Monday, April 21, 2014

What?!?! Me Study?!?!?

AP Calculus Exam coming up. Let's have the kids create a study calendar! That's the ticket. Because you know, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

I fell into the old Geometry Logic trap. Just because ~p --> q is true, it DOES NOT say anything about what p implies. Silly me. About a week after they all made their calendars, I checked in with about 3 or 4 of them. Sheepishly, they admitted that they were not adhering to their study calendars ... their beautiful calendars they set up.

We had a class powwow. We brainstormed. We came up with ideas. Who knows what will work.

Things I need to think about changing/adding next year: a part of the homework for the calendar that mentions what incentives they'll give themselves for studying ... maybe some strategies they need to write up for the times they DON'T feel like studying ... other?

I checked around with other AP teachers. Yup, their students (we all share) basically admitted to not doing extra studying outside of class ... much.


Well, I've instituted some other motivations. Don't know what will work, so I'll do multiple ones of them. Here's one I thought of today after seeing something similar on Pinterest.

Today, I had them start a foldable that is due next class. I prepped for the insides by listing various things they need to memorize:

Then I made one myself (sort of) and made a flipped video for them to watch to see what goes on the inside. Here are the flaps:

 Here's a wee look on the inside. I didn't just want formulas, I wanted examples:

I'm SURE this will be the ticket. Girls LOVE pretty colorful things, right? They won't be able to tear their eyes away from it. They'll study daily.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Making a Graph Updated...

A while ago, I used to make graphs for my worksheets in a way that, at the time, seemed reasonable. Hah! and Double Hah! I have seen the light. I don't know where I heard about this technique, but I am using it now, and just today, I enhanced it to be easier for me. 

Here is a finished graph that took about 4 minutes to make from a blank space:

I like this process because I can never seem to find my old "made" graphs, and if I do, they are never the right size.

Also, I used to make a similar grid using "tables", but then I would go and insert shapes with textboxes to do the scale. Tedious. I just realized today how I could do it all with tables. Viva la tables!

Here are instructions in case you are in need of graphs.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Quick PSA for Precalculus

We are now into our Logarithms and E Unit, but before that I wanted to review exponent rules and manipulations for a day. We did that, but I showed my students THIS Public Service Announcement. To set the stage for their project.

We went over 6 different exponent rules, and I mentioned that if everyone remembered them really well just from taking notes and practicing them, then we wouldn't need this review. I said that they each were assigned one of the 6 rules, and they had to make a PSA for that rule. 

We discussed that JUST restating the rule was not effective and sort of besides the point. We discussed that humor or shock value is effective. We discussed linking new things to things you know. We also discussed that the thinking of the actual content was the hardest part, and then you had to ink it out, so just use your "pockets of time" in the next 2 days to brainstorm through some creative ideas.

I also only gave them until the NEXT class to do it (8.5" x 11" paper, colored, correct, effective...). I also joked with them that if I had given them a week, they would have left it until the last minute anyway, so just pretend I assigned it last week.

Don't know if this will be effective or not, but I liked the project, and I liked seeing the wittiness and creativity of kids that I may not otherwise talk to that much because they're not the yappers in class. Here are some samples.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Time for AP Calculus AB Review

I handed this sheet out too late last year, and so didn't promote and stress effectively enough this aspect of their studying:

This year, I took some time in class today to stress each bullet. Basically, the theme was, "do something that will realistically work for you", and "show me that you have put some thought into this", and "if you find it's not working, then revise your schedule on the fly".

I personally know how it is that time just slips away if I don't have a firm plan of action on what to do when.

Hopefully, this will help the little boooooogers.