Rookie Year: Day 146 Or Why Write?

I did a temporary flip-class for the current lesson because our two-day art assembly affected my lesson plans. I gave the students notes ahead of time and asked them to also read the relevant sections of our textbook. Today I had them work on practice problems after I showed them how to use a TI-Inspire to plot points.

I am not really happy with how the flip-class went because I don’t think any of my students did the necessary preparation work. Although I guess I shouldn’t have had too high of expectations since this was the first time I have tried a flip-class. In general I don’t want to do flip-class because I don’t want to take too much of my students’s time outside of class. I already teach blocks all day, so if they aren’t getting what they need in 90 minutes a day then I am planning my classes poorly. But the weird schedule for the assembly along with impending paternity leave and the EOC deadline made me feel a little rushed about taking the time in class.

It didn’t go too terribly because the topic was choosing whether data was linear, exponential, or quadratic and by this point my students should have a decent background in all three of those types of functions. But I think I need to supplement the practice problems that they did individually today with some whole class tasks where we really think about the problems. Also it was clear that I need to do some direct instruction on average rate of change, which only a few students picked up on their own from the text and notes that I gave them.

In somewhat unrelated news, I was discussing with someone on Twitter the purpose of teacher blogs. They made the (pretty decent) point that education blogs should help other teachers become better teachers and that anything else is just a diary. Looking at my blog from this first year, it is very clearly a public diary. But actually I don’t think that is such a bad thing. Yes, I would like to write blog posts that help other teachers become better teachers (if I am capable of that) but having a public “diary” of my experiences has been encouraging and helpful to me. And if I am the only teacher this blog helps, so be it. It has been useful to get feedback and encouragement from other teachers and friends about how I am progressing. I think it is entirely reasonable for there to be more than one purpose for a teaching blog.

I made this point on Twitter and we had a nice discussion about it. I would find it, but I am feeling too tired here at 4:05 to go digging in my timeline so apologies for being rude, but I am not going to bother right now. Maybe I will update this post at a future time.

I am not sure if I mentioned this in a previous post, but I think next year I will go from daily posting to weekly. The daily habit has been helpful but takes up a lot of my time and at this point in the year I am starting to get tired of it. I think also that if I go to weekly I will publish higher quality posts that are edited and well-planned instead of the stream-of-consciousness get-everything-that-happened-that-day-on-the-page style that I normally employ. And hopefully at that point this blog will transition from helping me to helping others. In the mean time I am content to do this.

Thanks for reading my diary.

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