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Day 69: ‘Twas the Day Before Break

I feel like one of the kids.  I so love this season and I am ready for a well-deserved break!  Its important to take break away from our busy schedules to spend genuine time with family and friends, to remember why we do what we do and to bask in the care and love of dear ones.  Handing out a candy cane to remind them that I care about them and I’m here to help them succeed.


Speaking of that, one of my students gave me the sweetest note yesterday tied to a candy cane, which I promptly laminated in a photo id pocket and will hang on my tree at home.  It is hand-drawn and painted.

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I’ve decided I’m not giving a required assignment to my classes over break.  I’ll share with them how important it is to rejuvenate and rest.  But I’ll also encourage them to reflect about where they are academically, and to ponder the following:

  1. Lots of time to shore up your skills
    1. What topics did you really not master at all?  Could you relearn or deepen your understanding in some way?
    2. What are the leveraging ideas that you don’t have mastered yet?  What could you do about it? Internet videos, practice problems, etc. might help.
    3. Would committing 30 minutes a day to review (16 days x 0.5 = 8 hours of review) make a difference?
  2. The semester final will be 3 weeks after we return from break
    1. Could you use some of the time to begin the semester review in a non-rushed way?  Would a study group help?
    2. What topics from the semester do you need some refreshing?
    3. Did you have a particularly rough unit?  Which old concepts and processes from earlier in the year might need reviewing?
  3. End of semester project is coming up
    1. What planning or prep could you do during break?
    2. Is there anything you could complete during the 16 days off?

I’ll have lots of things posted on Schoology if they want to use the time to “get ahead.”

Happy Holidays! and Happy New Year!

Day 32: Frappy Love


I have to say that the FRAPPY process I borrowed from Jason Molesky is the number one most powerful learning practice I use in my AP Statistics class.  It’s so easy with the AP released free response questions to create new FRAPPY experiences and rotate questions thorough from year to year. Today, I’m copying the items for the end of our linear regression study.  I really like how I’ve incorporated a written student reflection at the end of the FRAPPY because I get a better insight into the areas students are struggling as well as giving the students a voice for their self-reflection.


I would love to develop a similar set-up for my precalculus course.  Alas, I have not found a good source of problems with rubrics and student work examples at the precalculus curriculum level.  There are more and more good problem sets for the Common Core courses, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 that have student work examples and rubrics to go with the problems.  When I teach those courses again, I will definitely include a FRAPPY-like experience for those students.

What do you dream of doing but just can’t find the time and/or resources to make it happen?


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