Reflections – Geometry Obj. 2 and Algebra 3 Obj. 2

September 3, 2012

My goal for this year was to write my reflections during 8th period (since I have that free). So far, I am 0 for 2. On the other hand, my first reflection was written on the same day as 8th period, and this is being written before the next upcoming 8th period, so it’s not too horrible, right?

I’m not sure whether it’s because I didn’t get enough sleep this week or because I’m trying to avoid coming down with a sinus infection/cold, but I have slept for most of this weekend. Literally–of the 66 hours since I left school on Friday, I have slept for 37 of them! I could probably sleep more right now, but I want to have some chance of falling asleep tonight.

I thought this lesson went fairly well. Since I forgot to hand out homework on the first day, I used the homework (which was a worksheet on identifying patterns) as the warm-up, which reminded me of why I really like warm-ups. It (a) gives me productive time to get the roll checked because they aren’t just sitting there talking; (b) it’s a low-key form of assessment–I can go around the room and judge student understanding; and (c) it “warms up” students for thinking about math.

After we discussed the worksheet, I started the lesson on conditional and biconditional statements. Because this lesson is also text-heavy, I gave them a “holey” foldable to fill in (which also gave them practice on learning how to make a four-page booklet). Once again, however, I ran out of time before I could finish the whole booklet, so instead of giving them an exit ticket, I gave them the exit ticket as homework.

I’m thinking I may not issue textbooks at all this year. The only use I ever really made of them was for homework, and students seemed more likely to do homework if it was on worksheets. Another Geometry teacher jokingly told me that he had made his students put their books on the floor and then stand on them. “You are tougher than your textbook!” he told them. I’m not sure that’s a battle I feel like fighting though.

Algebra 3
One idea I had this year was to make copies of the solutions (on bright pink paper) so they could check their answers. I then spent some time answering questions from the homework. It was a little depressing how many students had trouble grasping the differences between the different number systems (natural, whole, integer, rational, real, and complex); although, after talking to J, an experienced Algebra 2 and PAP Algebra 2 teacher, I found out that the A2 curriculum has dropped number systems (because it’s not in the TEKS **sigh**). Normally we would then have had a quiz, but I had decided to go straight into the next lesson.

This lesson was on linear functions. Not very many students seemed to want to print out the notes I posted online, but I think they might be more inclined after going through class without them. I’m a little disappointed by how many students seemed to have trouble with writing the equation of a line, but we’ll see how they do. This will be their first homework assignment out of the book.

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