Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Whirlwind Tour

Yes, that's it.... it's true, I've been away on a Whirlwind Tour.  No, no, NOT with some awesome, hunky, lead singer & his band.  If you do want to imagine that, please feel free to imagine me with Adam Levine & Maroon 5.  *sigh, drool, drool.....*  Anyhoot, I've been on a Whirlwind Tour of the Math Learning Center!  YES!!  I am there full time now.  Thank.You.God!!  Not that Structured Studies was absolutely horrid, but it wasn't really what I wanted to do.  I'm back in Math, which I love.

The 'whirlwind' part is that I'm doing all THREE grade levels now!  I have been dealing with 6th graders exclusively for the past 2 years.  Before that I had 1 year with 6th and 8th graders.  And before that was 6th and 7th graders.  Trying to get into the swing of 7th and 8th grade has been a little crazy.  Add to that, that I have 5 classes (we have an A/C and B/D day schedule) that I'm alone in.  I've ALWAYS co-taught with another teacher.  A little different without 'backup'.

For all of the kids who come to the Math Learning Center, it's their second Math class of the day.  And most kids just looooove having another Math class (insert heavy sarcasm here).  For the past week, they've been moaning & groaning and I was getting sick of it.  So, for the past 2 days this is what I've been telling all of the classes:

After doing the Bellwork question:  "24 Game"  - You may use any of the following operations +, -, x, or ÷ to make 9, 10, 17, 22 equal the total of 24.  You may use the operations as many times as you like.  You may only use the numbers 1 time each AND you must use ALL of the numbers to reach 24.

So, between the other teacher and I, and the students, we came up with 8 different solutions.  For example:  22 - 17 = 5, 5 + 9 = 14, 14 + 10 = 24  OR 22 + 9 = 31, 31 - 17 = 14, 14 + 10 = 24 and so on.

Anyway, they told me what they got and I added to those until we had 4 or 5 examples on the board.  I then asked them if they all added up to 24?  Yes.  Did everyone get to 24 the same way?  No.  Good, because NONE of you think the same way.  You are all different people.  You all see things differently.  Math can be looked at the same way!  It doesn't have to be done the same way to get the same answer.  Sometimes you can do it a different way to get the same answer.  It's what works best for you!

Every year, you (students) are asked to come to school with a toolbox.  In that toolbox you have, what?  Pencils, paper, markers, erasers, etc.  This class (Math Learning Center) is NOT to give you another Math class because you all love math (insert groans & 'No way', 'I hate math' here), it's to give you 'tools' for this (I point to my head) toolbox up here.  This class is to give you different tools so that you can succeed in your other Math class.  This IS the class where you stop us and say 'I don't get it!', 'You're going too fast!'.

I've got a couple of more classes to say that to, but hopefully KNOWING that this class is to help them learn how they/their brains need to learn will help have a better year.  At least it should cut down on the whining.  I hate whining.

Ok.  That's it in a nutshell, my Whirlwind Tour!  What band would YOU like to have a Whirlwind Tour with?

Bye!  Love you!  Have a good day, Dear!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sweet News!

This morning I had the sweetest news.  I got a call from our Middle School Principal telling me that he and the head of Human Resources had finally made a decision about the Math Learning Center position.  Guess who got the job.  Yup!  THIS GIRL!!  *sigh*  I do have to remain in the Structured Studies position for a week or two until they find someone else to replace me.  I know that I would have been ok if I didn't get the position.  There would have been some reason God kept me in Structured but, I am sooooo glad that I'm not.  I know that it would come down to a daily struggle to maintain a positive attitude and know that I was doing some good.  I hope that the two weeks +/- that I am there will help those students who are continuing from last year to have a good start.

The other sweet news is that my Fitbit came.  I'm so excited about counting my steps.  Does that sound weird?  I'm hoping that I do more in school than I do here at home.  I am on my feet 95% of the day at school & here.... let's just say I'm not.  I've been 5,817 steps today and the day still isn't done.  I know I won't have 10,000 in.  Last night was the first night it logged my sleep & I'm at 96% efficiency.  Ha, good to know I'm a slug.  It also tracks my activity levels, which have been... well, pretty level today.  I'm excited to see what this little baby can do.  King T has had his on too & it's weird how he's done tons more steps than me, even though we've been to pretty much the same places. 

Well, off to start a little fire in the fire pit.  Enjoy the stars & the last of the peepers.  Happy Labor Day!

Are you doing anything special for Labor Day?

Bye!  Love you!  Have a good day, Dear!
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