Aug 172014

Can I tell you how much I love my learners! A sophomore girl walked into my classroom this week with these shoes and and said, “Mr. Waddell! Look what I found this summer!”

2014-08-13 07.42.29 How awesome are Calculus Toms. If you know or have any influence at Toms, tell them to make them again! I am so bummed that they are not for sale anymore. This learner found them in a used clothing store and was completely excited that she found math shoes. I must be doing something positive in the classroom if my learners from last year are this excited about shoes.

As far as my classes at the end of the week, they went well. The first week of school was successful. My algebra 2 learners are crushing the rules and can solve any literal equation I through at them. This means that they CAN solve any equation they need to all year long. Tuesday, I connect those dots with them and then move into parent functions.

One thing I am very proud of is my syllabus this year. I completely redesigned it, and I incorporated Remind into it in an important way.

2014-15 Alg 2 syllabus    Syllabus-AP Statistics

These are pages 1 and 3 of my syllabi, with page 2 being the signup sheet that Remind prints out. I have almost every single learner signed up for Remind in my classes, and even some parents. I am really excited by that level of commitment. What makes me even happier is that I heard from one learner that every single teacher she has is using Remind.

At that point the teachers are being consistent and even in their approach to communication and usage of the tools for communication.

One thing that I have done this week is record one of my classes. It wasn’t hard. I took my old cell phone (a Motorola Mini) and created a super high tech platform for holding it.

No, really. Super High Tech

2014-08-15 16.21.07 2014-08-15 16.21.15

That is it. Just a paper cup, cut with a slit and room for a power cord if necessary. I recorded a class on 720px and got 50 minutes of video in a 4gig micro SD card. I will move it to the laptop, delete, and be ready for the next recording.

One thing I want to do is regularly record and observe my classroom. This will give me a way to observe my class as an observer would. What will I see? Not sure yet. But I will be using those videos as part of my reflections. I can not show the videos online, but I can describe and use them to change my teaching.

All in all, a great first week, some very positive response to the syllabus, to the lessons so far, and the development of the classes.


Mar 212013

Nevada is one of the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) states, and the SBAC has released some questions on their website in a way that shows us how the test will look and work when it is fully released.

Guess what, I can’t get it to work at school. Why? The district is standardized on IE7, which is too “old” of a browser for the SBAC, and Chrome is too new. I had it working in Chrome one day, and then Chrome updates and it is broken again.

So, I go home and using Firefox I can get it to run. Great, how do I now get this info to my department? I know, I will use Snagit and make captures of the screens. …. Not so much. One question is actually animated. Great, I will use Snagit and make a video! Yay.

Here it is. The 11 released questions for the High School level proficiency CCSS exam. Please don’t judge the voice over. I sound like an idiot.

Jul 152012

I am hurriedly packing to leave for the MathCamp next week in St. Louis, but I also want to share what I will be doing along the way. I take a motorcycle trip every summer, and I do math on the trip (as if anyone needed to be told that about me).

After the trip, I put together a little video about me and the trip to introduce myself to my learners. I have made 2 so far. Last year the trip was so close to school, and I was hired into a new position (dept chair) that I never had a chance to make it. That means this year I will have 2 years worth of materials to put in there!

This is 2009’s video, the first one.

Intro Movie 2009 from Glenn Waddell on Vimeo.

And 2010’s video, the second one.

Intro Movie 2010 from Glenn Waddell on Vimeo.

The point of these is to show my learners how I see the world around, and how I actually use the math as I go. I find these problems as I travel and from what I see. I usually have 8 or 9 mapped out in my head and edit them down to 4 or 5 for the video. It makes much more sense that way, and it creates some great pictures I can use later in the year in my classes.

So, my Made4Math this week is not something I have made for this school year, but examples of what I will be doing over the next week and a half while I am on the motorcycle. Fun, a math geek’s way.

I would do more for this week’s #made4math, but it won’t happen. I need to get the laptop packed into onto the motorcycle. Tomorrow morning at 7am I board the blue beast and head for St. Louis! Next week’s probably won’t happen at all, unless I get time to post in advance something I make at mathcamp.

2012-04-15 09.41.43 (Just in case you wonder what the blue beast looks like.)