# In-N-Out Burger #MTBoS30

I don’t know what else to post, so I’ll get through some of the stuff sitting in my drafts folder since the beginning of the year. I’ve saved some pictures and will be trying to remembering what they’re all about.

I showed Robert Kaplinski’s In-N-Out Burger problem to my Algebra I class on September 4th this year. We had been looking at function tables and relating equations to tables. Many groups found an equation by looking at the difference between the Double-Double and the cheeseburger and used that after they realized that trying to use a function table was going to be pretty tedious. Not all groups gave up on the table though…

It would be even better if this group had persevered with their method AND got the correct answer, but I still applauded this group for never giving up. They did tell me their reasoning at the time for their numbers, but I’ve forgotten it by now. That’s what I get for not posting earlier.

I did like using that problem for introducing problem solving to my students and could have revisited it when we went through linear functions. That’s the plan for next year.

La persévérance des étudiants me fait heureuse.

# First Week (after two weeks)

Whoa. It’s hard to blog when struggling to survive. I am totally kicking myself for not getting anything done for planning during the summer. I can make a bunch of excuses, but it wouldn’t have been that hard to start planning more than a few days before the year started. Oh well..

After two weeks of school, I have mixed feelings about how things are going. I have started at a new school this year. I’m teaching two sections of Algebra II, and one section of College Algebra, Calculus, and remedial Algebra I. I am on an A-B block schedule, so I see each class every other day for 81 minutes at a time, except my Alg I class I see every day. I also have a 30 minute SRT (Student Resource Time) with a group of 12 freshmen every day. I am one of two math teachers in a school of 185 kids. I have a class sizes of 14, 24, 11, 9, and 18. In my remedial Algebra I class, I have some special education students , so I have a special education co-teacher. Every one of these things is new and exciting and scary.

We actually only had a four day week for the first week, so I saw each class twice. I planned the same things for all of my classes in the first week, and then in the second week we started content. I’m just gonna talk about the first week here, though.

When I started planning, I wanted to do Youcubed’s Week of Inspirational Math as well as show a video or two from Jo Boaler’s How to Learn Math for Students. I also had a bunch of other activities that I bookmarked/Evernote tagged and wanted to try. I got through about a third of all the stuff I planned. I even had pacing minutes that I wrote for myself, but I was nowhere close to correct in knowing how long it would take my students to do some of these activities. My pacing was off on every single one. And also, as I suspected, these activities took about twice as long in my Algebra I class and half as long in my calculus class. I also saw my Algebra I class twice as much this week

First, I gotta say that I started Day 1 super nervous because I wanted to try to do Glen Waddell’s High Fives. Some kids were confused when they saw me there the first day. But it was amazing! I loved the kids that didn’t notice at first, and then I gave an audible sigh or made a sad face to the next person and those kids came back to give me a high five. It really does create smiles for many more students than I believe I would have had. And it changes my attitude – I can’t help but smile! Even now, two weeks later, I have students that make sure to shift books into their other hand so they can give me a solid high five. Or I have kids that will have their hands full and go in first but then come out so they don’t miss a high five. I have a girl who always comes from the room right across the hall and usually makes it inside before I am able to get outside after my last class, so I usually give her a high five in my class before going to the door – she said on the first day that this happened “Man I was scared I was gonna miss my high five!” I love love love high fives. I will admit that I have one student that I haven’t gotten a high five from yet. He always comes to my door and puts his hand into his sleeve and says that he lost his hand. I usually say something like, “Well I hope you find it soon!” but I’m not sure exactly why he won’t high five. Maybe he’s just trying to be funny, maybe he’s against it for some reason, but I’m ready for the day he gives me that first high five. It will be epic.

I then went to Four Fours. I used the procedure from Youcubed’s Week of Inspirational Math. I had the class work in pairs and started to have them write solutions as they got them after everyone had found at least three solutions. I then made sure that the class knew that I was not checking to see that these groups were putting up correct solutions and that the class had to be monitoring the work that went on the board. The pictures are from all of my classes. My calculus class was the only one that finished within 30 minutes. In the other classes, I had a lull after about 45 minutes and decided to switch gears. I then was able to have a discussion about what makes good group work and what we are going to be experiencing in class. I wanted to convey the message that we will be working in groups every day and that the class is a group of its own. We are all in this learning process together. I also wanted to make sure the students knew that mistakes were ok and my classes were all pretty good about respectfully correcting each other.

In my calculus class, I was also able to do the Noah’s Ark task from Julie and Fawn. I had them in pairs and it was really interesting to see the problem solving strategies. They eventually all got it after about 15 minutes. I was able to have multiple students explain their reasoning (some used a system of equations and some used balancing methods, and there were other strategies).

In every class, I showed the first two videos from Jo Boaler’s How to Learn Math for Students at the end of class. I then had an exit slip that asked them about their previous experiences in math – good and bad. I received some pretty interesting feedback on how my students felt about math.

In all of my classes, I received a lot of push back from students as soon as I started Four Fours. I was not ready for that. They were not ready to do math on their first day. It was kind of disheartening. My freshmen actually were ok about it, probably because they have never experienced high school before, but my sophomores through seniors were very vocal about not being happy to do Four Fours. I also had mixed feelings about How to Learn Math because, while my younger students took it well, my older students just did not take it seriously.

So Day 1 – mixed emotions. Some great things, some not so great things.