Today Last Tuesday was a pretty cool day. [I need to do a better job of finishing my drafts…jeez!]
If you’ve never heard of a Julia Robinson Math Festival, the following won’t make sense to you. So, go read about them and then come back.
Today in my Math 2 classes (and in the other Math 2 teacher’s class) we conducted a mini-JRMF. And it was super-fun. We posted problems around the room–the classroom for my two classes, the “great room” for the other teacher’s group–and let students work on whichever problem they chose for as long as they chose with the only caveat being that they had to be working on some problem for the whole block.
Students got started pretty quickly, then either realized they needed help and therefore either got it or moved to a different problem or they got really entrenched in their problem. In my first class I put out my stash of metal puzzles, which were a little too popular…in my second class I made it explicit that the puzzles were to be used as a “brain break” when students needed to step away from a problem for a few minutes.
Tuesday was actually the last school day of the week
this last week, as we had a work day for teachers on Wednesday to prepare for family conferences for freshman and transfer students on Thursday and Friday. So, it was the perfect time to do something that didn’t necessarily tie into our unit, but that allowed students to stretch their problem-solving abilities–thereby giving me some nice things to talk about during their upcoming conferences…genius. I tell you, I’m getting better at this teaching thing every gosh-darned year!
All in all, it was a lot of fun. Something I definitely plan on doing again.