Friday, October 12, 2018

#MyFavFriday - Fall Break

It's been a few weeks since I've done a #MyFavFriday and honestly, I almost didn't do one again this week.  But, as I'm sitting here fighting off sleep, I realized how much I really value these posts for my personal mindset and positivity.  I really do love what I do each day, but it's also so easy to feel overwhelmed by my inadequacy.  I love my students dearly, and it truly hurts my heart when I'm not able to reach a child, when there's not enough hours in the day to be what I need to be for everyone, when I recognize that a student needs more than I'm able to humanly give.  Recently, I've allowed myself to go to that place where instead of celebrating the successes, I focus on the failures and wallow there.  One of my friends posted a picture today that said "Just because you are struggling doesn't mean you're failing" and while I see an academic application with regard to productive struggle, that quote hit me personally as well.  Fall Break is coming this week and to be honest, I need it - time to recharge, to refocus, and to center myself again, so that I can celebrate the successes...

Speaking of, let's look at what happned this week!

My Favorite New Notebook:
Full disclosure - this is actually from last week, but hey, it's my blog post, so I can do whatever I want, right? :)

I have a lot to do on a daily basis with 3 preps plus all of the other things I try to juggle.  I often fail struggle with keeping everything straight.  It's not uncommon for a student to remark on how organized I am - HA! if they only knew... lol!  For years, I've put a "to-do list" in my lesson planner and it rarely gets used - I'm more of a post-it notes girl!  But at the end of last year, I started keeping my lists in a small notebook and then summer came and the notebook went away.  Last week, while at Dollar Tree, I found this adorable small notebook and I now have a to-do list book again! (Bonus: it has polka dots and a positive message - can it get any better than that???)  Plus, it's small enough to fit in my purse, but it has a hard cover so it's less prone to damage - that's a win win situation for me!

My Favorite Lesson of the Week:
This week in Geometry was the week every teacher dreads - the introduction to proofs!  We had spent time last week on inductive vs deductive reasoning, the laws of logic, and all of the conditional statements, now it was time to pull it all together.  Last year, I had found (via the MTBoS of course!), a great lesson plan on how to introduce proofs using word puzzles and I really liked it.  This year, I tweaked it a bit to include the structure of a 2-column proof with the puzzles and the kiddos took to it like it was nothing!  The next day, we did algebraic and basic geometric proofs and they rocked it!  This literally was the smoothest transition to statements and reasons that I've ever had and many students commented positively on how much they enjoyed the lesson.  That's a keeper, folks!

My Favorite Warmup of the Week:
If you don't follow @1to9puzzle on Twitter, I highly recommend it!  This is my go-to Friday warmup and I really, really LOVE using the movable 1-9 puzzle pieces to make it more of an low-floor problem.  I had tried using the puzzles last year but without the manipulative pieces and it did not go well.  With the pieces, though, is a game-changer!  I had actually created the numbers for use with Open Middle problems, but it just happens they fit perfectly in the enlarged @1to9puzzle too!  Kids just can't resist a good puzzle... :)

My Favorite Instructional Technology Moment of the Week:
Not every day is a great day in my classroom.  We finished up proofs on Wednesday, then I had one spare day before we paused for our midterm test.  I knew I didn't want to spend another day on proofs, so I decided to put together a Desmos AB to review parallel and perpendicular lines, which is the unit we'll start after Fall Break.  I worked on it for a while, had my student aide test it out, tweaked it a half dozen more times, and then it was time for the students.. and it flopped.  Big time.

BUT - thanks to the comments and the running around I did during 1st hour, I was able to edit it and make some much needed revisions for my 2nd hour and it went much better.  We don't use the Chromebooks a ton in my class, but I am super grateful for tools such as Desmos that allow for some great mathematical conversations!

My Favorite Acts of Student Kindness:
How better to start off a crazy Friday than with donuts???  This week was Homecoming week, so today included a pep assembly, shortened schedule, early dismissal, and a parade - oh, yeah, and a Football game tonight too! :)  But, before all of the craziness hit, one of my students came in for extra help and surprised me with breakfast! 

I really have some great kids this year and while they can sometimes be onery, I am so blessed to be their teacher and to play a small part in their lives.  Sometimes in the busyness of life, we (I) can lose sight of my "why" of what we do - and in one small act of kindness and appreciation, it made so many wrong moments right again.  Thank you, kiddo - I needed that :)

What were your favorite moments this week?  Share out in the comments or tweet with #MyFavFriday :)

Until next time... Have a blessed day!

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