Friday, January 4, 2008

I Want to Teach Forever presents: The Best of 2007

I love this time of year, because this is the time for annual "best of" lists. I can't get enough of lists of the best music, best films, and most importantly VH1's recap of the Best Year Ever. I always learn about what I missed and should seek out, which makes for a better following year.

Keeping with this idea (while it is, admittedly, already well into 2008), I decided to compile the five best posts of 2007 as picked by you, the visitor. There wasn't any voting process, I just went by the most viewed and searched for posts. Without any further ado:

I Want to Teach Forever presents: The Best of 2007

5. Project Idea: Independent vs. Dependent Variables - Here I introduced the one-page poster idea which you'll see again as we cover parent functions and quadratic equations this month.

4. Lesson Idea: Proportions and Ratios using Statues and Action Figures - I like the idea of bringing abstract ideas to life, and this was one of the most successful activities we did this semester.

3. Every professional development workshop you've ever attended - Last summer was excruciating in terms of PD, and I think this just about sums up the frustration so many of us feel when we don't get the quality we deserve. Ironically, this particular workshop provided the free time to create the most popular lesson plan I posted this year.

2. First Day of School: sample student surveys, parent letters and more - This may not be that helpful for you anymore, except that for some of you reading this, you may be planning to start all over with your kids this semester. Stay tuned for ideas to get 2008 off to the best possible start!

1. Sample 5e Lesson Plan: a Card Game for Combining Like Terms - Many of you searched for "5e lesson plan" and similar keywords, presumably because you were stuck in the same kind of bogus PD as I was last summer, looking for examples to use as a framework or as is. In either case, I am greatly humbled and flattered by how many of you found out about this blog through this one idea. I am glad I compiled this list because it also gives all of you looking for that idea to visit both my follow-up article on what happened when we first played Like Terms in class, and a revised, simplified version of the game that fixes the problems that arose and should be considerably easier to use.

BONUS! Mr. D's favorite post of the year! Of all the things I have posted here, this inspirational story, entitled Why would I want to teach forever? from my year teaching at an alternative school will have a hard time ever being supplanted as my favorite moment as a teacher. I hope you have a similar story of your own already, or some day soon.