Thursday 14 February 2019

Grade 9 Academic - Day 7

We had a special guest visiting our class today - Ann Arden, who works at the board office, wanted to see my class in action. (She was also supposed to come yesterday but the snow storm changed that plan in a hurry!)

We started with this warm up:

I went back and forth on whether I wanted them to work through this individually or in groups at the whiteboards. I eventually focused on the fact that if they are working on the big whiteboards in random groups, it's to learn something new. This warm up was applying skills that they have already learned so my goal was to see where they are individually which made my decision clear. They each worked on their small whiteboard. I love how they compare work and try to find errors when their answers don't match. We took it up together once they had all had a chance to correct their work.

Next I introduced them to Desmos. I showed them Suzanne von Oy's beautiful graph and I showed them a Mathogram (since it's Valentine's Day) before explaining how to get into today's activity. I also went over the rules of borrowing Chromebooks. The activity focused on like terms. It was created by Andrew Stadel and edited by me - I took off a couple of screens and added one that I really liked from a different activity by Cathy Yenca (thanks Andrew & Cathy!). Here is the link. They worked through this activity in pairs and had good conversations along the way. The best was when one student said "Can we do more? This is actually fun!".

As I looked through the dashboard I saw a lot of different answers for a couple of screens so I hit Pause and we talked about them. Here is one:

I also had grabbed some snapshots of the last screen and we talked about the interesting, different approaches that were used.

They were really good at putting the Chromebooks back in the correct bins and did so pretty quickly. I gave each student a handout for the next part of the class.

We went over vocabulary, some of which we have talked about previously, but needed something a little more formal.

We then returned to adding and subtracting polynomials. Well, we really just combined like terms because that's all we had time for. We will continue with that tomorrow.

I also had them fill in a "Just checking in..." form. I like to give them the opportunity to tell me if things are not going well in my class or at school or in life. 

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