric that I used when grading the projects. I liked the project, overall, because it helped the kids work on their explanations and ability to justify steps (common core friendly?) and not to mention, it gave kids a chance if they don't test well. The results for the project were alot better than a test, more work to grade but definitely more enjoyable to do in general. Story time in math = fun :)

Update: Barnes and Noble offers free online story time with tons of stories that could have been used to present this project!
Trig Unit 3 LT4 LT5 LT6 LT7 Mastery Project Rubric

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Think Pair Share

Discovery/Inquiry learning is absolutely wonderful. It's something that I truly believe in and am working to bring to my classroom. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to have students just start learning this way after they've been taught for so long with the traditional lecture method. Now, I do believe that there is a time and a place for a standard lecture, I also agree that other methods need to be used.

I talked about my version of flipped or preheating in an earlier blog post (yes this is my fourth today but I've been needing to update for weeks). Now, I want to talk about how discovery has and has not worked in my classroom.

Last week, I tried stations with my Trigonometry class. At each station, I had a description about the tests for symmetry (origin, y-axis, x-axis) and even/odd/neither along with an example and a picture of the graph. The goal was for the kids to take their list of functions and determine (based upon the information) what happened to each of the graphs.

Insert exploding bomb now. The kids did not have it. They didn't understand the difference between 
-f(x) and f(-x) as well as what it meant to plug in -x or -y.... Basically, it was a big no. Some kids (very few) started to see the patterns like with even functions and the even powers but for the most part, they were shutting down and wanted to just do some examples. Needless to say, unsuccessful lesson Miss Rudolph. However, I did have a kid exclaim to me today that he now understood what those signs meant..... just needed to sit there for about a week and simmer and stew... sigh

After this disastrous discovery lesson, I learned that my kids were not completely ready for this much freedom. Unit 3 started out with piecewise functions, step functions, absolute value functions, and greatest integer function. Along with those guys, I also felt that the Vertical Line test was important. These 5 "sections" were broken into parts on a set of class notes that I provided with the kids. On these notes, I created a couple of questions such as "what is this in your own words?" "draw the graph" "what happens if...". I had slides showing on my projector (which is extremely cool as it's hooked up with Apple TV) for each section. I told the kids, I would slowly go through the slides for that section (each one had 2 or 3) and I would have them silently read the slides, process the information, think about what is being said and try to answer the questions. After they gave this a shot, they were to pair up with their "arcs." (My room is set up such that there are automatic groups of 3) In their pairs, they would compare their answers and explain the concepts to one another. After this, we shared as a group and they put the concepts into their own words for the group. Again, some groups extremely excelled and were able to grasp the concepts and as usual, many groups struggled (not everyone likes group work). Initially, I had a couple of kids pull me aside and tell me, "Miss Rudolph, I am not getting this" and I would respond with "Give it a shot, think about what's being said, give it some time" and by the end of the lesson, smiles had returned and they admitted, "Okay, now I get it". For the most part, the classes did a great job and were able to obtain the initial information on their own by reading and analyzing the words. Discovery? Slightly, baby steps people, baby steps. Just wait til I have them discover trigonometric functions, minds blown.

I'm wondering if this unit is going so much better because of the major presence of teaching themselves throughout. I started the unit out with students obtaining information on their own and processing it solo and then together. Continued the unit with a teach yourself / preheat over the weekend. And of course, we had group examples where we do problems together. Very rarely will I do or tell the class how to do a problem, I refuse and I don't believe in it. I always ask for ideas and will slowly reveal the steps based upon their responses.

Confidence is building amongst the class and I'm pleased to say that I've gone 2 school days in a row with no headache. Happy Miss Rudolph :) Happy kids, it really does make my day when they grasp the concepts and expand their knowledge by digging a little deeper

Children's Book - Inverse Functions

At my school, we believe in a mastery systems. Basically, if a student has not "mastered" the content, then they do not receive the credit to move on. I think this is wonderful for math because as we all know, our content builds upon one another.

Unit 3 in Trigonometry deals with piecewise and inverse functions. For the ending half of the unit, inverses, I decided to have the kids create a mastery project rather than assess their ability solely in the form of a test. I just provided the project guidelines yesterday, so I have no status regarding how they look or how they are going but I will on Friday! I've uploaded the project description to scribd (see below) and as you can see, we will be doing a rough draft / peer editing day in class on Friday. The kids also got a handout detailing what I would expect in their rough draft (not uploaded).

