Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 48: Oblivion, Rainbows and Scientific Notation

Fun Fact: Rainbows are actually circular but when you are standing on the ground, the bottom half of the circle is below the horizon!

"An angle from heaven!" Brilliant!

My geometry class is starting to take a turn that I'm not entirely comfortable with.  I have no one to blame but myself.

The recent trend has been that we spend 30-45 talking about random things.  Sometimes it's stuff like space, physics, history, etc. but it has a tendency to veer off in odd directions.  Today, I started by talking about the human mind and its inability to fully grasp the concept of infinity.  This was inspired by the perfectly clear skies this morning on my drive into work when I could more stars than usual.  Somehow, this ended up with me acting out the entirety of the Nicholas Sparks collection.

After I realize how much time I've spent talking about off-topic topics, I say something like "Alright, we need to get some stuff done today."  Then we go over the guided notes and any homework questions.

I think that if I were to plan more activities for the class, I would constrain my randomness to 5 minutes at the most.  Time to look for more tasks!

I have a good one almost ready for tomorrow!  It'll have to be good since I'm getting a visit from Mrs. Reilly!  I'm super pumped.  Then, on Thursday, I'm going to observe her!  BEST WEEK EVER!!!!

But it does mean that tomorrow, I have to pretend to be a teacher.

I did have a talk with my geometry kids.  I told them we were going to have a visitor and that I didn't want them to be on their "best behavior" any more than they are with me.  A major point of her visit is to give me feedback and she can't do that if the kids are faking.  They did promise not to try to get me fired.

They are so considerate!

In pre-algebra, we went over some problems about scientific notation.  A huge sticking point that I've seen for kids in the past is knowing which way to move the decimal and which exponents to make negative.

I have a kid in my class who was a bit of a trouble kid last year and went through a MASSIVE change over the summer.  He's nice, considerate, polite and hardworking.  He's not as organized as I think he should be, but I'm so impressed with him this year, I'll let it slide.  He works his butt of for me in a class where he could be dragged down by others VERY quickly.  He has moved himself away from his friends so that he can get his work done, and he does it.

After clearing up some misconceptions that he had about positive and negative exponents, he did extra work just to show me that he got it!

I also handed out the beginning of the Thanksgiving Dinner project from John Mahlstedt.  I am SUPER excited about this! Basically, it has the students plan a menu for Thanksgiving, determine how many people are coming, scale up the recipes and determine the cost.  It hits a ton of skills that my students need to practice AND has the added bonus of being practical.

Mahlstedt is a truly interesting guy and I love the lessons that he has shared so far on his blog.  I'm really looking forward to giving him feedback on this lesson.  With his classes, he has the added bonus that he will actually take them to the store to find prices.  We will have to make due with the internet.

Provided we can get access to one of the computer labs...

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