Try, Try Again

Monday wasn’t the greatest of teaching days. But in teaching we have a thousand opportunities to try again. If at first you don’t succeed… Write a long blog post reflecting on what went wrong, and then go back to the drawing board.

Tomorrow’s Game Plan

When I taught this lesson three years ago, it lasted 40:01. I’m not kidding. (By the way, that link is a whole other coming-over-from-the-dark-side post that I don’t have time for right now…) Two years ago and last year? Basically the exact same lesson. Six problems. Work through ’em as a class. Everyone stick together. Eyes on me. And so on. Bell rings. Head home. Practice. Try not to cry.

A quick preview:



And if you’re curious, a closer look, compliments of your friend the PDF.

If you read last night’s post, possibly the only thing that I made clear was my desire to shift away from “all eyes on me” instruction where it makes sense. (Which, as it happens, is in quite a few places.) With that in mind, here’s my plan for tomorrow:

  1. Use Desmos, Keynote, and MathType to build a set of cards containing: graphs (12), integral expressions (12), and directions (1)
  2. Print, slice, and drop in Ziploc sandwich bags. (Hooray for Costco!)
  3. Distribute one bag to each group (~4 students).
  4. Give them about 5 minutes to sort. Then 3 minutes to describe in writing their thinking. (“How’d you match each graph with its integral expression?”) Then 2 minutes to debrief as a class.

Now, what to do with that extra half hour…? I’m still working on that bit. In the meantime, I’ll share some of the cards. Enjoy!

AB Day 58 Sorting Activity.001

AB Day 58 Sorting Activity.002

AB Day 58 Sorting Activity.014

AB Day 58 Sorting Activity.020

Wish Me Luck!

I’ll check back in tomorrow with a brief report on whether tomorrow is a success, or another borderline failure.

The Goods

All of the resources I created are available here.

Comments 1

  1. Thank you for reflecting out loud. I’ve always loved teaching and school in general because we get as many “do-overs” as we need. I’m glad to get to read here about what you try and try again.

    I’m sure your sorting activity went well. I have a similar card matching for area between curves & found that it was a great way for students to become comfortable with the definite integral notation (even before students knew how to calculate definite integrals by hand). I started doing more card matching in Calculus last year & saw a huge difference in student scores on the exam. I don’t know what took me so long to “leave the front of the classroom behind” in calculus, as I did it in my geometry classes long ago.

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