Entry 15 – Thanks For The Feedback?

Entry 15 – Thanks For The Feedback?

It's was the first week back after break.  I really had a refreshing break!  I finished a video about a retreat that my school goes on called The Forward.  I took about 50GB of footage for it; one of the largest amounts I've had for a single video.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  You can check it out HERE. In other news, I won a presentation software competition!  A little while ago I wrote a review of a platform called Visme.  In addition to reviewing the platform, I also entered into a presentation contest they were holding.  Last…
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Entry 12 – Halloween Costume Contests & Calculators

Entry 12 – Halloween Costume Contests & Calculators

This week felt longer than usual. MONDAY - HALLOWEEN We had our annual Halloween costume contest at school. The school's birthday is Halloween. Some pretty fun costumes. I was a doctor. Figured I'd be nice to be Dr. & Dr. Gibson instead of Dr. & Mr. Gibson, at least for a day :) I made a short video of the costume contest: TUESDAY - PRE-ALGEBRA In a previous blog, I mentioned that this year I was going to let students use calculators during our 'Rational Number Operations' unit (doing all operations with positive and negative decimals and fractions). This unit…
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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 10 – Puppy Bots & Student Led Conferences

Entry 10 – Puppy Bots & Student Led Conferences

It was a fairly short week in terms of actual class time.  First part of the week was spend finishing up our project in robotics and winding down in our integer unit in Pre-Algebra.  There were no classes on Thursday or Friday due to student-led conferences. STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES I wrote in-depth last year how we structure our student-led conferences.  Check it out HERE.  We didn't do much different this year except provide teacher comments.  In the past, teachers would write comments for students at the end of the semester and the comments would be put on report cards.  This time,…
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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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Teaching Square Roots Using Cheez-Its

Teaching Square Roots Using Cheez-Its

I share my thoughts pre-lesson, vlog the actual lesson with two of my classes, and reflect on what I'd change next time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_1g7ycPsRo Here's the slide show I created for the lesson. I talk about KenKen puzzles in the video as well. These puzzles are an option in my class for students who finish their work early. Find the puzzles HERE. I originally got this idea from a teacher named Julie Reulbach. See her write up HERE. __ Music by Podington Bear - http://soundofpicture.com
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Entry 04 – How to Talk About Race in Class

Entry 04 – How to Talk About Race in Class

Our writing prompt for the week: Do you incorporate the perspective of cultures, ethnicities, genders, etc. into your class that are not your own and how so? How do the kids respond? Do you have any experiences from your classes where diversity or lack of diversity has impacted students? In all my time here at Headwaters, I've only taught math and robotics.  Not the typical place where conversations of race, culture, or ethnicity come up.  I've also had an advisory all those years but those conversations haven't come up there much either.  Our school population is fairly homogenous though, so…
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Entry 2 – Dealing With Inappropriate Moments In Class

Entry 2 – Dealing With Inappropriate Moments In Class

We are at the end of our second week of school.  I'm much further along this year as I've decided to introduce elements of our classroom structure as they arise instead of frontloading everything (waiting to get into Khan Academy until our first Khan Academy assignment instead of doing this big period-long scavenger hunt on day 2).  I'm also spreading out the Week of iMath activities from YouCubed over a few weeks instead of just doing that for the first couple of weeks.  It's helped. What I'm really excited about this year is that several teachers have jumped on board…
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How To Have Better Math Discussions In Class

How To Have Better Math Discussions In Class

Last summer I read a book by the NCTM that was all about how we should teach math.  I wrote about HERE.  One of the chapters was about how to orchestrate productive math discussions in class.  Turns out the NCTM realized a lot of people struggle with this so they created a whole separate book that just focused on that:  5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions.  I read that this summer. I'm really glad I spread these readings apart.  I think if I read both books last summer, it all would have just been jumbled together in my mind.  Having…
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Week 36 – Last Week, $3k Candy, and My 100th Post!

Week 36 – Last Week, $3k Candy, and My 100th Post!

Last week was the last week of actual instruction.  I opted to take it easy.  Life will go on even if I don't try to cram the teaching of volume of 3d figures into two days.  Also, this is my 100th post on this blog! LAST WEEK ACTIVITIES Last week, I shared all of our previous quizzes, tests, and reassessments with answer keys with the students.  This week, I decided to make a more proper review sheet in the form of a Quizlet.  I've never used Quizlet but students kept suggesting it.  It's virtual flashcards.  On one side I put the…
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