Saturday, December 24, 2016

Teaching in the New Year: 2017

It was such a nice, warm end to 2016 in the classroom. I had the traditional end-of-year safety and team talk with students, and this year's talk was richer than ever. Students listened and shared carefully as we discussed ways to stay safe and ways to continue to build a strong teaching/learning team.

Later there was time to make holiday cards, build with K'nex, play games, and shared a wonderful movie, The Little Princess, together. As we watched the film we focused on anti-bullying, compassion, empathy, and history. You know it's a good movie when it's silent during the sentimental parts and everyone is laughing aloud while watching comic relief scenes. I received many wonderful cards, cards I put aside to read here and there during the year for inspiration.

Today before I get ready for the day's holiday events, I want to focus for a a few minutes on the New Year of teaching, a year that will begin with the following math emphasis:

  • Tuesday 1/3: Review of division/problem solving
  • Wednesday 1/4: finish division test, work on That Quiz practice exercises online
  • Thursday 1/5: Decimal Problem Solving
  • Monday 1/9: Collect Math homework and review homework review packets.
  • Tuesday 1/10 - Symphony Benchmark test
  • Wednesday 1/11 - Tuesday 1/17- Decimal Computation/Problem Solving
  • Wednesday 1/13: Decimal/Problem Solving Assessment
  • Thursday 1/14: Fraction Introduction: Bridge decimal/fraction units
  • Friday 1/15: Hands-on fraction exploration

In addition, all students will become part of new RTI groups, groups that will focus on problem solving, computation, and mathematical thinking exercises. Those groups will meet twice a week.

Finally we'll spend January and February introducing students to Frederick Douglas and the spring Global Changemakers project. We'll host Guy Peartree who will give a living history presentation of Frederick Douglas.

The students created a list of New Year's resolutions to make our team stronger. We'll review that list when we return and make those resolutions the objective of teamwork discussions and work.

It will be a good teaching year, and now it's time to focus on the holidays.