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Some Community….Finally

Yes, there are only 6 days of school left with students.

Yes, most of the students have mentally checked out.

I was, however,  finally able to foster a sense of community in my classroom today. My coworker and I decided to give a take-home test for our Probability A2T Unit. We mostly did this because we did not want to give another precious day of class time up for a test. We had also given a take home test for our Trig Apps Unit. The result, was unexpected.

I had 5 students staying after today to “get help” with the test.  I was able to turn the focus back onto the students and get the students to look to each other for help.  The result was some good, honest mathematical by….wait for it…HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS!  They were able to explain the topics and to discuss the mathematics intelligently.  They made deeper mathematical connections because they were having a true discussion. 

As I head into summer school (and then the school year next fall) I know that I want to incorporate this into my class.  I always find myself fighting the internal dialogue, however, of balancing my desire for good mathematical practices like this and just “getting through content.”  I often times feel that in NYS the focus by State Ed is to put the focus on content, rather than making deeper math connections.  Although this bothers me, it also makes me focus more and more on becoming a better teacher.

I am hoping that this blog keeps me in touch with teachers who have utilize the practices that I hope to adopt.  By opening up the dialogue using technologies such as blogs, twitter, file-sharing, et cetera, the possiblities are endless!

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