Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday, 31 August 2015

1) I'm starting to learn student names. (And not just the names that end up being easy to learn. If you've been teaching for more than two days, you know what I'm talking about.)

2) There was a good discussion on seeing patterns in math and comparing different ways that students saw patterns to determine numbers. (WIM Day 2. I started Day 1 last Friday due to our modified block schedule. This way all students will be on Day 5 this Friday.)

3) Period 6 students worked outside for awhile to get out of the heat. They were respectful and on task and didn't disturb any of the nearby classes. Yeah!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

Okay, so today was another HOT one in the classroom. The thermometer hit 87ยบ, but I'm looking on the bright side!

1) My students did their first Chalk Talk. (Visible Thinking Routine) They shared ideas about what they like and don't like when doing group work. All the important points we try to make were included in the final posters. You can see some of the work on my Twitter.

2) Students helped each other learn and understand new routines.

3) As the afternoon heat continued to rise, students plugged away working together. My last class of the day got started on their Getting to Know You project with Venn Diagrams. They worked well in the heat. I hope they had a chance to cool down at home!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August 27, 2015 First Day with Students

1) I remembered to take pictures while the students were doing the data activity. They went around the room putting stickers on charts. They seemed to enjoy themselves and with one suggestion,"We're going to use this for data analysis, what might make it easier to do that?" they started putting the dots in a more organized fashion. I was impressed.

2) 92% of my students have internet access at home! (Thanks to the data collection, I know that only 5 students don't have internet access at home.)

3) One of the new 6th graders gave me a hand-made Welcome Back card! How did she know she was in my class?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Day 2 Back to Work: School Site Professional Development

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
  1. My principal listened to my curriculum concerns and validated my pedagogy.
  2. My colleagues came up with some amazing successes at Rio del Valle.
  3. I learned about Piktochart.

Day 1 Back to Work: Districtwide Professional Development

Monday, August 24, 2015
1) I enjoyed visiting with colleagues after the summer break.
2) I started P.A.D.D.L.E.
3) I learned a bit about Blended Learning. (Also got a bit overwhelmed!)

Day 3: Getting the Room Ready

1) H. G. helped get the audio (that connects to all the computers) working in my classroom. Another example of, It Takes A Village...

2) A.L. helped set up the projector which I can now use with the windows and doors open AND the lights on! Last year I had to turn my room into a dark room to show video or to do activities with the Promethean board and even then it was hard to see some things. Thanks A.L.!!!

3) My brother helped put posters up, ran errands (as in driving all the way home to get the computers I left there), put required certificates on all of the Harvey Mudd computers, provided music, and more.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What is this Blog All About???

So, for those of you who are interested, Panglossian is an adjective meaning characterized by or given to extreme optimism, especially in the face of unrelieved hardship or adversity.

I've been teaching for 26 years and enjoy my job most of the time. I thrive on learning new teaching strategies and sharing them with others. I read voraciously, watch videos, and apply new techniques. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don't. On those days of perceived hardship, it can be a stretch for me to look on the bright side of the teaching life. (Here think of the Monty Python version of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.) Oh, and I tend to find some kind of hardship everyday. So, a caring and learned (say learn- ED) colleague suggested I jot down three positives each day to get me deliberately looking away from those pesky hardships. (Another more obstreperous colleague suggested I find FIVE each day!)

Last year I took the advice of the first colleague and now have a record of three positives from each day with students last school year. This year I thought I would expand it to include work days without students. I notice that I have been tending toward a more concentrated focus on the less positive aspects of some activities, events, or requirements on professional development days and maybe last year's practice might benefit me if I expanded it. And another couple of colleagues said that I should blog them, so here it is, 2015-16 School Year's Focus on the Positive.