Possibly “Resurrecting” My Blog

For the past few weeks, I have been participating in a course called “Bootcamp:  Developing and Assessing Digital Writers” hosted by KQED – Teach.  The primary focus really had to deal with classroom blogs.  Very informative and helpful.  I still have one assignment to finish before I can say I completed the course.

I realized there is a lot to think about and lots of decisions to be made if you plan to have students blog in the classroom.  Being a math teacher, I have to figure out what they would even blog about.  Of course, I could have the blogging done in my ACT Prep class.  Those students could write about the book they are currently reading.

Some issues that I need to address first before even considering blogging for my students:

  1.   What kind of access to computers or Chromebooks will my class have?  I’m supposed to share with the English teacher across the hall, but she is using them just about every day in every class.  If I’m teaching ACT Prep in the “electronic classroom” (distance learning – teaching ACT Prep to other schools in the state), would I have Chromebook access since I’m not in my regular room?
  2.  Are blogging sites even accessible at school?  Some sites are blocked by our filter.  I would have to see if there is any possibility that Bergie (our computer guy) would unblock whichever blogging platform I choose to use.
  3.  How much time would be required to “teach” students how to set up a blog and even how to make reasonable and constructive comments?  What if a student doesn’t have internet access at home?  Exactly what topics would need to be taught in relation to the blogging process?
  4.   How will students be graded?  This will go back to the assessment “make and share” that I haven’t completed yet in the bootcamp.

The above issues are questions and issues that I am thinking about.  The bootcamp made me realize that there are a lot of decisions that need to be made before starting the blogging process with students.

Right now, I’m using my blog to get some of my thoughts together.  If  someone wants to offer advice or input, feel free.

As a result of the bootcamp, I have a LOT of tabs open.  You just don’t want to even imagine how many!  I’m planning to put them in a bookmark folder, but then I forget I have a folder.  So, my plan is to put them in a folder and also to list them here for easy access.  Eventually, I may try to write a short description of each so that I’ll know what information can be found on each site.

Another goal of mine in the immediate future is to go back through some of the comments made by other teachers during the bootcamp.  People had good suggestions that I want to think about.  If I put them here, then I’ll have everything in one spot.

In addition to thinking about the whole blogging process, I plan to do some research about teaching on the block schedule.  Our school is moving to a modified block schedule this year from a 7 period day.  Not thrilled about it, but I have no choice.  I may use my blog to reflect on the journey.  (Can’t guarantee how much I will post, but I’m going to try!)

In trying to figure out all the blog stuff, I think I’m going to add a Links Page at the top.

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Keeping Track of Some More Stuff

Just keeping up with some more materials (thought it would be easier to keep track of some stuff here than with the umpteen million bookmarks I have!)

Group Work Roles – Math=Love

Somewhere I heard about Taylor’s Polynomials.  When can I find time to read it?!

Some stuff on differentiation (definitely an area I need to work on!) – Differentiation

And we are switching over to Common Core!  

  1. Some North Carolina support documents.  
  2. Arizona flip-book – really long to print but looks like it has good stuff.
  3. Gulfport School District – Outline for Algebra II
  4. EngageNY – has lot of material for Algebra II but when I looked closer it was only for the 1st nine weeks!
  5. EngageNY – Pre-Calculus  (incomplete)

Any help for curriculums for courses above Algebra II?  I have found it hard to find materials for “Algebra III” (formerly known as Pre-Cal/Trig)?

Stuff to Look At

The world is full of good intentions!  I so meant to keep up with the MTBoS missions last fall, and just couldn’t.  For one thing, I don’t have a Twitter account and couldn’t figure out a good “name”.  I think I have decided on one, but haven’t gotten up the courage to go sign up!

Right now, we are in the process of implementing Common Core in our high school.  I will be teaching Algebra II (regular and Accelerated), Algebra III (really Pre-Cal/Trig), AP Calculus, and ACT/SAT Prep (really an Academic Competition class).  My main concern is that my Algebra II students have NO common core math before now.

For the time being, I may be using this blog to keep track of some ideas for future units.  This will serve as a “storage area” for me, so please bear with me if you happen to be reading this!

Functions:  see Algebra’s Friend post about functions.  It shows some ways for students to think about functions in a fun way.  Several activities here to look at!

Posters for Mathematical Practices:  Everybody is a Genius has color posters of the 8 Mathematical Practices.

More info on mathematical practices:  Quick Tips

2-minute drills (Algebra’s Friend):  Samples

Projects in Math (also some possible reading material):  Algebra’s Friends – Projects in Math Class

Twitter Chat Schedule (for my spare time) – posted by Algebra’s Friend

Activity for Rational Functions – Continuous Everywhere but Differentiable Nowhere

Algebraic Expressions (Central Park problem) – dy/dan

Classroom Rules – posters from Math=Love

Function Machine stuff to look at (Math=Love)

Yes, I subscribe to a LOT of math blogs! Maybe one day, I will have something worthwhile to contribute!

Enough for tonight!

My first post / my first “mission”

Welcome to Rm. 35!

I am a high school math teacher in Mississippi.  My day is very busy:  I teach regular Algebra II, Accelerated Algebra II, Trig/Pre-Calculus, and AP Calculus.  I’m the only “upper-level” math teacher at my school.

I have ALWAYS wanted to be a teacher.  My mother says I came home from the first day of pre-school (which only lasted half a day) and said I wanted to be a teacher.  Of course, it wasn’t until I took Algebra II (from a teacher that taught my parents!) that I decided I wanted to be a math teacher. 

I enjoy teaching at my school.  I love inspiring the students!  Parents want their kids in my class and I’ve even had students request to be in my class.  They know that I will prepare them for college.  When students are asked if I’m “mean”, they say I’m not but I’m strict.

Why did I name my blog “Smiling in Rm. 35”?  The kids HATE when I smile!  When I smile, they know I’m up to something!  And that something is usually fun for me, but “not” for them!  They know they will be working!  For instance, we may do a review activity like a relay race or scavenger hunt.  Little stress for me, lots of work for them!

I probably use more technology (for ideas, etc.) and more activities than most other teachers at my school.  I’m willing to look online for new ideas when it seems others don’t.  Sometimes, we “play” review games, but they don’t realize how much work they are doing at the time!

I have found lots of ideas by just looking online.  I’ve subscribed to several math blogs and love reading what other people are doing.  Sometimes, I do feel like there are so many other better math teachers out there than I am, but maybe I’ll get better as I explore the MathTwitterBlogoSphere!  I just wish there were more hours in the day to do all that I want!