Friday, October 30, 2015

Thoughts from the Week

A few things that got me thinking this week:

1.  I used Kahoot in all of my classes this week to review topics. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not a big fan. The kids love it (they were all like, "Are we doing Kahoot? Yay!") but I don't know that we accomplished anything by using it that Socrative wouldn't have done either.  My biggest ick is the emphasis on speed in answering questions.  Just because someone can't answer faster than anyone else doesn't mean they should get fewer points.  And then there are the kids that select an answer immediately just to get the points.

So maybe I'm not "doing it right" but I'm not sold.  I do like, however, the huge repository of Kahoots that are available.  That was nice.

Oh, and another thing I didn't like - the answers are so small at the bottom of the screen (and I was projecting my laptop screen) that they're hard to see. I was actually writing each answer on the board as soon as they came up so the kids in the back could see them.  That's annoying.

2. We've been solving quadratic equations in Math 2 this week. I'd originally planned on moving into the Quadratic Formula today, but I got to thinking yesterday.  It's Friday, the day before Halloween, and I have a 10th period (last period of the day) class. Not real conducive for learning new material. I decided to set up stations to get the kids practicing solving using different methods. I had a station for solving by factoring, solving by square roots, and solving by completing the square, and factoring practice. In the last station the kids were given a bunch of different quadratic equations and told to determine how they would solve each equation and justify their response (but they didn't have to solve).   I was very pleasantly surprised on how it went, especially with a squirrely 10th period group.

Oh, and for each station there was a QR code on the instructions so the kids could check their answers. Their work documents also had QR codes linked to videos if the kids needed some reminding on how to do the skill.  Some of them thought that was pretty cool (and actually scanned the QR codes to check their work!).

I'll definitely keep this activity in the rotation.

3. It's going to be a weird week next week. On Monday a math teacher from another school is coming to hang out for a couple of periods; it's a PD day for them and from what I understand they were given the freedom to check out other classrooms.  Tuesday we have a PD day (because of elections) and I'm heading to a school to observe the Harkness Method in use. On Wednesday I have a pre-observation meeting with my principal in advance of Friday's observation. (Which I'm somewhat nervous about but not as nervous as I would have been a few years ago. But I'd still like to find something fun to do... maybe a Mathalicious activity?  I've seen one that would fit in nicely.)

And for this weekend - at least 3 soccer games (maybe 4), trick or treating, and lots of planning for my Math 1 class. We just finished up the "review" that I wanted to start the year with (though you know they'd have claimed they never saw it before) and it's apparently time to figure out what I need to do with them for the next 3 quarters.  No biggie.


  1. Lol. But only 7 classes. Our lunch periods are basically half of a class yet still have a number assigned. So I have lunch 4 but then my plan period is 5/6 (which adds up to one class).

    If that makes sense.