Desmos / Counterattack / Engagement v. Learning / Candy / Dinner

  1. I had a great multivariable calculus class, assisted by trying out Desmos Activity Builder. It went *entirely* to plan. Short and sweet, where I had kids state incorrect things (I led them into the trap of a misconception) and then we talked through them. We also made a game. I wanted to show all the students’s responses at once (a.k.a. the “teacher view”) but then student names would be associated with each answer. So I had each student create their own name that no one else would be able to guess was them. Then for part of their homework, each student had to send me their own name as well as guesses for which names belonged to which person. I’ll announce the winners tomorrow.
  2. I had my first “long block” (90 minutes) for geometry. It’s a little frenetic because there are seventeen kids and they are young, but that also makes it more fun. We did a few activities, and not only were they engaged, but they were doing some awesome critical thinking (critiquing each others’s work… we played my game “counterattack!”). And also students started having some philosophical debates about whether a thing like a “circle” can actually exist in the world. They brought it up. (I actually have a whole discussion about this built up for later in the year… but we got to start it early!)
  3. I was debriefing the lesson with the other geometry teacher, and we were talking about how both our long blocks in geometry had students pretty darn engaged, but the real question was if they were learning. My department head, who was in the office, said she loved being in a department where that question could even arise.
  4. I had a pretty good teacher move that I kinda-did-without-thinking-about-it in my precalculus class, and I hope kids took notice.
  5. I only worked until 7:30 (for me, these days, that’s early) and then forced myself to leave school and have dinner with someone who was at school who was also working late. Yum. Indian food.

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