Well, I keep coming back to this. Perhaps Hedge may be on to something. Let’s not tell her though, ok? If anyone ever does read this, I’m sorry in advance that I’m not linking and tagging and all that. Frankly, I just don’t feel like figuring out how.
I’m in an irritated mood, but I want to remember a comment or two from today.
Oh- the day after BTSN a parent of a 6th grader called me over as I was calling names during afternoon pickup. I didn’t teach her son last year so I don’t know the family well. She said to me, “you have so many wonderful things to say, you shouldn’t be so nervous all the time.” (read – i’ve talked to them like 3 times publicly and I spazzed all 3). It was really nice of her to say and I appreciated it.
Today we finally split the 8th grade kiddos into their two groups. I mostly kept the same group that I’ve been working with for the past 3 years. I love them and am excited for our year together. When they came in they told me they hated the desks and wanted them back in rows (they are in groups of 4 or 5). Tough. But, can you imagine? They are so bizarre! They were super quiet as I talked to them about the year – for about 10 minutes. Then we started into Sarah-land. I usurped 3 of her foldables and we worked with those. We wrote paper tweets to Justin about the Math Munch stuff they had done over summer, took a growth mindset quiz (which looked pretty darn good!) and then I assigned the Math Biography for hw. Seems silly since I know them so well, but I hope they will take the reflection seriously and that it will be a good start to their notebooks (and the year, obvi).
In my epically large 5th grade I had gotten some free back to school task cards. I think they were from Teaching with a Mountain View, but I don’t really remember. I wanted to try that out, so we went over how I wanted their papers set up and then I gave each group 3 cards to start with and then we worked on passing them around. Yesterday we spent the whole day writing expressions equal to 12 which then led to talking about order of operations. I didn’t mean for it to take so long, but I was happy to get right away to the idea that there can be lots of different routes to a solution. That was a set-up for this task card event. The 5th homeroom teacher comes in with them and he said that he heard one of the kids say how fun it was and that he couldn’t believe time was almost up because it was flying by. That was nice to hear. I have realized I’m someone who needs the nice feedback to keep going.
In 7th grade we weren’t ready to split classes yet, so we (i) made the gametime decision to work on Fawn’s Noah’s Ark problem. It was great. I loved watching them struggle and then strategize. I told them that some were going to have hw and others weren’t. Then I told all the kiddos whose siblings I have taught that they had to give the problem to their bro or sis as a gift from me 🙂 I hope some of them will actually do it!
At the end of the day one of the 8th grade kiddos came in to do end of day prayer. He has been my most serious/ quiet kid in that class since he came in 6th grade. I thought he wasn’t into the crazy that goes on with that group (the most awesome, wonderful kind!). So I asked him how was the day. He said ok. So I said, just ok? He said, (paraphrasing) Well we got to come to you, but then the rest of the day was just sitting around and boring. So I said, wait – I’m the fun one? yay! I know being the “fun” teacher is not important, but knowing the kids enjoy being with me and feel that my class is of value to them sure is. I know I’m going to have a great year with those 8th graders 🙂