Saturday, August 31, 2019

#MTBoSBlaugust - Goodbye August!

This month, I am participating in a blogging challenge called #MTBoSBlaugust.  To read posts from other participants, click on the logo above.

Tis the end of another year of #MTBoSBlaugust.  I am so grateful to all of those who participated this year, either through blogs, Instagram, or as a commenter / cheerleader for others!  I didn't post quite as often this month as I had hoped to, but this is post 14 of the month, which is almost more than I've posted in the past year, so I'm counting that as a win! :)

As is often the case, this post is serving as my #MyFavFriday post, even though it's Saturday. :)  To be honest, by the time Friday night rolls around, I'm often too exhausted to post and I am often crashed out on the couch before 7pm.  This week was no exception!  I'm so grateful that it's the holiday weekend so I can hopefully catch up on some sleep and maybe attempt to get ahead for the next week.  I'm not holding my breath on that one though... lol! :)

So here we go... my favorite moments of this week :)

My Favorite Student Comment:
I am trying really hard this year to be better about Exit Tickets and Closure activities.  Right now, I'm still in "Getting to Know You" mode, so the question on Monday was "What is a goal you have?  It could be about this class, your personal life, your future, etc."  This student chose to share their mindset goal for math!

Last week, I tried really hard to impress on the students that they ARE math people and we can ALL improve through hard work.  We watched videos from Jo Boaler's Week of Inspirational Math and did several mathematical challenges to show that speed isn't our goal - understanding is.

My Favorite MTBoS Resource:
In all of my classes, I really try to focus on group communication and exploration before we formalize.  Points, lines, and planes are really tough for students to grasp, even though I know they have heard those terms before.  Before teaching anything about those concepts, I used this matching activity from Katrina Newell as their warmup.

This group really engaged with the activity with "all hands in".  When we started the activity, I did do a quick reminder of what they had worked on the previous week with regard to what makes good group work and how to be a good group member.  This also made a good formative assessment for me plus an illustration of how mistakes help our brains grow.  Looking back, I wish I had repeated the activity a few days later to see if they were able to do it without errors...

My Favorite PD Day:
The Friday before Labor Day has traditionally been a PD Day for our district.  For the past several years, it has also been our District Back to School Rally.

Rally Day is always a fun one because we get to celebrate the start of a new year with our band, a fun surprise entrance from our Superintendent, and usually a great keynote speaker.  This year's keynote was one of the best ones we've had and I'm super excited that two of his books are on Kindle Unlimited, so I'll be able to read them for free with my subscription. :)

My Favorite Quote:
The keynote speaker I mentioned above kept us laughing during the entire presentation, but he also dropped some major truth bombs.  

The quote at the right is from his presentation - our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness.  Think about that for a minute.  Profound, isn't it?

From a teacher perspective, what if we stopped focusing on those little details that drive us crazy about our students and started seeing those as strengths?  As elements that make each child unique and wonderful?  Stop trying to get our students to conform and instead accept the weirdness?  Think about the powerful shift that could take place in our classrooms and our schools.  

This idea really captivated me during the entire talk and I even came home and made hubby watch a couple of the videos I found.  (If you would like to watch one of them, click here)

And there ya have it - my last post of MTBoS Blaugust 2019.  And Happy belated Friday to all!

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