- This school year - I've had a great start so far. If you've read my previous posts, I moved to the eighth grade and followed my students. I was a little sad when I received my roster and saw that the majority of the students I taught last year weren't on my roster. Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love the students I have now, but I also miss my kiddos from last year. At least I have the pleasure of teaching my new students and a handful of mine from last year.
- Back to school activities - This year, I reserved more days for ice breakers and get to know you activities than before. Best decision everrr. This allowed me to teach all of my rules and procedures, our new PBIS slogan (PROWL), and allowed me to get to know all of my kids and them get to know me. A few things I did - Math Survey, Spaghetti challenge, all about me banner, time capsules, and a T/F game about the teacher. The kids loved the T/F game...mainly because they learned things about me that they had no clue about and I made a powerpoint with answers to each question with a funny picture of me. I love doing the math survey. I'll definitely have to add it to my store when I have time. It allowed me to get to know them from a math aspect. They listed some things that they were comfortable with math wise and things that they struggled with. They also let me know of things I can do for them as an effective math teacher. Some of the things they were telling me were great ideas. They seemed to have struggled last year in math and were really scared about taking algebra and how their learning experience will be. My Algebra (Math 1) class has the most kids that I taught last year and they assured the other students that I was everything they listed for an effective math teacher and that they shouldn't worry. That definitely made my day!
- ISN's - I will need to get pictures up ASAP on my notebook so far. I've been coming up with new templates and foldables that I need to put in my store, I just haven't had time! Yikesss. But the interactive notebooks are going very well and the kids love them. The only fail I had with these is trying to implement them in science. It is just not working, but I think that is just me not spending the same amount of time on science ISN than I am on math ISN. I will find a balance eventually.
- Time, Time, Time - This I do not have enough of. This is my 5th year teaching. I have always had 3 preps, whether I have 3 math classes or 2 math classes and 1 science. I don't know what it is but I am having the hardest time keeping up with everything. Right now, I am teaching Math 1, Math II, and Science. Math 1, I'm okay with since I've taught that forever. Science, hopefully I will be okay with soon. My problem is that I'm starting out new in terms of resources. So I'm having to make all new powerpoints for 8th grade instead of reusing the once I had last year for 7th grade. That takes up a lot of time. I also have a lot of EC students and low level learners in my science classes with many accommodations and modifications. I am having to readjust my plans and it takes a lot of time. The biggest headache would be math II. I spent a lot of my summer refreshing myself on Geometry and studying the Geometry standards and making resources. A week into school starting and we find out that our county is switching from Geometry to Math II effective immediately. Just imagine my face when I find this out. So all of middle school Math II teachers received subs one day to meet and make a pacing guide for the county, decipher the Math II standards that we've never seen before, and find new resources. It is craziness! I am just glad that I know these teachers and that I know I'm working with awesome people. They know what to say to calm me down (if you've taken the color personality test at PD, I am a perfect score GOLD).
I think that is enough ramblings for the night. Kudos to you if you actually read through this entire post! Will post pictures soon! (hopefully!)