Earlier this week was my 100th day on duty. I'm at school quite a bit. While walking through a common area the other day, a kid asked me if I was "low key homeless" because I can be seen at school all hours of the day it seems. Other than being a little tired, it's been fine. In fact, the main portion of the school day in my classroom is great. It's all the work that happens after hours to make that great that can be a bit of grind (looking at you endless cycle of AP benchmark typo correction).

Here are some things that I've been pushing in my classroom:

Literacy

Pre-Cal assessment requires students to give a lot of explanations. As someone said on Twitter the other day, Pre-Cal is one of the first opportunities students have to see the skills they get from Algebra and Geometry put into practice. I have been really impressed with what some of my students have been bringing to the party here.

Technology

We moved on from iPads and have a class set of Chromebooks now. I bought a massive enterprise level network printer and make it available to my students via Google CloudPrint. Through some magic on my classroom computer they can print from their phones as well. Pre-Cal students have an assigned Chromebook. They've done a number of activities in Desmos that are making them more fluent in the calculator than any of my previous groups. It is the second language of my classroom. Kids bust it out on their phone when they want to prove something. It's their preferred method of graphing. If you ever wondered what that "students consistently use technology in meaningful ways" objective on your technology goal rubric looks like, give us a visit.

Presence

Varsity Math is here to say hello. I spot a kid in one of the t-shirts almost every day. They've got patches on their lanyards. I have random younger students asking me how to join. A small batch of students have just been invited to be our first ever straight BC class next year. As one kid put it in their end of semester survey "this is the only AP course I feel I have a chance to brag about."

Pre-Cal has something to say too. Several years ago I had some Algebra 2 students build their own estimation tasks. This year, during our final block period before the break, students brought in ideas for a brand new round of tasks (over 100). We made a giant mess. Kids came up with some awesome ideas. Early next semester we will install mega Estimation Wall 2.0.

Acknowledgments

Shout out to the students for being awesome as always. Shout out to those of you in Twitter land who give me new ideas. Special shout out to Team Desmos for having a really polished product that just works.

Posted
AuthorJonathan Claydon