Updating the MFM1P Spiral

“Have you taught for 25 years? Or have you taught one year 25 times?”

I don’t think I’ve taught the same course the same way ever. Why would we? We don’t have the same kids in front of us. And especially with the resources at our finger tips from our colleagues inside and outside of our schools. I’ve wrote before about the power of #mtbos and it changes the way you teach.

I started spiralling the MFM1P course a few years ago with Kyle Pearce. Since then I’ve taught that course 3 or 4 semesters in row…..and never the same way. New amazing lessons and tools are springing up. For past lessons I wasn’t completely happy with I’ve got to see if this new lesson or that lesson will help my students understand the concepts more deeply.

One change I wanted to make was to include solving equations earlier in the course. In my old plan I waited to introduce it after introducing linear relations. But, after teaching solving equations using the Double Clothesline and the puzzle nature of learning it that way….I can introduce it now and continually practice our skills through warm ups.

If you want to follow along as my day-to-day plan unfolds follow this link! If any of you have been spiralling MFM1P I would love compare notes, or see your plans.




One Second a Day!

February of this year my friend Mark Giufre wrote a post about capturing 1 second of everyday from class (picture or video) using the app 1 Second Everyday.

Mark’s Idea:

Why: Our classrooms oftentimes represent life. Days pass as quick as years. Moments come and go and are often not captured or reflected upon. #projectmoment will allow you to capture a clip of something you want to remember each day and then give you the chance to reflect on those at the end.

A number of teachers (myself included) joined him to to capture a month worth of videos/pictures from our classes. The app strings all these moments together to create a video. Check out his post that shows the resulting videos.

My video captures 37 class days from February to April

Next School Year:
Let’s keep Mark’s project going! Start on your first day of school and snap a picture or video of what’s going on in your classroom. Tweet it out with the hashtag #projectmoment and save it to the 1 Second Everyday app. I plan on doing this for the entire semester (~ 90 days). Having this video to share at the end of the semester will be amazing to reflect on. I look forward to seeing all your classrooms.
Join us and share these amazing moments!

#MTBOS — Career Changing Community

The Exploring the MathTwitterBlogosphere Blog is gearing up for its blogging initiative starting in January. I signed up to be a mentor because I wanted to help out this amazing community of educators the way it helped me over the last few years.
Following this weird #MTBOS hashtag on twitter has changed my teaching practice in so many ways. The people are amazing and always willing to share a lesson or strategy or a desmos graph!!!

Through the hashtag I’ve collaborated on a few lessons with people from across the continent….Last year Michael Fenton and I worked on a Go Fish game for Trig Identities….and we debriefed with each other after each giving the lesson! That collaboration I find hard to do even just in my school or district!

I found it absolutely amazing when J.J. Martinez (Whom I’ve never met — but seems awesome) sent me a video showing his class’ reaction to revealing the answer to a task I created and shared.

Everyday I find amazing resources and connect with people through this community. I can’t believe I used to teach without the #MTBOS.

I found blogging and posting pictures of our classroom activities helped me keep focus on making everyday count for my students.
Here was my first post on starting my 180 Photos/Tweets routine..If you’re not sure what to blog about I would start that way. Just share a picture daily of what you’re doing in your room on Twitter. The blog ideas will follow!

Another post if you’re just starting on the #MTBOS and looking for lessons, resources or blogs is “Let’s Find A Good Math Lesson Online with #MTBOS.” I thought it was worthwhile to share the tech/organization side of finding and keeping good lessons/resources.

So head on over to the Exploring the MathTwitterBlogoSphere site and read their tasks, and keep reading the #MTBOS!

Ready for round 2?

Second semester is starting tomorrow and I just wanted to get down my ideas on things I will be changing and things I will be keeping…..

New things…

I’ll be using the spreadsheet I modified from @alicekeeler. Although I plan on using Kyle Pearce’s further modified version.

I have slightly modified old my assessment approach (again). I’ll share later.

Kyle and I have been Tweeting back and forth all weekend about spiralling our grade 9 applied classes. We have been teaching using an inquiry based approach (4 part math lesson) and thought that spiralling would fit right in. We’ll keep you posted. Here is my day-to-day plan by topic and task, so far .

I’ll Continue….

a ton of stuff….but here are a few

Keeping my students curious.

Strengthening the connection between algebraic representations and graphical representations using Desmos! 

Documenting my class by taking a picture/tweet for every school day.

Warm ups – To start every class we do a warm up / starter. Most of these starters are math related but for me the most important part is that the starters allow our class to “Gel”. My buddy @Regan_bio is an advocate for always saying we should show our students that we are human and remember they are human too. Take the first 5 minutes of class and be a good human with your kids…..maybe they will be more ready to do some math!

Recently Mary Bourassa has shared her great list of daily warm ups for her grade 10 applied class. Check out her warm ups.

Here’s what we have been doing…

Monday’sEstimation180 – As a class we complete one of these great challenges (10 minutes). We track our progress on Andrew’s / Michael Fenton’s provided handout.

Tuesday’s – Visual Patterns. I choose a pattern for us to determine the equation.

Wednesday’s – Pictionary – Our class is split into two teams. They take turns drawing and guessing objects, sayings, math ideas that I have picked out. Most of the time this is a non math game. (10 minutes)

Thursday’s – Throw Back Thursday — I choose a question / skill that my class has been exposed to in the past and we work on our whiteboards on this as a review question.

Friday’s – 20 Questions. — I pick something and the class has 20 yes or no questions to try and guess what I have picked. We then play a second round where the class together picks something and I try to guess. (10 minutes).

Have an exciting second semester everybody!