Saturday, November 1, 2014

Reflections after 5 weeks of IMP Meaningful Math Algebra

  1.  I can no longer walk in and wing it...effectively. To get everything out of a lesson  (that the authors intend) one must study over the teacher's guide first. The guides are so much different than the typical teacher's edition!
    **Later revision - this sounds bad, I know. I also know that "on the real" I am not the only teacher that hits "spells" where my life (at school and with my family) gets so crazy and busy that I can not put the planning time into my school lessons that I would like. This past week has been that way for me. 
  2.  I am not going to be able to get the "big picture" until I have taught through the book once. 
  3. Grading is so strange. I haven't quite figured out how to grade effectively using this curriculum.  I know I can still give "normal" quizzes but... it is harder to identify good places for quizzes...and they aren't really recommended...
  4. Since almost every activity has a context you can spend forever on them if you want to...
  5. It is easy to get frustrated when things are so unfamiliar.
  6. Referencing back to #3...because the way grading is done so differently I feel unsure about where my students stand.  I ask them to explain a lot...I think I know where they stand...I think they are learning...look at the picture of an excerpt from a POW write-up 

Things I know I'm doing better than before IMP...
  1. Addressing literacy standards
  2. Teaching how to solve word problems
  3. Stretching the students (especially with POWs)
  4. Questioning...there are always suggested questions in the teacher's guide. 
  5. Making real-world applications
  6. Celebrating various approaches to problems...I find that since there really isn't a mathematical title to the lesson (i.e. Percent Increase or Systems of Equations, etc...) that students tend to take more varying approaches to problems.  Also...I don't say to students as a form of a hint..."Hey guys. ..look at the title of the section!" (I really used to do that sometimes.) 
**I love #6 because no problem we face in the real world comes with a title that gives you a hint on how to solve it:)