Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Restart and plans

So, I just got really, really angry. I am correcting my Pre-Algebra Fraction Operation Test in my comfy bed with 4 comforter layers on it because our heat bill was ridiculous these last two winter months and we have now opted to live in very cold conditions in our house. I have lost the ruler I need to correct my tests 2 times in the last 45 minutes. It keeps getting lost in my layer of sheets. I then lost my pen as I tried to search for the ruler only to find it tucked behind my ear where I thought I thoughtfully put it. As I looked for my pen, I lost my ruler again. So, I decided to blog.

It has been on my mind that I failed once again to keep up. I blog hibernated during the fall, and I have awakened lately, rejuvenated and blog awake this cold, cold winter.

I will need to share some things that I have gotten myself into this 2013-2014 year.
1.) I took on coaching the robotics club again this year participating in the First Technology Challenge (FTC). I had two teams this year, and we saw so much improvement in both teams. We will work on documenting our progress and showing the process of designing, building, programming, and getting out in our community with robotics.

2.) I became a Professional Learning Communities (PLC) coach. This has been a bit chaotic, but we are developing PLC's at our school district using Daniel Venables Authentic PLC's. We have steered our professional development in the direction of literacy. One of the English teachers who also is a coach just presented an awesome perspective of literacy. As an math teacher I had a warped understanding of what literacy entailed. I have found that literacy is the ability to read, write, and discuss. Under all three of these skills lies the ability to critically think. As we approach literacy, we have now discovered we are really tackling the question of how to get students to critically think in all subjects they find themselves in. @MelissaSalgado3, my friend, and literacy guru drew a wonderful analogy for me. Teaching our students to read will look different in various classes: In English, she is teaching the students to read for comprehension using the mood, settings, and style in the writings; in PE, a teacher will teach students how to read an opponent's body language or the strategies of the game; in math, the students needs to read into the known's and unknowns's, the math symbols, and operation requirements. I noticed in each of the settings, the students needs to visualize the situations. The ability to visualize is soooo important in math, and I have not been emphasizing.

3.) I have slowly started to track my units in the UbD format after having taken some credits this last summer dealing with UbD

4.) I jumped into parenting a 16 year old (:. The husband and I, having been married 2 years, decided to host a foreign exchange student with the EF Foundation. Honestly, we will probably look for other options in terms of the organization, but our student is awesome. We have learned a lot. It has been good practice for parenting.

So... I sit here promising to start my blogging up again. I will be making it a goal to do at least two blogs a month (two a month- I am pathetic for having to make that measly amount a goal). I will be focusing my blogs on the following:
1.) Fixing my file cabinet lessons and adding more lessons
2.) Posting my UbD templates and organizing those
3.) Developing my math literacy strategies of visualizations and think alouds.
4.) Researching CGI's

I should probably stop because I still remember I need to complete one thing at a time, so I see success to keep moving. I fell in the trap of spreading myself too thin this fall, and not feeling satisfied with my results and accomplishments. One... thing... at... a... time.  Maybe 2. Or, 3. Apparently it is 4. Four.... things... I shall get them done.