Monday, 15 July 2013

Lesson 1: PreCAL Introduction.

Today was the first day back at school after our mid year break. It also happened to have a double of the new PreCAL class I am taking, first off to start the day. So that is a 90 minute session to start off a brand new course in a brand new semester. I have held off doing too much more to the maths world until I had a chance to chat to the students and gauge their interest in attempting this.

So I started by explaining to the students that I had pretty much the ability to write the course any way I wanted, and that I wanted to make it different to anything I had ever done before, and probably different to anything they had ever done in Maths before. I had a couple of students say that they would not play Minecraft, my reply was something along the lines of "That's fine, I have other options for you, one being worksheets, the same learning will happen anyway." They very quickly quietened down and listened to what I was proposing.

We spent about 5 minutes in Minecraft for the lesson, right at the end, and that was just in a new world in creative mode. The rest of the lesson was spent in getting things set up. First off I got all the students to sign up to Edmodo and join my PreCAL Numeracy class there. I have no idea how to use it, or what I am planning on doing there, but it will be a good spot to store assessments and communications with students. This part of the lesson went swimmingly, the sign up process for Edmodo makes it super easy to get students into a class and since most of the students did not have an account already there were no unknown password issues.

The next part of the lesson was to get students to either log in to, or create a Google account, so that we can use Drive to store their budget and they can share that with me so I can see it at any time. Now this was an involved process, there were many students that had google accounts but did not know the password for it. To add to that issue Google's sign up system was acting odd, it would timeout on account creation, but it would create the account. It took us quite some time to figure that out and by then students had tried so many different passwords that they had forgotten the first one they put in.

So that took up the majority of the lesson, the students then opened up my budget spreadsheet and made a copy in their own Drive. Tomorrows job is to get them all to share that document with me, then we can start talking about how the spreadsheet works, and how they can use it to help them manage their Minecraft cash.

I also chased up the student who I am creating the Braille Periodic Table for, he said the 3rd version was great so I have started the long 10 or so hour job or printing all the pieces of it. The two the largest pieces got printed today with 5 more to go, hopefully I will be able to take a picture of it once it is all together to show the finished product. That is it for now, thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment below.

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