Rookie Year: Day 100

You know, I forgot that it was Day 100 until just now when I went to make the post. Yay me.

Today was a little rough but comparing myself now to where I was at day 50 I think I am making progress.

I had the following plans lined up for class:

  1. Factorization Activity
  2. Short Notes on Exponents
  3. Exponent Activity

For the factorization activity, I wrote 0-100 on the board, created groups of 4, and handed out group sheets with 0-100. I told them I wanted to see 3 roles: a scribe, a runner, and two calculators. As a group the calculators were supposed to complete factor each number from 0-100 as far as it would go, the scribe would write down the answer on their sheet, and then the runner would go and write it on the board in a color assigned to that group. The team that factored the most numbers correctly won candy.

In first block I had high engagement from about half the class. But instead of getting in groups with roles, the entire group would go up and start working out the problem on the board all at once and the half that wasn’t engaged sat in their seats and talked or looked at their phones. I tried to reset them about halfway through, but it was rough and they were a little rowdy today. I addressed them and what I expected for group work but they still didn’t really follow what I set out. It took up more time than I was planning and so I had to cut off the summary questions I had for them to answer. My notes didn’t make as much sense as I thought they did and neither did my follow up exponents activity. It was a little rough. But I did have some excitement and engagement from the class over the factorization activity so that was neat.

My middle block had the same problems despite me being even more clear about the rules and telling them what I expected after what first block did. However this wasn’t entirely mine or their fault. I had a student who was being disrespectful and angry who interrupted the beginning of class and they had to be sent out. This distracted me so I could not manage the game as well as I would have liked. And again it took more time than I wanted so I cut off the summary questions.

My last block did so well with the activity. Not only was almost everyone engaged but they did the race in exactly the way that I asked them to do it, with single runners from each team. They were also the fastest to complete, but by that time I was in a groove and I forgot to have them do the summary questions. D’oh.

I really wasn’t happy with my notes or last activity at all, but I was working late last night on them and I really need to stop doing that. Sequences of questions that make sense at 1030 pm really don’t at 1030 am. I spent so much time emphasizing questions about what we mean by exponent notation (I find repeated multiplication a useful first conceptualization when trying to learn exponent laws) that we did not spend enough time just practicing simplifying exponent expressions in class.

BUT I did allot three days for integer exponents so I will have plenty of time to have them practice tomorrow and Friday and I can teach parts I forgot to talk about tomorrow.

I feel a little sick right now though. I was definitely sick last week, I felt nauseous this morning, and my face is currently flushed. I think I either didn’t fully get over whatever I had last week because I couldn’t take a day off or I just didn’t get enough sleep last night. Either way I’m not feeling very good and I definitely don’t feel like tutoring from 4-5 this afternoon. Ah well.

Happy 100 Days of Teaching.

Thanks for reading.



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