DITLife – January 17th, 2017

Ah, I’m late again.

5:30 AM: The alarm goes off, snooze it used once. Read some news. Head out the door, stopping at Chick-Fil-A who is offering free chicken minis this morning.

6:55 AM: Arrive at school. Check in with my online course, make vocabulary quizlet sets for my sixth-graders.

7:20 AM: Tutoring opens and the day begins.

Extended Learning Time today worked really well with my second period working diligently on Khan Academy. This has been the first Tuesday of the new semester, so this was their first big chunk of time to work, and they did a splendid job.

I started using a Problem-of-the-Week this week. I gave the students a paper to record their thinking, and I’m hopeful for how this will work. I plan to have students work on this officially three times a week at the start of class. I plan on combining the thinking they show on this problem with a self-assessment they complete at the end of the week to come up for a classwork grade for the week. I’m trying to have the students be more reflective about their own work, and I am looking forward to the results.

First-period students continued to work on surface area, they spent the period calculating surface area of Angry Bird nets.

One instructional strategy I keep trying to implement is station activities. I want to work with small groups of students and allow other students to work independently. I’ve been able to effectively do stations before without having a small group, but when I through in a small group station, my other groups seem to fall apart.

I tried again today, and I was happy to see that they worked. I think the change was that there were no new activities at the stations. The students were working on things they had done before, so they could focus on doing the activity rather than “how” to do the activity. It may have also helped that one of the stations was a game.

The success of the stations and the success of the game gave me encouragement to find additional number sense games that I could put into future stations so students can practice their flexibility with numbers.

Each class period, (2nd, 3rd, and 4th) was just as successful, and I’m motivated to continue this practice.

3:30 PM: I was out the door at the end of the day today.

At home, I was able to work on my online course for a little bit. However, the internet went out at my house. I’m looking forward to the day when we have choices in internet providers at my house.




Hidden Figures and an Early Release from School

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The governor declared a state of emergency starting at noon today due to the snow expected at 8 pm. I love the South. Our superintendent encouraged us all to go home as soon as possible after the busses. I packed up my daughters, and we caught the 1 o’clock showing of the movie, Hidden Figures. I think I’ve found a movie about math I can show my 6th graders. (Besides, Donald in Mathemagicland, which makes an appearance in class the day of the state math test.)

Things that are sticking with me about this movie:

  1. She still the one typing up the reports.
  2. “Stop talking about it and do something.”
  3. I was amazed to see how close to the edge NASA was working. The didn’t have the answers until very close to the time they absolutely needed them. They didn’t have the mainframe installed – what? It made me think of minimally viable products and design thinking and how they were iterating on a large scale. Maybe all successful companies work close to the edge, and that’s what makes them successful (ground-breaking). Being afraid of the edge means not getting ahead.
  4. The forward thinking needed to be ready to move the whole computing department into programming was impressive.

Something my daughter mentioned not liking, the label of “computer.” Like the women weren’t even human. Much like the label of “colored.”

What an amazing set of examples we have with these three women. My class has been listening to the story of Nathaniel Bowditch, and his life story is inspiring, and I think ties into the struggles my students’ face, but I’m super excited to have these modern women in mathematics to refer to in my classroom. The image above is one we are going to revisit as we update our goal page each week. It is such an empowering image. We looked at it today as I mentioned the film during our number talk about 2017.