Friday, January 19, 2018

Teach 180: Three Non-Teaching Days (Days 86 - 88)

We are currently in the middle of exam week and I although I did not teach on any of these days, I did do some teaching related things.

Day 86 - It was a snow day!  But to the south, the roads were clear.  So at 3 PM, I drove a little over an hour to Germantown Academy to attend a PASTA (Philadelphia Area Statistics Teachers Association) meeting.  At this 1.5 hour meeting we heard a talk from a statistician who works at a local pharmaceutical company and two teachers shared ideas related to teaching. 

One idea was presented by Beth Benzing about students doing experiments with paper airplanes.  She split students into two large groups of 10 students each.  One did a matched pairs design and the other did a completely randomized design to test the flying distance of their planes.  (The students chose the experimental design and Beth did not realize until later that the groups had chosen different designs.)  After students gathered the data, they analyzed their data using Fathom and StatKey and drew conclusions based on hypothesis tests and confidence intervals.  They entered all this information onto a google slides presentation AND gave the presentation to the class.  Sounds like an activity that could take several class periods.  Right?  No - one 85 minute class period was all it took!  Amazing!!!

Day 87 - Today I taught a lesson to students at Kent Place School in Summit, New Jersey.  It is always challenging to teach lessons to students you have never met before and jump in during the middle of a unit.  However, I had fun teaching the lesson and using ideas from an NCTM 2017 session presented by Jonathan Osters (@callmejosters).

Day 88 - Today I am working on putting together a lesson to use on Monday after our math exams.  We have classes after the students take their math exam, but not all students will be there due to make-up exams.  Plus their brains will probably be a bit fried from taking the 2 hour math exam.  Rather than trying to force new material in to an tired brain, I am suggesting that math teachers teach a lesson on Euler paths and Euler circuits.  I'll describe how that lesson went in my next blog.  I will be joining my PreCalculus class with an Algebra 1 class for this lesson.  I am hoping they will find the topic as fun and interesting as I do!

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