Saturday, 14 January 2017

First Week Back

Back for 2017

It is the first week back after the break for the holidays. I was refreshed after the break but already I can say I am exhausted after only one week.  So my blogging challenge has suffered a bit.  I have not been writing every day this week to the amount I had hoped for when I started (unless thinking counts ;-) ). 

This blog is titled Math Mayhem, but a Math teacher is more than Math.  I loved John Spencer's post a little while ago that included what he hopes would stop in 2017.  One of those things he hoped would stop was about treating teachers like villains.   It got me thinking about all the things teachers need to do besides teach which is really what teachers love to do (although I myself really do love to plan).  

My list of things to do this week included; Boys basketball practice (two of which were at 7 am), computer contact activities, staff meeting (where I was presenting a Number Talk), 7/8 teacher meeting, planning, and marking.  That is just the school stuff.  I also have a life outside of school. 

I still have to do breakfasts, lunches, walk/feed/play with the dog, exercise, clean, sleep (ah the elusive sleep), shop and do a little TV/reading.  

So it has been a busy week.  

January/February are two of my busiest months of the year.  I coach Boys basketball so practices and games take up about 6 hours a week. It is also end of term 1 so those final assessments, and marking need to be done as well as some chasing to get work not yet submitted.  And then report cards need to be written which take about 30+ hours of time to do. IEP's need to be done for term 2 (thankfully my school has great administration and a terrific SERT who help us out a lot with this task). 

I don't have kids of my own other than my 4 legged one :-).  I don't know how teachers with kids manage it sometimes.  

It is no wonder that we get sick.  I, knock on wood and the bottle of Oregano oil, have been lucky not to get sick this year.  

Next week I start conferencing with my grade 8 students.  Several were worried about it.  I mentioned that to Debbie, my friend and LST, and she suggested that we do a fishbowl role play of both a prepared and unprepared conference.  It was great, and Debbie did awesome in preparing herself as one of my students. 
Debbie,  this is for you!

Many students told me afterwards that they felt a lot better about having their conference after seeing it.  We created anchor charts during our debriefing time.  
Conference Anchor Charts
As I have mentioned in my post on Standards Based Grading, I want my students to be aware of their learning, and take ownership of it.  My goal is that by doing the conferences (which are new for me too), that they will look at their assessments as more than a mark, but a way to learn what they need to improve.  

Do you conference with your students?  If so, do you have any tips or suggestions?  Post in the comments as I'd love to learn from your experiences. 

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