Sunday, October 23, 2016

Our job requires a lot of us...

Planning for three grades & grading five classes worth of work takes up more time than actually teaching five classes across three grades every day, especially since I am being mindful about balancing work and life.

Non-teacher-me is proud of myself for setting and keeping boundaries when it comes to doing (and not doing) work; but like all teachers, teacher-me knows that there is always more that can be done, but it would require having no life outside my classroom.

Our job requires a lot of us mentally, physically, and emotionally.  What we do everyday is hard, because what we do every day is important.

I've planned out this week as best as I can, and even though I still have grading (and more planning) I could be doing, I am going to call it a night, meditate for a bit, and then enjoy dinner and the third Harry Potter movie, because I believe in balance.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Planning & Performance Tasks

Wow, it's been almost a month since I reflected on here... time flies when you are having fun (or super busy).  Just have time for a quick update, so here it goes...

All three of the grades I teach (five classes in total) are well into their second unit.  My 6th graders have started Comparing Bit's & Pieces, my 7th graders are almost done with Comparing & Scaling, and my 8th graders are in the middle of Growing, Growing, Growing.  I am still using CMP3 as my main curriculum, but I have been cutting out more, condensing, and adding in lots of other enrichment tasks.  For example, my 7th graders have explored Icy Hot, The New Twenty, Civic Duty, and Coupon Clipping, while my 8th graders have explored Flix, Billions & Billions, and this week my 6th graders will explore Jen Ratio, all from Mathalicious, which I am grateful that my coworker introduced me to last year, and I encourage every middle/high school math teacher to check out.

My 6th graders have also Made Their Own Product Game, and tomorrow my 8th graders will be Predicting Their Own Financial Future, both from Illuminations.  My 7th graders also played the Stock Market Game and invested "$1,000" into real stocks and tracked them, and researched different careers and hourly wages.  Math Club explored Sissa's Reward from NRICH, and the Handshake Problem, also from Illuminations.  I also just introduced them to Alcumus from The Art of Problem Solving, and I am finally getting to explore the Math of Voting during an election year, which I was first exposed to during my Bank Street years.  I've also brought in some Illustrative performance tasks this year.  Speaking of Bank Street, I am going to the Math Saturday this weekend and am looking forward to it.

Overall I'm happy with how things are going, and I do see progress from last year.  I'm not going to lie, planning for three grades and five classes is a lot, but I am finding balance.  It would be nice to be able to get a little ahead in terms of long-term planning and grading, but I am making it work.  I will be sending out my first student surveys in a couple of weeks, and students will be taking the first interim assessment since their baselines, so I'll have the data to look at.