The project is due next Wednesday (the day after the unit test) and I have crossed fingers! The kids are feeling pretty confident on this unit and as we all know, happy kids, happy teacher, happy classroom :)

Trig Unit 3 LT4 LT5 LT6 LT7 Mastery Project

Factoring Polynomials Foldable/Project

So, in Trigonometry, we were working with factoring polynomials (differences/sums of cubes, grouping, synthetic division, and long division), which I must say are rather yuck for kids. Anyways, after introducing synthetic substitution and linking it to division, I told the kids that they would be doing a little project over the weekend: researching the other methods (with provided links) and creating a four corner foldable with steps/examples/hints etc.
This was the description of the project that I gave to the kids. The logic behind the project was to begin creating study material for their unit test (this did not prove to be a wonderfully successful one but we're doing better in unit 3) while also having the kids describe steps in the factoring methods and thinking about what was happening.

Some of the projects looked awesome and the kids had some fun with it and others, well they weren't as pretty. It's okay, it wasn't a huge project (they're doing another one right now.... I'll describe it later).

downside: the kids didn't do real difficult examples so when we talked about them, they weren't as pretty (ie: diff/sum of cubes), I should have done a prerequisite day focusing on the factoring done in Algebra 2 (GCF/diff of squares/Trinomials) to better prepare us, I'm also not sure how much they are using them
upside: they did create a reference for themselves on what was occurring in each method (they could have continued to add to their notes), they were very pretty visuals, we got to do a gallery walk where the kids looked at what others had to say

After the gallery walk, I had the kids explain their steps and how to do examples to me and the class. This is where we noticed the struggle with more complex examples. Next time, definitely doing a prerequisite assignment as well as providing specific examples to include on their sheets next to the resource ones.

Welp, we live and we learn! When I did factoring with the Algebra 2 kids, we did stations (much to their dismay, they're not big fans of walking around the classrooms). In the stations, the kids did this exact process with a premade 4 square foldable (I created a word doc with a 2x2 table prelabeled with the different methods and spots for steps/examples/notes). I almost prefer this as I was able to monitor but again, I like the flipped classroom idea. The flipped classroom is something that I've really been trying to start to use in my class or at least the idea of "preheating" the oven.

For example, last week, I had my kids do an Assistment Assignment (this is an online tool that my school uses where I can upload questions or anything, I put Kahn videos and what not into mine where they can leave comments or questions about the topics) where they were to read/watch about finding the inverse of a function. Well this week, 42/62 kids did their homework and Monday, well, it went much better as we had all been exposed to the topics over the weekend so they weren't as scary :) Now, three weeks ago when we tried this an 17/62 kids did their homework, well Monday was simply scary and unit 2 had an ugly test day. I think we've learned alot.

Well, I hope :)

Match the Graph - Graphing Inequalities

Sorry it's been so long! It's been 6 weeks since I've first started teaching and it has been a very busy 6 weeks!! I'm already almost half way through the semester and half way through all the content. Each of my classes has 6 unites and in both classes, we're finishing up the third unit this week/next week.

Algebra 2 had a unit where they were to graph inequalities and eventually systems of inequalities. After doing a few on their own, I then had the class break up into 4 groups and race to place Match the Graph!

It was so incredibly easy to make! All you need to do is take index cards, inequalities (or whatever equation you want), the solutions, tape/glue and bam! You have yourself a quick and easy race!

Everyone loves KutaSoftware and that's what I used for my graphs, since they already provide solutions. I had two different sets (a blue set and a pink set) made from the Algebra 1 inequalities and the Algebra 2 inequalities.

Downside: some kids obviously did most of the work, some kids tried to work it out by hand and then slowed down their group, some kids were able to visualize the solutions easily and didn't explain it to others.

Upside: it was a great lesson for kinesthetic and visual learners, it's great for visualizing what is happening or what is being said by the graph, and it's also great as an additional form of excitement in the class (kids love a good race)

Next time, I do believe that I would make an additional set of cards with systems of inequalities as the main point of the learning target was for SYSTEMS not just single inequalities. Also, I wouldn't put the blank graphs on the cards because they all wanted to draw on them (Miss Rudolph said no) but this wouldn't have been an issue if I had gotten them laminated because then kids could have taken dry erase markers to them....... But of course, I didn't have immediate access to a laminator.

