Day 45: back at it #teach180

So I fell off the teach 180 bandwagon. Apologies. It was for a combination of things:

  • I’m up for contract re-evaluation so I had a ton of people in and out of my classroom observing me and it’s weird to be all “hold on a sec while I take a picture of this cool thing” and also be taken seriously by people who don’t get my Twitter family.
  • The Marines stole my husband and there is always a huge learning curve to transitioning from parenting as a duo and parenting solo while he’s gone. Man I love the man and he completes me, so life feels harder when he’s gone. (Also, he makes the coffee in the morning, and HOLY HECK has that been an adjustment!)
  • I have been feeling like a lack-luster teacher of late. To clarify, I know I’m not a bad teacher, I’ve just felt un-inspired and therefore cruddy about myself.

So what got me back here? Well two things:

A really cool doodle a kiddo made and hid from me all period before proclaiming, “I alpaca-Ed your desk”

A kiddo who I adore said something amazingly heart felt. I was too busy trying not to cry to remember the exact words, but he said some version of, “when I’m feeling hyper stressed and worried about all of life and how crazy things are, I take a deep breath and remind myself that I get to go to math class and life feels better.”

Holy shit y’all. This kid came to me hating math and while I haven’t explicitly asked him if he enjoys it yet, this tells me he likes my room and the culture in it. Pardon me while I cry like a baby and remember why I love this job #worthit #allthefeels

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Day 37: Transversals #Teach180

Today in geometry we did a Desmos activity on lines, angles, and transversals for Intro to vocab. I think it went well but we ran out of time to debrief so I’ll be using the snapshot feature to find some student responses for tomorrow’s debrief.

We did get some notes/thoughts from the activity on the board to group brainstorm.

Day 35: CODAP Intro #Teach180

This post is dedicated to Joel Bezaire and Hedge.

Today we started using a computer to create data visuals for comparison so I introduced my kiddos to CODAP, a free stats software that Joel and Hedge introduces me to this summer. For the record: I’m still learning how to use it. But we just needed dot plots and I totally knew how to do that.

A direct quote from a student: “holy shit Mrs. White! This is so easy to use! Like. It’s ugly, don’t get me wrong. It needs a fashion makeover and all. But look at that dot plot there! Took me like 20 seconds to make it!”

I also loved how easy it was for students to export their screen with data tables and work to our LMS using the “share a url” option👍

Days 31-34: Post Hurricane Funk #Teach180

So the last fees teaching days I’ve fallen behind on my #Teach180. For a quick recap of last week:

  • Monday and Tuesday were Fall Break So nothing to report. I took a mini vacation. Didn’t bring any school work. It was glorious.
  • Wednesday was an arts day (no academics)
  • Day 31: Thursday I was home sick with an awful head cold I picked up on vacation and a hurricane hit and we lost power. Daycare flooded. Trees fell down all around our house (but none hit us 🙏). It was a day.
  • Day 32: Friday I pulled my sick self and my toddler to school because being sick and teaching with a toddler seemed like a better plan than being sick and being home with no power with a toddler.
  • Day 33: Monday. Still no power at home but daycare was back up and running. I haven’t graded anything or done school work because of lack of electricity or WiFi. I’ve never felt less prepared for a teaching day in my career.
  • Day 34: today. Got back in the groove with my students. Still feel hella behind on grades, project feedback, and updating our learning management system. But I’m hopeful I can get back on track tonight and tomorrow.

Things I’m re-reminded of:

My kids are the best. I got Canadian candy to lift my spirits (mtean #MTBoS Canada why had I never seen or tasted this before Monday?!?! Is heaven!)

I got a sweet note/motivation from a student on an in class activity from Friday cheering me on as I tried to wear all my hats (teacher/mom/toddler wrangler).

Life felt hard this week. But I have one hell of a support group that made it go way smoother than anticipated. Thanks family.

Day 29: On Brand Logos #Teach180

I promise I’ll back fill this with details and more info soon. But today in class we did an activity I found of Joel’s blog about brand remembering-how well can people draw logos of famous brands.

It was fun, had good discussion, allowed us to compare relative frequencies and talk about marketing.

Thanks Joel!

Day 28: dotplots #Teach180

Today was a regular old day in my classroom. I set a goal this summer of having the general structure for any given day be approximately the same:

  • Students walk in to punny meme (Jennifer Fairbanks)
  • Warm up routine (Lisa Bejarano)
  • Student task on material from day before or week before (Make It Stick a la Anna Vance And Allison George)
  • New instruction
  • Student task
  • “I love you, bye!”

Today was just that. In AFM we had a cat meme, did a Math Hospital warm up on a quiz from last Unit, made data arguments with a bar graph visual, learned about dot plots, and drew logos from memory for a task later in the week.

I end every period with “I love you, bye!” And I blow the whole class an air kiss. Sometimes I think the kids think I’m crazy. Sometimes I think they think I’m weird. But most times I think they like it. I care. I just want them to know that. ❤️

Day 27: aka the day I forgot to take a photo #Teach180

Today was a non-eventful day. In my student feedback from Friday’s assessment some of my kiddos asked for more solo work time (and some time outside of groups) so I reworked today’s lesson, which was supposed to be a group debate, to an individual think then group share. I could tell my students who asked for solo time were happy to see Id listened to their feedback.

I personally think the debate would have been more powerful, but I hear what my introvert students were feeling: we’ve done almost exclusive group thinking and tasks. I apologized today to them and said I’d make sure there was a better balance from now on.

Listen to the kids y’all. They know what they need.

Day 26: Logic Puzzles Round 2 And Last Minute Status Check #Teach180

Today in geometry we worked on some logic puzzles and explaining our thought processes verbally (were in a proofs unit). A student made a table for a problem I found online that made me really happy:

Then students volunteered to present their thinking. It was really nice.

I have been having a rough week from an emotional standpoint. I’ve just felt 100% completely drained at the end of the day. It may be because it’s the end of September and the days are getting shorter (traveling to school in the dark is the worst). It may be because my husband was gone all week and a toddler is a toddler and being the only parent this week took all of my grace. It may be because I have like 12 deadlines between this week and next week and it’s stressing me out. Hell if I know. It could be all of the above.

But I figured if I was feeling this way there’s a pretty good chance my kiddos are too. So I added a status check to the back page of today’s assessment. I asked:

  • How are you feeling academically this semester? In my class? In your other classes?
  • How are you feeling on the HW?
  • How’s life going? How’s your arts/dorm life/home life going?
  • What can I do to better support you.
  • What can I do to improve your experience in this course.

If they’re feeling anything like me I need them to have a place to vent/tell me/ask for help. I only got through reading 6 of them today at lunch. But my kiddos seem to have written some really heart felt and honest self critiques and gave me some good feedback as well. ❤️

It felt nice. Several students told me they liked that moment of reflection. I’m going to make this an every few weeks kinda thing.