Friday, September 14, 2012

Week 4 Reflection - Let's talk SALSA!

Algebra - man oh man the range of abilities in my Algebra classes!  And that's in terms of effort, motivation, comprehension, so on and so on.

So, here's what I tried and it worked out really well - Tiered Tasks.  Tiered tasks is the idea of working on the same topic but setting up activities which work at varying levels.  I called it . . . SALSA!

Unit Focus - Solving Equations
Problem Set A - mild salsa (one step equations / two step equations)
Problem Set B - spicy salsa (two step equations / distributive property / combining like terms)
Problem Set C - inferno (solving equations of all sorts, sizes, and shapes).

This set up was awesome as I went around as the "waiter" and got the students' order - if the problem set they chose was too easy, then I gave them the next one up . . . and it could work the other way, but students didn't take this option = motivation/increased effort when stuck.  Win win!

Then to top it off, I gave the students "desert" - a quick summary question/worksheet to tie it all together.

The students joked that I didn't give them an "appetizer" so will need to work on an opener next time.

Today I had students asking to do the A,B,C activity again.  That's what I'm talking about.

I need to come up with some more variety in terms of set up, but the premise of having tiered tasks is something that I think will be a consistent in my lessons.

Might use it for this week's assessment coming up.

Next topic ahead - inequalities.


Focus this past week was on midpoint, angle bisectors, segment addition, angle addition.  Lots of algebra here . . . amazing how they freak out about solving for x!

Still don't feel like I have gotten into a groove yet with the classes, but they have some awesome personalities and effort/creativity has been great.  Check out some of the avatars they created.

Avatars - Honors Geometry

Once we get our tablets, google acounts, etc. . . . it's on!  I can't wait.  Neither can the students.

Busy weekend ahead . . . soccer games for the kids Saturday and working at the Bengals on Sunday.  If we can't beat the Browns, then it's gonna be a long year.

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