Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What we did post-AP Exam

I still had a few weeks of class to fill after the AP Exam.  I definitely wanted the kids to still be working, but not necessarily on calculus and not to the point where they had tons of homework.  So, this is what we ended up doing:

1 day to go over released FRQs
1 week to work on Shoe Box Projects
3 days to work on End of Year Folders and fill out surveys
1 week to work on Serve + Create
1 day for goodbyes :(

Here's what we did for the shoe box project.  The kids were asked to create a rate FRQ and then make a shoe box scene that went with their story (like in elementary).  I think they had a lot of fun with it.  We basically just modified an Algebra 2 assignment, so if I owe you credit for this, please let me know!

Click here to download file

Here are some of their finished products:



This one had involved the rate at which Mrs. Peterson adopts cats vs. the rate at which she donates them.
If you can't tell, that's me holding to two cats...


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For the End of Year folder, I asked students to correct all quizzes and tests from the semester (I asked this of them last semester, too, so they were expecting it).  Sure, this would have been good to do before the AP Exam, but it just fit better after.

I also had them fill out two surveys:  one that was just a general "What should I keep/change for next year?" (here) and then one that asked them fill in positive adjectives for each of their classmates (here), which I used to create Wordle bookmarks for end-of-the-year gifts (thank you, Pinterest). More on this at the end of this post.

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Finally, the week before finals, I gave a totally non-math project, which I called Serve + Create (details here).  I told the kids that in the midst of both joy and sorrow, it's important to learn how to cope with change, and that two of the best ways I know to do that are (1) serve someone else and (2) make something.  So, that's what I asked the kids to do.  I gave them very little guidance.  I wanted it to be organic and come from them.

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I wanted to take a day just to say goodbye to my lovely kids, many of whom I've seen every school day for the last two years.  So much is written on things to do the first day of school, but I feel like we are lacking in material on last day of school activities.  Especially if you have seniors, I think it's so important to make a big deal of the last day, because you accomplished a lot together.

So, for the last day, I first passed out my junior and senior letters, which were not too different from last year's letters (here).  One thing I did add was advice from the Class of 2015.  I gave the seniors a whole white board and about a week to add their advice/wisdom for us.  Afterwards, I took a picture and copied it to the back of each of the letters:


{This might be a good time to mention, again, if you've never used the app DocScan, I highly recommend it!  Covert pictures to PDFs easily.}

After passing out the letters, I read Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss.  

Next, I passed out these bookmarks that had a word cloud with each of their names and the adjectives their peers and I had entered for them in the survey:

I used Word It Out because it was the first word cloud generator I found that wasn't blocked on my school computer, but there are several good ones.  I just had to play with the settings a bit.

I read each one out loud.  The kids seemed to love this.

Finally, I just spoke for about a minute (this is all my heart could handle) about what a great time I had being their teacher, and how excited I am for their futures and for the futures of the people whose lives they will certainly change for the better.  The last half hour kids spent saying goodbye to their friends and to me.  Lots of pictures were taken and some tears shed...it wasn't an easy day, but I very much wanted to make the last day of calculus something meaningful, for both the kids and for myself.

These are world changers.  Of this I am certain.

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