Please Take Out Your Cell Phones

So today was the first day of school.  I wrote a post in the early morning about my pre-first-day thoughts (mainly how pumped I was that I didn’t have any bad teacher dreams last night) but ‘publishing’ that post was apparently an ‘invalid request.’  Perhaps wordpress is judging my post-writing and didn’t think it was very good.

Anyway it went well!  I have arrived safely back at home and am eating some chocolate.

I did the text message problem with all the classes that I had today.  Here’s a run-down:

-put the students in pairs and give a handout to each pair and say “go!”

-as they finish, ask them to tape their work to the wall (or in this case, the board)

-ask everybody to read each other’s work and write feedback (this kinda bombed — hopefully it was useful in that I’ve set the tone of looking at other people’s work, but it definitely didn’t achieve anything beyond that)

-class discussionnnn

I was happy with the class discussion at the end.  I had no advance ideas about what this would be like — I didn’t really think we’d get through everything so fast.  But when we put everybody’s final answers on the board, they had a number of questions to ask.  In algebra 2, one girl suggested that it was based on the number of text messages that each pair had decided would fit on a page, so we added a column of that:

Left Column: # of pages

Right Column: # of texts on each page







The ‘?’ is just because those students didn’t include texts per page in their calculations.  It was pretty cool that as we were comparing, it just naturally came up that everybody had calculated their answer in a different way.

The other class had a student who didn’t just accept the idea that some students hadn’t quite used texts per page — he calculated it based on the info people had.

Although I totally stacked the deck in the second class.  After the first class was so good about bringing up ideas, I must admit that I brought some of them up with the second idea.  The conversation was still good and went a little further because of it, but I wish that I had had less of an influence on where they had taken their discussion.

Now I have to figure out what I’m going to do tomorrow.  I have some diagnostic tests all worked up.  But I want to finish up this question.  Even though I do plan to do the diagnostic test in partners with a reflection page and various hippy types of things like that, I need to finish this other thing up.  The kids were into it and I want to give them some closure.  I think the beginning of my year is going to be about getting my students used to and excited about solving problems.

So tonight I’ll figure that out.

One minor issue — it’s hard to keep track of who has and has not participated when you don’t really know everybody’s name.

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