Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Week in Review

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)



A Week In Review - Sunday Summary


Oh my, what a whirlwind week!!!  We had "Teacher Days" on Monday-Thursday and kids came on Friday.  We had a lot of time in our rooms, which was great, especially since about 40 teachers were coming back to brand new renovated rooms with brand new technology! :)

My goal this year is to blog at least my Sunday Summary with a look back over the week.  :)

Where I Was:
This past week was a bit crazy.  We have a new principal, lots of new technology, and construction on campus.  Change is one of those things that most people struggle with and I'm no exception!  However, we made it through.  We were all grateful for 2 days (Wed / Thurs) with no meetings and time to just work in our rooms.  Friday was the first day with kids and to be honest, when I originally saw that on the calendar, I had my doubts about starting on a Friday, but it turns out that I loved it!  We all wore our spirit wear, including our new THRIVE theme t-shirts and it was a great day to meet the kids, tell them what school supplies to purchase, and start out our year with some learning!

In Pre-Calc, we start with trig, so we decided to see what they remembered about SOHCAHTOA.  I had found this activity earlier in the summer and adapted it for the INB.  It really was awesome to hear the conversations about "Now which one is the opposite side?" 

In Stat, we started with my favorite Kristen Gilbert story, but this time when we got to the graph of deaths, I had them complete a poster about their Noticings and Wonderings.  I meant to snap a photo of them, but forgot! :(  Again, great conversations were had all around!  My favorite comment was "This is like a Serial podcast!"

Where I Am:
I left on Friday night around 7pm totally exhausted.  Three preps plus new shoes that rubbed a blister made for a rough day.  I had a to-do list with 22 items on it, so I decided to go up this weekend to work on it.  I was there from 10am - 6pm and knocked out most of the items!  Go me!  I have the next week mostly mapped out with copies already made.  Today's goal is to run to the store to pick up a few items, but spend most of the day on the patio enjoying the beautiful weather and hopefully get in some fun reading time.  All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about where I am!

Where I'm Going:
This next week will be a challenge.  Five whole days of kids will zap the energy! :)  On block day, we'll see our Advisory classes and I will get to meet about 12 new Advisory kiddos.  One of those days will be our Welcome Back Assembly, but I'm not sure which one yet.  In Pre-Calc, we'll be building the Unit Circle.  That class is the toughest for me because I have to practice my lessons the night before since it's the first time I've taught it.  I've not had a trig class since 1992-93, so I'm a bit rusty! :)  In Stat, we'll jump on into sample surveys and sampling methods.  Thankfully, this is year 17 for teaching that, so little prep is required!  In Forensics, we'll be working on observation skills and I do need to spend some time working on my lesson plans in there.  I want to remember to take a photo each day to re-start my 180 blog, so we'll see how that goes! :)

Have a great week, y'all!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ready for a New Year!!

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)


If you want to join in the blogging fun, it's not too late!  Go HERE to sign up! :)

Ready for a New Year!!

The room is done, the lessons are planned, and kids are coming tomorrow whether I'm ready or not!


A few things to remind myself when I'm trying to remember later :)
  • I love the "What should my answer look like" from @mathequalslove
  • Table Folders rock!!!  (This is how I pass out papers)
  • The posters for the student feedback ask the following questions:
    • What are qualities of a good student?
    • What are qualities of a good teacher?
    • How do you learn best?  (Specifics please!)
    • What are you excited about this year?
    • What are you worried about this year?
  • Be Joyful Always!
Sorry for a short post, but I got home around 8:30 and kids come tomorrow!!!  EEKKKKKK!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What does it take to Thrive?

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)


If you want to join in the blogging fun, it's not too late!  Go HERE to sign up! :)

What does it take to Thrive?


I have been blessed to teach at an amazing school for the past 16 years.  Yesterday, as I started another year at this school, we were introduced to our theme for the year.  Starting back in the early 2000s, our administrative team would come up with a school wide theme.  For example, one year the theme was Mission:Possible and during our back to school assembly, the principals all rappelled down from the PAC ceiling while the Mission Impossible theme song played.  Often our theme played off of a current movie or some other pop culture idea, such as the Incredibles or the Olympics.  During the Olympics year, the theme was "Go for the Gold" and we all were given gold medals as we came in for our all-staff meeting. :)

This year, the theme is Thrive.

Today, we met with our evaluating principal and to start off our meeting, he asked us what it takes for us to Thrive personally, professionally, and for others in our lives.

Oh man... that's a tough question!

