- During our pre-service days, the meetings were short and time in classrooms was maximized. Even so, I still was in my room until 8pm the evening before kids arrived! Had a meeting with my evaluating principal to fill him in on SBG, just in case of parent questions or concerns, and his response was very positive.
- On the first day with kids, we did math - it was great!!! The kids responded very positively, realized they would be working in partners and expected to work the whole hour right away.
- When I did finally go over the "rules", the kids were staring at me blankly when I talked about SBG - so then on Monday, they took a quiz over Order of Operations, Simplifying Expressions, and 1-variable Equations. I did not teach the material at all, just quizzed it (previous knowledge). Went over SBG again and light bulbs started going off - "You mean we don't have to get a bad grade?" was a common question :)
- When I handed back the quizzes the next day, I was very pleased to see how easy it was for me, the kids, and their parents to see which Learning Targets they truly needed to work on. Instead of throwing away their quiz like in previous years, the kids actually started reworking the problems, trying to find their errors! They got together with other students for help, came up to ask me, etc - SCORE!
- On a daily basis, we have been giving "Checkpoints" of 2 or so questions from the previous day's lesson in Algebra 2 - it's been eye-opening to say the least. I am grateful for the opportunity to identify errors early on, and the kids know that if they struggled, that's a sign they need to make sure to do the practice problems for that LT, before the LT Quiz.
- My students have been AWESOME so far in all of my classes. They have been willing to work hard, working problems, discussing with their partner, and overall great in their engagement during class.
- My adaptation of "Rolling Down the River" for Stats really seemed to work well. I think my kiddos have a better understanding this year of Stratified Sampling vs. Cluster Sampling than ever before.
- Due to budget cuts, class sizes are pretty large all around. I have 30 kids in my 6th hour Algebra 2! Sadly, many teachers have way more kids than I do :(
- I did not anticipate the time it would take to grade the first quiz. It took me about 5 hours to grade 55 Algebra 2 quizzes. The next day, Partner Teacher and I sat down to clarify our grading scale to help that issue.
- I was not prepared for the inconsistency of the student responses for seemingly basic problems - I thought we had done a good job of identifying Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 questions for each LT
- Writing feedback on the daily "Checkpoints" is also time consuming, but very worthwhile I think. I hope as the year goes on, it will get easier :)
- A summer storm fried the VGA ports of the projectors in my hallway, so I'm making do with an ancient inFocus and a laptop that is so old, it has an interchangable CD/Floppy drive.
- I've struggled so far to find my "mojo" - pretty much, I've been planning the next day's lesson the night before - that isn't going to work for me for much longer! :) So if you happen to have some spare "mojo" lying around, please send it my way!
Overall, I've had a pretty good two weeks, but I'm just plain ole worn out. I feel asleep last night at 8pm and woke up this morning at 8am... I'm already ready for Labor Day - I need the break!