September 4, 2013 by ray_emily
I know, I’ve completely disappeared. You probably stopped following me, thinking this blog died a sad and tragic death. (Or, more realistically, you didn’t even notice I’d fallen out of the blogosphere…. Alas.)
It is very sad, I know.
I want back in – but man, it is so hard to find the time. Also, this break from blogging seems to have revived my intense feelings of fear and intimidation. So many brainy bloggers out there! (mope-mope-mope)
But! I’m going to try again.
I’m going to put forth some updates. Nothing breathtaking, but, you know… I’m feeling good these days. It is nice to be back at work, and I’ve got this feeling that I’m being creative and thoughtful, again. And so, I feel ready to share. (That feeling fizzled a bit in the spring semester, last year – which is part of why I stopped blogging.)
Recently, I did the clock project (which I think came from Coefficients of Determination, originally?) but put a little bit of thought into structuring the activity thoughtfully so my classroom wasn’t mass chaos. (I attempted the clock project last year, too – and things were a bit crazy. So much freedom for the kiddos! Also, so many possible errors when it comes to writing expressions involving the order of operations!) Anyhow, I’d like to write about those improvements here, and also reflect on additional improvements I might make in the future. I dig the project a lot – and am grateful to its inventor!
Also, we did this integers comic strip project that I like pretty well, which some of y’all might be interested in grabbing. I’m telling you here and now that this happened so that maybe I won’t avoid writing about it forever. The project is fun for the kids but could use a bit of sprucing up. Maybe I can grab some ideas from you people?
Integer-nary happened – but this year’s version was new and improved (thanks, Timon!) and I felt pretty good about it. Hoping to use this idea / structure in the future, as I liked how it fostered thinking and not automaticity. I’m REALLY pleased (okay, proud!) that I did not at all tell my kids the rules for adding and subtracting integers – not once, ever. (Dude. It was hard to resist.) I made them draw a million number lines and positive / negative chips and they groaned and groaned but then figured stuff out on their own. (Some kiddos are still confused – but when I think about it, I know that this would be the case even if I’d given explicit rules. Unfortunately, I very rarely have 100% of my kids totally on board with what I’m teaching.)
I’m also in a graduate program that I’m enjoying a lot, which has inspired some good thinking that I’d love to process and share here.
Also going to re-attempt this grand project wherein each kid has his / her personal math blog. Fingers crossed that I see it through to the finish, this year.
And finally, thanks much to Courtney and Jeff for the kind Liebster Award nominations. I’m flattered to be in such good company! Hoping to someday write a post accepting the nomination and also share the love with some other folks.