Personally
For me to thrive as a person, I need to do the following:

  • Find balance between work and home.  This is hard.
  • Take care of me.  This is hard too.  I need to set aside quiet devotional time, time with family and friends, time to laugh and be joyful, time to relax.  I need to take the time to exercise and eat right.  
Professionally
For me to thrive as a professional, I need to do the following:
  • Commit to being involved in the #MTBoS.  This involves blogging on a regular basis, spending time on twitter, and participating in the #EduRead book studies.  I grow professionally because of the amazing people of the #MTBoS and I need that in my life.
  • Learn to say "no".  I'm getting better than I've been in the past, but I need to say "no" and focus on the #BigRocks.
Students/Colleagues/Family
For me to help those around me thrive, I need to do the following:
  • Be Joyful Always.  It's hard to always have a positive attitude, especially when you aren't feeling very positive.  But, I know that attitudes are contagious, so I need to work on having an attitude worth catching!  I need to look for the bright side and find ways to build up the people around me.
  • Be present.  In a world of technology, it is easy for the screens to take away from our in-person time.  When I'm with others, I need to put away the screen and focus on being present in the moment.  

What does it take for you to Thrive?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Special Right Triangles

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)


If you want to join in the blogging fun, it's not too late!  Go HERE to sign up! :)

Special Right Triangles


Today was the first day back for the teachers and I'm exhausted!  It's not like I wasted away my summer, but being on my feet just about wore me plum out! :)

Anyway, last week, I was working on lesson plans for Pre-Calc and I created a foldable for Special Right Triangles  Of course, after I made it, I found all sorts of better stuff from the MTBoS, so it's not great, but it's what I have to share today given how tired I am! :)


This is one of my favorite foldable templates because you print them two to a page.  Here's what the Word document looks like:


My thought was to connect the dots from the square / equilateral triangle and try to make connections that we will use with the unit circle as well.  However, after working through it and then looking at some of the awesome stuff out there (like Sarah Carter's poof booklet), I realize how lackluster this one is.   However, it's what I've already sent to the copy shop, so I learn to deal with it and make it better next year!  :) :)

Here's the file if you want it.  You will need the font KG What does the Fox Say?

Is it bed time yet? :)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Analysis Paralysis

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)


If you want to join in the blogging fun, it's not too late!  Go HERE to sign up! :)

Analysis Paralysis


Does anyone else suffer from this?  When you have so much to do or so many options to choose from, that absolutely nothing gets done or accomplished?

I suffer from Analysis Paralysis on a regular basis, but back to school time seems to be the worst.  The to-do list is always growing and my time is always shrinking.  Instead of actually getting things done, I sit and stare at the wall for hours on end.  Yesterday is a prime example of this.  I had plans of all the things I would accomplish and then zero ended up getting done.  Of course, part of that is hubby and I ran errands and had some bad Chinese for lunch, so that pretty much ruined the rest of the day, but I should have - could have - gotten a lot done in the morning hours and I didn't.

So now it's the Sunday before school starts and there's that last minute rush of what all can I accomplish???  Thankfully the kids don't come until Friday and we'll have some time to work in our rooms, which is good because I still don't know where I'm going to fit in 2 more desks! :)

Honestly, my to-do list is shorter than in previous years but a lot of the items are details such as "decide which activity to use for Day 1".  There are so many great ideas out there from the #MTBoS that my Analysis Paralysis goes into overdrive.  What if I pick the wrong one?  What if I don't give enough time?  What supplies do I need?  Which one fits my style best?  UGH!

The time has come for decisions to be made.  Even more than that, once the decisions are made, stick with them.

In the words of Dr. Seuss:
"Today is YOUR day!  Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!"

It's time for me to face the reality of the 2016-17 school year.  Let's go move that mountain!!!


Friday, August 12, 2016

Goodbye Summer!

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)


If you want to join in the blogging fun, it's not too late!  Go HERE to sign up! :)


Five Things I'll Miss About Summer


Summer is officially over.  Today was my last day of freedom.  Well, technically I'm free the next two days, but since that's the weekend, I don't think it counts.  Today was the last weekday of summer.  I report bright and early Monday morning to start my 19th year of teaching.  I didn't get all of my to-do list done, but all in all, it was a good summer.

1)  Morning Walks - I am proud to say that this summer, I succeeded in not screwing up my sleep patterns, so that will hopefully make getting up next week easier.  But one thing I'll miss is my morning walk.  With a few exceptions, I would get up around 6am and go for a 30 minute walk.  I loved the peace and quiet and during most walks, I was able to listen to the Truth for Teachers podcast.  I really love her positive spirit!  Once school starts, I value every moment of sleep plus I don't like the idea of getting up at 5am in order to walk, so I'll have to start doing that in the evening time.

2)  Coffee in Bed - My hubby is amazing.  After his alarm goes off, he goes to the kitchen and turns on the Keurig.  After his shower, he makes coffee and brings it to me in bed.  Such a great way to start my day!

