Monday, September 30, 2013

2 Stars & A Wish: Week 4

     I can't believe that September is already done!! School has already been 1/10 completed and there is only a few short weeks before my first experience writing my own report cards! Everything seems to be going by so quickly and I am so thankful for my blog and the reflection opportunity it provides me. With month 1 done, two things that I am proud of this week are:

1 ) Having My Grade 8s Plan Their 2nd Blog!
- That's right, with only a week under their belts, my Grade 8s
  asked if they could begin blogging for their math class in
  addition to their science class. To say I was proud and
  excited is a definite understatement.
- As a class we decided that we could use our existing blog
  for both subjects and while we'll continue to blog every
  science class, we will blog once a week for math (on Fridays).
- I can't wait to see where their blogging adventure takes them
  but I am thrilled that, after only a week, my students saw the
  benefit and fun of blogging and decided that they wanted more!

2 ) Taking Time to Conference With My Students
- In my grade 8 math class I took time with each individual student
  (while others were working on an assignment) to conference
  with them about:
        - Their thoughts on the material
        - Their thoughts regarding their own learning
  I also took this time to assess them using 4 practice questions
  that allowed me to gauge their understanding and provide
  immediate feedback and support.
- I found these sessions incredibly helpful and my students liked
  the one-on-one support!

     One thing that I want to work on, however, is keeping my students up-to-date in regards to their grades and missing assignments. We use Maplewood as our grading system and it does offer an online portal that can be checked 24-7 but it is under-utilized. I never want my students to be surprised by their marks so I would like to provide them all with  monthly progress report this upcoming week.

Week 3 Update

     Last week I shared that I wanted to work on creating a math development activity at lunch hour for my students who either need extra support or are looking to explore enrichment opportunities. I had originally planned on offering structured support every Friday over the lunch hour but I quickly learned that a specific date isn't necessary optimal in a school that ALWAYS has lunch hour activities springing up. What we ended up doing was that if a student is looking to be involved in math development, I will be available in my classroom at 12:15pm each day and they can find me there.

     For the first week, I had 3 students come for extra support and none for enrichment options. I am pleased with these numbers for now and I know they will increase as we progress throughout the year.

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