Posts tagged reflection

119 results

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

I used to be much more active on Twitter and writing blog posts. I was in the habit of checking Twitter several times a day and staying somewhat engaged. When I thought of things I wanted to write about, I blogged. I read people’s blogs via Google Reader ans Twitter. But in the last two to three years, I have gotten away from both of these things. I miss them. I like being engaged with both Twitter and blogs. So, what happened? via GIPHY Quite simply, life happened. My children are growing up and getting involved in more things. Some of the things I’m involved in outside of school have taken up more of my time. School has taken more time. And by the time I sit down in the evening, I’m thinking about ways to decompress from the day and Twitter and blogs have become an afterthought. And that makes me sad. I miss the interactions I had been […]

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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: 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.   […]

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Why I Organize TMC

I was coming home from working at school on Saturday as I am getting ready for students to return on Wednesday. The TMC Party Anthem came on my iPod playlist. I pretty much took the video and pulled the audio from it and wasn’t really paying attention to where the song actually started and finished. When I got to this point in the audio track, I pretty much lost it as I was driving home. I knew what was on the screen at that point and what was happening in the room at that moment. (This post is very much a post about me. Very unlike me. I won’t be offended if you move along to read something else.) You see (if you didn’t go and watch), at that moment, not only were people applauding our phenomenal crew who put together and performed the song, people were applauding me for having created this space we call TMC (paraphrasing the words on […]

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What’s in my 10%?

Another TMC in the books. It still amazes me that we have now done this 5 times. Like Sam, I’m struggling to process TMC16 in a way that I can make coherent sense of. So, also like Sam, I am blogging this one definitely for me. Dylan Kane, quoting Steve Leinwand in his keynote talked about how we as teachers should be changing 10% of what we do in our practice yearly. No more, no less. Without further ado, here are things that will be in my 10% this year (and a few things I am bringing back): As I’ve already mentioned in my last post, I am going to bring more real-world mathematics into my classroom. Denis Sheeran talked about I See Math. I am going to be more conscious of what I see in my world that may be interesting mathematically and/or to my students. I am going to make a more deliberate effort to include the real world […]

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Standing on the Precipice

On a last minute persuasive pitch, I decided on attending Denis Sheeran‘s session – Instant Relevance: Day by Day Statistics for Non-AP Courses.  I decided to go to Denis’ session because what he said about looking for the mathematics in the everyday and figuring out how to use it in your classes spoke to me. I’m hoping to do some of that this year. Here are some of the notes I made of what caught my attention: Students learn when they care about answering the question and they care about you. Don’t separate what you do every day from what you do every day. You asked the question, I’ll provide the (mathematical) tool you need. Over the course of the day, I figured out some things about myself as a teacher. I think that I have been standing at the precipice of a cliff trying to convince myself to dive into the pool of water of really integrating the real […]

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Weeding

With the school year being so busy, many things get left to do until summer hits. One of those things was weeding. I hate weeding. Well, maybe not the weeding part. Before I began weeding, I thought to myself, I hate thistles. As I was weeding, I thought to myself, I don;t hate the thistles that much. They come out of the ground easier (although I can never seem to get the full root structure). What I really hate is, well, I hate dandelions.     Dandelions are a bugger to get out of the ground. You think you have the root and as you pull, you don’t seem to have it all. Since I waited until early June, some many of my dandelions had gone to seed. So, now I’m trying to pull out the dandelions and not get the seeds into the ground. UGH. Did I mention I hate weeding? I’m kind of at the same point with my teaching. I know there are things I do […]

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Together we are better.

I  miss you all. It has been a difficult year in many ways for me, so I have not been as active on Twitter or on my blog. In the last few days, I have come to realize that I miss it. A lot. This has not been my best year of teaching. I’m not going to go into all of the reasons, but one of the conclusions I have come to is that part of it is that I have gotten away from the MTBoS (Math Twitter Blog-o-Sphere for the uninitiated). I haven’t been reading blogs, I haven’t been keeping up with Twitter (I’m still trying to figure out how to do that…) and I haven’t been looking at the awesome resources I have compiled from the MTBoS over the last few years in my Evernote. I need to go back to doing that. In fact, I have started to do that. I’ll share some of that in other posts. I do […]

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Given Time, Things Work

In between conferences last night, I was grading Algebra 1 papers. My students had an assessment over graphing (using a table), confirming that points on the line belonged to the equation graphed, and comparing a graph, a table, and an equation. By no means, is this the most exciting thing I teach in Algebra, but it is a necessary thing and important for some future understandings. This is my third year teaching Algebra 1 under the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Although I am getting more comfortable with the standards, I am, by no means, a master of teaching them. I have made some improvements, but I don’t feel I’m at the point that I absolutely have gotten there. As my 3rd Algebra 1 class walked in yesterday, they told me, “Mrs. Henry, I heard this test was hard.” My heart sank. I had not gotten far in grading the assessments, but what I had seen so far looked great. […]

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September: Good Riddance!

I don’t like September. I kind of like August: getting to meet my new classes for the year, setting up my classroom for the year, and the whole new beginnings thing. But, September, I just don’t like you. The first assessment, where my freshmen realize that they don’t know how to properly prepare for an assessment and they don’t do well. Going through the growing pains of doing Standards Based Grading, where my students realize that I’m not going to grade their homework, so they don’t do it. Then, when the assessment rolls around, they realize they don’t know the material as well as they should and they try to cram-prepare and it backfires on them. Then, after having the talk with my classes about the disadvantages on not doing outside of class work, waiting to see who it sunk in with. And I don’t like going through the whole “training” bit of getting my students to write all of […]

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What Makes a Good Teacher?

For the third time this month, a former student complemented me on my teaching. I’m at Cub Scout camp this weekend, and a woman who I had as a student in a math class at the local university said, “You were the best math teacher I ever had.”  The other two students said something similar and one of them even commented that she appreciated the way I explained things. When someone says that to you, and you know they are saying it because you explained things well, how does that make you a good teacher? Some say that the best teachers are the ones who help teach their students to think. How does explaining something well do that? If all or most of what a teacher does is lecture or explain how to do something, but they do it well, does that make him or her a good teacher? If you look at evaluation rubrics, there is NOT an emphasis […]

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