I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving and the associated break. At Del Mar, we only get Thursday through Sunday off...so here is a case where I am very jealous of your school calendar. Musing...what I could have done with a whole week off...ah well no point belaboring that...
As you know, the online course for The Joy of Mathematics is now running. I have had a few people send me emails with questions and I have seen a few of you have been logging on, but nobody has posted anything yet. Folks, if you don't do the posts I can't mark you off as completed in the modules. I have a crazy idea...why not pound the thing out over the holiday breaks and be done with it? As you recall, Christine has upped the value of the course to a full 12 hours! Great way to get a monkey off your back. I hope if you look into the course you will find it to be far more interactive and, I hope, interesting than some of the previous ones.
Enough harping on that...let's get a new topic for discussion. Here goes...
We are rapidly approaching December 21, 2012. It is almost here! The end is nigh! If not, at least New Years is coming soon. Either way, the end of the world or the end of the year would seem like a good time for reflection on one's past deeds, accomplishments, and practices or habits. So let's do so. Take the time to think on your year so far and share with everybody one triumph and one regret (or habit that want to correct). The end is coming...so let's celebrate and aspire!
To kick start the discussions, I will go first.
My accomplishment: I have been training in aikido, a traditional Japanese martial art, for the past five years. This September I was asked to test for my shodan (black belt) rank and I am pleased to report I passed the examination. The test was held in Houston and was administered by Hiroshi Kato, a very prestigious shihan (master) from Tokyo, Japan.
My regret and corrective aspiration: It sometimes seems the longer we teach, the more we believe our students are just getting worse and worse each semester or year. They seem less prepared, they are more lazy, they just don't want to work, etc. Now we probably don't feel this way about all our students...we have a few shining stars...but the rest...grrr. I shamefully admit, I fell victim to some of this thinking this past fall. I resolve to try to be more empathetic and to make extra efforts to spice up the classes a bit more. I do already try to keep the classes interesting, but one can always do more and update the examples and references to keep the material fresher.
Lastly, remember I will be monitoring and reading all of your posts, but usually don't comment much as I instead focus on my role as moderator. If you need specific feedback from me, please use ALL CAPS with my name (RICH is fine) and overtly state you need feedback or a reply (e.g., RICH I NEED A RESPONSE ON THIS), then state your question or comment. Thanks again.
My accomplichment this year has been when one of my student passed a unit test. He's been struggling and failed even with modifications. Testing for special pops pending. The look on his face was priceless!
Me regret is that we don't have enough time to do what is needed for these kids. Every year more things are placed on our plate, our planning time gets cut, and we're spinning our wheels and getting nowhere. My goal is to give them the rigor where they can be successful and not the type that I have to keep moving on because I need to be at a certain lesson on a certain day.
My big hurdle this year was being self contained again which has been what about 10 years now??? Well, 5 years ago I was ELA only then switched to Math, Science, Social Studies...so, now I have it all. I did want a change and was up for the challenge and I must say I am at a point now that I am thrilled I switched. I had forgotten what it was like to have the same kiddos all day...everyday. I did go through the anxiety of a child with challenging behaviors and knowing I would have them all day long and to myself, there was no putting him in someone else's hands for the other half of the day, but he has a behavior plan now and is doing great. I also wondered... if this child did have 2 teachers would his behavior have turned around? I think because I have these kiddos all day their learning and behaviors are better than they would be if they are having to manage two classrooms. I also have the freedom to spend more time on some things whenever I want instead of sharing them with others. I am also an inclusion classroom and I know I am doing the right thing for my sped kiddos because most of them I do not think could handle all of the changing classes during the day. Anyway, this was a challenge for me this year and I think have made it over that hurdle to where I can say I am glad I am self-contained and do not have to share my kiddos!!!
Also, on another note my grand-daughter just turned 1 and my daughter is having her second girl Thursday morning...if not before!!!
Reflecting on the past year and specifically focusing on one accomplishment and one regret is much more daunting than I expected. This year has flown by and my goal was to immerse myself in the now so that I would enjoy what the year has brought me. I have two teenagers and a ten year old who are growing at rapid speeds. I want time to slow down a bit so that I don't miss a thing. I also wanted to translatethat goal into my classroom. As the end of 2012 approaches, I feel like I have achieved that goal. I want my kids biological and classroomlogical to know that I love them and that their accomplishments and failures count! My regret is that I let my own insecurities and frustrations get in the way of my goals.
As 2013 knocks on my door, I will learn from that regret and continue my goal to live life, not watch it, and strive to make those moments count in my classroom and out of my classroom.
