Today I “let em go” in my Geometry Honors class. Typically, I use Geogebra.org as a tool for demonstration in class and my students have not created their own drawings. Today, I let go of the reigns and decided to let my students do the discovery. Their task: CONSTRUCT an isosceles triangle. I was impressed with how diligent they were in trying to figure out how to do this on their own. I also was amazed at how few of them utilized the Chromebook power of an internet search to help them.
I loved this activity because of the simplicity of the task yet the complexity of finding a means to get it done. I loved how they were asking questions like “how do I make it do the sides STAY equal”. I didn’t have to SHOW my students how to use the product, they figured it out in real time. I am excited for future endeavors with this approach. It also makes me reconsider how I teach constructions in the future. Currently, we spend a whole unit on paper, compass, and straight edge constructions. I think it might be more beneficial to create online constructions given the trajectory of the world. However, I wonder if the beauty of a circle created with a compass and the congruent radii present will be lost through the simple use of an online tool. This will definitely be a topic of conversation for my next team meeting.
We had Operation Snowball over the weekend on Saturday. It was the first time that we did the event in only one day at housed at one of our campuses. We had problems in the past having enough participants and we thought that if we 1.) dropped the price and 2.) only had one day to accommodate people involved in sports that we could increase the numbers. Unfortunately, this strategy did not pan out with any additional numbers. We need to think about this more and determine what format works the best for our needs. Snowball is more than just numbers so we need to be careful with how we proceed.
One of the nice additions from this event was the return of the Warm Fuzzies. We had eliminated them a couple of years ago because they seemed like more work and more litter than they were worth. However, with the one day event we eliminated bags of good feelings since we didn’t think that people would be able to write meaningful notes to each other in just a one day experience. I brought my warm fuzzy with me to work and it was a nice reminder for me to hand out warm fuzzies to my students. I could tell that for some students, the warm fuzzy made their day – crazy. Maybe I need to wear it more 🙂
Today we had a full day institute. Whenever I have PD I am reminded that I really learn well when I reflect on what I learned about. In our first session about differentiated instruction we were supposed to make a tic-tac-toe choice board. I quickly brought up the tic-tac-toe semester review that I used to do a couple of years ago. It was a fun reminder of some of the things that I’ve done before.
From the Paperless Classroom session I learned about Quizizz.com – like Kahoot, PowToon makes a video cartoon for you, and Quizlet.com. I need to do more research on these.
At a session on Padlet.com, I thought that a good use for this would be with my Snowball brainstorming. I included it on my website and hope that I remember it for brainstorming next Snowball season.