Monday, September 1, 2014

Math Is... 2014 Version

If I didn't teach math, I would love to teach English because I enjoy reading so much! I especially loved reading your Mathographies, and I captured your "Math is..." comments in the wordle below:

Please allow me to address some of your questions and concerns here:

  • Even though my "other job" carries a lot of responsibilities, when I am with my classes, you are my priority. If you have questions or need tutoring, I will find time for you, and I have been known to tutor during every period of the day! Talk to me, I'll check my calendar, and we'll work out something that is mutually convenient.
  • Feel free to email your questions, too. I usually shut down my school email early (8:00 PM) but I begin answering email super early in the morning. Check my website for answer keys and videos that may help, too. Ask a friend or find another math teacher to help! 
  • Some people prefer groups, some people working alone...we'll do both. For those who prefer individual work time, the "collaboration" work time will require you to stretch, I know. I completely get it because I am a huge introvert. I try to accommodate many learning preferences, but I also want you to grow as a learner.
  • Several people commented that they tend to shut down when they get frustrated or don't understand something, and I plan to help you conquer that mindset. (Here are tips to change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.)  In my class, I hope you will develop a growth mindset about learning, I want you to appreciate the struggle, and learn that making mistakes is OK! I've created a slideshow with my favorite quotes about learning and struggle, and it's on my website homepage. It's so important that I'll add it here, too! 
  • My favorite growth mindset comment was from the person who wrote, "I like to work in groups with people who are smarter than I am." Awesome! What a way to show that you're willing to take risks, stretch yourself, and learn from others.
  • One of my number one priorities is that our class is for you to take risks, safe to make mistakes in your learning journey, and safe to ask as many questions as you need!
  • Your notes will definitely help prepare for your test. I know we have rushed through some notes, but I hope you'll take the time to return to your notes, process the material, and fill in any blanks (steps, definitions, etc.)
  • A few people were worried about the weight of tests. I will do my part to make certain you're prepared for tests, but you'll have to do your part, too! Find some useful study tips here and here.
  • By the way, we're learning all about reference angles to work right triangle problems (SOHCAHTOA) and vectors, which are also used in physics.
If you have any questions or other concerns, feel free to leave your questions in the comments below.
Thanks so much for a great start to PAP pre-calculus!

Mathmagically Yours,
Ms. Laster

Enjoy some of my favorite mindset quotes!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Welcome to 2014!

Welcome to our class!  

I know we're going to have a great year together.

Welcome to another year of math!  I hope this year will be a wonderful learning experience for you, and I've accepted the challenge of making it the best year ever for all of us!

I hope you realize that teachers don't actually have 3 months off during the summer, and I spent a LOT of time doing some great learning by reading, attending conferences, and reflecting.  (I think people who love teaching are the ones who love learning!) Thanks to a great idea in a book called Teach Like a Pirate, I decided on 5 words that I hope will describe our class this year:
I want our class to feel safe, inspiring, and challenging.  During our class, I hope you will feel accomplished and experience the joy in learning.  

Yes, the pencils say Mathmagical and Growth Mindset! 

The purpose of this post is for brief introductions, so a bit more about me...this summer, I spent a lot of time with my family--here, in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and in Colorado. I also spent time with friends, where we tried new restaurants, talked school stuff, and went to movies.  (I finally saw Frozen, and it was my first digital 3D movie, which I loved!)  I'm a cat person, I'm a mountain person, and I love reading and buying new school supplies.  According to some around LHHS, I  coined the phrase mathmagical, and in honor of the new word, I have a whole box of new pencils waiting to give away to students who show something mathmagical or those who exhibit a growth mindset. (You have heard about growth mindset, right??) My other job at school is I am one of two campus "Instructional Specialists," so I did a lot of planning and work for presentations in August. 

Arches National Park--Look at that great parabola!

For your first post, please briefly introduce yourself.  You may share something from your Mathography, or you may include something new. You only need to write a sentence or two...just please write something that will help us know you a bit better. Please look over the blog rules page before commenting.

My examples were too long, and don't feel obligated to write that much, but I'll be happy with all of your posts.

I look forward to getting to know you, and I'm so excited about the new year!  
Get used to hearing about #growthmindset!
Thank you for your comments!  

(By the way, I moderate the comments, so they do not appear until I post them.  Sorry for any confusion!)

Mathmagically yours
Ms. Laster

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Your MANY Intelligences

Happy New Year!  Welcome to 2014!!  Ready for a new semester?

How was your break?  Ready to jump into school, learning, and your intelligence?  (Of course you are!)

Have you ever heard of Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences?  Instead of just IQ, Dr. Gardner suggested people have a variety of "types" of intelligence.  He originally proposed 7 intelligences, then 8, and now some say 9, but here are two video options for you to learn about the different intelligences.

Both videos were created by teachers.  The first video is straight forward, and includes words, definitions, and pictures. The second video is a made-up song and animation, originally created for young children, but it  is cute (like School House Rock cute) in an elementary school way ... choose which one seems better for you!

I know you're anxious to determine your type of intelligence, and here's your opportunity!  Please take one of the surveys online found either herehere (click "Take the Test") or here.  (If another teacher gives you a paper version of an MI survey, feel free to use that quiz, rather than an online version.)  All three are different formats and offer different type of feedback, but my scores were the same.  Did you have one dominant intelligence, or were there several top intelligences?  You may find definitions and more information about intelligences at the websites hereherehere, or here.  There are so many resources, but I tried to pick ones that weren't too teacher-y.

Next, please submit your findings and reflections in this Google form.  Please complete the surveys and the responses by next Wednesday, January 15, 10 PM.

Thank you, and as always, I look forward to reading your responses!
(Don't forget to hit "Submit" at the end of your survey!)

Did you enjoy learning about multiple intelligences?  If you found any other interesting information, videos, or links, please post in the comments below!