Expeditionary Learning Thursday
Since my school is a part of the Expeditionary Learning network, we piloted a program last year wherein every core class organized a day filled with visits out "in the field" as it were. We planned two trips last year and will be doing the same for this one. Our first trip was to analyze patterns in the real world on October 1. Our Algebra 1 students were sent to museums and a data lab to document their findings on patterns in the world and came back to compare them with each other. It was not as good a trip as what I had planned last year but was still meaningful.
Focusing on Algebra 1 only
Since I am only teaching one academic subject this year - Algebra 1 - I have been able to really focus on its content, difficulties, and make sure certain students understand the material even better than before. I find myself spending more time reflecting on lesson plans and spending more time working with individual kids to make sure they feel supported in our classroom. While we have had some issues with recurring students or just the run-of-the-mill disruptive kid, it has not been unsurmountable.
Math for America Flex Funds
I spent a first but of the Flex Funds I receive as part of Math for America on some small supplies like golf pencils to give to students without a writing implement, some staplers to recoup the loss of whatever ones used to be in my room, and a new power supply for my printer. I had a fun experience taking the printer apart and replacing the power supply and hope that it breathes new life into a printer that cost $500 when I bought it. I'd rather not spend more of the Flex Funds on that.
Otherwise, things are generally good. I look forward to a full week of classes next week and a weekend at home for once in a while.