2017-07-31 – A Whole New World

Technically I started back to work last week, and this week we begin the welcoming party for the new teachers. I am very happy and excited about the start of another school year and it’s going to be amazing fun and learning. The introductions were fast, furious, and empowering. The highlight, for me, was the Breakout EDU session as the team of 42 new teachers and a collection of our district admin worked together to breakout with almost ten minutes remaining.

In particular, I enjoyed adding some of the new locks and creating new clues for the review of some of the learnings, some front loading of learning, and some connections to the district. It was an amazing bit of fun and I think we have some converts looking forward to our district training on this concept.

2017-07-25 – Ipadpaloozaca & a Pirate

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The first day back to work and I’m so stoked to start the new school year with IpadpaloozaCA and the opportunity to learn and get better together struck twice with both keynote speakers Dave Burgess and Carl Hooker. Both gentlemen are incredible speakers, fun, entertaining, and knowledgeable.

Meeting one of my eduheroes is the most exciting events in life.

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Dave inspired us to create learning experiences for our students and to add a little edupropane to our teaching because we need to preheat the edugrill. What a wonderful experience and so fantastic being able to accomplish my dream.

2017-06-02 – Day 23 – Last Day

The combination of working on so many things, being pulled in so many directions meant the beginning of summer was especially important to pull back and refill. The last day of school with students, while I would miss our good times together, I have to admit, I was all like….

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Especially considering we have an epic road trip planned to return us to the great northern reaches of this continent that I haven’t been to in over 16 years. So this summer….

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….epic road trip is going to be amazing! I wish everyone a happy summer, I will be off the grid for most of that time, and be all like…

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2017-06-01 – Day 22 – Report Cards

Following a great recipe from The Classroom Chefs, I wanted to give my students the opportunity to grade me and to make a note to warn my future students what to expect from a class taught by me.

My premise is simple, the students were asked to fill out an anonymous template that graded me from A to F, but I also required that whatever grade they gave me, they had to have a reason(s) for it. Although I had tried similar ideas in prior years, with the Chefs’ this explicit process, the differences in results are stunning. The chefs had warned us that the results may not be what you expect, and some of the results my

The chefs had warned us that the results may not be what you expect, and some may be quite surprising….there is a lot of truth, both in the positive and the negative of this comment. I am so happy for the experience and learning a lot about perceptions from this experience. Growing is sometimes painful, and that is how we get better.

2017-05-26 – Day 16 – Finals Day

Wow, the day is almost over and the grading is done with all my finals. I always forget how much I dislike grading, especially when looking at student thinking. Today, we had our last of the finals, with one week to go!

Something that stood out today that I am so proud about with respect to my students. My HS students had two hard finals that challenged them, and I saw many using their devices to find out information on how to solve, examples to attack the problems. I saw students problem solving their finals, that was awesome. I also saw lots of great, long, and dedicated study today among all the students.

In my final period, I was worried about the 8th graders, they have had 3 finals at that point all day long, and math is last…they were in for surprise because it was probably as difficult as the HS for them. I heard students excited when they realized half of their final is on Quizizz (my students love this) and the other was more traditional. My 8th graders were solid for the entire time working to get through the challenge, and I was so impressed.

What I was also excited to see was lots of writing when students didn’t understand a problem. I saw #NoticeWonder on problems which made my heart all warm and fuzzy. I learned a lot today about my students and I am going to miss these classes in a week. Well, grading is done, the week is quickly wrapping up, and I have a 3-hour long run tomorrow.