Friday, February 16, 2018

#MyFavFriday - Valentine's Week

The weeks keep zooming by... we're halfway through February, which means March (and spring break) is just around the corner.  We've had some gorgeous weather here and I'm so ready for spring to arrive so I can sit out on the patio and enjoy the warm breeze.

This week went by way too fast though, starting from a home emergency on Monday (no hot water... eek!) to Valentine's Day to now and I have so much more on my to-do list than I have time.  I'm supposed to give a presentation on Monday at our PD Day and while I have most of it planned out, I need to actually get it down on paper and practice it.

When I first envisioned this blog series, I didn't know how well it would go over or if I would even follow through with it, but I have to say that one of my favorite things about the #MyFavFriday posts is that it forces me to sit down and reflect on the week and to focus on the positives and the joy that happens each week.  It can be so easy in this profession to get dragged down by the unimportant junk and it's vital for us to remember our WHY.  With that said, on to this week's post...

My Favorite Lesson of the Week:
This week actually had some lessons that turned out fairly well, even though 2 of the days this week were taken up by tests/quizzes.  :)

In Forensic Science, we've been working on Blood Spatter and calculating angle of impact and point of origin.  I wanted them to see what it was like to string a crime scene on a small scale, so I gave them a scale drawing of a blood spatter pattern, some blood droplets, yarn, tape, and a protractor.  It was so much fun to watch them work together and to see how their calculations came to life!  As you can see in the photo, it created a bit of a tangle as they laid out their yarn to create their lines of convergence to find where the victim was standing, then from the blood droplets, they used the angle of impact to find out where the blood originated from.  Using some trig, we were able to confirm that the "stringing" and the "math" agreed! :)  I had never done this lesson in quite this way before, but I loved how it turned out!

My Favorite Discussion of the Week:
In Geometry, we've been working on Special Right Triangles.  I sadly didn't get any pictures of these lessons but so far, we've been investigating patterns using the properties of squares / equilateral triangles and the Pythagorean Theorem.  Today, while investigating the 30-60-90 triangle, the discussion turned to what "real mathematicians" do and I explained to my class that they were "real mathematicians" - that mathematics is truly the study of patterns and testing to see if those patterns hold and that they've always been mathematicians, just that the construct of formal school has a tendency to beat that joy of discovery out of them.  I really wish I could have captured the atmosphere in a bottle during that discussion.... :)

My Favorite use of VNPS:
On Monday, we were reviewing for a quiz in Geometry and a test in AP Stat, so last weekend I worked on creating some engaging review activities for my students.  As I said above, I ended up having to leave halfway through the day, but I was so proud of how well my Geometry kids did on their review.  My original plan was to give them 4 stations and having them up on the big whiteboards, but the group pictured asked instead if they could work on the floor.  Ummm.. sure!  I mean, an hour of talking and doing math AND you're comfy on the floor?  That's a total win, right??? :)

My Favorite Valentine Display (Plus an Addition):
I blogged earlier this week about the Valentine's Display board I did this year and today, a couple of my 5th hour boys were over reading the hearts and asked why I haven't posted any more this week.  I told them that the board was the equivalent to my Valentine's Card for them and Valentine's Day was on Wednesday, so Wednesday was the last heart I added.  They truly seemed sad that I had stopped adding hearts, so they decided to add their own hearts to the display.  :)

The one I shared at the left says "I love how Mrs. T buys us our own tape, Cheerios, globes and [table] boxes."  This cracked me up (as well as most of the class) as he wrote it while thinking out loud and originally had "... globes and love" and one of the other students teased him about buying love.  I should mention here that his note refers to the supplies I provide for them and various lab activities, including today's "globe toss" lab to introduce hypothesis testing. :)  My kiddos can drive me crazy at times, but underneath it all, they are a good-natured group of kids and I'm blessed to play a small part in their lives!

My Favorite Surprise:
Any teacher can tell you that January and February are the hardest months of the school year.  It's typically a stretch with dreary gray days and no breaks, unless you have a snow day.  This year, one of our new assistant principals has really tried to foster a positive staff culture at our school and as a result, a Secret Val Pal exchange was born.  Those of us that chose to participate were asked to fill out a questionnaire, then the organizer paired us up anonymously and sent us our match.  Our school is quite large with approximately 200 teachers spread out over multiple buildings, so many of us did not know our Val Pal at all, which was the case with the person that had my name.  However, my Val Pal knocked it out of the ballpark with her final "reveal" gift!  One of our new art teachers had my name and she gifted me with this gorgeous piece of artwork that is absolutely PERFECT for me :)  Now I need to get it framed and find a place to hang it in my room :)

My Favorite Compliment of the Week:
My last favorite of the week is kind of a shallow one, but it still made my day. :)  On Wednesday morning, I was waiting on a meeting to start when one of our ELA teachers called my name.  She said that she just had to tell me something, even though it was superficial.  She went on to say that the previous week, when I had spoken at our faculty meeting, she had noticed that I looked really stylish and put together.  Then, the next day as she was digging through her closet saw that she had the same elements as my previous day's outfit, so she mimicked me and felt very fashionable and cute all day!  This conversation isn't the type of thing I would normally share in a public forum, but her comment reminded me how I am often hesitant to say something because it seems superficial yet that comment might have a much deeper impact to the other person.

What were your favorite moments from this week?  Feel free to share them in the comments or to tweet with hastag #MyFavFriday.  Happy Friday, y'all!! :)

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