Monday 15 June 2015

MFM2P - Day 86: Reflections

Today and tomorrow are our last two days of classes for this school year. We continued taking up questions from the 2013 exam today, and will finish up posters tomorrow. I thought I would take some time to reflect on this semester's MFM2P class and think about what I want to change for the fall. It is very much looking like I will have a section of MFM2P each semester next year, so it is important to think of ways to improve the course.

Overall, I think I chose good activities and will tweak/replace the ones that didn't meet my expectations. I will also think about where new activities might be beneficial and see if I can create those. Again, I feel like cycle 3 could have been better. Somehow the momentum drops during cycle 3 and I feel like I lose some of my stronger students. Perhaps it is my enthusiasm that drops? This was certainly a rather politically charged and stressful semester... I think that the fact that there was not that much "new" material in cycle 3 played a role, especially since we did all the new stuff right a the beginning of the cycle as a "just in case". Some more specific thoughts:

- I want to do more with the exercise books next time around - they barely made an appearance for the last couple of months. 

- I think that making class posters at the end of cycle 2 would be more beneficial than waiting until the end of the course.

- I will continue doing the warm-ups. I liked the duo-tangs I made and will adjust some of the content for the fall. The mathematics that came out of the warm-ups was really good and helped make connections between the mathematics expectations in the course and between the math and the real world.

- I love the beginning of my recording of observations and conversations journey. I will definitely expand on this in the fall and hope to either create a binder of obs & convs checklists/comments or use the TOTS app that students at my school have created. The entire process of creating these checklists will force me to take the time to really think about what I expect to see from my students and determine specific questions or prompts to help students in need.

- Going along with observations and conversations, I would like to start to use video as a means of evaluating students. Someone at EdCamp last year suggested making a roster and each person would video the person after them. If carefully planned this could work well. Students are generally much better at explaining their work orally than they are in written form. Likely more effort for me, but if I could better gather evidence of their understanding (and misconceptions), I think it would be worth it.

I will continue to think through the changes I would like to implement - it's great that we get to try again and see if we can do better!

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