### A Better Way To Teach Math

This episode was recorded and edited before the coronavirus & distance learning was front of mind for educators. Valuable takeaways though regardless if you're virtual or in person One of challenges of teaching math is being able to satisfying answer the question 'why'? Before we can even answer the question for students, we have to answer the question for ourselves. Why does the math work this way? It's much easier to teach a student how to do a problem. It's a bit harder to explain to them why it works the way it does. It's even more challenging to help…

### Day in the Life of a Teacher | LAST DAY VLOG

I haven't done a 'day in the life' video in some time! This was the last day of classes right before finals week (so not the true LAST day but no more actual teaching). https://youtu.be/qJPoZo5ymsU 🎥Videos/resources referenced: How To Create & Manage A Classroom Economy - https://thomgibson.com/classroomeconomy/ 2015 'Day in the Life' - https://youtu.be/RpUe7LsmqeQ "10k Calorie Cheat Day Challenge" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNYGlTXDClA Mandarin progress (after 1 year) - https://youtu.be/eLeqmBvQ2EY Reflections on teaching YouTube Video Production - https://youtu.be/OQOTGmYXWVA "Mindfulness in the Classroom" (podcast) - https://wp.me/p3LdGY-QV "How to Debrief A Class" - https://youtu.be/0Ax9aZCpHxs Our big esports project - https://youtu.be/uIDAVzgexAE Another robotics project from…

### Post 11 – Integers, Rational Numbers, & Sumo Remote Controls

It is Monday of Thanksgiving holiday and as my wife is working Mon-Wed, I'm looking to get all my holiday work done these first few days.  I also realized I missed a week of reflections so thought I'd look over the last couple weeks in my classes. PRE-ALGEBRA We finished up our integer unit.  Overall it seems students have a great grasp on how to work with integers even in problems where order of operations is needed.  Looking over the assessment data, my 1st and 3rd periods generally perform about the same.  Class size is similar and a mix of…

### 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…

### 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…

### Entry 06 – Projects In Class

We have wrapped up week 6 of school.  Here is the prompt that several teachers and I reflected on this week: How do you incorporate project-based learning into your class? This depends on which class I'm teaching.  Robotics is basically all project-based while in math I've really only done one or two projects in the last couple of years. ROBOTICS PROJECTS I don't really know how robotics can be anything but a project-based class...unless we just took a bunch of notes on how the robot works without actually building the robots.  I'm in my fourth semester of teaching robotics (it's…

### Week 33 – Trying To Stay Ahead At The End Of The Year

Yet another week where my weekly reflection is falling on the Tuesday of the week after.  Didn't realize how much I could forget over the weekend. JUST TRYING TO BE READY FOR THE DAY As most teachers know, the end of the year is a bit harder to stay ahead of the game.  In the perfect world, I would have summative assessments made before we start a unit and take a backwards design approach; working with the end in mind.  That's not happening now with my geometry units in either my 6th or 7th grade math classes.  Didn't get to those units…

### Week 29 – Proportions Tests, Percent Introductions, and Tax Day

This week we finished up proportions in Pre-Algebra and got introduced to percents in Math Skills.  Also had several teacher visitors who are applying for the open math position at our school (our other math teacher is moving to Brazil to teach).  Oh, and it was tax day in our classroom economy, PRE-ALGEBRA We finished up proportions this week with discussing similar figures and how we use proportions to solve them.  As a review activity, I gave them a quiz that I used last year.  They worked on it together and we went over it.  The following was probably the…

### Week 28 – Let’s Talk About (Proportional) Relationships

It seems it was all about proportions in both my 6th grade and 7th grade math classes this week.  I've written about this in the past but I find that these classes tend to have a bit of overlap.  Partly because I have some 6th graders that are placed in 7th grade math so while they have a pretty solid foundation, I don't think it would be wise to just assume they know everything that I teach in 6th grade math.  Let's see how things differed this week. PRE-ALGEBRA This has been one of our quickest units yet.  These are the three…

### Week 25 – I Thought We Got Rid of Inequality In The 60’s

I'm having trouble remembering exactly all that happened this week.  I know we had some good lessons and I think it's perhaps nothing sticks out as a negative experience; that's good!  We started exploring inequalities in Pre-Algebra, fractions actually went better than anticipated in Math Skills, and Robotics...well you can see how that's going through my weekly episodes of Middle School Robotics :) PRE-ALGEBRA Reflecting on the 2-step equations project the students did last week, a good amount of them have done fairly well.  It was a test grade but I treated it as a learning experience as well; I…