2015 First Day Back

I spent the first half of my day at a high school math textbook vendor fair.  Having a substitute felt awkward – it was tough to NOT be in my classroom to welcome students back and crack corny jokes about how we hadn’t done any math together since last year 😉

IMG_9236I knew they’d be in a fog, in denial of the horrific alarm-clock that sounded to start their day today.  After completing a Google form with their intentions of “New Years Math-o-lutions”, I needed them to DO MATH, with or without me, and I wanted access to their work and scores.  Now I’m gleaning Nearpod reports, ThatQuiz scores, and Google Doc spreadsheets to assess the damage that 17 consecutive days off may have done to my students.

We have some work to do.

But at least I know what I’m in for.  The painful bliss of assessments using iPad!

For now though, I want to steer this blog post in a different direction.  One of the Google forms students completed today was a reflection and follow-up of our Book Creator project.  (Read all about the project here if you missed it.)  Before our break, with such focus on semester exams, I didn’t feel like I’d given students a chance to provide feedback on the project.  I need their feedback.  It gives me the reality check I need to make the project better next time.  I want to know what they think worked, and what they’d change next time.  Here are some of their responses, with some of my favorites in bold print.

P.S. Any time I ask students questions like these… I’m so glad I asked! 🙂  Definite themes in their responses.  We didn’t just learn about math.  As a matter of fact, MOST responses are about all of those life skills folks need to be successful 21st-century employees.  I’m so glad they were able to recognize and articulate these responses.  I also chuckled at the self-awareness epiphanies that occurred when students had to listen to their own recorded speaking voices.  Don’t miss the suggestions for improvement as well, which I will take to heart for… Book Creator Take 3!  (Did they *truly* need more time, I wonder… or did they need to *manage* it better…?  Hmmm…)

Q1: For YOU, what was the most valuable lesson learned by completing this project and creating a math eBook?

It helped me remember things from the previous chapters
Getting to learn more about the subject of my eBook
I learned about some very helpful and well explained websites that could help me learn some math concepts that I don’t understand
Teamwork is needed in all situations… Even math!
I got to learn more in detail about my subject and others that I was confused on.
How to get things done in groups when there is a deadline
To always go back and look over things you learned in the past so you don’t ever forget them
That everything has to be your best work and detailed.
I learned a lot about how to participate in a group
Better understanding of the topic I wrote my book on
Time management!
Work swiftly and work well
Choose partners wisely
I learned that communicating is really important when working in a group.
Knowing how to make an online book
Learning how to show something many different ways and explain it
I learned how to work with a friend and still get the work done efficiently.
How to met deadlines and guidelines better
Math can be fun when you explore different ways to share Math
Math is really fun when you make it your own thing.
I learned to valuable lesson of team work.
It provided us with an understanding of how our fellow classmates are and an understanding of the different subjects
Teamwork makes the dream work because without it you will be too busy arguing than working but don’t pick your friends because then you might be conversing with them than working
To work better with others and divide and concer
I learned to work with different people
That you can work together as a group to create A very valuable project.
Identify, write and graph direct variation
My own voice is actually quite irritating.
Learning to study more efficiently.
There’s tons of resources to learn math.
That I have to work hard and stay concentrated
To be patient
Linear functions
How to use book creator
Always double check your math
Making a book is difficult
A voice recording is what you sound like to everybody else
Teaches me to be brave enough to make a book that my peers have access to.
That if you work with others when creating the book you can get more ideas
That there is so much math left to learn.
that making a project helps you understand the topic more
If you stay focused you can finish things quicker and more efficient
How to graph functions correctly
I feel like I really mastered my topic.
Making a project really helps to better my learning on the topic


Q2: What suggestion(s) do you have that might improve this project for future students?

A more detailed rubric
Less pictures, more videos
Having a more detailed story board
Groups of two
Groups of 2-4
I think this was an overall great project but maybe if we had more explaining and maybe less things on the rubric to complete then it would have been a bit easier.
Give them an extra day because a lot of groups barley finished
More time
Less time working on books and more time just studying
I don’t have any suggestions it was a fun project!
Maybe show them on the smart board so everyone learns together
I think it would probably be more helpful to myself if we started the books earlier and studied for the test longer.
None (thought it was fun and challenging)
Go over the rubric several times
To have less points taken off for minor mistakes
Have fun! It really shows if you enjoy making a project.
Maybe give a little bit more time.
More time for better results?
Maybe just a little more time and find a way to let us use that video app rated 12 and up
I thought that this project was well directed and I can’t find anything wrong with it.
Nothing it was perfectly fine.
More time
None, I liked the way it was.
A little more time
longer time
Give them one more day.
It’s great I have none.
I don’t have any suggestions
Let us trade topics
I think it would be better if you could use online videos with citing your sources.
Be able to use photos offline instead of draw
Have more time in class to work.
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