Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Decorating My New Room! - Wall of Remediation - Properties of Exponents Signs - Oh My!

The decorations are in! The decorations are laminated! The Wall of Remediation is up! I am ready for next term!

This past month has been a great opportunity for me to get organized in my new classroom (once again, we switch halfway through the year, thus why this is comparatively still rather empty). I really am an organized person so I was determined to be prepared this semester for everything! Well, not everything...

Keep Calm and Pretend It's Part of The Lesson Plan


Anyways, here are a few pics!

This is the Wall of Remediation / Student Center. Here, each class has folders for each unit that will hold the remediation for that unit. On the left is my sign that explains the steps to remediation, in case they forget, as they often do. To the right further are the binders with solutions (not worked out) so it'll be their responsibility to check their answers. Further to the right are pencil sharpeners and hole punches. In the little basket are my homework slips so when they forget their homework, they just simply complete one of these and can hand it in to me! I am in love with this station!

This is one of my desk stations but I don't use it, I prefer the middle of the room location so I can project my laptop for the kid's to see the slides. But I did love having my new sign. "Hard work is a two way street you get back exactly what you put in." Totally perfect.

Now this, this is a little different. I found on teacherspayteachers these awesome properties of logarithm posters (free) and then I decided, well hey, I can make my own for properties of exponents as the kids often times forget these! So I did! I basically took screenshots of the log ones and then wrote over them.  I took a screenshot of the main page that I created (below) but I don't want to upload the pdf file because I feel like I basically took The Enlightened Elephants design. BUT, if you would like to send me an email so I can send you the PDF file with my exponent signs I would be happy to! I used all sorts of fun fonts so they sure are purdy!

So I kind of really love this wall / area of the classroom because whenever a kid has a question about this concept, I quickly say, have you seen the wall of exponent rules? And they're like, no, but a great idea miss Rudolph!

Lastly, this is also pinterest inspired but it will be my "MASTERPIECES" wall where if the kids earn mastery on their first go, they get to proudly display their test as a masterpiece.

Well, there you have it! Here is what the vistaprint order has produced decoration wise and what I have been able to do with a printer some glue and a laminator! It wasn't too costly and it is awesome to have the kids like it so much!

Quote from a student, "Why weren't you this organized last semester for us?"

Gotta love em! <3

No Homework Slip / Reflection! - Pinterest Inspiration

Many of the ideas that I have come from pinterest, a great resource, which if you haven't become a part of.... you really should.

Anyways, one of the ideas that I found was a "No Homework Slip." So, I decided to make my own and place them in a basket in my student corner of my room.

The option that I had seen on pinterest had a lot of reasons for not having homework and I wasn't so cool with them as I felt that they'd be easy to just simply check versus clearly state, "I didn't feel like doing it."

I also really feel that the reflection piece was great!

So I made my copies and a coworker of mine had seen them and decided to keep one. I just found this out but she told me today that she loved the idea because often times, she forgets to write down who didn't complete their homework and this served as a great paper trail! Something that I added was the idea that if a student racks too many of them up, I can simply scan them and forward them on to a parent so that they are aware of the situation!

Below is the pdf version of my "No Homework Slip."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ASSISTments Training

So you know that program that I love using with my kids for tests/homework/assignments? Well, if you are in the Columbus area, they are having a training! I'm posting the flier below but if you have any questions, feel free to email me!

Teachers, Administrators…….

Do you want to…
·      Differentiate your students’ education plans?
·      Save grading time for teachers?
·      Get instant results to drive instruction?
·      Communicate individual student progress with parents in a timely basis?
·      Be able to track growth with real data?
·      Have access to content linked to the Common Core?

Do you want to do all of that and more for FREE?

If you do, ASSISTments is perfect for your district!  Learn More:  VIDEO

ASSISTments Training:        Training and Support 

Introductory Module:
·      Monday 2/11/13    9:30-3:30
·      Metro Early College High School, 1929 Kenny Rd., Columbus, OH 43210
·       Who should attend: Classroom teachers, department chairs, administrators, school teacher-leaders
·       Training is conducted in a Train-the-Trainer model - you can take ASSISTments back to your staff!

