Thursday, May 17, 2018

Gearing Up for NC Exams

Recently, I have been collaborating with teachers on creating "practice" exams. We've developed a NC Math 1 Practice EOC and a NC Final Exam for Math 2.

I'm sharing here in case they can be beneficial for others.

I prefer to start with a blueprint design when creating assessments so I'm also sharing these with you. They should provide some additional information about the practice exams.
Math 2 Design

Finally, I tweeted these out last semester and thought I should include them here as well. I compiled resources for review in NC Math 2 and NC Math 3. I organized them in a Google Sheet so I can continually add to and update.
**NC Math 2 Review Resources:
**NC Math 3 Review Resources:

As always, I appreciate any feedback as it is how we learn and grow. Best of luck to you and your students!!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Presenting at #NCTMannual 2018

I was thrilled when I received the acceptance letter to present at the 2018 NCTM Annual Conference in Washington, DC. My presentation is titled

Algebraic Procedures in Need of a Conceptual Makeover

and I will presenting on Friday, April 27 from 8:00 - 9:00 in the Walter Washington Convention Center room 147B.

So, what does that title mean? It's a response to lessons that present a procedure to students followed by pages upon pages of practice problems. These lessons exist. I know. I've seen them. I'm even guilty of having taught a few of them. They usually begin with notes and, if the teacher is really creative, the notes take the form of a foldable. (Don't get me wrong. I love foldables. I just prefer that they summarize student learning rather than present the learning to them.) Anyway... this presentation is my attempt to discuss how we can "effectively build fluency with procedures on a foundation of conceptual understanding" (Principles to Actions, p. 10).

This topic has been rolling around in my thoughts for some time. Here's how I see it:

I am fascinated by how students learn which is different from thinking about what they learn. The highlight of my job is when I can be in a classroom and listen to students.  Listen as they talk about math, ask questions, make mistakes and corrections. This is what happens within the middle part. I want to capture and share the informal reasoning strategies students use to make sense of procedures before they even know they are procedures. The middle part is the focus of my presentation.

I am using three procedures to illustrate this idea.

  • Writing the equation of a line given two points
  • Identifying the vertex of a quadratic given vertex form, and
  • Solving exponential equations using logarithms.

Here is the presentation and the handout.

Since there is a possibility that I won't get to all three examples I've made videos to complement the presentation. This first one is writing the equation of a line given two points.

The second is solving exponential equations using logarithms.

So, that's it. I've prepared what I want to share. Handouts are copied and uploaded. I've practiced (and will continue to practice). My bags are packed. DC bound.

Thanks for coming, for reading/listening, and hopefully I'll meet some of you in DC.