September is behind us and here is my first 2 Stars & A Wish post of October. Teachers always say that the year goes by so quickly and I definitely understand that now! It honestly seems like yesterday was the first day of school and it is almost already Thanksgiving. Two things that went well this week are:
1 ) Reinforcing our Risk Free Environment Policy
- I do not have a formal list of rules in my classroom, but I do
have a Risk Free Environment Policy that reads as follows:
"Our classroom does not discriminate on the basis of disability,
gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other means.
It is of the utmost important that every action we undertake]
demonstrates respect for those around us. If at any time a
situation occurs that does not illustrate this practice please bring
it to my attention. I strongly believe that we are all part of a team
within this classroom and if I witness a situation that does not illustrate
this practice we will address it as a class."
- I have one class that is still working towards understanding what this
actually looks like in the classroom so this week, instead of having
science class, we worked on this policy. We had some really good
group discussions about my expectations and what this policy might
look like in a classroom, school, life setting. We then made posters
that we displayed in the front hallway right by our main office!
- I am so proud of the growth I witnessed in my students in such a
short time and had the absolute best class ever with them on Friday!
2 ) Having My Students Get Excited About Math
- I came across a video this week via my YouTube subscriptions that
really bent my brain and got me thinking about math in a different way.
Of course, I immediately began thinking of ways that I could share this
with my students. I was worried because the video was a little outside of
what we are studying and is a geared towards an older audience with
more background information but I wanted to try it; and I am glad I did!!
- Here is the video I shared with them:
I hope you actually took the time to watch it because it is awesome,
but if you didn't, it shows you that 1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1... = 1/2
I know, crazy, right?!
- I presented my students with the series 1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1... on
Thursday and got them to guess what they thought the answer could
be and why. On Friday I began explaining the series as it is explained
through the video and I immediately had some students dozing off &
giving me blank expressions. As soon as we began manipulating the
variable, however, (and students began seeing where the answer was
leading them) I had every students engaged!
- My students were yelling, "My mind is blown!", "How can that work?"
"We need to show this to people". It was definitely an awesome
- If you want to discuss this video, or Grandi's Series, please visit the
blog post my students wrote about this; they love getting comments!
One thing that I will be working on this week, however, is completing the Respect in School online course. All teachers, support staff, and students (once they reach a certain age) are required to complete the online Respect in School course. As a new staff member, I was asked to have this done by September 27th and, embarrassingly, I completely forget about it! After a friendly reminder from my principal, it is now my priority for this week and hope to have it done ASAP!
Week 4 Update
Last week I shared that I wanted to work on keeping my students up-to-date in regards to their grades and missing assignments. I am happy to report that I was able to get all my grading up to date and printed off current achievement reports for my students in my high school classes. There was definitely a few students who had forgotten about missed assignments so those marks might have been eye-opening, but I am happy that my students are up-to-date and well informed. I made sure to remind students about making up work, completing corrections, and the lunch-hour math development sessions I hold.