Monthly Archives: July 2015

TMC15 Reflections

This could be a 2500-word post. I’m going to try to keep it short, because it’s late and I’m tired.

First, I want to say that I’m really glad I went to TMC this year, as opposed to last year. When I finished my first year of teaching, I knew that it hadn’t gone well. I spent the summer focused on how to improve my classroom management so that I wouldn’t lose my mind again. If I had gone to TMC in the middle of all that, two things would have happened. First, I would have been frustrated at the lack of sessions on things like classroom management that new teachers are worried about. Second, I would have learned about tons of cool things that I could be doing in my classroom, and I would have been overwhelmed by them. “How am I supposed to do cool tasks and discussions with my students when I can’t even get them to shut up with I need them to?!” So I’m really glad I went to TMC after a good school year, because I was ready to learn about how to continue improving.

Side note: I set a resolution for myself that I will blog at least once each week this school year. (I planned this resolution before TMC, but I wanted to say it. I’m committed now.)

What I Learned That I Want to Use This Year

  • Number talks (I learned about this before TMC but was able to cement the concept in my mind during a flex session)
  • Talking points
  • Numberless word problems
  • Feedback without grades
  • Which one doesn’t belong?
  • Music cues

Next Year – TMC16

  • I’m going.
  • So is my roommate/colleague

First Days of School

No, I’m not going to quote that Harry Wong book at you.¬†Actually, my thoughts on that book could constitute a whole other blog post. I’ll restrain myself.

I just finished my plans (by plans I mean flipcharts) for the first week of the school year in both of my classes. Does this seem early to you? Then you must not live in Arizona. We are starting school on August 3 in my district. That is two weeks from Monday. Next week I’m going to Twitter Math Camp, and the week after that is the-week-before-school-starts. I’ll probably be spending 2-3 days down on campus getting all the stuff done that I can’t do at home (photocopying entire forests worth of paper), then we are required to report on the Thursday of that week. Which means Thursday and Friday will be spent listening to our admin talk about stuff, participating in meetings, and wondering why we feel like we’re not ready for school to start on Monday.

This means that I am reporting back to school two weeks from yesterday. Wow.

I’d like to outline what my plans are for this week in each class, partly so that when I can’t remember what I did a year from now, I’ll be able to look here. (Let’s be honest – this is only my 3rd time doing the first week of school. I still have no idea if my plans will work. If someone else wants to use my ideas, go for it. I make no guarantees about the quality of said ideas.)

All right, enough dilly-dallying.  Continue reading