Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thanks to those of you who have commented on here... I'm still having issues coming up with some sort of "authentic" project that lends itself to collaboration.

For now, I'm collaborating with a teacher across the hall. :) She's always wanted to do something with cell phones in the classroom, so I'm jumping onboard that idea. Hopefully I'll be able to find something to do with that and actually be able to use it in class! Heaven knows the kids can't leave those cell phones put away like they're supposed to.

Another PLP Elluminate session today after school - hope it's a worthwhile one! It definitely makes for a crazy afternoon. Leave school around 3:30, go to pick up the kids at the babysitter (and chat for a minute... oh, just remembered - I need to stop and get some money for said babysitter!). Get home between 4:10 and 4:15. Session from 4:30 to 6:30 (with crazy kids playing in the background!). Actually, at the first Elluminate session that I tried from home, the kids were fine. They were in and out of the room, and I found my daughter sitting in the middle of the kitchen surrounded by boxes of cereal (see this post). Who knows what will happen tonight?!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I met with my PLP group on Wednesday night (the night of yet another snow day... which means the last day of school is pushed to June 8 - yuck!) for some yummy Thai food. I left my leftovers at home for my hubby, though I'm hoping he forgets about them so I can finish 'em up tonight! We needed to cement plans for our project that we'd be hemming and hawing about.

After quite a bit of discussion (and again, some yummy food!) I think we came to a consensus. Our project will be connecting. We started with a more specific idea of connecting with teachers in other countries to try and complete a project/have kids work together. The English teacher, Spanish teacher, and Social Studies teacher in the group were excited and seemed to have quite a few ideas. As a math teacher, though, I was struggling to come up with what I could do to have my kids work with others and make it a true learning experience (and worth our while!). Then we backed off a bit and decided that it would be ok to just make connections for our own personal/professional benefit. Through my PLN I feel like I've made some connections and gotten some good ideas (Especially Twitter, it seems! And to think that I was about to give up on it.) and I'm hoping to just extend this a bit.

So now I just need to reach out some more and see if other math teachers have ideas or would like to connect. If you're up for anything, let me know! I'm planning on having quite a bit of free time here lately as my student teacher takes over more of my classes (and as of next Wednesday, all of them!).

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Probability everywhere!

What a crazy week last week was! My hubby and I were in Vegas for a few days - oh the math that was there! We went out to the Hoover Dam... heard about the hours worked, the budget, the height involved - it's amazing how much number crunching was involved!

And you can't avoid the gambling (and I didn't, I admit!). I mostly play the slots/video poker. I'd love to get my general kids thinking about a 3- or 5-card poker hand when we do probability. Nothing fancy, because I don't know that they could handle it (some of them have issues just dealing with the cards themselves - the suits, the numbers, etc.) but even just with a 5-card hand... If you have 3, 4, 5, 6 and are going for a straight, what possible cards would you need? What's the probability that you get them? It probably wouldn't look too good if I tried to get the kids playing poker online... but they'd certainly enjoy it, I'd think! Or what about probabilities involved in one-deck Blackjack. Hmmm....

I'm watching the last couple of minutes of the Super Bowl right now - what a game! 0:49 left, the Steelers have 1st and goal and are down 23-20. I'd like them to win because Ben Roethlisberger went to my alma mater (Miami U.). As I was sitting here watching, I was also catching up on some of my rss feeds. (Wow - what a catch by Santonio Holmes!!) Over at 360, there's a great post with a lot of probabilities of possible scores. Definitely need to save that one for next year's pregame!

Back to school tomorrow after a week off. It felt like Spring Break! I was off on Monday because of our trip, but came back to 4 days in a row of snow days. (One of which need to be made up now - yuck!) What's the probability of that happening in a district like mine? Next to nil, I'd think.