I pretty much used Desmos all day today, which was awesome. I started by briefly explaining my love affair with Desmos (which none of my 8th graders had ever heard of), and told them how it wasn’t like I creepy stalker kind of thing, I just really like them a lot. I promised them that they soon would too. With my 2 geometry classes we did Water Line (which tied in nicely to Hedge’s function matching activity we did in class yesterday) and with my 2 math 8 classes we did Function Carnival. EVERY student was so engaged and into it, that they protested when I told them that it was time to shut down the computers. It was a great introduction to Desmos, which they will be seeing plenty more of in the not so distant future.
We had a FANTASTIC discussion today after our warm-up question was whether math is invented or discovered. Students took both positions and gave some great arguments supporting their view. I of course played devil’s advocate and pushed back on pretty much everything, and we ended up debating whether or not numbers existed during the days of cavemen. Students responded with “Awwwww” when I told them we needed to move on. Winning!!!
I did Elizabeth’s Talking Points group work activity today with my 8th graders and it was great. Instead of just focusing on talking about talking, I included several prompts involving growth mindset, which we debriefed afterwards. Students were sharing their ideas with each other and actually LISTENING to each other! I think we set the tone for a good year and began to instill in students that our class is one where mistakes are embraced and students can take risks without being ridiculed.
If you want to take a look at the prompts we used, you can check them out here.
Today was the first day of school. It was an early release day and it went about as smooth as I would have hoped. The kids were great and I’m setting up our classes for a great year. I am genuinely intending to post at least one positive thing every single day this school year, and I hope to be able to. Have a great year everybody!