Monday, August 17, 2015

Assigned Seating Problems and Groupings

When it comes to seating arrangements in my classroom I'm a groups/pods/tables/etc. kind of teacher.  I try to instill in my students a sense of collaboration and teamwork.  I love when they work together to solve problems and enjoy seeing students helping and supporting one another.  The only issue I find with groups is that I tend to only have the students work with those in their group.  I hate deciding who is going to work with who and I needed to find a different way to do things.

A fellow coworker of mine numbers her desks, this way when it is time to assign students to a seat she gives them a number and they find their desk rather than trying to give them directions to their desk which they inevitably never locate correctly.  So I decided to do that this year, but being the teacher that I am I had to make it different and my own (not that there was anything wrong with her method, but she's an English teacher so she didn't see the Math possibilities behind this genius idea).  

Here is what I did…

I have 24 desks in my room and I put them into 6 groups of 4 desks.  Each desk is numbered 1-24 using a blue, green, red, purple pattern (repeated for all 6 groups).  I then created a seating chart like I normally would but put their number and color in each box.  I made sure that for each of my classes I had the same number of kids sitting in each color seat.  

On the 1st day of school, I always greet the students in the hallway making sure they are in the right class and helping others find their way around.  HERE IS THE MATH BEHIND THIS GENIUS IDEA!! This year I will be giving each of my students an index card that has a math problem on it with their name.  The answer to their problem lets them know what number desk they are assigned to.  I'm excited about starting with math as soon as they walk in the door!  I differentiated the problems on the cards based on the ability level of my students (the ones I've had before) I focused on solving linear equations but for my freshmen I gave them Order of Operation problems since this is a skill I know their former teacher was working on with them.  Some of my other ideas to shake up my groups is to have them work with their same color peers, maybe do even and odds, greens with purples and reds with blues, etc.  Can't wait to see how this goes on Wednesday for our 1st day of school!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Geometry Curriculum Outline

Recently I have received a few emails and comments from teachers who are teaching Geometry for Special Education students for the first time this year and need some help! I figured this post would be a great one to write since the beginning of the year is starting August 17th for me and I'm back to teaching Geometry this year. I'm so excited and can't wait to teach this class. Of all the math classes a math teacher can teach, Geometry happens to be my most favorite.

 Just a little background into my students and what my Geometry class looks like...Every year my students come into my Geometry class with no knowledge of Geometry, I mean NOTHING! They know shapes like squares, circles, rectangles, and triangles but anything beyond that they don't know. When I ask them what makes a square a square I usually get the deer in the headlights look from them. So when I teach Geometry it has to go down all the way to the very basics. Many ask me if I'm doing Common Core with them? My answer is always YES and NO. Yes, we do as much Common Core as we can and I always push my students to what they refer to ask their "exploding point", but when your students come in with no Geometry knowledge or skills it's hard to say we are 100% doing High School Common Core Geometry all the time. When it comes to Special Education students you have to teach them where they are at, not necessarily what grade it says they are in.

This was a common saying in my math classes this past year and I'm sure it will be again this year. It killed me every time one of them would say it.

This past school year I was informed I would be teaching Geometry again this upcoming school year, and since the group I will be having I've had in the past, I knew my class needed to be organized in a different way. So our school's Math Specialist (she's amazing) and I sat down and looked at the Common Core HS standards and the level of my students, we came up with this curriculum outline.  

So this is what I plan on following this year.  Each unit covers the same/similar skills but breaks it down by the different shapes.  So in each unit the students will know what to expect, but they will have to apply it to the each new shape that is introduced to them.  I'm hoping they will start to see patterns and make connections they might not have otherwise made.  We know this does not cover ALL of the standards but it is what I feel we can get through in a school year and what they will be able to learn and retain.  Obviously I will add to it if need be, and this is just a list of topics (it does not indicate the difficulty level of the questions they will be given).

How do you organize your Geometry content?  What resources do you use to outline your course?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...