3)  My Patio - After my walk, I would spend the next few hours on the patio, reading, doing my bible study, relaxing, and just generally enjoying nature.  The 100+ heat the past few days have killed most of my flowers, but this photo was taken last week:

4)  Naptime - As a kid, I wasn't a fan of napping.  As an adult, I could win the gold medal!  There is nothing better than a 2 hour nap on a lazy day. :)

5)  A Clean House - During the school year, I'm rather busy but during the summer, I like to have a picked up house and a bed that is made.  My house will never be a showplace, but at least in the summer, I do mop, vacuum, and dust on a regular basis! :)  Often, after my walk, I would do about an hour of cleaning before heading to the patio.  There's just something about that burst of productivity that lets you sit down at relax by 8am that feels so good!

And a bonus thing I'll miss... (mainly, I couldn't decide which one to leave off, so here's a bonus #6!)

6)  Quiet Alone Time - I am extremely introverted.  I love teaching, but I'll be honest in that it takes everything I have to put on my "energetic extroverted teacher face" and be in front of people all day.  During the summer, I can go days without seeing or talking to anyone other than hubby and that's a-ok with me!


What will you miss about summer?



Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hodgepodge of Productivity

This August, I'm participating in a monthly blog challenge called Blaugust. To see the list of participating blogs, click on the logo below. Please cheer on our participants with either a tweet or a comment on their blog. It can be hard to blog on a daily (or even regular) schedule! :)


If you want to join in the blogging fun, it's not too late!  Go HERE to sign up! :)

It was a Productive Day!!


I took a day off yesterday, both from blogging and the back-to-school madness.  I worked in my classroom on Monday and Tuesday and had planned to work up there yesterday as well, but when push came to shove, it just wasn't happening.  I woke up at 5:30 and dragged myself out of bed and outside for an early morning walk, but when I only made it through half of my walk and I was yawning every few steps, I had an inkling that Wednesday would not work out as planned.  So instead, I grabbed my notepad and sat on the patio enjoying nature and making a list of things as they crossed my mind.   Around 10, I met up with a friend for a pedi and lunch and that was just what the doctor ordered!

Before meeting up with my friend, I had some time to kill, so I spent the time browsing my Pinterest boards for motivation.  I have a large set of doors in my classroom that lead into the science lab next door.  Right now, those doors house a "Parking Lot" poster and a formative assessment "Traffic Light" poster.  However, I have never used those posters as intended because I don't usually have post-it notes out and about.  (Side note.. if you have an idea of what to put there, let me know!)  While browsing Pinterest, I found my theme/mantra for the year, which turned out to be neither of the two that I had already blogged about on Tuesday...

On one of my boards, I had pinned a post from Sarah (@mathequalslove) from back in 2013, where she referenced some posters called Truth Signs from the book Inspiring Active Learning.  The quote I pinned really resonated with me, so here is my yearly theme/mantra:


What a great reminder for me when lesson planning, especially with my goal this year of "Never Skip the Close!"  It's also a good reminder when I'm sitting at my desk staring into space that it's okay to allow myself time to process and think!  Thank you Sarah! :)

Now let's fast forward to this morning.  It starts out the same way, but my walk today was much better (and less yawning!).  After coming home, I still had about an hour to kill before heading to school, so I started knocking out things on my to-do list.  One of the things I had listed was to do a planning calendar because right now I have it scribbled in a notebook where I met with one of the other teachers.  I don't want to put it into my lesson plan book yet because it's not very set in stone.  I decided to make it double sided and here's the end result:


Can I just say that I love the KG Payphone font?  It looks so clean!  I decided that I needed a to-do list because sometimes when planning, I need to create a foldable or an assignment, etc. :)  I've already used this in conjunction with Sarah's INB planning page

My friend went to school with me today to tackle some of the other to-do's like cutting things out, etc.  One of the things on her to-do list was to make a little gift for the math teachers.  I had found these notepads at the Target Dollar Spot that I thought would be awesome for under the ELMO.  A gift tag and some curly ribbon to finish it off and we have cute gifts...





As I was working away this afternoon, I realized that I couldn't remember what I had already sent to the copy shop and what I hadn't.  I know most schools don't have a copy shop, but in our district, they encourage us to send everything we can to the copy shop.  They will bind, staple, duplex, booklet, etc, but you need to give them 3-4 working days to get it done because it has to be picked up from each site, taken to the copy shop, ran, packaged, and sent back to the site.  They only make deliveries to each building once a day or you can take it over to the copy shop yourself if you miss the delivery driver.  Anyway, our copy shop orders are duplicates, so I have a stack of yellow carbon copies of what I've sent, but I had to dig through that stack each time.  I decided that for Back to School, a master list might be a good idea...


We got several other things done as well, but I forgot to take pictures of those. :)  All in all, it was a great day and I feel so much more prepared for Monday than if I hadn't gone in today.  I still have lesson planning to do, but thankfully most of the other things can be done at home!  Tomorrow is my last official day of summer because I don't count the weekends... where did summer go????

:)