Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Light Bulb Moment

This past week, I really wanted to at least get the projects for the first two learning units (probability/measures of central tendency & linear/absolute value expressions). I had a quick idea for the statistic unit because I have been wanting to incorporate fantasy football into the classroom since I was introduced to it by a church member.

I finally thought it would be great for the students to have to explain the statistical information involved in the game. This will enable me to gain the attention of my male students off the bat but not last so long I loose my students who are not interested in sports. I meet with my church member on Friday (August 15) and she was bursting with more things the students could do. I was so excited I was saying yes to everything. Now, I realize her thoughts may take longer than I want. I am going to send her an email and see if my simpler idea and some of her thoughts would work well together. The only thing it cost me is a $6 hamburger. I often pay for the lunch of professionals who agree to help me in my classroom. They are never looking for it but I want to give them some type of expression of gratitude for their time.

Although this was an easy project creation idea, thinking of something for expressions was harder. I knew that expressions are an easy concept for students to learn. It is the same as order of operations just with a combination of letters and numbers. I almost was just going to teach and not have a project. Yet, the basis of my classroom and the introduction to every math concept is a project. The students will not see the class as anything different if I switch from project to lecture or activity only.

Finally, it hit me. I want the students to create a project of their own based on one of the standards we have learned in the semester on an interest. This will be a major project and requires me to really get them to be able to good at planning. Expressions can be found in any interest. What better way to get them ready for the semester project than to get them to seeing math in the things they love. This lead to the "Expressions Everywhere Project".

School starts on Thursday of this week. The curriculum website that I have created to house all my projects will be updated frequently. I have another call with Tim this evening to discuss any additional work he and I have completed.

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