Week 5 – Mind Blowing Math, Class Fines, and Chatty Cathy’s

Week 5 – Mind Blowing Math, Class Fines, and Chatty Cathy’s

We've come to the end of week 5.  It's actually Friday morning but it's a staff development day.  I really enjoy staff development days.  You don't have to be 'on.'  You just show up and try to engage yourself in the discussion.  It's coming at the end of a fairly good week. MIND BLOWING MATH In Pre-Algebra, we started exploring exponents.  We delved into powers of 1, 0, and negative exponents.  Power of 1 was easy enough; 31 = 3.  Seems just like multiplication.  30 though...is actualy 1.  3-1 is...1/3...whaaaaat?  Without going too much into it, HERE'S a video of…
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Week 3 – 9/11, Slow Start, Math Rapping, and PE

Week 3 – 9/11, Slow Start, Math Rapping, and PE

It's Friday and my advisory is working on their Weekly Updates.  It's where they send an email to their parents and me and answer a few questions I have for them, usually around reflections on the week.  Here's what I posed to them this week: PART 1 Write about two meaningful and engaging discussions or activities you had in class this week. What were they about? Why were they interesting? What aha moments did you have? Do at least a paragraph for each of the discussions. PART 2 Do you ever have any recurring dreams? Describe them in detail. If…
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Week 2 – Let The Learning Begin

Week 2 – Let The Learning Begin

I'm finishing up my second week of classes.  For the most part they went well! CLASSROOM ECONOMY Students turned in their applications and I'm in the process of assigning positions.  Students picked their top 3 job choices and I told them I'd do my best to give them one of those three jobs.  A few jobs required a letter of recommendation and I was impressed with a few of the the letters that came in (I told them I'd be extra impressed if it was delivered in an official school envelope).  The hard part is working through the matrix of…
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Week 1 – Less Stress Than I’m Used To

Week 1 – Less Stress Than I’m Used To

Last year I read a few blogs from folks who were reflecting everyday in the classroom.  I thought a more manageable amount for myself would be a weekly update and reflection.  Will hopefully stick with this as the year continues and will probably be more successful if I recognize that every post doesn't have to be a world-class entry. FIRST DAYS First weeks of school are sometimes the most stressful.  When I was a 5th grade teacher, I was quite a disciple of the Harry Wong 'First Days of School' philosophy of the first day being the most important.  I…
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A Belated End-of-Year Reflection : Lowlights

A Belated End-of-Year Reflection : Lowlights

This is part 3 of my 2015 school year reflections. If you'd like, check out my previous entries: A Belated End-of-Year Reflection: Changes A Belated End-of-Year Reflection: Highlights In today's episode: LOWLIGHTS Lack of clarity in what to teach Coming from public school, you don’t really have to figure out what you have to teach. You’re given a scope and sequence; you know what units are to be taught and in what order. Sometimes a bit stifling and rushed, but you know what’s expected of you. I came in with a little bit more autonomy than I expected. The math…
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