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Friday, June 10, 2016

Why We Learn Math: Careers In Engineering

How many times have your students asked you WHY they have to learn math?  Ever since I started covering STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineer, Arts, and Mathematics) careers in my classroom I don't ever get that question!  In fact, once I show students all the things they can do with math, we have a pretty exciting learning environment! (Doing fun STEAM activities doesn't hurt either!)

I have a career board in my classroom. We focus on a new career monthly discussing everything from how much schooling students will need to get into this field, what skills are required, and the annual average salary. We try to get a professional in this field to come in (or video chat with us!) and/or do a STEAM project focusing on this specific career. The first career we focused on was Aerospace Engineering-because it was first alphabetically on a list of STEM careers I googled!  We were able to video chat with a NASA engineer and did a paper airplane STEAM project.  By the end of the year I have so many students who proudly proclaim they are going to be an engineer when they grow up! I am also able to motivate students to get through our standards quickly so we have time for a STEAM project.  It's a win-win!

This year I am happy to be adding the book Is There An Engineer Inside You by Celeste Baine to my classroom.  Not only will it help me add to my career board, but it gives great information from personality matching and self-assessments for students to practical info and advice on community college, 4-year colleges and beyond!  

Engineering fields covered:
  • Aeronautical/Aerospace
  • Agricultural and Biological
  • Architectural
  • Automotive
  • Biomedical
  • Ceramic
  • Chemical
  • Civil
  • Computer
  • Electrical
  • Electromechanical
  • Environmental
  • Fire Protection
  • Food
  • Heating, Ventilating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning
  • Industrial
  • Manufacturing
  • Marine
  • Materials
  • Mechanical
  • Metallurgical
  • Naval
  • Nuclear
  • Ocean 
  • Optical
  • Petroleum
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Plastics
  • Robotic
  • Software
  • Structural
  • Systems
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation 

Happy teaching :)  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What To Do With An Exit Ticket

I love how much information is shared nowadays within the education field (looking at you Pinterest!). I must admit I nerd out a bit over best practices : )   However, it takes time to make those best practices your own and incorporate them into your classroom authentically. For years I’ve been using exit tickets-although admittedly not that effectively!  Recently I have been collecting the data in a more meaningful way.  It’s not fancy, but this is what we’ve come up!

I wasn't happy with a 72% success rate so used
this data to inform instruction for the next day!
We spent some time working on the concept
the next day and reached 88% understanding.
Much better!

When a student gets the exit ticket correct they get to give themselves s a ‘point’ and mark a tally on the exit ticket slip marked clearly with the objective for the day.  The next day the students are very interested in the percentage of kids who got it right and I use this information daily to tailor my teaching.  Sometimes I spend another day on a topic that I might have moved on from otherwise.  Our favorite thing as a class is watching us progress after two or three days on the same objective! 

This is an example from fluency practice with data from just one class.  We added up how many questions students got right during a timed fluency check.  Then in our statistics unit we found the 'mean' score per student and watched us progress from one day to the next!

If you have any ways that you use the data from your exit ticket in the classroom or to inform instruction please share!