Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Day in the Life…

This week’s assignment in the 8-week Explore the MathTwitterBlogosphere project is to provide “A Day in The Life” of a math teacher.  Interesting task.  I found that it stressed me out to keep notes of everything I did during the day – because I do a lot and I don’t sit down much.  When I don’t think about it much, I’m fine and happy. But prepping for this post seriously stressed me out.

  • 6:15 Alarm goes off, hit snooze
  • 6:24 Microwave pumpkin oatmeal, throw in half an apple, pack lunch, hop back into bed, eat breakfast, check Feedly, Facebook, BBC News and Gmail
  • 7:00 Finish getting ready
  • 7:25 Take out trash and drive to work
  • 7:35 Arrive in parking lot, admire sunrise over mountains, drop off lunch in faculty room, make copies, fax a student’s Vanderbilt evaluation (ADD diagnosis) to her doctor, edit foldables.
  • 8:10-9:00 First period – Math Lab.  Give attendance points using Class Dojo. Three out of fourteen students are late but everyone shows up eventually (hooray). Send one student to office to call home about her third tardy.  Warmup: Estimation 180 problem. Give notes on graphing in Standard Form.  Students stare at me blankly and I feel like I’m pulling teeth to direct them to how to find the x and y-intercepts.  Need more practice on this before they are ready to start solving systems by graphing.  Half of the students finish the graphing worksheet independently while the other half blankly stare at me looking for more help.  Note to self: look for more graphing practice. Give more participation points on Class Dojo. Enter attendance in district online gradebook.
  • 8:59-9:45 Prep period Write notes on blog draft. Edit quiz and add 6 problems. Finish editing y-intercept foldable for Honors math. Send next today’s and next unit’s assignments and warm-ups to printer in faculty workroom. Get to workroom and discover printer isn’t working. Let office know. Walk back to classroom and send today’s stuff to different printer, pick it up, and walk back to workroom. Start copying foldables and cutting them to size so they’ll fit in notebooks.  Workroom printer has started working.  Coworker sorts out the backed up jobs and hands me my stuff.  I grab it and a bunch of PTA copy request slips to fill out at my desk during my ‘spare time’. Send Mom a text.
  • 9:50-10:20 Plus Period I have 8 students with F’s and two who are just coming to do homework. Go over slope ‘y per x’ with failing students and how to determine independent and dependent variables and write equation. Go over how to use graphing calculator to find missing values. I feel like I’m herding cats keeping the eight of them engaged, on topic, and learning.  They think it’s fun and ask if regular math class can be like this too.  Yeah right! Students start quiz retake.
  • 10:25-11:09 Honors 8th Math They are working on writing equations from two ordered pairs and from slope and a point.  On Friday, I gave them a row assignment, similar to these (need to add mine to this list).  Their homework was to finish their column and be ready to compare answers with their partner. For their warmup, I gave them seven minutes to work with their partner.  After correcting the assignment, students glue in the foldable into their math notebook and we go over the listed examples and do a few more practice problems.  I announce tomorrow’s quiz and tell students exactly what will kinds of questions it will have.  Hand out assignments.  Battle commences regarding work showing.  I restate that the answer is not the most important part.  “I can do it in my head” is not a valid answer because Ms Moore can’t see what’s going on inside your head.  And even if she could, she wouldn’t want to.  So write it down! Spend rest of class helping struggling student.
  • 11:14-11:58 Honors 8th Math Fill out PTA copy request slips during warmup time.  Throughout my lecture, I discover three students without pencils who didn’t ask for pencils.  They’ve just been sitting there doing nothing.  I dig up pencils for them and put them to work.  Even more than I hate it when they don’t have a pencil, I hate it when they don’t ask for one when they need it.  They look so stupid just sitting there.  After I hand out assignment, I prompt Jeff to start working.  I find a pencil for Jeff. Go help a few other students, then prompt Jeff again to work on assignment.  Enter attendance. Help Jeff with first problem. Jeff starts getting angry.  So do I, but I try not to let it show. Head to my desk to finish filling out PTA copy request slips.  Type warmup directions for 5th period.
  • 11:58-12:28 Lunch: Walk to Faculty Room. Pop lunch in microwave (curried pumpkin soup, an apple and this bread), start quiz copies, drop copy requests into PTA copy box, eat lunch, pick up copies, leave early, overhear student swearing -half-heartedly consider reprimanding him, finish apple on way to classroom, turn on warm-up
  • 12:33-1:17 Regular 8th Math: Warmup – students write their own rate using ‘y per x’ examples we created on Friday.  Give TA directions on what I’d like her to work on today. Take attendance using Class Dojo. Use Class Dojo randomizer to have students give responses to Warmup, Hand out assignment, circulate class to monitor student work and discussions.
  • 1:22-2:06 Honors 8th Math: Record late work during warmup. During lesson, a student’s phone goes off.  I offer everyone the chance to pull out their phone, turn it off and put it away without confiscating any phones.
  • 2:11-2:55 Honors 8th Math: Record more late work during warmup and schedule a Remind101 message about quiz tomorrow for after school today. 8th grade boys’ choir is right before this class.  Every day the boys come in singing.  Last week it was “All we like sheep,” today it’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside,”  Any second that I’m not talking (occasionally even when I am), four of the boys are singing, usually slightly off-key and sometimes with cracking voices. This leads us to a discussion about Elf and then about Neptune’s Daughter with Ester Venus (the movie the song first came from).  I’m shocked to learn that one of the boys claims to have seen Neptune’s Daughter.  “Why?,” he asks, “Is it rated R?”  “No”, I say, “It’s not rated R.  It’s just really, really old. And it has a water ballet at the end.” Megan starts coughing uncontrollably. I send her out for a drink. “Wow, you guys,” she says, “that was a near-death experience!”  Somewhere in the middle of all of this distraction we actually manage to learn a little bit of math.
  • 2:55-4:00 After School: Two students come in to do test corrections.  One mom comes in as well, to watch her son do test corrections. One student comes in to work on his assignment – wish I had more time to help him.  He’s just learning English and could really use some one-on-one.  But my test correction students both need lots of help today. At 3:30, I kick students out so I can finish up my work and then go home. Walk across the hall to talk to coworker about how to teach graphing equations in standard form. Decide I need to teach ‘solving for y’ using Julie’s Cups and Kisses lesson.  Sit down to enter late work and then remember there is no Plus Period tomorrow because of Gettysburg Address anniversary. Which means I get an extra 30 minutes of prep tomorrow!  Leave the late work until tomorrow. Run to the copy room to copy Cups and Kisses record sheet for first period. Head home.