5.30.2016

#MTBoS30: Teaching Data 15-16

Earlier this school year, I wrote a post about my teaching data for the previous year. These are the number of concepts taught over the course of a year. This got me really down and by the end of the first semester, I was ready to quit teaching altogether.

1 Hr Geometry Concept 28
3 Hr Geometry Concept 28
4 Hr Algebra I Concept 25
5 Hr Trig Concept 28
6 Hr Algebra II Concept 21
7 Hr Algebra I Concept 21
8 Hr Algebra II Concept 20

Those numbers are terrible.

I decided to revisit the post and update my new data, highlighted in blue.

1 Hr Geometry Concept 28 27
3 Hr Geometry Concept 28 27
4 Hr Algebra I Concept 25 31
5 Hr Trig Concept 28 32
6 Hr Algebra II Concept 21 27
7 Hr Algebra I Concept 2131
8 Hr Algebra II Concept 20 27

I overall did better, but not a lot.

  • I started a new curriculum in January which freed up so much time and energy for me.
  • I recently decided to start giving homework. I think.
  • I felt like the material I taught was much more rigorous in the second semester.
  • I'm thinking that I am assessing too often.
  • I'm planning to try Google Classroom next year to hopefully save some time and paper.
  • I have no new preps next year.
These are all positive things that make me feel like I have a good set-up for next year. I'm going to assume that this was my seventh year slump. Going into an even number year of teaching and 8 being the number of new beginnings, I think this will be my best year yet!

I'm expecting it and speaking it into being.

What things have you cut or modified to improve your pacing?

5.29.2016

#MTBoS30: Student Council Event Book


You guys already know how much I love systems and forms. I also love being the Student Council sponsor so at some point, they had to collide.

We've had so many big events to plan and things that happen at the same time every year, that I decided to create a month by month event book. It is basically just to do lists for each month to keep me organized.

I started with a monthly overview. Then I made specific lists for each month. I added a column to designate what person would be in charge of each job as well.

I made this three years ago so it has already changed a BUNCH from this. I doubt that any of you have these same events anyway but hopefully it sparks an idea for you and lets you see the beautiful potential life change that a well organized list can give.

=)



You're welcome.

5.28.2016

#MTBoS30: 30 Moments to Celebrate My 30th


I just turned 30 and here are 30 ways I celebrated!


Ate way too much and enjoyed every bite!


 I don't drink soda that often so this was delish.


We can never pass up a Gordman's. We went three times in two days!


I usually go to Rally's late at night and they always 'say' the shake machine is 'broken'. This time we went in the daylight. #success


Been waiting for the perfect time to wear this dress.

Booked this through Hotwire for an awesome price and when we got there I realized I had stayed there before! #random


It's a grown up Chuck E. Cheese!


The fries not so much but I was craving some chicken tenders.


 R+F bought all my meals!


 Just walking in was pretty fun.


I killed it at skee ball and basketball though.


The amount of Wal-Marts we went to is embarassing.


I don't know if you can tell but the door sounded like Chewbacca every time it moved.


I don't even like Coke but there's something about biscuits and gravy from Hardee's and Coke.


I finally get to try cookie butter!


This was the best burger of my LIFE! Classic Smash with Smash Sauce and Smash Fries with Rosemary. I wanted to eat another one!


Two days still wasn't enough for all the shopping I wanted to do.


Should have tried cotton candy or the watermelon splash. =(


You know you have good skin care when people think you're 10 years younger! 


It was warm and breezy and not humid. #success


No one could ever replace Panda Express.


The Lord answers prayers.


It's actually good stuff too!


These made my heart so happy!


So the pink throws it off a bit but my love of gray and white chevron overrules the pink.


Just ordered some tassels to add to this sexy bag.


Enough said.


 It's like walking on memory foam.


I didn't even think I bought that many shirts. Surprise, surprise.


There's no place like home.


5.27.2016

#MTBoS30: Benefits of Being the Only Math Teacher


This has been my second year of being the only 9-12 math teacher in our small school. There's a lot I could complain about but I really enjoy it. I just read how Tina's school has 14 math teachers! Wow! I can't even imagine.

So if you've never been in my position here are some highlights. =)


  • You can do whatever you want! It may be a terrible idea but no one will disagree with you.
  • No vertical alignment necessary! You already know everything students know. Because you taught them the year before.
  • You only have to learn names of freshmen! Although you mostly already know them because your school is tiny and you've probably taught their relatives already.
  • You don't have to do icebreakers! The students have known each other since they were 5 so no need for introductions.
  • Students only need to learn your rules and procedures once! No need to readjust to different teachers expectations. It's just you.
  • You'll have your favorite students for at least 3 years!
  • When you're asked to make up a fourth year course, you can teach all the stuff you didn't get to in the previous three years!
  • You can change everything every year {if you want} and no one will get mad at you. Except yourself. For all the extra work you just created.
  • No department meetings!
  • You're always the department chair!
  • Your two nice things legacy lives on forevvvvvveeeerrrrrrr!


5.26.2016

#MTBos30: Homework Debacle Brainstorm


So I've been debacling about homework for a while now...

At our end of year meetings, our principal basically challenged us to increase the rigor in our courses. He showed grades of students in the same classes with high grades where one student missed 25-30 days and the other missed 1-3. How can student miss so much and still do so well? He also showed the grade distribution of our elementary, middle school, and high school. We have 30-39% with A's which shows a lot of inflation in our grades.

Simultaneously, I felt convicted for not giving homework but also indignant that I don't want to inflate grades with work they may or may not have done.

This is what I've come up with so far:

I'm going to give homework.
I'm going to post answers.
I'm not going to grade it.
I am going to record it.

This makes me feel the best overall. I am giving students extra practice. I am giving the students extra opportunities for learning. I am holding students accountable. I am preparing students for college.

I am not giving points for copying. I am not hassling students to finish or turn in papers. I am not spending hours grading. I am not inflating grades.

I remember reading someone's rule where they ask students to set the timer for 15 minutes. Work hard on homework for 15 minutes and then stop. I also like that. I do not want students sitting at home frustrated or crying over math.

I asked twitter for some advice on when to post answers to homework and here's some responses:


I'm thinking I will post them daily at 3:15.

Here's where I would like some help. The middle school math teacher does something similar. Homework is not graded but the next day there is a homework quiz over the exact same problems. So if a students does the homework, they are prepared for the quiz. If a student doesn't need to do the homework, they aren't punished for that and they can still do well on the quiz.

I hate grading. So I'm thinking only one problem for the quiz and still have regular quizzes? Or should I do those on a daily basis and eliminate other quizzes?

Maybe even have students answer it in Google Classroom once I figure out how to make it grade it for me?

What benefits and advantages do you see to this method?