Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Day 77 and the FUN begins

     In yesterday's post I told you that I would be sharing what I am doing in my 8th grade Pre-Algebra and Algebra classes everyday until I retire at the end of this school year. So here we go...
      In Pre-Algebra we started like and unlike terms. I pulled out my container that has pieces of colored paper that I have saved over the year and we made these foldables. See this post: Like terms, Unlike terms INB pages. 

After we did the top of the notebook page the students did a Rally Coach activity with this worksheet at teacherspayteachers.com: Race to the top from Kathryn Goodhart at teachers pay teachers. 
     If you are not familiar with the Rally Coach Kagan Structure I will try my best to explain it to you. First of all, the students in our classrooms are in groups of four, sometimes a group of three if there is an odd number of students. They have shoulder partners and face partners for group work. For the Rally Coach structure, students work with their shoulder partners. The explanation given from the teacher is important because social and group expectations are a huge part of Kagan. First, you explain what you want the students to do and the behavioral expectations for the group. Next, you let the kids know what behaviors you don't want to see and lastly model the expected behaviors. 

Here is what a Rally Coach looks like:

  • One of the partners is given a question that has only one correct answer. That's easy to do in math. 
  • There is also only one piece of paper and one pencil for the pair. 
  • Partner A solves the problem explaining their reasoning to Partner B. 
  • Partner B coaches Partner A if they need help and also affirms the work they are doing correctly. 
  • If the answer is not correct, Partner B coaches Partner A to arrive at the correct answer. 
  • Once they agree on the answer, the teacher checks it, and gives positive affirmations to the students or suggestions on what to change. ( I didn't check each problem but walked around checking their answers as they were working.)
  • When the pair has the correct answer the teacher hands a new problem to Partner B. (For this activity all the problems were on the paper and students just moved back and forth between partners.)
  • The students switch roles and repeat the process.
Well, we started this but did not finish by the end of the period. That was 1st hour. When my 4th and 8th hour Pre-Algebra class came in half of the classes were absent due to ACCESS testing. I guess I should have read the email sooner, I wouldn't have planned a new lesson for today but, oh well, I will have to catch up with the others tomorrow.

     In my Algebra classes I wanted the students to discover how to graph horizontal and vertical lines with their partners. I handed them this sheet and they worked with their partners to graph these. Of course, when they looked at it they had no idea how to graph these. We talked about making a table and listing pairs of points and then graphing them. It took them a while but they started to get it on their own. That makes me smile. After the first few they wanted to know if they still needed to make tables and no they could use the rule they discovered. Tomorrow we will do our HOY and VUX graphic organizer. 

Well that's it for today. See you tomorrow.


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