Today my 3rd block finished Previous Travelers. The last two class days my 2nd block class was cut for different reasons. Therefore they are behind! Anyway, in Previous Travelers the students plot some data points and then draw the line of best fit. Then there are instructed to find the equation for the line and lastly they have to predict the amount of supplies they need for their Overland Trail families. I only gave each group one of the 3 supply items to graph. That made it where each item had at least 2 groups graphing the data. The neat thing about that was that the two groups could compare information AND when I had that one group that was behind everyone else because they wouldn't get on task in a timely manner I just had them to sit down and we still had another group that finished. I had the students write the rule for their supply on their chart paper and pointed the information out to the class. Then I let them use the rules to predict the supplies for their families. I was proud of myself for "shortening" the assignment by not making each group do all three of the supplies. We "divided and conquered" but I still think that they got enough experience with the activity to get a feel for using the line of best fit. I had some time to get my 3rd block to reflect on what they had learned so far about graphing. A couple of them really impressed me by saying something about how we took discrete data and learned how to create an equation using the line of best fit. I didn't even mention the fact that the data was discrete so they made me proud!
Another "victory" today was that I completely finished Shoelaces (from beginning to end) in my 5th period class which is 55 minutes. I used the tips of some experienced IMP teachers and did not wait for each group to get every part of each question correct. I allowed time for "productive struggle" but then had a student to share their findings on the board. I think I am more relaxed about not waiting for each group to "get it" because I am more familiar with the way the book "circles around" on most of the important topics. We will have another activity (or sometimes several more) that will reinforce what we covered today. Shoelaces uses constraints again and introduces the students to using algebraic expressions in the place of more complicated verbal explanations.