I think I need your email :).
I’m going to respond to you in the paragraph you sent so that I can address all the questions, then make it a post since it’s so long. I love helping!
Those are all great ideas! 🙂 Thanks!
I will have mostly students who are struggling with math, so it will be important to make it interesting. I’m teaching pre-algebra and transitional math. They should be in algebra by 8th grade.
It’s highly important to make it interesting. These are the kids who are not mathmatical/logical thinkers and are right-brained thinkers. If they struggle in an area, they have a tendency to be discipline problems, too. You also have to deal with developmental issues with algebra. These guys are beginning to be more abstract thinkers, but sometimes can’t get but only concrete thoughts to gel. Algebra is more abstract. It is very important that they have the foundation for algebra laid in the 7th grade. They’ve got to know the process of balancing the equation and memorize basic formulas.
“Do unto one side as you do unto the other.”
Oh, and to the tune of Are You Sleeping-
“Opposite of B.
Opposite of B.
Plus or minus square root.
Plus or minus square root.
B squared minus 4AC. B squared minus 4AC.
Over 2A. Over 2A.“
I’m planning on having at least one big project for each grading period, so I need about 6 big ones to keep them busy. They will usually present their projects to the class after they have completed it. Some will be group projects, class projects, and some individual.
For grading, use a rubric. There are some rubric makers online. It helps the kids (and parents) see what you are expecting. Do most of the work in class.
1. Value of an Education (They calculate their salary as a high school drop out, salary as high school grad, salary as college grad..maybe find the salary of their dream job)Problem: This should only take one class?
The research will take a day or two. Then, you’ll have to show them how to calculate the salary on an example. Then, you need to have them practice the calculation with an example. Then, you need them to work on their project and make the final product. Probably 3-4 days. On this one, you’re going to have to go through the teaching cycle.
2. Degree (I’ll pick a few local universities for them to research different degrees. After they pick a degree, they have to find the course requirements including general education from the universities I selected. That way they can see how many math classes they have to take in college to get the degree they’d like.)
You can write to the colleges and get a couple of their catalogs. You might have the counselor come in and help them “register.” It would be good to do this at semester when they have to pick the new electives they’ll have to take. Make sure to get Texas A&M!!!
3. I have a ton of graphing ideas. One is where I measure their height on the first day of class and then near the end of the school year… we put that on a graph together as a class at the beginning of the year and then re create the graph at the end of the year. Another idea is just get them to collect data on fellow classmates.
Take a look at the schedule on the first two days. You may have an early release, plus, seventh grades have an awful time reading their schedules. Focus on things like “This is where you sit.” “The bathroom is ______.” “My name is Mrs. Seufert.” “This is your math book.” “This is how you work a lock.” “Here’s the syllabus.” “Here’s the rules.” Seventh graders are scared to death the first few days and will be lost. Be firm and set boundaries from the first. Take care of basic needs those first two days. Do some activities that get them to meet others.
4. Planning A dream vacation (from your idea)
Map Quest. com is awesome.
5. Decorating a room with furniture. This will help them understand area. I could get them to calculate the cost involved in decorating their house as well.
Have them also figure out how much paint and wall paper is needed and how much they cost. Set a budget like they do on trading spaces. They could also make a diaramma of the new room. You might be able to get old wall paper books and paint chips from some place for them to use. Call around and get quotes from home improvement stores, or have the student check online for them.
6. Maybe a probability activity… I just need to think of a project to do on this? I could get them to come up with a probability game in groups and then show the class their game?
Have them create a board game. On their game, have them write up the probability of spinning something or rolling a die. You could also have them conduct a poll of drinks, favorite sports teams, favorite musician, tv show, etc. Have them put the results in a spreadsheet with a graph.
I agree with you about homework, but the principal doesn’t like homework at all. I figured I could give them homework from the book, but use class time to get it done? Put them in groups, get a dry erase board for each group, assign a team leader, and have them go through each problem step by step? I would walk around and make sure they are solving them correctly.. This is the way they work through problems in the AVID program. I was an AVID tutor for about 2 years. The team leader (I would pick a different one each week) doesn’t have to write out the problems because they are writing them on the board, but the rest of the group has to write them all out step by step to get full credit.
Yes. You’ll have to use class time for independent practice from the looks of it. It is one way to insure that you get their assignments. If they do not finish, give them until 8am to get it in to you. Make sure you have them show their work. It is good for them to use their heads, however when you’re trying to find out where they messed up, you need to see their work so you can see their thinking process. I like your cooperative activity. Assign jobs. I copied these rules and gave them a grade for participation. I counted off the participation grade when they failed at one of the expectations. 1. Everyone works. 2. Everyone works quietly. 3. Everyone cooperates. We learn best when we teach someone else. Having the team leader is a good idea. If they don’t know how to show the team, have them call in the relief pitcher- you! Only after they tried first. Trying is what’s going to have to count here. Remember that you will have special ed kids in your classes. Check with their IEP’s as well for modifications they will need.
I really like bouncing ideas off people who have taught before. 🙂 I’m sure you were a very good teacher! 🙂 Uhm… I have some stories to tell on this one…
Is it true that 8th graders still enjoying drawing? I have some ideas where they make key concept sheets which they can decorate. For example, I was thinking about getting them to decorate the first key concepts for solving math problems (explore, plan, solve, and examine). Does that sound ok?
YES!! Absolutely. Concept mapping is pretty cool, too. Art is an awesome way to pull in math objectives. Scale. Proportion. Rotate. Flip. Slide. Sequencing. Tessellations and MC Escher (btw I have a lesson plan for that one with art work. You can even teach a multimedia lesson with it too.)
Also, I heard you should never ever play a game on the first day. Would it be okay to have a competition between rows of students on multiplication tables?
Do games that day for sure. But make sure they understand that you’re class isn’t “fun and games.” It is a great time to practice you’re classroom procedures, expectations and cooperative rules. That’s a social-emotional strategy. Brain teasers are great, too. A math race would be a great idea. Be able to modify on the spot for physical impairments. I have a game called swat the fly that might work, too. Let me know if you’d like that.
Wong says have even a pass-in procedure. Also, have a way of getting their attention without yelling. I raised my hand. The first one who saw me raise theirs, and so on. Counting backwards from 5 works, too.
My old expectations: (No more than five, keep them positive.)
Everyone is on time and in their seat when the bell rings.
Everyone respects the feelings, rights, property, and education of others.
Everyone works and cooperates with others.
(i can’t remember the others right now. 😦
BTW- Doing the “three strikes you’re out” means that the kids get to act up 3 more times before you deal with their discipline issue. Warn the first time. Act the second.
Pull up your students test data and find out which skill(s) each one needs to be addressed. Make a card for them. Have them practice those skills throughout the year. Give practice tests so you can see how they are improving.
I’m done bombarding you with questions! 🙂 I just have a lot of thoughts going through my head…
You’re not bombarding. I love being asked. Yes. Even more will be going on as day one gets closer. Find a mentor teacher to have come along side you.
Thanks for all your suggestions! I really appreciate them. No problem. You’re going to do a great job.