Saturday, October 12, 2013

2 Stars & A Wish: Week 6

     Twas' the week before the long weekend... That's right, it is Thanksgiving this weekend! Not only that, but it is also our community's big rodeo event and our school's Spirit Week. All together, this resulted in our student's having that "Friday afternoon" mentality ALL week long! It was a bit of a nut house, but we all made it through unscathed. Two things that went really well this week are:

1 ) Having My First Evaluation!
- On Monday I had my very first evaluation as a first year teacher.
  I was asked to submit a list of possible dates that fit my schedule
  and my principal decided to evaluate me on Monday morning
  during our Grade 8 math class.
- I was nervous in the sense that I wanted to do well, but wasn't
  worried about how the actual class would go. We spent the first
  half of our class doing a student lead review of fractions &
  integers and finished with a discussion on rational numbers.
- I was given some verbal feedback (about 2 mins) but no written
  report. I believe my principal needs to come in at least 3 times
  before I get a full feedback report.

teacher evaluation

2 ) Being Asked To Share My Unit Plans at Our Staff Meeting
- This week we had a staff meeting which focused on
  Backwards By Design planning, which is one of our school goals
  this year. As a new teacher, this is a method that I was taught in
  university while a lot of our teachers are only just being introduced
  to this idea.
- With my recent education in mind, my principal asked if she
  could use my unit plans as a sample during the staff meeting. Now,
  my unit plans are by no means "perfect" (and I don't believe they
  will ever be) but I was still a good feeling to help out some of the
  other teachers in our school!

     One thing that I want to work on, however, is differentiating the instruction of my Grade 9 math class. The group of students I have this year have such a large gap in-between them that it is getting to the point where one group of students in now completely bored and checking out, while the others are still struggling. (they are also my biggest class) I am thinking that I will divide them up into 2 (if not 3) groups and begin rotating my discussion so everyone is working on a concept that they are challenged by. My only concern is that this might widen the gap and I will not be able to have large-group projects again.... what are your thoughts?

Week 5 Update

     Last week I shared that I wanted to work on completing the Respect in School online course. All of our teachers, support staff, and students eventually have to complete this course and I, embarrassingly, forgot! I am happy to report, however, that I finished up the course early in the week and am officially caught up

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