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It Was a Good Day...

Taking a line out of Ice Cube's lyrics, 'Today was a good day'. Well, honestly it's been a pretty good couple of days as of late...and I hope it continues.

This year I am teaching 5 classes of AP, and one geometry support class. Actually, my AP courses have converted into dual-credit credit courses with a 4-year University a couple hours away. That has created a whole new approach for me in my teaching as the district is covering 2/3 of the cost of the course for the students, so for just a little bit more than the cost of an AP exam, students can eliminate the stress associated with a one-day high stakes test and instead get the grade earned in the class over the course of the entire year. So my 2 sections of statistics, 2 sections of Calculus AB, and one new section of Calculus BC all the on this format.

Because we can take a little bit more time now, I am really working on developing topics a bit deeper now and trying to get students to interact with the mathematics more. I came upon the Stats Medic last year during the spring and everything they were doing last year was exactly what I wanted to do with my own stats class. It's amazing the resources they have there, and I've really worked to adapt their materials into what I already do as I was also teaching out of the same textbook.

Yesterday and today (alternating block schedule), we did the Barry Bonds home run analysis review. I randomly assigned groups with playing cards and sent them to the boards to show their graphs and descriptions.

Both classes were actively engaged, discussing and debating amongst themselves and asking for assistance where needed. The amount of focus and work ethic this group this year has shown has been amazing, and I hope we can get it to continue!

For our unit review in Calculus BC yesterday, I had my students make a poster project for each one of the topics we reviewed from AB; I gave them the topics, and it was up to them to break themselves up into groups and assign which group was doing which topic. There was so much great discussion and attention to detail in the Presentable Poster Project and it was so great to be a fly on the wall watching them work.

In Calculus AB today, we introduced the Intermediate Value Theorem and I began by presenting the formal definition, which they stared at and we're confused. We then did the Desmos IVT Activity paced by me. I experimented with the Snapshot feature and found ways to make it work: several kids mentioned how it was like Pear Deck (which I LOVE) and I'd agree. The activity was PERFECT for introducing the topic and the students were really into it and got caught by the twist at the end! We went back to the definition (which now made sense) and dug into the IVT deeper from there.

My geometry support class is just cranking right along as well. I have 9 wonderful students in the class and we've been working hard together whiteboarding and stressing the fundamentals of geometry and working to improve our recognition and algebra solving skills. The effort has been improving steadily and I hope the students start seeing some of their hard work paying off.

My favorite part about all this? I haven't graded a lick of work from the students! And they're still working hard and learning stuff! I'm doing formative checks in class, but they're grading their own material and giving themselves feedback that is helpful to them. I'll post on how that is going next...I promise!

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