All summer, I have been stalking members of #MTBoS and emailing blogs to myself to reread before school starts. Well, school is starting in a week, EEK!
I have four days of PD, three of those days have work time built in! I was going to change the decor in my room but when I showed up to Michael’s and saw the mum making suppies and realized that I do not have any children at home anymore (I just dropped my youngest off at college) that are mum making age I got sad and left. Then I reread a blog from Peg Cagle about ways to be mathematically smart and I really want to redo my bulletin board! I can always Amazon Prime the supplies!
Last year, I started with the name tents and 100 Number task from @saravdwerf. I cannot do the 100 number task again since I have some students two years in a row. The name tents were the best last year to help learn the student names and make connections! I believe I will start the year with a task called Balloon challenge from Dawn Crane.
Homework, homework, homework! What to do about homework? Do I ditch the homework? Do I keep the homework? If I keep the homework, do I take a grade on the homework. Yes, maybe they are just copying the homework but even so they are writing out the steps and hopefully processing what they are writing. GRR! I liked @druin’s idea of a homework reflection portion on her exit slip. Since I grade on a scale of 0-4, I would have the students self assess using that scale. (Did you do the homework? If not, why?, where did you struggle? Did you make careless mistakes, computational mistakes or misconceptional mistakes?) I let students re quiz standards to improve their standard grade. They will need to show me completed and corrected homework before they can re quiz. Therefore, the students that need more practice will have to do the homework and the students that do not need as much practice will not be penalized for not doing the homework (it will just be documented on the exit slip).
I also have to thank @druinok for the planner this year. I loved the one she blogged about so off I ran to the nearest Big Lots and got myself one!! She also asked #MTBoS members for a list of activities that they like but forget to use. So, now I have a list of activities to consider while lesson planning. The list contains everything from Bucket of Lies to Buddy Checks. If you are not following @druinok on twitter you need to!
I am trying something new this year with the schedule for each class period. Type-amathland is to thank. I shared her post with the PLC lead for AP stats and she loved it! Now not just Pre AP Precalulus will be following this new schedule but so will my AP Stats class. Each period will contain a warm up/quiz to begin. Then an activity/collaborative practice for the material of the previous day. Followed by a launch/explore/notes of new material. The period will end with a spiral cool down homework/exit slip. But this worries me because there are so many things I want to do each period! Number talks for one (I have never done them before but really want to). Since I teach so many junior I usually spend some time on ACT/SAT practice. What about open middle? How can I fit all of this into my 80 minute periods every other day?
Tomorrow, Friday, I go back to work. Yes, I am excited to see all of my teacher friends and to get the year started! That first day is always so hard. As a teacher I just want to get into my classroom and start preparing for the students but alas we have meetings and a convocation. Do other districts still do a convocation?