MTBoS Mission #4

I listened to a podcast, the one “that started it all.”  I enjoyed listening to the discussion between Ashli Black and Daniel McMatherson, two teachers who are as passionate as I am about trying new things and who also struggle as I do with those new things they are trying!  Daniel switched to SBG cold turkey, just as I did, because he wanted to force himself to really think about what he was teaching and why, saying it has been hard but definitely worth it.  I switched to SBG because it offered more authentic grades, but soon found myself forced to plan much more carefully and deliberately than I ever have before,so I understood exactly what he was talking about.  Hearing him talk about how hard it has been for him makes me feel better about my implementation of SBG.    The two of them also talked at length about those days when they ended up apologizing to their students after teaching a lesson that no one really understood.  I’ve been there, too.  Listening to them validated my efforts this year to keep trying new things even if they don’t work the first time around.  And I loved Daniel’s “gift” at the end–wishing that all teachers could have another like-minded teacher with whom to “talk math teaching.”  I was beginning to despair of finding such a person outside of the occasional conference until I stumbled across MTBoS.  I’d love to listen to some more of the podcasts, but they are so long.  An hour is a lot of time for a busy teacher.

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Fun with Daily Desmos

My Desmos solution

My Mission #3 assignment with MTBoS was to explore one, only ONE of several excellent websites and write a blog about my experiences.  Since I just commented in my previous entry that I didn’t know anything about Desmos (and everyone who is anyone on MTBoS seems to use it) I decided that now was the time to learn it.  So I did a couple of the basic challenges on Daily Desmos and I was pleased with my trigonometric transformational approach.  I wonder if anybody else tried that.  The online Desmos graphing calculator is user friendly and the Desmos Challenge problems (matching graphs) complements my Precalculus curriculum very nicely, so I hope to incorporate it in my classroom.  I will have to Twitter some questions first…

Of course, I had to check out some of the other interesting websites:

Estimation 180:  Teaching estimation skills with pictures (similar to the visual approach of Dan Meyer’s Three Act problems)  I like the idea of using my own pictures to do some interesting warm-up problems.

VisualPatterns:  I can use definitely use these in the classroom (functions, sequences) and with math club.  Saves me a lot of work!  Woo-hoo!

Math Mistakes:  What a novel idea–posting student mistakes and then reflecting on the conceptual misunderstandings and implications for teaching.  I read some very insightful posts.  Here was a great one:

Mistakes, Radicals, Rational Exponents, and Partitioning?

One Good Thing: A forum for teachers to post something GOOD that happened in their classroom.  Very uplifting 🙂

And …. I just figured out how to embed the links to all of these in my post!  Another Woo-Hoo!