Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Exhausted, but Excited

At 3:30 when the bell rang today... I was exhausted.  I was also pleased with the day's lesson.  My district is new to C-SCOPE.  I heard lots of horror stories but decided to go into it with an open mind.  I knew if I didn't there was no way it was going to work.  I'm so excited to say that so far, I love it.  It's a lot more prep work than I'm used to and a lot different way of teaching math concepts, but I can already see some of the purpose in their sequence and in their activities.

I saw lightbulbs going off like crazy today.  I heard so many OH!!!s.  I LOVE that.  My kids were working non-stop from start to finish... no time to get in trouble.  I LOVE that.  Several made comments that my class was a lot of work and several others made comments about how much they liked math so far.  I LOVE that. 

First thing we did-  Fraction strip ruler activity!  This really helped the kids visualize fractions and make connections to measurement.  They also could visualize the equivalent fractions that we discussed yesterday :)

Then we made vocabulary foldables... each flap lifts up to a definition and example.  I have a lot of LEP students and have had to force myself to put more emphasis on vocabulary... its not something I worked on enough last year.  I forget that math is a different language for my kids.  

Mixed numbers and improper fractions!  The top two doors open to definitions and the bottom open to algorithms for converting.  Before teaching algorithms I gave the kids lots of pictures until they could explain what was happening on their own.   We'll see tomorrow how well it stuck :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day

Even though I was ridiculously nervous (even more than last year, why is that?), my first day was wonderful!  I seem to have an awesome group of kids and think we all got off on the right foot!

During open house, I ask most of my students how they feel about math.  One student told me it was not her thing, and I told her that I was confident that the next time I asked that question her answer would be different.  My third block is in my class for an hour, goes to lunch, and returns to my class for 30 minutes.... as I was walking this class to lunch she told me she already liked math so much more.  :)  Hoping my (nerdy) enthusiasm will rub off on others too! :)

I briefly went over procedures, gave a quick room tour, gave the kids a quick "about me" quiz that I called My Life in Numbers, and then they completed a pyramid activity with get to know you information.  Timing was perfect and everything went so much smoother than last year!

Two of my girls from last year came by to see after school and shared how different junior high is.  Love seeing/hearing from my kiddos and felt amazing that they thought to come say hi! 

I'm crazy stressed since we are using a new curriculum this year and I'm unsure about timing, etc.  Definitely outside of my comfort zone, but I suppose all will work out...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Exactly where I need to be...

I never would have pictured myself teaching in Brenham, TX but cannot explain how grateful I am that it is where I am.  I work with the most amazing teachers and administrators.  We are not perfect, but preparing for open house tonight, I saw how dedicated each and every one of us is to making Brenham Middle School the best we possibly can for our kids.

Our theme this year is "Oh, the places you will go!" by Dr. Suess.  We've made videos, we've decorated the hallways and our classrooms.  We met our kids tonight during open house.  We are ready for Monday!

Math department met today and we are changing EVERYTHING!  I'm so excited to work with such an awesome team that is embracing change.  We are all stepping away from what has been done in the past and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone to meet the needs of our students.  We will undoubtedly make mistakes but I'm confident that as a team we will recover and continue to move in the right direction. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Overwhelmed and Excited

A coworker sent me an email earlier today suggesting I participate in a live foldables conference.  The conference was through the Global Math Department and the presenter was Julie Ruelbach.

I am so amazed by technology and being able to connect with math teachers from so many different places to be able to share ideas and resources.  For 45 minutes of sitting on my couch with computer in lap, I came away with so many ideas for foldables and interactive notebooks!  I see so much worth in being a part of this huge community of educators online, but at the same time, I'm overwhelmed and not sure where to start.  I'm blogging, obviously, but not really connecting with any other bloggers, and not sure that what I have to say is important...  I have a twitter, but again, not sure whether I should be retweeting, producing my own content, or what... I'm determined to figure this all out though. :)

Regardless, I'm so excited about this year.  There are so many changes happening-  new curriculum, new laptop, new discipline procedures, new rooms, new teams, new schedule.  I can't wait to jump in head first and make year two even better than my first!