Thursday, September 17, 2009

Smith Project-Day 1

The class began with a review of the format of my class, rules and expectations. The day I started the project was the second day of getting all new students. Originally, I was teaching Geometry and Algebra II. Now, I am only teaching Algebra II. I had to catch up the new students but also review some information regarding systems with the old group. The class ended with the introduction of their first project.

To understand how I introduced the project, you must understand the set up of my classroom. Some of my readers know about my classroom. However, for those of you who are not familiar with my classroom, it is a fictional corporation called Logic Inc. Students act as consultants and managers that solve real world problems of individuals or businesses. The mission of the company is to help people see math in all areas. In addition to helping clients, the students promote the company through a "company website" where they provide tutorials and information on math concepts.

Since my class is a company, the students get all their information from the company's intranet site ( It is here the class gets information on the company's first "fictional" client. Students understand the clients are fictional right now so that they can gain experience solving problems. Students read the clients situation and their driving question. Students then created a concept map in mywebspiriation of what they know and didn't know about the clients problem.

To see the actual results of day one, check out the information below:
  • This is the powerpoint presented in class-

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Project in Full Swing

I am discovering quickly that once you start a project it is hard to sometimes stop and write about the flow of it. It is also difficult when all of your class dynamics change before you introduce the first project. One week ago today, the students were introduced to the Smith Project. Let me explain the situation regarding the Smith Project and the make-believe family in it.

Kate Smith is a single parent who lives in the area. Kate lost her job at the GM plant. Since losing her job, Kate has had three other jobs. She is now in a stable job at a local manufacturing business. However, Kate is not making as much money. While working at GM, Kate used to take her and her three daughters to the state fair. Since losing her job, they have not been to the state fair. She really wants to take the girls this year. The girls are teenagers and Kate wants to do as much with them as possible before they graduate. She heard we may be able to help her go to the fair on her limited budget. She has $150 that she can spend. The driving question(focus of the project): How can Smith make the most of her $150 budget for the state fair?

This is a very small almost seemingly easy answer at first. However, once students investigate the cost associated with the fair, it has some complexities to it. The goal of the project is to teach systems of equations and inequalities while also helping to get the students prepared to work in teams, think critically and talk mathematically.

I have several things I did to complete the project. The project ends Friday. I will discuss what occurred each day over the next few days. I can't wait to talk to you. Stay tuned for details and links to student work.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Presenting a PBL

This is the second portion to my video posting. Below is a video of me practicing presenting a PBL to a group of educators. The educators are pretending to be like my high school students.

Video on Getting Money for Education

Finally, I was able to find the time to make the videos from my filming at the IMSA institute. It is two different videos. Below is my information on getting funding for your professional development and classroom.