Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Space Mud & the NYCTF, Wrapping Up This Year, Planning for Next Year, My Favorite Math Resources, and Mastering the Art of Living

Space Mud and the NYCTF
On April 5th, nine years ago, when I was but a Stony Brook senior about a month away from graduation, I went on an interview for the NYC Teaching Fellows.  Part of this interview included me doing a 10 or so minute demo lesson.  I chose to do a science lesson on the properties of matter and had my "class" (aka other interviewees) make "Space Mud", which I had made several times with the kids at the Child Care Center.  I don't remember why I chose that particular activity.  I suppose I thought it would be fun, educational, and (hopefully) memorable enough (in a good way) to get me into the Teaching Fellows.  Today, nine years later, I made Space Mud again, although the context was in the form of "potions class" and it was with my 6th & 7th graders who are part of our Harry Potter elective.  I hadn't thought about that demo lesson in years, but it was (at least partly) what set me on this journey called teaching.  I would ultimately get accepted into the math immersion program two days before graduating from SBU, and moving back home, and had to let them know in less than a week whether or not I accepted.  And it all started with Space Mud.

Now that state tests are over, I've been thinking a lot about next year, as most teachers do.  I am looking forward to Spring Break next week as well (as all teachers do) even though I'll be scoring math state tests every day during the break.  Being in a new district this year, I'm curious to see how it is different than in my old district.

Wrapping Up This Year
As we wrap up this year, my 6th graders began their final unit on statistics and data analysis, Data About Us and my 7th graders will began their Gameathon Challenge projects and then it's right into Algebra 1.  I'm happy with how this year is turning out so far.  My goal in the next few months is to continue to use this blog as a place for me to reflect on my practice, ultimately with the goal of being a better teacher.

Planning for Next Year
As I begin to think about next year, I started formally collecting my favorite math resources from the past nine years.  I'm sure I will be adding to it as the year goes on.  This summer I will be taking grad classes (yet again) for six weeks at Hunter for my G&T certification.  I have some awesome sounding District 30 PDs coming up on the Algebra 1 Regents, and Creating a Student-Centered Math Classroom, and I'm staying optimistic about getting into Math for America, as well as the NY Teacher Leadership Summit with my colleagues.

Before I close, I wanted to share a quote that I heard for the first time yesterday, that I think sums up my goal when it comes to teaching and you know, life...

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