Post 10 – Big Babies in Class

This week's prompt: Photo of the week - take a picture of something that happened in class and tell us all about it. This is a photo during our second auction of the year.  I've been really impressed with the items that our auctioneers have been bringing; I've wanted to actually get some of the stuff.  This massive baby head wasn't cheap paper either, it was a durable foam. This year during auctions, my first two class periods brought up that they felt people should only be able to buy one auction item.  In the past, people with a lot…
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Post 03 – Programming Drones & Mathematical Properties

We're entering week 4 of school.  This will be the first full, normal week so far.  First day of week 1 was the odd first day schedule with assemblies and such, 2nd week had a 2-hr delay on Monday due to hurricane weather, and last week was labor day on Monday.  Glad to start getting into a normal routine.  But onto the reflection of last week. ROBOTICS & DRONING I spent most of my time last week reflecting on robotics.  I was trying out doing some drone lessons where students program the drone to do stuff.  Our first mission was…
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Post 02 – My Teacher Hacks

There's a community of math teachers on Twitter who are participating in a weekly blogging challenge and this weeks prompt was to write about teacher hacks.  Here's what I think I do that could be considered hacks; ways that I save time, energy, or resources as a teacher. 1. Optimizing my most productive time of the day I found that in my late 20's, I started to become much more of a morning person.  I began waking up at 5am a couple years ago even though I didn't have to leave my house until 7:30.  After breakfast, some time of…
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Post 01 – First Week Pre-Algebra, Robotics, and Advisory Activities

Well as part of my goals this year, I'd like to continue to blog every week as a reflective practice in my middle school math & robotics classes.  This is my 7th year in the classroom, 4th year teaching middle school math & robotics, and 3rd year doing weekly blogs.  I'm impressed by the number of teachers doing the #teach180 initiative where teachers write a DAILY reflection.  Some will do an Instagram or Twitter post and that'll suffice.  I'm going to be less worried about the presentation aspect of these blogs this year; I'm not spending time on cover photos…
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Teacher Goals – 2017/2018

We had a goal writing exercise during in-service this last week.  We were to come up with at least one pedagogical goal, one professional goal (not necessarily related to content), and one wellness goal.  Here's the gist of what I wrote in my journal: PEDAGOGY GOALS ROBOTICS I've been thinking through Robotics mostly lately. I'll be doing stuff with the drone for the first time. Still thinking through how to run the tests outside with one drone; what will others do while they wait their turn? Maybe someone else could bring a DJI if they have one. Perhaps my own…
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Entry 32 – Statistics & Gender

Entry 32 – Statistics & Gender

Well the last week of learning new content has come to a close.  We'll be reviewing in all classes next week and then finals week. PRE-ALGEBRA My students are just about done with their statistics project that I talked about last week.  Got a lot of positive feedback.  It was really one of the best ways to do this content as it really isn't hard to learn mean, median, mode, and range, nor is it too complex to learn how to do a box plot or histogram, just the process of watching a video of someone go through it and…
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Entry 20 – The Biggest Impact on My Teaching

Entry 20 – The Biggest Impact on My Teaching

This week's prompt: What/who has had the biggest impact in your teaching approach and why? I've got a few people, quotes, and books that have shaped the way I approach teaching. Rafe Esquith Esquith is best known for his book 'Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire.'  He's a retired 30-year, 5th grade teacher and really embodies everything I hope to be as a teacher.  It's incredible the things he was able to do in the low-income school he worked in all his years.  He held an after school program where students read and performed Shakespeare (once joined by Ian McKellen).…
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Entry 18 – 2nd Semester Start

Entry 18 – 2nd Semester Start

Last week was our first week back. It was weird being back at school so close to New Years.  We had staff development work on Monday the 2nd but were done by mid-day and were able to work on whatever we needed to.  The wifey had to work for much of my first week off so I tried to get a lot of my second semester planning done then.  My semester stays the same with exception to a new group of kids in my robotics class. GETTING STUDENTS TALKING IN MATH I did a pretty fantastic 'how do we do…
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Entry 11 – My Most Unique Lessons

Entry 11 – My Most Unique Lessons

The week's reflection is a few days late but better to reflect later than not at all :)  Our prompt was the following: What do you do as a teacher that feels unique to you and your class? Share one of your unique lesson plans or activities. Share one of your unique forms of assessment. I think the most unique thing to my class is the classroom economy.  I've spoken about at it length in my blog but what I'm most excited about is that this year, not only am I introducing budgeting and giving to charity, I'm also documenting…
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Entry 07 – Teaching Budgeting In Middle School

Entry 07 – Teaching Budgeting In Middle School

I haven't mentioned it here yet but a handful of teachers and I have been participating in a weekly writing group.  Often, those reflections have revolved around a particular prompt, which I've been including in my reflections.  Many of those teachers have been posting their reflections to a community Tumblr.  Feel free to see those reflections HERE.  It's been so awesome to get to have these 'conversations' that we don't normally get to have, and sometimes these digital conversations continue in person. This week will just be a general best lesson / worst lesson reflection. BEST LESSON I think of 'best'…
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