A couple of weeks ago, I posted a question regarding how I should handle my advanced 8th grade class. I got a bunch of great responses which cemented my opinion that these PLN’s are no joke. In a matter of hours, I got a responses from Kate Nowak (telling me to pull my head out and quit encouraging this “jump through hoops” mentality), Darren Kuropatwa (detailing some great extension lessons as well as some online resources), a tweet from Jackie Ballarini (suggesting that I go with an analytical approach to geometry) and an email from Alison Blank(offering a problem based analytical geometry curriculum). By the end of the weekend, I was in conversation with Alison and Jim Wysocki regarding the geometry curriculum.
This problem based geometry is good stuff. It is rigorous, but the skills the kids need are all review. We may only get through 10-12 problems every day or two, but they are really causing them to think. That’s good, right?
Anyway, this allows me to try to implement something I have been working on for a while. Chris Lehmann called it “inverting the classroom.” I like the idea because it allows me to have kids work on the skills review outside of class while we spend the class time discussing the meaty stuff; the problems that make our heads explode only to find out that if I would have just stepped back and taken a different look at the problem, there is a simple yet elegant way to solve it.
I can see two camps evolving in the class. Those who embrace the problem solving and those who feel like they can’t do it. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. But, so far, so good.