September Update

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the middle of September. We’ve been in school almost a month, however, I’m still feeling as busy as I ever do through the first couple of weeks of school. Part of that is because this happened:

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This is my daughter. She decided to go out for 8th grade Volleyball. While she didn’t make the team, she was asked to be a manager. She attends and participates in practices and on game days, she travels with the team and helps to keep the score book. What that means for me is between her schedule and my son’s schedule (piano and flag football), Mom’s taxi has been running an awful lot in August and September.

Now, while that doesn’t have to do with my classes, it does have to do with why I haven’t had the time or energy to blog. So, here’s at least a quick update of what’s going on in my classes.

 

Things I am really happy about in my classes:

  • The use of organizational folders in all classes. Thanks to Sam for sharing this! Although many days I am barely getting stuff run off in time to put them in folders, it is forcing me to work on thinking ahead so that I can get the folders ready to go in time. It also forces me to think through all parts of the lesson and to make sure I have everything in there.
  • Working on doing more #lessonclose activities. This was not in my original list of things I was working on this year. Shelli had blogged about her “ring-o-prompts” and I printed them out and created my own in August. I thought I would put it on my desk for when I was looking for ideas for exit ticket prompts. I have been haphazardly using them, but I am using them more than I did in previous years. I kind of got away from #lessonclose this past week (something about barely being on top of stuff), but the visible reminder is there and I am trying to include the close more often.
  • Switching of groups every week in Algebra 2. We switch every Wednesday, which I really like because then there is a little break in the middle if group members are not working well plus I don’t have to add making groups to my weekend list.

Things I would like to improve:

  • Math in Your Life: I have students bring something in that is math in the “real world” and they explain a little bit about it. They just did their second one on Friday and I was out of class, so I have yet to see what they came up with. Many of the first ones were restaurant receipts, so they were banned this time around (and probably will be for the year). I definitely need to work on this idea and will need to think about tweaking the directions as we go on this school year.
  • Utilizing students being in groups better. This is not something I have done much in the past. Need to figure this out better.
  • Time management. Right now I am barely on top of things. It seems like I just get caught up and cannot get ahead. Personal goal for me in the next week is to be working to get ahead so I have more time to think about what I’m teaching for longer than a day.
  • Twitter / blog involvement. I haven’t really been on Twitter and I miss it a bit. I need to get back to reading blogs for it helps me think of better things to do in my classroom (and in some cases, take the activities as is and use them!). I need to make a regular time to do this.

Some of my desired improvements may depend on me gaining a little more outside of school time. With running the kids and going to their activities, my outside of class time has filled up a bit. I am hoping to get a better balance in the next week or so. At least 8th grade volleyball ends in a little less than a month and hopefully by then, I’ll be much better settled.

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