Sunday, November 29, 2015

Harder than I thought

I was so excited to have a new curriculum this year.  I have to say, I am working harder than I ever have.  I haven't stayed late at school this much since my first year teaching.  And then-- I was taking all the grading home and doing it on my couch.  Now, I am staying at school to create quizzes, tests, and assignments.  I'm trying to be thorough so next year will be a breeze.  Who knows, I've already told the admin I don't want to teach Alg 1 next year, so all this work may just benefit someone else.  Whatever--I still press on.  My students deserve my best.

Monday, September 28, 2015

More work than I thought...

I was excited about our new adoption.  I was part of the team that chose which publisher to buy from.  I carefully picked which book I wanted.  So I can't complain.  But I'm working a lot harder, and a lot longer hours, than I was prepared for.  Starting from scratch with no tests or quizzes is a lot of work.  I don't like the premade tests that come with the book, so I'm using the test generator that is made for online assignments.  It's time consuming to make all the tests and different versions.  Oh well.  All the time I put in this year just means I don't have do it again for 8 more years. :)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Best Year Yet

That's the goal anyway.  This is my 7th year as a teacher, so it should be lucky, right?

We've adopted a new curriculum for my algebra classes.  It includes a traditional textbook and online resources for both me and the students.   I'm a little stressed that I only got access to the computer side of it the weekend before the students returned to school.  I have been so swamped that I've barely been able to figure out how to log on.  We have Meet the Teacher in two days--I'd better become an expert this weekend! (or learn to fake it in front of the parents...)  I'm excited for this year and the opportunities I'll have to grow.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

New Adoption = New Excitement

Our textbook is up for adoption this year and I got to be a part of the process.  I went to a sales pitch at a nice restaurant.  I attended the "book adoption fair" at Region 12.  It was a fun process.  Ultimately there were 2 books I'd been happy with, but we've adopted a really good one.  I spent yesterday going over some of the online resources for teachers and I'm so excited.  Just from what I found yesterday I have come up with solutions to 2 of my major "problems" I wanted to fix next year.  I always need more quiz grades and I hate the chaos that is the first 5 minutes of class.   As kids wander in and chat and put their books down and mosey over to the calculators and then mosey back and talk to each other all along the way, I feel I have lost control.  I'm trying to answer the 1000 questions coming my way, greet students, monitor the hall, help with homework questions, and then take attendance.  I'm a big failure.  But not next year.  Nope.  I found the perfect "bell ringer" and it's right at my fingertips.  No work or prep on my part.  No "grading."  No keeping up with who missed what if absent.  I'm super pumped.  Yeah me.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

End of year reflection = Beginning of year planning

Our self-reflection was due this week.  I have been really thinking of changes I need to make to fix some of the problems I am having with classroom management. Here is a list of my ideas (so I don't forget them...)
1. Students keeping a grade log (like Mrs. Shiller)
2. Pink Slip idea for late/absent work (like Mrs. Burnside)
3. Add memes/cartoons to assessments.
4. Bell Ringers (I hate how kids just fool around at the beginning of class and are never ready to begin.)

I'm sure I'll be adding more as the summer comes and I have more time to think.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Teachers Pay Teachers

I learned something new about a favorite site of mine.  I found a year or so ago.  It has a ton of resources--some free, some for a small fee.  I've sent probably $20 of my own money to buy pre-made QR activities, foldables, or games.  I love the site.  Recently another teacher in my department was talking about selling her things on teachers pay teachers.  What I learned was that one of the requirements to be a "seller" is that your first product sold on the site must be "free".  That is why there is so much free stuff!  I love it.  This website has come through for me in a pinch more than once.  Literally this week I needed a review activity for Thursday.  Nothing exciting was coming to mind.  I wanted to get away from boring.  I can always think of boring.  So Wednesday I got on the website, searched for our topic, filtered the results to show only "free" downloads, and within a minute or two, I found an idea for a great review activity.  I downloaded the file, printed the copies, and was ready for the next day.  I don't always procrastinate, but when I do, I rely on the internet to save me!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Almost Spring Break

It's spring fever around here.  The kids are excited, but it's about the snow.  We've had an early release for ice and a late start.  A little snow fell today--and I do mean a little.  The big challenge with students is getting them to school consistently.  They seem to be absent all the time.  Randomly.  For several days at a time.  It's pretty bad.  And I'm pretty stressed about it.

I'll be glad for a week off.  I promise to relax.