I am excited and pleased that after working with two of my struggling students in the mornings before school that both have finally passed a unit test. One student was especially hard to reach, but had the potential so that was a great achievement to see that student put the effort into math that I knew was possible to show that she understood the concepts that were being studied. A regret is that another of my struggling students is still struggling with every new concept. I hope to see some progress in 2013 and I need to be sure that I do not become discouraged so that I can keep trying to bring that student up to a level that he can feel the joy and pride of accomplishing a goal also.
A major accomplishment for me this year is that this was my 1st year being a UIL coach for 3rd grade oral reading. I was extremely scared, nervous, and all the emotions that accompany a 1st year coach. I am proud to report my students did well. A student from my team placed 1st and another placed 5th. YAY!!! Now for my resolution for 2nd semester is that I will definately be more supportive of my students who are struggling. I have kind of been teaching just enough and moving on. I will be more attentive and supportive to their needs. I will also be more of a less procrastinator... we will see how that goes:) Overall, I would just love for the rest of this year to be smooth and end quickly.
I feel like every time I blink another week goes by. The time is flying by so it has become important for me to start doing things and not just think about them. For several years now I've wanted to have a webpage with links to my notes or to resources that would help my students or their parents. I finally did that this year. I had a student teacher last semester so it gave me time to type up my notes or find good models and examples that I could scan and link to my webpage. I've also been trying to find a simple and helpful way to teach my students good note taking skills. After researching a few examples, I created a template of a Cornell-type notes page that students could use to take notes. I've also modeled for them how they could use the pages in their math composition books to include foldables, tables, charts, etc. to organize their notes. I've accomplished several things that I set out to do but I still feel like it will take time to perfect them or at least make them as useful as possible. My regret has been that I have not spent as much one-on-one time with a few of my students that I know could really use it. When I do get the chance for small group tutorials or when students come in for help, I often question how effective I really am. I would like to create mini re-teach lessons that would really help these students so that when I pull them in for one-on-one they don't get bored with too much lecture but instead have an immediate focus.
My accomplishment is that I have made it through the first semester alive.................kidding!!! My accomplishment is that I feel that I have create a great classroom working environment so that all students can be successful. I have notice for the past months that the students are working together and I have fewer discipline problems than I did at the beginning of the year.
My only regret I have this far, is that it seems like I never have enough time to get done what needs to be done. I seem to be taking a lot of things home this year than I have ever done before!
My accomplishment this year is feeling more comfortable teaching math. I have always thought of myself as a"letter"(ELAR) not a "number"(Math), and this year I'm both! I have always taught ELAR up till two years ago, so Math was intimidating to me. I am by no means the the most awesome math teacher, but I'm on my way. I have been enlightened by many people in learning how to teach Math and am very aprreciative.
My goal is to try to have more time to keep up with all subjects I teach. Time seems to run away from teachers and I hope to catch it someday soon.
Well, my regret, or more like a habit I want to break, is to try and stay on top of things and not procrastinate! I say this as I am just now responding to this 3rd six weeks post and it is Feb. 27th I really don't mean to put things off, it's just that I overextend myself and there just never seems to be enough hours in the day!!! I really thought that once my kids were all grown and gone that I would have so much time on my hands! I actually was afraid of being bored! Lol Boy, was I wrong!
As far as my accomplishment, I would have to say that it is to not sweat the small stuff! I have learned that some things just aren't worth the time and effort they take. Life is too short to spend it upset and worried about things you cannot control. I've been concentrating on what is truly important to me - faith, family, and friends, and give the rest to God. He's got this!
My triumph has been doing something totally different. As a first time 3rd grade teacher, everything is new. This is the first time I have taught only 2 subjects and have had students switch classes. I miss having a self- contained class and being able to work more closely with each student.
My regret is that I have not gotten to do all I wanted to, but I try to do the most important things and let the rest go.
I know that I have been teaching for many many years and I feel that I need to adjust to more of the technology available to teach our students. At this time I am actually learning more from my students on technology than I could possible learn anywhere else. I have one student that often helps me with my IPad, since his dad is a tech person and he has learn a lot from Dad. I feel that with all of the things given to us through this grant such as the cubes, ipad, cords, etc, it is a beginning for my expectations of this years teachings. One thing I really want to do in class is to do more research on items learned from our book study. I am hoping that this will be more possible during the last six weeks of the year since I am sure that ALL of my students WILL pass the STAAR test....
Well, I would have to say my regret is being a procrastinator. I have a tendency to wait until the very last minute to get things done...This post,etc...
My accomplishment for this year has been bringing more technology into my classroom. I haven't accomplished all that I have wanted in this department, but I am learning that by taking small steps, we can reach our goals. My students are using Ipads in math class not only to learn, but also to present their learning. I would like to start "flipping" some lessons. Hopefully this will come in the near future.
