For our last All Crew Day with seniors one of my Crew brought in a massive chocolate easter bunny to share with everyone. It wasn't so much that it was massive that made me happy and want to share this - it was that she specifically brought it to share with others. It was a kind gesture that really made the day start off well for me.
From my prior post you can gather that there was an incident that caused a lot of difficulty. Therefore, for our second All Crew Day with seniors one of my co-workers brought in this quote to read with the students. It was very useful to remember that while days like that take place we don't have to let them take control of us and dwell on them. It was a great way to start a new day.
Today we took part in our last all-crew day intensives with students I have worked with for four years. I was pleasantly surprised that almost all of our students showed up (21 out of 23). While the day itself turned south quite quickly (a story can't really share here), the vast majority of students were quite kind and I had some great conversations with them about college, taxes, and just general things in the world. I look forward to the rest of our time together this year.
The culmination of a month's worth of work came together on Monday when students sat with teacher/facilitators to showcase the research they have been conducting. Students had to come up with questions that related two variables, usually some characteristic of a student vs. their GPA (although some analyzed movie revenues). For those who did not meet their deadlines, they reflected on their work, discussed their habits, and went on to complete the paper, which was due that evening. It was a solidly organized experience and I was proud of it afterwards.
The PTA has really stepped up their game this year in connecting to our school. From providing funds to pay for trips and supplies for expeditions, they are showing true support. For our last student-led conferences of the year they provided us with a tasty and nutritional lunch, followed by a tasty and sugary dessert. I decided to take a photo of that part of the meal.
Today was the first day of the last Student-Led Conferences (SLCs) I will have with my current Crew. I've been working with them for four years and - through trials and tribulations - we are almost at their graduation. Despite many many tough, aggravating, and downright crazy times, it has been a wonderful learning experience for them as well as me. I had a great conversation with a student today about his future and may have made some connections that will prove really fruitful for his future. I can't wait for more conversations tomorrow to see how they want to deal with their futures.
One of the various roles I play at school is as a member of the Committee on Culture and Character. We advise and make policies related to how our school functions and deals with interpersonal interaction. One of the great things we do is make sure students know when they are being commended so today we sent out various emails to students we thought had been demonstrating our values nicely. I got a chance to shout out one of my students for helping others in class. It was quite nice.
It is rare but does happen that errors pop up in our textbooks. One of my students (finger in photo) pointed out the issue in our Geometry text. Apparently, the image of the arrowhead-like figure had two angles of the same measure that should have been known by double-tick marks. Unfortunately, that part of the image was about half a centimeter too low and it became confusing to students. We made sure to fix this issue on our smartboard to show students what it should look like.
There are a number of ways that students react when faced with an assessment of their learning. In this case, the student decided that they had nothing to work with and simply wrote that it was hard. She even walked out of the classroom for quite a lot of time instead of persisting.
What I notice is most important here is that she actually tried on various problems and crossed out her work. One of the things we emphasize a lot is that mistakes are a part of learning. It seems that she thinks they won't help her as much as we do and that's unfortunate.
One of the cooler activities in Geometry class happened on Friday. As a review of types of symmetry, we had the students create snowflakes by folding a square piece of paper into triangles and cutting out sections. They then had to determine where each section came from and what symmetry they saw between them all. As you can see, they pointed out some interesting repeating patterns. This activity actually connected with one student in particular who is almost always sullen and removed from class conversations. I gave him praise at the end of class and hope to see some kind of continued engagement.
I am a math teacher in the New York Department of Education. I infuse technology and real-world problems into my curriculum in order to prepare my students for the future. I would love for people across the country to recognize we teachers can't do it alone. If you don't believe me, come visit my classroom!