Well! I have several other posts that I need to make but I did want to share this activity!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day of School! First Day of School!

Yay! I survived my first day of school and I didn't lose any children! I most definitely announced this at my staff meeting that followed the first day on Monday. Technically, I've now survived two days but as I had mentioned before, we're not in our content classes yet, just in our advisory all day. I almost find this to be more difficult as my Masters' classes hadn't prepared me for teaching a class that wasn't math.... Anyways, I figured I'd share a few things that we did!

Of course I had to be the awesome new teacher (I'm the only new teacher at the school) who brought in krispy kreme for her kids so the kids nommed on donuts and picked up my syllabus and the schedule for the day. After everyone had come in, I played them the video above because as I said, I know that is exactly how they felt this morning! We did the usuals such as introductions but with the twist of when introducing themselves, they had to explain where their name came from and we got a lot of interesting responses as well as some, I don't know ones... I then went over the syllabus and had my upperclassmen explain what "advisory" was. I hadn't given too much info on myself so I allowed each student to ask me any question, school appropriate, to me. Those were fun and the kids saw that I did have some personality. I got asked about my best friend and if I had any kids and other typical questions but it was still fun to have some stories to them.

I then had my kids split up into mentoring teams where the upperclassmen were paired with a lower classmen and were to use the time to give them some advice. They all were pretty engaged as I had emphasized this was a good time to get the tips and tidbits that I could possibly not provide or was not aware of (i.e. don't use this water fountain as it sprays out).

It was then time to go outside. We're near a park that has a mile long loop so we walked a mile (bad idea in my shoes as I'm still feeling it with my blisters). After the walk, I posed the question: "What or who would you walk 100 miles for?" We had been posed this question during our teacher week and there was the possibility of some deep responses. My kids gave me some typical teenager responses but some did provide me with some well thought out answers and insight into who they really were.

Inside time again and this was my time to get some information. I had found a cool student profile that was Facebook themed on pinterest so I'll use this LINK because I can't figure out Scribd at the moment.... After the kids filled out their profile, they wrote a letter on the back to me talking about what they were afraid of for the year, their hopes, questions that they still wanted answered, ideas for the year, and any other information that they really wanted me to know. One student drew me a picture which I can only assume is myself...
She nailed my raised eyebrow smiling expression..... The rest of the day went alright as well and I've just begun planning more lessons that I will share as I get less busy but I'm trying to have some hours to myself. Can't be losing my  mind during my first year!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Door Decoration

Today was my first day of teacher work week and I have to say I am extremely lucky. I have a small group of wonderful coworkers and I think I have successfully memorized each name. Anyways, we took a field trip for some team building activities that we will be doing with our "advisories" next week. Advisory is kind of like homeroom but I meet with my advisory twice a week for 40 minutes. Over the course of the year, we do a service learning project together. It sort of serves as a family base at the school. The activities that my kids will be doing next week were fun but also meaningful.

When I got home, I began doing the summer reading that I had found out about the previous week. Each student will read the same book and turn in their responses to me during advisory so it's generally a good idea for us to read them. But I also began working on a class decoration that I had found on pinterest. Now, I'm not going to decorate my room too heavily as we switch rooms halfway during the year to keep it fair. But I saw this and absolutely wanted to make it for my door. I think it really did a great job of showing sentiments that I believe in.... It says
When you enter this classroom ...
You are mathematicians
You are a friend
You are explorers
You are important
You are loved
You are respected
You are the reason
We are here!
Love, Miss Rudolph

I had found the fonts through all those free font services on pinterest and just played around with it. It's another cheap classroom decoration to make and it's also a really cute and different door decoration idea.

