My students took their Unit N Test this week and ACED it. Seriously, I made a note to make it a more challenging test next year, even though I thought it was challenging to begin with. Here are a few activities that I did that I think were really helpful. You can see the Unit N tab of kirchmathanalysis.blogspot.com for all the resources.
- Every video assignment included optional "extra videos" for those students who needed to see even more examples. They were there for the students to go back to at any time.
- Every day in class we did "kinesthetic" angle practice with our arms. It started with just drawing angles, but then we did coterminal angles, reference angles, etc. I think this helped with the mental visualization of what we were doing.
- Besides the kinesthetic visualization, we also did a lot of other visualizations in terms of trig function values and quadrants. Instead of fully solving problems, we put them up there and talked about what we knew about the quadrants and where the answers would lie.
- Before just giving the unit circle to my students, they had to derive it and come up with the values themselves. I wanted them to see the unit circle as just 3 special triangles reflected in multiple quadrants; thus, it's not something crazy hard to memorize.
- When we got to concept 9 (finding angles given trig function values), we talked a lot about logical answers. For example, if the values had a radical 3 in them, the only logical place for the angle to be would either be the 30* or 60* reference angle. Thinking through what makes sense and what is logical was very helpful.
I got to meet with a student who has been struggling all year with the content and the structure of the class. He showed great progress on this last test and just working with him individually for about 20-30 minutes was really meaningful. I'm looking forward to seeing him continue to make strides in the right direction.
Another student who failed every test 1st semester but now is finally spending the extra time he needs (he came in as a much lower student than his peers). He rewatches videos, asks a lot of questions, and is just deciding to be fully engaged in their learning. He just got an 84% on this test. An 84%!! Wahoo!
I'm finally starting to learn more about the absolute awesomeness of Desmos. I have to give a shoutout to my awesome twitter PLN who responded with some amazing Desmos creations that I'm going to use later in the year with Math Analysis. It is already added to my summer to do list when I have time to tinker. If you are a math teacher and haven't checked out Desmos... you are missing out!
CCSS Course 1
My afternoon class is seriously magic. It's been so amazing to see the students engaged in their learning - and really learning the material! I will admit, having only 27 students and 1-2 aides every day is definitely helping. They have their test on this unit on Tuesday, so we will see the results of this crazy asynchronous month of learning.
My other CCSS class is still another story. I just can't seem to figure out what it is... is it the 7 more students? Is it the individual student personalities in the class? I definitely sense less respect (for teacher and peers) with 3-4 specific students that I think is draining the entire class environment. Not to mention a student stole an iPod this week. I know who it is and have great hopes that it will be returned by tomorrow after many discussions with the class about honesty, integrity, and doing what is right even after a mistake is better than making 2 mistakes by continuing to lie.
One change I made is that starting Friday, all students went to the END of the assignment chart and started working backwards. The last 10-12 items on the assignment chart are all review for the whole unit. I did this because some students were so far behind that I'm hoping they will at least be able to understand part of the concepts by doing them in the review. We'll see how they do.
Well, a little short and sweet this week, but that's how it's been lately. Life is good, Grayson is growing and will be walking any day now (and only 9 months old), and I'm just trying to find rest and balance. March is a crazy month heading to Palm Springs for CUE in 3 weeks and a retreat the following weekend... heading into a week off for spring break!