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Week of division of fractions

Monday through Wednesday we worked on dividing fractions, yesterday we did distributive property, and today we had a quiz. It took many of my students the whole period to answer 6 questions, and they didn't do as well as I'd like. I know that we need to spiral and review and they'll do corrections, but it's hard not to beat myself up about it.

I continued to love my warmups, and I finally got to do the clothesline! I just had them do numbers 1-10 just to discuss placement & spacing, but I think it went really well! My 4th period especially, because they worked as a whole class to get placement & spacing done without me directing them.

I also really, really love my Chromebook. I've actually started to use it to lesson plan. (Sorry to my millions of planners I bought this year. Also, yes husband, you told me so) I really wish I'd had it before the school year started because I don't think I would have felt the pull of the Happy Planner quite so strong…
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Daily Warmups

This was a pretty good week! Another long, busy one though. I had back to school night, and so did all 3 of my kids. Declan, my youngest, had his the same night that I had mine! All 3 of my kids also have soccer practice, so every night this week we've been busy with something. I also did a 5k this weekend in San Diego, which was good because I got to spend the weekend with awesome coworkers, but also took away from some of my beginning of the year planning time.

I also had to be out this week for personal reasons, so it's just been a bit chaotic. I feel like I'm doing too much and not enough at the same time. I thought I'd be able to get ahead today but found myself still at work at 3:30, unable to really accomplish anything so I came home.

I do feel like with doing the table folders, there's more pressure to have all of the handouts ready ahead of time, and I haven't been able to do a good job of that. I'm really hoping next week (and future weeks) will b…

First Week of School, 2018!

Man, what a week!

I've never started school on a Monday before as a teacher. Our school district starts on a Thursday, and so I have always started on a Thursday. I always thought it was a little weird, but now I get it. I totally get it. This has been the longest week ever and I have blisters on my poor little toes.

It's been really good, though! I'm working on building connections with all of my students (just shy of 200) by using the name tents from Sara Van Der Werf. It's going so well, students are asking me all kinds of questions and I get to know them better as well! The only problem is, it takes a long time to write all of the responses. Like, way more time than I thought. I also wish I had used cardstock because regular paper is just a little bit too flimsy But, I think they're going to be worth it.

I also used Sara's 100 numbers task the first day of school, which was amazing. The top response I got on Monday was "When are we going to do this aga…

The week leading up to back to school, 2018

The first day got pushed back due to the Holy Fire burning near a nearby community. Many staff members were under mandatory evacuation, and the air quality was so low that many of the surrounding districts were forced to close. So instead of starting today, Thursday August 9, we're starting on Monday, August 13. So, instead of talking about the first week of school, it's the week leading up to the first week of school.

 Our district-wide professional development was lead by the wonderful folks at CUE, with an awesome keynote by Jon Corippo about how there's no such thing as average. Averages tell us about the group, but never about individuals. This was definitely something I needed to hear, because my state test results were not what I was hoping for, on average, but looking at individuals was inspiring. We played a Quizizz on Nintendo, and I'm totally going to use Quizizz multiples times in a lesson. Students have always tried to "do better" by logging back…

How I Plan & Reflect

I've tried a lot of different methods for planning & reflecting on my plans over the years, and I'm still trying to figure it out. Last year I used the Happy Planner for Teachers, and I loved it because there are a lot of stickers and I could add my own pages, basically customize it however I wanted. But, it was very large and I ended up not using it a few months into the school year.

I'm still very tempted by the new packages they have for teacher planners but am holding firm in not buying it because it will cause guilt and shame when it falls out of use.

I did get a Passion Planner to keep track of time sensitive things, and am going to give myself a bit more grace about not filling it out. It'll be more personal/to do listy than lesson planning.

I'm ALSO going to be using Common Curriculum for actual lesson planning & daily reflections.

Most of what I do is digital ( curriculum for CSD, handouts to go on Google Classroom for absent students...) a…

Final Week of TEEM!

The week kicked off talking about misconceptions about the equal sign. I can tell you for certain, my 6th graders have answered this kind of question with d. They see that equal sign as "oh, that's where the answer goes!" and don't seem to give it a second thought. Usually when that happens I don't know how to make them see  and understand why that's not the right answer, but we watched a video where the teacher didn't correct the misconception right away, instead she wrote the incorrect answer on the board and then showed the students other equations such as 7 = 3+4, and 6 = 6+0, then 5 = 4+1, and revisited the original problem. It was very well done and made me really rethink how I handle misconceptions in the classroom. My instinct is to try to correct it, but the definite theme in TEEM this year is, it's okay to let a problem "marinate."

We did work with the hundreds chart, too, which to be honest, I didn't think I'd be able to …

First Week of TEEM 2018

First day of TEEM! Off to a great start learning about how students need agency to be fully invested in mathematics, and many students lose agency when they have a negative mathematics identity. I know I see this a lot in my classes, so my goal this year is going to be to make sure that they have agency.

One way we learned we can give them agency is with storytelling, thanks to teachers from the UCLA Lab School. Give the students a picture and have them discuss what they notice and what they can count in the picture. Pictures can come from anywhere, as long as they can provoke discussion and mathematics.

The best part, I think, is that the students create the story, and create the math question. The math is left blank so students can choose "just right" numbers, allowing them to differentiate on their own. The presenters said if you know your students are choosing numbers that are too low for them you can ask them if those are really their "just right" numbers.