Because my school is a SIG (School Improvement Grant) school we are periodically observed by the Illinois State Board of Ed. A couple weeks ago, they came in to observe the math and English departments. I was observed on Wednesday and the English teachers were scheduled to be observed on Thursday. Due to a freak break in our water main, the school had no water and was shut down on Thursday. So ISBE's only impression of our teachers was based on my classroom...and I rocked it. Apparently they bragged all over me and were impressed at how rigorous my lesson was considering I am only a third year teacher. Plus, they missed the first half of my class! They were in a meeting and someone interrupted them to tell them they were supposed to be in my class. They said they shouldn't tell teachers when to expect them and then not show up! lol
Anyway, they had asked me ahead of time to prepare lesson objectives, how my lesson connected to the Common Core, sample student work, and any formative or summative assessments that would follow the lesson. I will say that I went overboard in creating a lesson plan with a fancy template and I decorated the folder I put everything in. I also had a student greeter who welcomed them in the room and escorted them to their seats. I think these were the things they were most impressed by.
As far as my actual lesson, I feel confident that it was not posed or over the top but included things I normally do. I didn't prep my kids other than to tell who would be there and I felt that the classroom environment was essentially unchanged after they took their seats.
So let me preface: we had just learned the square root method to solving quadratic functions. The day before I had quite a few students out so we did some board work and review. I wanted to briefly introduce the formula to get the following day's lesson off to a good start. I decided to try a 3D puzzle, which is something we had tried in our grad class. What I did was create an 'empty' quadratic formula and overlay that with a 5 x 5 grid (I have 5 students) in Powerpoint.
I thought it would be easy but it did take longer than expected and it required them to work together. I ended class by showing them this classic video- if you watch it, you have to watch the whole thing.
So the next day, we started class as usual with a bell ringer. I asked them to write the standard form of a quadratic and the formula for finding the AOS of an unfactorable quadratic. I asked the students to explain what we did the say before with the puzzle and then we all watched the video again. Now, everyone has seen the formula. We started our notes by writing down the quadratic formula and the AOS formula and comparing. They notice that both formulas have -b/2a. Here's where I transition into the discriminant. I tell them we are going to ignore the part of the formula we are familiar with and work with the b^2 - 4ac. I send them to the board and they do three example problems, just finding the discriminant. Then it's back to their seats. I give them a baggy with six different equations.
Crank Dat Quadratic Formula video. One of them is a former math teacher and was familiar with the Pop Goes the Weasel tune but liked the new video. She even said, "Isn't that that Superman song?" which earned her brownie points with me. They asked me if I created the lesson template myself, which I did, but was inspired by one I found from Microsoft Word. They thought that it looked very much like backwards design which made me happy inside because that's where I'm trying to go. Since then we have solved quadratics with like terms on both sides, with discriminants that need to be simplified, finding exact and approximate answers, quadratic applications and word problems. I feel that they have handled it all really well and that this was a great start. I'm no Dan Meyer but I'm proud of my lesson and it's results and I wanted to share that all with you! While I'm sharing, here are all my resources that I mentioned above: Lesson Plan Template Unit Plan Template (I did not create) Quadratic Formula 3D Puzzle Discriminant Sort (I love sorting!) The Quadratic Formula PPT The Quadratic Formula Notes Bell Ringer and Exit Slip
Thanks for reading my extra long post and for cheering me on.
I love sorting!