My big idea is to figure out a way to teach Algebra more successfully with the constraints of this block schedule. My plan and ultimate goal is make more effective and deeper connections to different skills in Algebra 1 and connect these ideas to real life more effectively.

The content covered for first semester based on previous year’s pre-tests and incoming student test scores are solving equations, multiple representations of linear situations, and solving systems. If this year’s students’ pre-tests indicate some of this content can be skipped, I will adjust this. We have classroom sets of textbooks (Glencoe Algebra 1 2005), but not enough to send them home with students. I have gathered resources over the years of teaching Algebra 1, such as Mars Tasks, FALs, and other materials from the CPS knowledge center.

I would like to move beyond the more typical paper/pencil open response quiz/test questions I have used in the past. Projects like movie creation, powerpoint creation, poster creation, skit creation, and music creation are all ways I have started to consider using as alternative ways of assessment. I want students to be able to demonstrated how solving equations and making graphs and tables are related. How slope and y-intercept from an equation appear in tables and graphs. How systems of equations are just multiple graphs and tables that have similarities.

My deep play group is studying project based learning, so I think that is the pedagogical approach I will be taking to implement these changes. I also plan to use the TI-Nspires with TI-Navigator more to check for understanding as well. There is a way to send out quick polls and get immediate feedback on how students are doing with their learning.