Monday, August 31, 2015

My Lessons from the first 2 weeks of school

1. There are a lot of details about starting school that you don't remember until you do it. Seating charts, health plans, IEPs, basic organization. I think I have it down now.

2. Whatever I plan for Math 1 or Math 3 is going to take 2 - 3x as long to actually accomplish in class. It's good that I'm writing my plans for the week in dry erase marker on my board so it's easily editable. And I use google calendar to keep track of my long-term plans, so it's easily movable.

3. Days go amazingly quickly when you're busy from 6:50 am to 3:00 pm.

4. Telling kids that I'm going to let them be responsible for their cell phone use (or lack thereof) in class is one thing. Them following through with that is another.

5. Kids are not shy about emailing at all hours of the day. Especially at 11:00 the night before an assignment is due.

6. I have to put exactly what is due on Schoology (our LMS) each day; if I just say it in class there are students who get confused.

7. There's nothing like back-to-school tired.

8. The feeling of having a former student come to my room saying "I missed you!" and giving me hugs (3 of them) is amazing. That's what makes #1 - 7 worth it!


Monday, August 3, 2015

If I didn't have Adult-Onset ADHD before this summer, I do now.

I made a list the other day of all that I want to get accomplished in the next 13 days. Because that's when summer as I know it is over.

Those tasks ranged from packing boxes and picking out paint colors for our upcoming move to figuring out what to take camping this weekend to packing the kids for their 9-day trip to Niagara Falls with my parents to figuring out exactly what I want to do in Math 1 and Math 3.

No biggie.

I sat down the other night to try and figure out this whole Math 1 General thing. It's technically the second half of Math 1 (for those kids who needed it spread out) but I think we all know that these kids haven't mastered the first half yet. And being that I have no idea what their EOC test will look like (because of Ohio's recent removal of PARCC from the docket), I feel like I have a little leniency. (Is that spelled right? Because it doesn't look right but it doesn't have the little red squiggle underneath it showing that it's spelled wrong.)

We don't technically have a book for the class, but I have a copy of Pearson's Math 1 that I'm going to use as a guide. Although I love not being required to do a specific set of sections, I feel like I have an outline to merge with my Pacing Guide.

So my plan is to start the year with the following topics:
I'm thinking we could spend a quarter of the year on that. While I might feel guilty about not doing what I'm "supposed" to, I think these topics are the backbone of any math class the kids will take in the future. So I'm making myself ok with it.

I haven't done a whole lot more with Math 3, except that I talked to a friend of mine who taught Math 2 last year. She's the teacher who tries her hardest not to do any school work over the summer (which is foreign to me) and I had to apologize profusely to make her get back in school mode. I'll make up for it with chocolate in a few weeks. :)  I was curious about how much they got to last year in terms of quadratics and was relieved to find out that she factored, solved, and graphed. Again, that doesn't mean that it "stuck" over the summer, but I think a nice little quadratic boot camp will be sufficient.

Oh, and I spent some time editing my foldable. Hopefully the third time's the charm!  (Here's a link if you'd like it.)

And because it would make too much sense to work on either of these classes tonight, I've been thinking about how I'm going to do my warm ups/exit slips. I tweeted out a query:
I've gotten a nice variety of responses, plus a suggestion to mix it up. That's what I think I'll do, especially at first when I'm trying 'em out in real time.

And another on the generosity of the #mtbos: Mary Bourassa is sharing her documents of warm ups. That's what I call generous. :)