My biggest accomplishment this year has been that I have reached the end. This year was soooo challenging for our campus, in that we have had 5 different administrators & moves that have effected our moral as well as our overall campus. We have had so many changes this year that I can't even keep up. As far as individually, this year was my first and last year as a High School volleyball & softball Varsity coach. This took me away from the classroom and I had to juggle being at school till 11 pm & making morning practices at 6 am. We had a 5th grade teacher retire mid year, 2nd grade teacher move to 5th mid year, hire a new teacher mid year, along with 3 new teachers to grade level & 1st year teachers at that!! WHHEEWWW! But I am happy to say "WE MADE IT". I wanted to quit so many times & had the opportunity of leaving WO but I declined in that "I would be hurting the children". This year was by far the most difficult and at that same time I learned soooooooo MUCH about myself as a teacher and a person. I am very happy about my students success considering the variables and have something to celebrate, next year will be even better.
It's been an eventful year in AP. My accomplishment this year was to get my Ipad to connect to the school server. I did that. I also helped implement that staf members that have personal e-readers, tablets can sign in into the server for school use. Our district is untightening the ropes.
I fall into the same problem as Richard. I had a stuggling year with discipline. It was very challenging not to say comments what I was thinking. I did celebrate with my good students but I felt like I short changed them. I attended a workshop mid-year and I will be implementing procedures etc for next year.
Ok, so I am normally on top of things, seems I let Thinkfinity slip. Sorry. As for Accomplishments up to the end of the year... I would have to say one of my biggest accomplishments is my second period class. This class is made mostly of struggling readers. As a math teacher I stumble upon many road blocks with this class. They struggle to understand the meaning of the questions they read. They have shown some significant growth, I have to say in part to singapore math training I attended in October. I have students excited to read the question and give me a Solution Sentence. A once quiet class has become excited and driven. They are drawing models and solving multiple step problems. While not all their Math is correct it is on the right track. However, my downfall has been my higher students I plan to challenge them more with the coming of the new year.
I can't think of any great accomplishment, there were some good accomplishments, I guess. I would like to work on my patience. I know that I am not as patient with my students as I would like to be. I expect them to do what I say the first time and when they don't, I am not always as patient with them as I would like.
My accomplishment this year so far is surviving in a self-contained classroom for the first time in at least 5 years. It has been a real challenge, but I can see that it is much easier to pick up on student weaknesses as well as their improvements when you are with them all day long.
A major accomplishment for me this year was self- contained to teach all subjects. But using DMac for finding out what students are weak in makes it easier for a teacher. Another major accomplishment for me this year is that I had a student that wouldn't speak orally but by the end of the semester he was whispering in my ear the answers.
The accomplishment I wish to share with our group is getting through this school year in a self-contained environment. I thought for sure that Math was going to be extremely fun and easy. Of course, it was fun but not so easy after having to include all other courses for my students. Being in a self-contained environment has the advantages of building bonds and relationships with your students, identifying areas of concern and weaknesses,etc. However, because you have just your students, this too can be a disadvantage when you have students who you struggle with in regards to behaviors, discipline. It makes for a very long, challenging and tiring day. But, again, working with a set of students for the entire year outweighs the disadvantages because every day is a new and different day than the previous one.
My accomplishment for this year is getting through the a very challenging year. I ended up with a 7th grade class filled with students who were not able to go on to prealgebra, even gaining 3 students who were failing prealgebra. Unfortunately, those students included those with dyslexia, ADD, OCP, and one undiagnosed student who displayed symptoms of either autism or Asperger's. My regret is that we have no special ed person on campus to help or advise; therefore, I don't think I served the student's needs as well as I should have,
We are still all here. The first part of the year was good educationally. I tried hard to be two people. With a class that has over half of the students in Special Education and a sometime enclusion teacher I do not always feel like I am being successful. The I pad does help to keep students awake and joyful. It is just hard to find time to find good and useful apps. This is part of the reason that it's the middle of June and I am just now getting this done.
After teaching nothing but Geometry for the past 14 years I was really nervous about teaching two classes of Math Models this year. But I really enjoyed teaching the class. Students that struggled in my Geometry class last year were awesome students in my Math Models class. Together we made it. I learned to do a lot more on the Nspire! My regret is that after teaching juniors in my Math Models class I may have lost some of the patience necessary to teach the immature freshman and sophomores in my Geometry class.
This years challenge that I never had to manage was a small class. I thought great I have never had a class size of 16 students but I was in for a huge struggle because all but 3 are either special ed or have a SOS packet started. This is the first time I had a Austistic student and with no aid made it very difficult because he was major behavior so that took alot of patience. I had a few rewards this year of showing growth slow but steading in my kiddoes and my autistic student gave me a hug- he said I looked like I needed it. Sometimes its not if they pass a state assessment it is how much they grow socially and emotionally.