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Day 23: A Surprise

Today I attended an IEP meeting for one of my precalculus students.  I embrace the chance to meet the parents.  This parent was particularly thankful for the teachers in our school, stating that “American schools are so much more flexible and good compared to those in Korea.”  I am also delighted and impressed by the succinct way teachers, regardless of their discipline, share their perspectives. I’m awe-struck by the consistent passion and genuine compassion my peers have for their students.  And I am always astonished by what our students must navigate throughout their day!!

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At the end of this meeting, my student gifted each of the teachers with a special surprise from Korea.

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Day 9: How do you do HW?

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I am trying to be paperless this year!  A noble goal, but utterly unachievable. I do like having paper in my hands once in a while, and so do the kids.  But I am committed to not dragging home literally 5 pounds of paper a night, assessing in some way, and then not having students even look at the comments.  I am utilizing many online tools to minimize my paper hauling while also giving student ways to get immediate feedback on their progress.  This year our Precalculus team decided to use MathXL for School (and our district curriculum department supported our move financially – we are so lucky!) as a homework tool.  What is so awesome is that students get a calendar of assignments and due dates.  They have access to their textbook.  They get just in time support and then based on their homework results they get a personally prescribed study plan based on their mistakes and number of attempts until a correct answer.  Even if the student was sitting right next to me, I wouldn’t be able to do all of that!  Besides, this gives me time to develop the conceptual understanding and provide rich experiences with the newly learned skills and mathematics during class; the skills practice is done at home.

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I think it will be great, but the students are struggling with technology issues such as logging into the wrong site, clicking “get help” when they should look at “show an example,” clicking before they really are done, etc.  They are also learning that they need to read directions carefully, plan their time well so they make the deadline, etc.  Today for the first time, students seemed a little calmer about the whole experience.  I can’t wait until October…I anticipate the process will be second nature to them.  Have you thought about going paperless in your classroom?  What do you see as the upside and the downside for you and your kiddos?

Day -2: Hey, Burrito!!

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Our Administrative team pampered us this morning with a fantabulous healthy Breakfast Burrito buffet.  Our theme this year is wellness and so far our fearless leaders are backing up their words with actions.  We were even given an opportunity during our “Nuts and Bolts” meeting to share with our peers how we plan to do something healthy during the day. We even had the opportunity to use part of our plan/off time to meet up with other staff to walk, run, meditate, do yoga, or whatever else would help us keep stress in check!

Day -5: Sippy cup love

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We teachers are so easily charmed, aren’t we?  I thought I had died and gone to heaven when we were given the “sippy” cup with our school logo and motto at our Staff Retreat.  It comes with a compartment to put in fruit to flavor the water…I’m lovin’ the watermelon! And I probably drank the requisite 64oz. of water today. Do you get enough water during the day? I almost never drink enough water during the school day because of the accompanying trip to the you know what!  It’s so hard to get to the restrooms between classes when all of the kids are there as well.  How do you balance your water intake with time between classes…or do you?  Are we one of the few professions in which one doesn’t do healthy things because of time restraints and job requirements?

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