Archive for February, 2012

New Term = New Opportunities For Learning


I have just set up my classes for second semester and I am really looking forward to the learning opportunities for both me and my students. I feel re-energized – almost like September after we finished our session with Tom Reardon – I am raring to go in my classroom.

This term I will be teaching Grade 11 Functions – MCR3U, Grade 9 Academic Math – MPM1D and Math for Everyday Life 12 – MEL4E. As the course content is very familiar to me, I will have more time to focus on using the Navigator and Document camera in new ways to enable me to understand my students’ thinking. I am much more comfortable with the technology than I was in September and I feel confident that I can overcome any technical difficulties during class time (maybe this term will be trouble-free!).

I can’t wait for Monday!

Fun with multiple choice?


I have been frenetically finishing out my courses, prepping my MPM1D students for their EQAO asssessment, and prepping my MPM1D and MPM2D students for their final exams. Throughout January, I was using the TI-Navigator extensively. I had students submit their individual responses to multiple choice sample EQAO questions, and I could then collect, analze, and act instructionally on the patterns of their responses in real time! Incredibly powerful. I then let students discuss each item in groups of four, after which I shared their class responses and discussed the thinking that led to various responses and strategies for success. This was truly assessment AS learning. Check out my class notes posted on under MPM1D-01 and MPM2D-02. I archived our experiences in Notebook files. The discussion and learning that flowed from these lessons was incredible. I have not historically been a fan of multiple choice. The way I managed to use multiple choice instructionally the past month has really made me rethink this.

So… my last MPM2D group is writing their final exam, and they are all submitting their responses to the 20 multiple choice questions using their TI Nspire CAS handhelds connected to the TI Nspire Navigator. I am actively monitoring their progress using Class Screen Capture.

Rather than use Press to Test, I chose to send out the latest OS and delete all files on their handhelds before the exam. This way their handhelds are clean for their next semester. At the end of the exam, I will collect the file with their multiple choice responses, save it to my class portfolio, and export it to excel to analyze.

Lots of presentations coming up …

- Presentation to the Ottawa Catholic School Board at the Feb 14 board meeting
- Presentations at the T^3 International Conference in Chicago March 2nd and 3rd.

It sounds like we have an interesting focus of MPM2D, MFM2P, MCF3M teachers for semester two.

Sorry for the long absence of posts through December and January. Teaching truly has its ebbs and flows. The last two months have been incredibly crazy. Time to recalibrate and refocus for second semester:)