ASSISTments in Action: Two half-day sessions in your district
·       To be scheduled the week of February 25 and the week of April 8

Wrapping it All Up and Best Practices:  What are you doing?  What’s next?
·       Friday, April 26, 2013    9:30 – 3:30
·       Metro Early College High School, 1929 Kenny Rd., Columbus, OH 43210
·       Who should attend?  All member of both Training Groups (Nov and Feb launch)

ASSISTments Training is a credit opportunity! One graduate semester credit hour is
available through Ashland University.

Training Costs:  $700 per school (Team of Three attendees; $200 per additional attendee)

Sign up Now!  Space is limited….

To be included in this training, simply complete the registration Google Form:

Training provided by Treno Solutions Group

YouTube Virtual Learning

As I have discussed and perhaps some of you know, we have what is called a virtual day. For those of you who don't know what this is, basically, I teach from home twice a week during the month of January and if we ever have a snow day, I also teach virtually so we don't lose that classroom time. Because math can be very difficult to teach virtually, I've created YouTube videos for my kids to watch. They then will take notes and then complete an online assignment based upon the topic so that I can grasp what they did and did not get. I've embedded one of my videos below about factoring the sum of cubes (this is a trigonometry topic that many of them do not enjoy). But there are also several other ones that I've uploaded specifically for Algebra 2 (as this was my J-Term Class).

Pros: The kids love to pause me (they claim it's so that they can try the problem and then check their work as I go through it). It's a lot easier for virtual days, because teaching and answering the questions when I can't see faces is really hard.

Cons: I hadn't found a way to monitor these yet but I've come up with my solution, ASSISTments. I've mentioned this before but this is just an online resource where I create tests/homework/assignments but I can embed videos into the questions and then they can answer a question automatically or I can put it into essay form where they write questions they are having.

Anyways, I have to give credit to someone else for encouraging this post. I received a message on my YouTube account from someone complimenting the videos and encouraging additional ways to get views and it really brought a smile. In this profession, we don't really get all that many compliments directly, you don't in many professions, but little messages like this (the best are from the students, which I save in my email in a folder called "Lovely") make me smile and remember why I love my job and profession. So thank you :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

LakeShore Laminating

I think this picture shows my excitement that I have for my current project. My school is currently halfway through what we call J-Term (my mentor teacher informed me that it was a God Send to Teachers, and I now agree). During this term, I teach twice a week in person (for 8 hours), twice a week virtually (for 2 hours - but I record myself teaching on YouTube so it's minimal and basically virtual office hours), and once a week, I monitor kids trying to recover a credit from last semester). This has left me with a BOAT load of time to prepare for next semester. One of my big project has been revamping my new room (I'm in my room #2 of the year) by making lot's of new decorations. I have been inspired by Pinterest and have used lot's of the teacherspayteachers website ideas. After printing off all sorts of things (some self created, some not), I glued them to cardstock then went to LakeShore Learning Center.

Did you know that teacher can get a foot of laminating for 29 cents???? All of the paper you see in my hands above (it's alot) got laminated for $2.19!!! Of course, you just need to sign up to be a Teacher member, which is free.

Soon, after my vista print order comes in, I'll take pictures of the room and all the decorations hung up but for now, I just wanted everyone to know about this amazing deal!!

Gotta love teacher discounts!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Vista Print Order #2

Groupon is having a VISTAPRINT Deal!!! For $17, you get $70 worth of Vista Print product. It's a really amazing deal if you swing it right. You can still get free business cards to use as homework passes and a rubber stamp for stamping those amazing tests!!

I'm sharing the link HERE.

Some of you might recall a post that I did last summer where I bought all sorts of Vista Print product for my future classroom. Currently, I'm using nearly every thing!!

Well, I just bought a whole boat load more!! Some of them are repeats and others are new ones!!!

 The Homework Pass - still FREE!!!
 New Magnet to hang on my board
 New Poster!!! - Pinterest Inspired
 The Goal of this poster is to inspire kids to have their work displayed!
 Just to be clear, some of my kids don't understand what they have to do to earn their mastery. Now, there are no excuses.
 They LOVE this stamp!! And I love that it's free!
 Again, a new poster inspired by pinterest.
Okay, I could have made this sticky note better but I was inspired to have sticky notes with graph paper for my kids. It'll be easier for them to take notes.

