Sunday, May 20, 2018

#MyFavFriday - Winding down

I contemplated skipping this week's #MyFavFriday but there are definitely a few things I want to remember, so I am just posting a few days later than normal :)

This was a busy week.  The AP Exam has come and gone.  The questions were released yesterday and while they aren't my favorite set ever, they are very fair and doable.  In fact, there's a couple of questions that I am beating myself up about that I never thought of asking the question that way!  In 3 weeks, I'll be heading to KC to help grade thousands of papers and I'm curious what things will be required for each one.

My Favorite Classroom Addition:
Over Winter Break, inspired by a few bloggers in the MTBoS, I decided to add a Puzzle Corner to my classroom.  This has been one of the best things I've ever done and I highly encourage you to try it yourself!

Thanks to resources from @mathequalslove and various goodies I've found along the way, I have enough puzzles to put out a new one each week.  This week was a wooden star puzzle from Dollar Tree and I think it was the most popular one yet!  I can't count the number of students who took the puzzle back to their seats to give it a try. :)

This is a change that I'm so glad I tried and I can't wait to continue it next year!  I know my summer will be full of puzzle hunting! :)

My Favorite Quick Review Strategy:
Our last class day before the AP Exam was a block day.  I know I could have lectured at them for 110 minutes about all they needed to remember, but instead, I decided to do several short activities.  After some housekeeping details of where to go, when to be there, and what to take (and NOT to take), it was time to do some review.

One of my favorite short activities to get them up and moving is "Find Someone Who".  Here, they had 19 items where they had to find a classmate that could tell them the answer to the question.  For example, "Find someone who can tell you the conditions necessary for a 1 sample T Test" or "Find someone who can interpret the value of r2 in context".  I love these short vocabulary based activities, plus, I get to play along too! :)

My Favorite After Exam Treat:
For the past few years, our exam has been on Thursday afternoon, so on Friday, we celebrate a job well done by playing games and having some treats.

In addition to celebrating our accomplishment, this is also a time to celebrate their upcoming graduation, so I buy each class a cookie cake and have it decorated with some statistical words of wisdom.  In case you don't read statistical work, this year's cookie said "Don't be normal, be an outlier"

It's been a good year and I'll be sad to see this year's group of seniors go, but I know that each of them will move on to bigger and better things.  I'm so humbled that I had a chance to be a small part of their high school journey.

My Favorite Relaxation Spot:
Once the AP Exam is over, it won't be long until summer is here for good.  That means it was finally time to go buy our "flower babies" and set up the backyard for summer time!

In the summer, I become a total hermit.  I get up and go for a walk before coming home and settling in on my patio with my coffee and a good book.  Even though we were just a few houses away from a very busy street, my backyard is this beautiful and peaceful oasis where I relax and unwind from the year and mentally / emotionally prepare for the next one.

I highly recommend that everyone have a peaceful place to go to unwind! :)

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