I also have to start working on my unit learning targets more so. I had mentioned that I was teaching Algebra 2 and Trigonometry classes this semester and so far, I have learning targets for the first unit of each. Goal: Complete a list of all learning targets for each unit. Then, Calendar. Then, Lessons. I think it can be accomplished :)

First up, Linear Expressions and Inequalities for Algebra 2 and Data Analysis and Probability for Trig. I welcome any ideas for both! Especially as they will be taught in block!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I wanted to publicly announce that I have accepted an offer to be a high school mathematics teacher!!! After several stressful weeks with no interview offers, I received three last week. Last Thursday, I was slotted to interview at two schools who actually work very closely... So closely that the principals that I met with were scheduled to be at the same meeting later that day and even spoke to one another.... So that was a surprise when I showed up to the second one and she said, "So I've heard you've been a busy girl!" Anyways, I received a phone call about 20 minutes after the second from the other school who ended up needing more time after meeting with more of their people later that day as well as an offer 8 hours afterwards from this school. I waited over the weekend and verbally accepted yesterday.

I am ecstatic! I'm not quite sure what I'll be teaching but you can bet that I'll have some new material coming up!! Stay tuned!

UPDATE: This week, I was fortunate enough to meet with the teacher who's place I am taking. My new principal set me up with her to help the transition. Anyways, I found out more details! I'll be teaching Algebra 2 (just like my mom and oh yeah, she taught me that in high school) and Trigonometry. Now, my school is different in that we are on block so each class will be an hour and a half long and I will be done teaching these subjects at the end of the semester. Oh, and I also have what is called an advisory which meets twice a week for 40 minutes. In advisory, we will have a small focus on a service learning project for the year so I'm working on tossing those ideas around. Anyways, I would truly appreciate and love any advice or words of wisdom to help get me through my first week of school, my first year of school, tips on block teaching, anything :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

I know it's been a long time....

It's been just over a month since my last post and for that I apologize. I guess the teaching blogs do run a little dry in the summer .... especially when you don't know what you're teaching .....

Anyways.... I know I said I'd post the link to my kids' video from their final project so here's this one...

But the video that I was the most proud of was a stopmotion video. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if they have a link on youtube or not but I have it saved on my iTunes for years to come :) I took a few screen shots of it ...

At the end of their video, after discussing the soh cah toa business along with law of sines and cosines and how they might use them with actual numbers, the group did a little for your information about their project. 2500 post it notes were used in the making of this video with 27 hours spent between 3 people working on this video. They came in exhausted to present this but I had the biggest smile on my face while watching these videos. If you really let your students have a lot of freedom, they will show you how talented they really are. I can expect to see their names in the rolling credits one day...

I really had an amazing time doing my student teaching (the above picture was emailed to me from a student so with their permission, I added it to the blog). Some of my students even want to visit me in my future classroom! Well, hopefully I can announce where that will be soon.... But I did sign a lease in Columbus so I can guarantee that it won't be too far away!! So students... if you're reading this.... feel free to visit me wherever I might end up!!!

So currently, I've spent my summer editing my Masters' Thesis as well as packing up the apartment and shopping for furniture for the new apartment. Craigslist has been my friend as I currently have no promise of a salary. Also, I get my official teaching license this week!!! I attached some of the pieces of art that I've been working on my for my new apartment. I've really found that painting has helped with the stress of not having a job. In fact, I've been so calm recently that I haven't had a major panic attack about the lack of a job......

 Oh... and I had to throw in a picture of the shoes that I got for my birthday... They're TOMS and normally, I am very uninterested in the shoes but they were Calculus TOMS and I couldn't pass up the idea that they had math written all over them.... I'm thinking of getting a pair for Heidi as she will be teaching Calculus next year at Malvern High School!!!!! amongst her other 4 preps..... But yes, my roommate accepted a job about a month ago back home so today, we will be beginning to move her into her new apartment!
Well, that's really all I have for you today. Sorry it's not more math related but I was really inspired because I got two emails yesterday (I was in Cincinnati for the Kenny Chesney concert) about my blog and it reminded me that there are still people out there. Writing this blog gives me great joy and I've been slacking a little, partially because I have no preps to prep for yet....

But I will leave you with this idea that I heard from one of my peers.... He was teaching Surface Area / Volume and he took his class on a tour around the world. They were given passports with the various sights they would see and on the Smart Board they went to different locations where they had to find these values of building structures. Geography/Math? I love it!!! I personally loved that unit and am sad that soon it'll be out of the high school curriculum so middle school folk.... have fun with it for us!!!

Once again, thank you for reading and hopefully I'll have news on here soon so that I can start throwing out some ideas!!!
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