Today I started class by giving the students time to continue working on their Haybaler POW write-ups. I am finding it hard allowing students to struggle without telling them the answer. There comes a point with almost all of the more difficult problems where I just want to say, "Okay, now everyone watch me so I can tell you how to do this." It feels like I don't get "closure" on some of the problems. Is that a real thing? Teacher closure? I could define it by saying that it is when a teacher feels that he or she has sufficiently told the students what they need to know.
I try to have the students to share but I don't think I do a great job of that yet. I tend to allow them to share a little bit and then I repeat and extend. Repeating and extending is okay...I think. However, my students need more guidance in presenting their findings and I am not yet sure how to direct them. I am going to have to go search some of the resources that Jim shared with us last week.
After the time for writing the POW, I discussed the Diagonals Illuminated activity. Thing is...very few of my students spent any time finishing the activity for homework. That is so frustrating! Anyway, I had one student out of 60 who did come up with the function rule for the activity. He is such a good thinker! He gave me the pattern verbally and I wrote it as he was saying it. Then I gave him a few hints and he told me how to write the algebraic expression. I asked him if he wanted to share it with the class and he didn't want to. Therefore I shared his findings for him.
The last activity we did today was the Laced Travelers activity. It is neat how the authors used a similar situation but changed the way they gave the numbers. There is not an "algorithm" that is reapplied. They have to think through the information that is given and arrive at their answers. I had a few students to do this activity VERY quickly. I started giving candy to the ones who figured out how many men, women, and children went through Westport.
My 5th period class finished their Creating Families activity today. Some of them still didn't get their families correct according to the constraints. This is definitely a case where I really wanted to take their pencils out of there hands and just do it for them! I decided to just give them a grade today (everyone passed but the I deducted points for incorrect families) and then tomorrow I am going to do the kind of just go through creating each type of family with the students and give an example of each of the 4 types of families. While the information for the families is still on the board I am going to have them do the Hats activity. I hope this goes well. We will see...