Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bringing the Fun and Differentiation into the Classroom... The Vanguard Way!!!

November... Already?!?! This year has been flying by and it's probably due to the good old saying "Time flies when your having fun!"

In October we covered Equations and Inequalities:
My math partner and I continue to ask ourselves while planning... How can we make this fun for the students so that it remains forever in their teenage minds? Our innovative way of teaching this was by bringing in shaving cream into the classroom. Students got their hands messy and were able to practice their equation/inequality solving skills by using shaving cream as their whiteboard. Everyone was having a blast which prevented students from becoming upset or quitting when a step or two were done incorrectly. They were able to simply spread more shaving cream and correct the mistakes. You can definitely guess that when it came to the unit exam students felt confident and they were truly successful!

They have begun to love math! (I promise I didn't pay them to write it, they did it themselves!)

Late October and Early November we have dug into proportionality:
This can be a scary topic to teach because this is when you learn that students don't realize there is a connection between everything you learn in a math class; until they are confident and successful with proportionality. 
My math partner and I were feeling the struggle the students were having and kept thinking about ways to make this fun. We introduced it in a fun way by allowing them to play games and create unit rates for those games but when it came to the problem solving we were hitting a brick wall. 
Our solution... DIFFERENTIATION! It's one of those words educators consistently hear and are either too limited in time to try and create or unaware of how to truly create it for their students. I believe this is the first time in my 3 years of teaching that I have truly created differentiation and the success it has brought has made me feel extremely excited to keep doing it. 

The first station was for the students who were beginners with percent applications. They worked with the Activboard problems and were able to click on the answers to see if the sound was cheering (correct) or moo'ing (incorrect; yes like a cow). 

The second station was for those who were stronger than the beginners. They "shopped" for items in and then found different percent applications for those items. They were excited due to the fact that they selected what they were going to "buy" which was truly what they were going to do the work for.

The last and final station was a restaurant menu that allowed students to once again select what they were going to "buy". The difference was that students had to find multiple parts of this one problem. They bought their food, found the cost of all of the food, found the tax, found the tip,  found how much change they would get back after they cashed out, and lastly gave a detailed written response. It was once again real world and something they got to select. 

The students had fun during these differentiated stations and they were able to move up when they mastered the one they were in. 

 I am excited to see how we can use the excitement and differentiation with our next unit! 

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate that not only was the work authentic for your students, it was authentic for you as well. You were able to make a connection to something you have heard over and over. Differentiation isn't fewer problems based on ability, it is different learning opportunities based on ability. I'd love to see you put these activities in itslearning to allow the students who started at the lower level move up and through the other problems. The kids who started high here could move on or go even deeper by creating their own examples or moving into application outside of the typical. Thanks for sharing your learning!