Monday, April 29, 2013

More PreCal INB pages....(trig)

I posted about my plan to implement interactive notebooks in my classes next year.  Here are more pages I came up with for my PreCal INB....These are just rough ideas, so the handwriting is a little sloppy and I'll probably color code a little more/better than I did here, but you get the idea.

Friday, April 26, 2013

My Weekly Diigo Bookmarks (4/26/13)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Beginnings of a Pre-Cal INB

I've started trying to plan out pages for my Interactive Notebook for Pre-Calculus.  Here's what I've come up with so far:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Taking the Plunge

but I still have questions....

I am determined to implement some form of SBG next year.  Here are the lingering questions I have (for now).

1.  How do you handle SBG within the frameworks of "grading cycles".  In other words, if a student hasn't yet mastered a concept, but the grading period is ending and report cards are coming out, how do you handle their reassessment?

2.  If I'm going to follow Dan Meyer's format for SBG and allow students to get a "5" after they get two 4's, meaning they don't ever have to assess that concept again, how do I make sure they retain the knowledge?  In other words, can I not spiral back?

3.  Also, if I follow Dan's format and don't allow a student's "grade" on an assessment to drop, and I choose to try and spiral back, how can I hold them accountable for the material at a later date?  In other words, let's say I've assessed a concept twice in the first grading period, and student made a 3 on the first assessment and a 4 on the second assessment, but then later in the third grading period I want to assess that concept again, what motivation does the student have to do well?  Because I'm counting it as a new grade on this grading period?  But if they're a student who made two 4's before and thus received a 5 assuring they would never have to assess that concept again, are they exempt from my assessment for retention where a student who never receive a 5 is?  Or does assessing for retention go against the tenets of SBG?  (I hope this rambling question made some sense...)

4.  What rubric do you use?  4 point?  5 point?  10 point?  What are your descriptors for each level in your rubric?  Do you have to translate your rubric to a grade for reporting purposes?  If so, how do you do it?

I am absolutely in love with the idea of SBG and am so excited to try it out.  My real reservations come from making it work while still having to report grades in a standard format (100 point scale).

Slope Fields Resources

The summer before the first year I taught AP Calculus, I went to an APSI at TCU. Let me tell you, I would not have made it through that first year if I hadn't gone to this institute! The lady that ran it was AMAZING. She brought us all of her materials and her syllabus and gave it to us in a binder. I happened to use the same textbook she did, so I was able to use everything she gave me! It was a lifesaver! These are two of the things I got from her and I still use these every year. Most of the older Calculus textbooks don't really address slope fields at all, and resources are hard to come by, so I've been thankful to have these....
Slope Fields Card Match
Slope Fields Worksheet

Friday, April 5, 2013

Get the Funk Out of Here

Between district benchmark testing and state mandated end of course testing we've been testing for what seems like forever.  This always results in an altered bell schedule and an overall weird mood for teachers and students and alike.  It just seems like it's really hard to get in a groove.  I always end up in some sort of a "funk" this time of year - I'm frustrated about things that didn't go as well as I planned and irritated by the rampant senioritis that has laid claimed to my students.  I have a hard time finding the motivation to do much of anything.  I've found the best way for me to counteract this funk I'm in is to start making plans on how to improve next year.  What can I do differently so that this time next year I don't feel this way?  Obviously, I've yet to stumble on a solution, but this yearly quest is what gives me hope and keeps me going.  And I do find something every year that I have improved on from the year before, so it's not for naught.
My big plans for next year right now include transitioning to some form of Standards Based Grading.  I also plan on introducing Interactive Notebooks in my classes.  Lately I've been playing around with my INBs for next year.  I want to incorporate foldables as much as I can because I think they're so much more visually stimulating and organized than traditional notes.  Here's something I came up for my Calculus INB - a foldable and practice over Continuity.


Practice - Taped on the Left Hand Page with Solutions glued down underneath

Solutions to Practice - glue down underneath Practice problems

I left space on the practice page for them to complete the exercises on their own, but I believe in giving answers to the practice problems because it gives students immediate feedback on whether they're getting it or not.  They don't have to practice doing all of it wrong and then have to wait for me to grade it and hand it back before they realize they didn't understand.

I'm so excited to incorporate these notebooks!  I'm hoping that this time next year when I'm reviewing my students for the AP exam they'll have a resource they can reference instead of just saying "How do I do limits again?  I don't remember."

My Weekly Diigo Bookmarks (4/5/13)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Free Calculus Stuff From Me!

I have a store on Teachers Pay Teachers. I have some items that are not free. I don't like this. I've gotten so much good stuff FOR FREE from some of the amazing people whose blogs I follow. So I'm posting my Teachers Pay Teachers products here. And when I get the time, I'll go change them to free on the site, too.  I've got lots more stuff to share, so check back!

Update (6/2/14): One of the items I had posted here was not created by me.  I had posted it because it was something I have had for a long time and wanted to share.  I couldn't remember where I had originally found it.  If I gave the impression I had created it myself, I apologize.  I have deleted it because I didn't know who created it so I couldn't give them their deserved credit.  The item I deleted had also been in my TPT store, but was ALWAYS a free item there.  I never charged for any item that I did not make myself.  I have since deleted the item in question from my TPT store, as well.  I apologize for any misunderstanding.

Derivatives Placemat
Derivatives on the Nspire
Integration Placemat
Related Rates Lab
Limits Placemat
Limits Puzzle
Limits Cut Ups

Monday, April 1, 2013


We're starting logarithms in pre-cal today.  They had a little bit of logarithms last year in Algebra 2, but for whatever reason, logs give kids trouble, so I always teach it like they've never seen it before.  We're going to start with evaluating logarithms.  I've compiled several resources from the Mathtwitterblogosphere, but I don't remember exactly where they all came from.  If I got something from you, leave me a note in the comments and I'll give you your much deserved credit!

Logarithm War Cards from Kate Nowak - played like the classic card game, War.  The person with the highest value wins the hand.
Logarithm Tarsia Puzzle
Logarithm Tarsia Puzzle Solution
Logarithm Flash Cards
Logarithms and Exponents Dominos