Today I handed out my rubric for the Haybaler POW and then gave (through questioning and getting really excited when someone got close) them the hint that two of the bales are 39 and 41. HINT HINT HINT! Some of my students still didn't take the hint!
Then we read the intro to Setting Out with Variables and did the Shoelaces activity. I really liked this activity! Jim had warned us in training that many of the students were going to forget to calculate for 2 shoes in each pair and he was right! Reading the teacher's guide is VERY IMPORTANT for this activity because it has you lead the students through assigning variables and coming up with an algebraic expression for the amount of shoelaces each family needs to buy. *Family folders are needed for this activity because they figure how much they need for their own family first.* Then we talked about substitution... Having not taught out of this book before I keep being anxious to see when the topic is going to be revisited. I know that the topics spiral but I wish I had time to investigate and see how they deepen as they go. Ain't nobody got time for that!! (not right now anyway)
The next activity we did was Diagonals Illuminated. This activity revisits In-Out tables and creating a rule.
My 5th period started Creating Families today. I used Jim's method of grouping them randomly using playing cards and then assigning the type of family by suits. They relocated and worked on their families in the "new" groups so that they were working with the same constraints. I liked this much better than the way I did it with my 2nd and 3rd blocks.
I have also taken some advice from Theodora Psitos (a trainer with It's About Time) and started posting the definitions from the unit on chart paper. Today I would pause every time I came to one of the vocabulary words and point to the definition for them to read to me. I hope it helps!
Popcorn reading seems to work even though they groan a little when we start using it. I also find myself getting impatient and just reading it myself...ALOT. I noticed when we were in training and I was in "student mode" it took me several reads for the info to sink in. I figure that they don't pay great attention to detail the first time through anyway so I speed read to hurry up the process. #trueconfessions I do read slower on the most important parts. Wow...today I really rambled!
O yea!! We received the teaching kits from It's About Time last week for the PD. In the kit there were 2 books about the Oregon Trail and I read excerpts to my classes today. I didn't read long but it was fun. The book I read from has a collection of journals from the perspective a 15-year-old boy. I plan to read a little every day.