March 8, 2014

PreCalc Review Day

March 4th, C Block Honors PreCalculus

The bell rings at 11:03, the projected instructions tell students to take out their homework (a concept map, inspired by Elizabeth's post) and compare with their neighbors. Which ideas are the same? Which are different? Did you skip those things on purpose or because you decided they weren't important enough to include? Individual students share with me their struggles and successes as I take attendance. A student returns quizzes from last class, most of them remember to record their grades in their chart and students who received perfect scores tape their stars to the "Perfect Score, First Try!" wall. A student tells me she couldn't find the example concept map online; I briefly panicked it hadn't uploaded, then we figured out she didn't realize the files were multi-page and she had to scroll to get to the example. I asked if anyone wanted to share something about their concept map but no one really did. One student said that he thought it was interesting, he had made webs and maps in science and english class before, but never in math. Everyone hands in their concept map in the class inbox.

12:05 All is quiet. Everyone is working. I can breathe for a moment, but only one, someone else has a question.

12:15 Most students haven't done the review problems on operations with complex numbers. I really want them to realize that |a|*|b|=|a*b|, which isn't something we discussed in class. I get everyone's attention and tell them to do those problems right now if they haven't yet, then hurry up and notice something. The student who told me at the beginning of class he hadn't done a concept map in math before shared that he didn't feel like it was useful last night, but today as he did all the review problems he felt that he understood everything much better. (YAY!!) I told him I was glad to hear that and we chatted about how your brain works off of connections; the more you access a memory the better you remember it, so the more connections you have to an idea the easier it is to access.

12:20 I am about to get everyone's attention to talk about the complex number pattern, but notice one of my students who doesn't participate much is tutoring her partner. I wait.

12:23 Attention everyone! Please do this complex number problem that I am writing on the board. A student guesses that the pattern is |a|*|b|=|a*b| and I say yes! I project the journal questions (What did you notice or wonder? How should you study for the test?) and the homework (study, here are the relevant sections in the book). A student goes up to the review problems that she hasn't gotten to and lines them up so she can take a photo with her phone. Smart use of technology!

12:28 The bell rings. I experience immediate regret for telling students the pattern after one of them guessed rather than making sure everyone did out the work to see why. That would have been an excellent homework problem. Hindsight...

Note: This post is for Day in the Life, Single Class Edition. Read all the DITLife posts and submit your own!