Cost of Groupon: $17
Total at VistaPrint (including shipping): $11

All in all, I spent $28 and got tons of stuff (I got 11 sets of post its)!!

SO HURRY UP!!! Go to groupon, get the vistaprint coupon and order away!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm Fundamental Counting Principle Barbie!

As I had said earlier, this spring, I'm hoping to kick off a bunch of new lessons that I'm attempting to use based upon my experiences this first semester. In Trigonometry, our very first unit is Probability & Data Analysis with our very first learning target focusing on the Fundamental Counting Principle.

Now, I haven't taught this lesson but I figured I'd get started and post about it and then post the results later on.

The previous night for homework, I assign an ASSISTment which reviews basic probability concepts from Algebra 1 (this will give me a quick Pre Assessment, as well). Next, there is an embedded instructional video in the online homework where the kids learn about the Fundamental Counting Principle (I can see how long the kids spend on the questions so I can guarantee that they watch the whole video). After this, they answer 3 questions:

1) What is the Fundamental Counting Principle?
2) What questions do you have still about the Fundamental Counting Principle?
3) What's your favorite kind of sandwich?

The last one is just for fun. Lastly, they then have 3 questions on the Fundamental Counting Principle.

Last semester, this homework assignment had an average of a 78%. Not bad, considering they learned it at home.

An additional homework assignment that I will assign will be for the kids to each bring in one SCHOOL APPROPRIATE magazine, not giving any other details.

This next part will require a few materials (the list is for one group)
-Magazines (student provided but I'll bring a few)

The following day.....

Using the magazines that the kids bring in for homework, the kids will cut out articles of clothing in their groups (these can be student chosen or teacher assigned) for about 10 minutes.

I don't want to let the kids know .... yet ..... that this project isn't just for fun, but there will be math involved.

I do fear that I will lose the boys on this one, so I might crack a few remarks saying that you make Barbie and Ken look as snazzy or goofy as you would like.

After the ten minutes is up, I will then show the kids the real assignment.

For the rest of the period (we have block), I will allow the kids to work on their posters while monitoring the groups. I'm thinking that the following day, I will have groups present their findings so that this gives me time to check the math on each poster and the kids can work on verbalizing their math.

Since we have an hour and a half, I'm also allowing time to go over the homework assignment from the previous night where we can discuss the questions covering fundamental counting principle.

I was inspired by a pin I saw where the teacher did a similar lesson with Mr. Potato Head. I looked into this but decided that due to costs (man are kids' toys expensive), this was not feasible (come on, it's my first year). Then, it just came to me. Crossed fingers! Overall, my hope is that, although this is a fairly simple topic, we can have some fun collaborative work during the first week of classes.

Since I haven't done this one yet, and so far it is in the "on deck" stage of lessons, please feel free to give me some feedback or suggestions! I hopefully covered all the student created issues such as "THIS OUTFIT DOESN'T MATCH" but I'm sure there are more and would love to hear them now!

Graphing Trigonometric Functions

One unit I was really excited to teach, when I learned my classes at the beginning of the year, was Trigonometry. I had already taught it in my student teaching and had learned a few things that I would change. There are tons of ways to teach graphing trig functions but my mentor had brought a strategy to me that would have possibly been a bit easier.

Shifting X and Y Values

The way I taught my students, this semester, was extremely beneficial for all the horizontal shifts that occur in terms of period changes and horizontal/phase shifts. The way I teach my kids is to attack the graph in a few steps.

1) Graph the original function.

2) Relabel your y-coordinates by first checking for a vertical shift. This will tell you if you are "centered" around the y=0 line. If there is a vertical shift. Change this from 0 to whatever you shift is.
             -Next, attack the amplitude by relabeling your maximum and your minimum. Add your amplitude to this vertical shift and relabel this max. Subtract your amplitude from your vertical shift and relabel your minimum.

