Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week 9 reflections - Proud of my students

Every week is just flying by - are we seriously 1/4 of the way through the school year already?

This was a crazy week; I took Wednesday off to present two webinars, which split the week nicely in half.  It was also really nice to have more time to spend with Grayson in the middle of the week.

If you want to check out the archives for both free webinars, please see the following links:
  • Webinar:  "Flipping with Kirch".  Archive here.
  • Webinar:  Flipped Learning and the Common Core State Standards: Flipping the Math Classroom.  Archive here 
I am really happy with the progress I am seeing in my Math Analysis class.  Students took their Unit H Test this week and did super well.   Here are the results from 104 of my 106 students.

Something new I am doing this year is keeping track of student mastery on unit tests with a "Green and Yellow" chart.  Green means they have either an A or a B on the test, Yellow means they have a C.  It's nice to just have around so I can easily talk to students daily who need to be studying to re-assess on a certain unit.  I tell them that by the end of the semester, they have to have green or yellow for everything, so it's a modified version of mastery.  The only difference is they still move on with the class, but have to be working back on reviewing and studying old material to learn it and re-assess.

Students like it because they can check easily without having to go online the gradebook which units they need to go back to.  It's interesting also to have a quick comparison between classes (can you tell which class is my top class?).  I also like to make sure to congratulate students who got their first "green" of the semester, or even their first "yellow" for some of them.

Speaking of congratulating students, I also have "Club 95", which is for students who get a 95% or higher on any unit test (including reassessments).  They get a certificate that goes on the wall, and just gets stapled on top of each other as they gather more through the year.  I had a student who got her first Club 95 this week and she cried... it was seriously so awesome!  

I also have a student who has gone from a 40% to a 64% (almost passing - 65% is passing for us) in just about 2-3 weeks of focused work getting her missing work in and re-assessing on tests.  I am so darn proud of her!

One more thing about the green and yellow charts above.  Units A-D were the units students covered over the summer as "let's review Algebra 2 to get you ready".  They had about a week of review and then took a test.  Unit E was the first "flipped" unit of the year.  You can see that students struggled on Unit E, but check out how F,G, and H have been.  I really feel like a lot of that is due to them being adjusted to the flipped classroom and to the expectations and flow of the class.  Far from perfect, that's for sure, but it's a neat thing to see!


My students' blogs are coming along quite well, and I am really happy with their Student Problems and Student Videos.  They have to come up with their own problems given specific requirements.  Here are some recent ones, for you math teachers out there (you can see all the instructions at

  • Solving logs given approximations - Write a logarithmic expression that can be expanded using all three properties (product, power, quotient) of logs (they have to understand how using those properties comes about and what there needs to be in order to use them)
  • Graphing exponential equations - Write and graph an exponential equation that does NOT have an x-intercept (they have to understand how to appropriately place the asymptote and how to choose the value of "a" in the equation to make this happen)
  • Graphing logarithmic equations - Write and graph a log equation that has BOTH an x- and y-intercept. (they have to understand the asymptote of a log graph and where to place it so the graph touches both axes)
Please check out my students' blogs, and feel free to comment on their posts!  We haven't done much with commenting this year, but I'm sure they'd love to get comments!


Hmmm not much else this week.  It was Homecoming Week so Friday we had an assembly and it was just a catchup day.  Monday we reviewed, Tuesday we took the test, Wednesday I was out (but class continued on like normal without me!!! I <3 Flipped Class!), Thursday was really our only normal day, we did some Peer Instruction on exponential graphs and their parts, and then just worked on practicing graphing.

Next week we will finish Unit I and the students have Friday off (day after Halloween, go figure!) while teachers have a half-day PD.

Looking forward to another great week!

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