It’s Pi Day, Pi Day, gotta get down on Pi Day! Partyin’ partyin’ YEAH! *record scratch*
I didn’t see you there…
Weeeeeeeelllllll this is embarrassing…
Since you’re here, I guess I’ll go ahead and give you the obligatory post about Pi Day since I am a Math teacher after all.
What is Pi?
Pi is an irrational number, that means it has a decimal sequence that goes on forever without a repeating pattern. Since it never has a repeating pattern, and continues on forever, it’s impossible to find the exact value for Pi. Most people are taught to use 3.14 as an estimate, which is why today March 14 is considered Pi day, unless you’re European, then today is 14 March and it doesn’t really work out…
ANYWAY Pi isn’t actually 3.14 and it’s not 3 and it’s really not 22/7 and it is NEVER the square root of 10 (lookin’ at you Dad!!!!).
To find the exact value of Pi, you have to take the circumference of a circle and divide it by the diameter.
Or you could take the area of a circle and divide it by the radius squared.
Or you could take the volume of a sphere and multiply it by 3/4 and then divide by the radius cubed.
Or you could use cylinders and cone and their volume and surface area but I don’t feel like typing those out…
Pretty much you have to have a circle to find pi!
First thing: What are Plickers?!?!?!
A Plicker is a student specific QR Code that is used to answer multiple choices questions. The teacher controls the question being asked with the app on his/her smart phone, and then scans across the room with the phone to collect student answers.
Plickers.com has pre-made QR Codes that can be printed for free from their website. They come in different sized packages with a minimum of 40 unique cards. Just print out each card, and assign each of your students a number.
From the website you can upload questions and create your classes. To gather students responses though, you do have to download the app onto your smartphone or tablet. For students to answer they have to turn their QR Code a different direction with the answer choice they want facing up.
The “1” on each of the corners means that this is the QR Code for whomever is student #1 in your class, probably Austin Adams. Since the “B” is at the top of the QR Code, Austin is indicating that he thinks the answer to the question is “B”. All you have to do now is have the app open on your phone and scan it across the classroom and collect your answers! Answers are saved online and you can look at the reports anytime.
What I like:
- You can create multiple different classes and assign each student their own Plicker number to gather data
- You can upload your own questions and move between which question that you are displaying from the app
- As you are scanning the class, student names will pop up and change to green if they got it right or red if they got the question wrong
- All responses are saved online and reports can be generated to look at later
- When you print out the QR Codes they come two to a page to save on paper (because we all know how quickly schools run out of paper)
In my ideal classroom, I would introduce Plickers on day 1. I would have printed out each code and have it glued to a folder for each student. I would have a few “Getting to Know You” questions made up to demonstrate how to use Plickers. After about a week or so of using Plickers to answer random questions, I would take the folders and fill them with sample questions from whatever standardized test you guys use (for me, it’s the STAAR Test). Each day I would have students show their work and practice strategies in their folders, but instead of having to individually grade each folder I would use Plickers to gather responses as an Exit Ticket.
So yesterday I was at a Region 4 training to learn about classroom management. I would have to say that it was a bit of a let down. I don’t feel that they helped educate me on solutions to problems. They told us how to make an action plan, but the spreadsheet they gave us to make it on was difficult to follow and understand. The presenter was pretty good, he is still working in different classrooms with behavioral problem children so he did know what he was talking about. He made sure that we knew he is still in the classroom, which helped make him credible, so I understand why he did it. The biggest downfall of the training was this woman who was sitting at the same table as me. She was just so negative, and she talked through the whole thing. Every time that we had a moment to discuss she would dominate the conversation and pretty much deny our experiences with student behavior. If I was at a different table I probably would have had a much better time… 😦
So Open House was last night, and for the most part, it was a huge waste of time. I had 4 parents show up: one was in my intervention class that I only see for about 35-40 minutes a day, and the other three were angels. In middle school I don’t really see the point of having Open House twice a year.
So I think I finally figured out how I want to do this. I want to kind like my daily musings from Monday-Friday, which will be under the tag “A Day in the Life Of…”. Then for really bad days where I just want to complain or I’ll go insane will be under the tag “Ranting and Raving for Sanity”. Which I guess leaves the weekend for me to post reviews about educational websites that I’ve perused that will be under various different tags. I do also want to start doing some book reviews over the many teaching books that I’ve read (LOL) and I want to write out some lesson plans for activities that I’ve created.
Lots of ideas!
So today we were taking a practice STAAR test, and after we were finished we were just kind of stuck with the students. Which was awful. They didn’t want to be in the room any more. I didn’t want to be in the room anymore. But we’re all stuck together. So what evs.
I did get a chance to get out of the room a bit today for an ARD. That was actually a really good meeting. The parents were there, they were actually involved in the student’s educational career. They were educated about their child’s disability. They were awesome!
So overall a pretty good day.