3) Next came the hard part. There are "two rounds" of relabeling the x-coordinates. The first round, we use the new period. This way, we have then "started" at x = 0. Relabel your end of the first cycle with the new period. I then broke this up into chunks using 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 of the period. Do this to both sides.

4) The "second round" involves the phase shift. Add or subtract the phase shift to each of your x-coordinates. This was really hard for my kids as I learned that fractions were not their strong suits. They hated me even more as I did not allow a calculator.

That is right, I took away the calculator for graphing trig functions. MEAN MISS RUDOLPH!!!

I will say, a student told me, after he had already passed my class: "Miss Rudolph, your class and unit 5 made me much better at fractions. I actually understand them now because I was forced to learn them."

That right there, is why I loved the way I taught this.

Of course, steps 3 and 4 can be condensed once the kids have understood that you are shifting the graph by doing two rounds. Eventually, I started by making the phase shift at x=0 and then figuring out what the mark would be at the end of the cycle so I had one full period, based upon whatever this was.

I've included an image of one of the homework problems where I showed all my steps for my kids so perhaps you too can figure out what all this process was!

Pros: No Calculator!!!! Fraction Skills Improved, Learned Basic Shapes of Functions

Cons: I'm not sure everyone fully grasped what this would look like on a calculator.

What are some other ways that you teach graphing trig functions?

Happy New Year! - First Post of 2013

Sorry it's been so long!!! .... again ....

Happy New Year to everyone!!! As i'm sure everyone is, it's been super busy around here and it's not getting any less busy. I've been spending a lot of time planning and working on lessons for the future that I can hopefully post about on here! Those are to be starting to commence in February.

January is what we call J-Term where the kids have an intense month where they take one course.

We teach two days in person for four hours. Two days are taught virtually for two hours. And we hold office hours on one day a week. The rest is up to them. I'm teaching a recovery class so the kids have already had me and the class once. It is my hope that this will get them through. To help, I've been spending a lot of time making you tube videos for them. This has been great for our virtual days so they have some one to listen to. I then utilize a system that we were trained on called ASSISTments. I create most, if not all, of my tests on this website along with homework and practice. On virtual days, I create an assignment that they must complete. This ensures that I have the kids accomplishing something even though I'm not watching them. I can also see who is and who is not getting the material.

But that's really not what I was going to post about.

I wanted to talk about this idea of a game called REBUTTAL.

I did this with my Algebra 2 kids during our last unit in December. For their review, I had the kids come up with a question for each learning target (writing a rational equation real world question, rationalizing a denominator, simplifying a radical, etc.). I then had the kids solve their own problems. I took their answers and then compiled it into a giant review packet where I wrote the questions and their answers.

The next day, I had the groups split up into four and gave them the following instructions:

"Here are your review questions and the "answers" but some of them are wrong. It is your job to decide which ones are right and which ones aren't. If they aren't correct, you must correct them. For each question that you correctly identify as getting correct, you will receive a point. For each question that you correctly identify as incorrect, you will REBUTTAL AND find the correct solution, you will receive two points. If you rebuttal and are incorrect as the correction was correct, you will lose a point. The winning team of course will win a prize."

The kids actually really loved this game and the challenge of racing to find all the correct and incorrect answers. It was also simple enough.

Con: I had to check EVERY SINGLE QUESTION DONE BY A KID..... I have 60 kids.....
Pro: It got kids finding mistakes.

Changes: I would have loved to have included the incorrect work so they had practice on correcting mistakes. This is a wonderful skill that they really need to work on.

Okay, I too will try to work on posting on here more because dear or dear do I have ideas!

In fact..... I had some professional development this week and we are being required do what is called an MDC (mathematical design collaborative) in terms of a formative assessment lesson. Previously, we did what was called an LDC (literacy design collaborative) where I had my kids research something that obviously for me was math related and then write a paper, actually I really liked mine but due to the nature of that professional development initiative, I am unable to post about that one. Any ways, this MDC might end up being really awesome and I'll be happy to share that resource and the results once I complete this task!!!

Oh, and I found out I'm continuing to teach the same classes next semester! Hooray for learning from my mistakes!

ta ta for now!
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