I forgot to mention yesterday that I had a student come up to me and tell me that he had a solution to the Haybaler POW. I could tell that the handwriting was VERY neat for him so I asked him if someone else wrote it. He told me that he spent 3 and a half hours working on it and that his Mom finally helped him. It looked like they got the correct answer and they had also shown their work. I told him it was GREAT. It is cool to me that we have some math activities where I can tell them that it is okay to get help from someone as long as they explain their reasoning. I told him that when he does the POW Write-Up he will just include in there that his Mom helped him figure it out and explain how she helped. The greatest part of this is that I DID NOT tell them to complete the problem at home. The only thing I had told them to think about was whether or not 2 bales could have the same weight. I thought that they could at first but soon realized that they couldn't because there are 10 different weights. If there were 2 bales with the same weight there would have to be 2 sums that were the same.
Today we discussed the Family Constraints activity. I love the way the teacher's guide recommends you ask the students to create their own equations for the ages that they came up with for 2 and 3. We spent several minutes on discussing and extending this activity according to the activities recommended. I also added vocabulary terms to their notes (which again were recommended in the guide).
We also started work on the Planning for the Long Journey group activity. They were asked to brainstorm all the materials they need for the trip. It is odd to me that the price list is very limited. I'm not sure if this means that the students need to do research to be more accurate or if the activity is just meant to get students thinking about what it would take to make a 30-day trip on a wagon train. I may give the students the opportunity to extend this activity for bonus points...
**edit 9/2/15- when I did this activity this year Sonya New pointed out to me to MAKE SURE the students chose amounts for beans, gunpowder, and sugar because later we will calculate the amount their family needed.
I am excited today because It's About Time has sent Jim Delawder from New York City down to good ole Alabama to do some professional development for our new Meaningful Math Algebra books. I hope that he does not experience any culture shock. I also hope that he can understand my rather distinct Southern accent. Tom Laster is also here to meet our team of teachers, our instructional partner, and our principal. It is crazy that all of this has come about because Tom and I happened to get on the same elevator in Atlanta while attending the ISTE conference! We are very excited and somewhat nervous about piloting this curriculum. We want to do well and we want our students to excel.