One Favourite, Two Fixes: Nov 5

I need help! Every time I go through a lesson there is aways something I want to fix. Something that can be improved upon. Something that can get my students to think a little deeper about the math or something that can make my organization better, or class management better. Sometimes I can think of how to fix it, sometimes I know there is a fix out there and I can’t see it. That’s where you come in.

Each week I’m going to post one idea from my lessons that was my favourite and two topics that I need help on. Two topics I hope to fix. I’m hoping that in the comments or on Twitter you amazing readers can help me out with some hints, tips, and suggestions.

Favourite

For the last two weeks one of my class’s atmosphere seemed poisoned (see below).  My favourite this week though helped restore (for a short time) that atmosphere back to where we have spent most of the year. Warm-ups to the rescue! Our warm-ups dive into our Everyday Math curriculum like nobody’s business. Sometimes they take 10 minutes, sometimes 20….and I’m ok with that. Each one has my class engaged for that time. This week my favourite was Dan Meyer’s Dueling Discounts.

The kids each had a copy of a $20 off coupon and a 20% off coupon. For each item I showed, I had them hold up their choice of coupon to use. I was loving that all students were actively engaged and WANTED to know which was the better deal. It was so nice to see this with my kids again.

First Fix

Like I said above, my class’ atmosphere has seemed poisoned for the last two weeks. Before that we had an amazing atmosphere…..all kids worked well together. They sat in random pairs everyday, they were engaged! Then a few things happened.

  • Outside of class somebody was texting things they shouldn’t to somebody else….VP said they are not to work together.
  • A new student was added and talks a lot
  • Two others can’t work together because of a fight they were in last week.

So now we don’t have the awesome —we all can work together and build off each other atmosphere I love and had. I’m looking for tips to try so we can re-create our atmosphere we started with. Any ideas?

Second Fix

In my grade 9 mfm1p class this week we worked on solving proportions through the Smart Car Smash activity. screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-9-22-20-am

After going through super gross lesson and seeing the kids smile and cringe at the same time it was time to practice our strategies. I gave out this sheet below.

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-9-23-40-am

This is where all the excitement for math was lost….”ah man, a worksheet”. Most students solved the problems. Some kids who were actively engaged with the first problem now were shut down. How can I keep the practice portion that I need but keep engagement up?

Thanks for reading. I would love your help. Share your suggestions on Twitter or below in the comments.

Helpful Fixes from Readers:

3 thoughts on “One Favourite, Two Fixes: Nov 5

  1. Allison

    Looking forward to hearing fixes for your poisoned class. Mine has been like this since the start and the drama is making it worse. Socratic teaching is the only thing that seems to be working. The activities results in fights, arguements, materials being thrown and students being kicked out. Sigh…. random partners are a big no no.

    Lovely students, just a bad mix.

  2. Gina Micomonaco

    I would ask my students to list three students they WOULD work with in the class. Once in these pairs or groups, then the class agreement is that they actually work during the class and not engage in sidebar conversations.

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