Friday, March 2, 2012

A Week off to rethink!

My school had a week off... 'ski week.' No, I didn't spend it snowboarding. However, it was one of the best weeks of my life since I got to spend the entire week with my 21-month old son. Another reason it was so great was because it gave me a chance to rethink some of the things I'm doing in my middle school math classes. I plan on keeping this post short by briefly explaining my blog title, my week of rethinking, and a link I would love some feedback on.

Blog Title:
My favorite divisibility rule is that of three. Although common in the math community, take any number, add its digits and if the sum of its digits is divisible by 3, then the number itself is divisible by 3. For example, 582 is divisible by three since the sum of its digits equals 15. The same rule applies to nine, but I am simply drawn to the rule of 3.

Week of rethinking:
An overwhelming majority my week off was spent rethinking my approach to my math classroom, inspired by Dan Meyer. If you haven't checked out his website, blog, or popular TED video, I highly recommend it. He has given new life to the timeless relevance of learning math in the classroom and how it applies to the world. I am not the most eloquent writer and would not be able to accurately describe his contributions to the math community. Simply, check out his downloadable lessons on his website, subscribe to his blog, or find some videos of him on YouTube and you'll quickly see why he such an inspiring educator. He has willingly shared ideas and resources that both teachers and students need. It has given me a whole new set of glasses for looking at life around me and constantly thinking how I can better incorporate media into my lessons.
I will be attempting to apply some of his philosophies and techniques in my classroom, one being the 3 Acts process. Act 1: present media to grab the attention of your audience in a way that allows room for discussion, asking questions, and making predictions. Keep the presented information limited so you can lead to Act 2: encouraging your students to discuss what relevant information is necessary to solve the question(s). Solve. Act 3: Finish the media and compare the actual/practical results to the theoretical results.
*Of course this is my interpretation and have still yet to test the process out... leading to my next part.

Video Feedback:
Using Vimeo, I posted two videos about linear inequalities. I am starting this section with my Algebra classes next week and I am excited to attempt my own version of 3 Acts. I am looking for some feedback. I am open to all constructive feedback and want to see if you think the videos will help open the floor for discussion of linear inequalities, shading, and possible outcomes given the necessary information.

78,021 (also divisible by 9)
**Would it be cheesy to sign off leaving a number divisible by three? Ha!

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