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Monday, October 19, 2015

Observation #2 Reflection

For this observation, My CT allowed me to choose what part of the lesson in which i would like to teach, the notes section or the activity section. I choose to do the activity. I created an activity based off a book activity, but changed it to apply to the culture of the students. The activity was of an E-statement of a bank account and the activity of one month. When I had the students do the first calculation, instead of doing the long way of subtraction numbers, they grab their calculators right away. Right away I need this activity was not going to be hard for students if they understood how the table was set up. If I teach this activity again, I would allow blanks in the statement in which they are allowed to put what they send their money on or how much money is given to them. This will allow a vary of answers and for the students who understand will (hopefully) choose some interesting numbers. I would also add a couple more deep thinking questions. If the students understand the process, they can get a deeper connection to the real-life application.

When Jon came in, I asked him to write down the questions that I asked my students during the activity. When I looked back at the questions I asked, I was trying to understand how each student was thinking. As a first year teacher, I still am unsure of how the students think. Asking the simple question of "how did you get that answer?" or "can you explain yourself?". I hope I keep using these questions more and become aware of my students thinking.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cheat Sheets in the Classroom...Yes or No?

The above question popped into my mind when my CT was passing out a haft sheet of pink paper that had "short cuts" for transformations. She informed the students that they will be able to use this paper for the test, but she know how to do transformations in general for the MEAP test. I thought in my head, "you are allowing the students to use this cheat sheet when you know they will not be given this information on a standardized test". As I walked around the classroom when the students were working on their classwork, I noticed that the cheat sheet did help the students to get t the correct answer, but do they truly understand the reasoning behind the transformation. Or are they showing the skill of looking onto the cheat sheet for the answer, the "plug-and-chug" method.

I looked back on my education and when I was able to use a cheat sheet. I was given a "formula sheet" for Algebra 2/Trig and Calculus in High School. Thinking back, I realize I did not fully understand the material and when i got stuck on a problem in math class I looked to that sheet for the answer in one of the formulas. So did i really understand the big ideas...i would say no i did not understand.

So are we helping or hurting our students by allowing them to have a cheat sheet for a test? Do we get cheat sheets in life? But at the same time, we do get a cheat sheet in everyday is called the internet. We are able to look up any different things at the touch of a button. So does it matter if we allow students to use a cheat sheet?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Different Ways to Call on Students in the Classroom

In my class, we have a lot of examples we do together as a whole class. As I have noticed through the first couple of weeks of school the same few students will always have their hand raised up high to answer the questions. Even the "easy" questions are only answered by those students. I was surfing the internet and found a couple of different ways to call on students in the classroom.

1) Popsicle sticks: write the students names onto Popsicle sticks and pull out a name when you need a different student to answer the question.

2) "Calling on a different student" : the teacher would call on an arbitrary student and that student will be allowed to call onto the next students to answer the question. Once the students has been called on, they can not be called on again until everyone in the class has had a turn to answer a question.

3) "Phone a friend": This allows the students that you cold called who do not know the answer to the question to phone a friend. This allows the students to help each other out and do not feel pressure if they do not know the answer.

4) "Think, Pair, Share": The students will be give a couple of seconds to think of an answer to the question. Then they will look to their partner and share what they thought the answer was. Then the teacher can call onto one of the students in a group to share the answer they think is correct to the whole class.

I would love to figure out what technique works for my future students. If you have different ways to call on students in the classroom, please comment below. I would love to hear your way :)