The first six weeks of school have come and gone. Teaching two subjects has been so inspiring and mind bending! But don’t you wish for do-overs.?… Teach a lesson…. think it through… and then BAM! — “I should have done it that way”! We all do that. Great teachers change things up, challenge themselves to figure out a better way to inspire those kids. I’ve taught for over 23 years and there are some methods, styles, ideas I so wish I could go back and erase. But… the good news is -the kids survived!.. They got through my year of teaching math/science/or art. Most turned out to be great kids, who now are having their own kids… I wonder if I’ll hit that milepost where I teach a child whose parent I also taught?… Any time now!

This year in Math (and actually in Science, too) we adopted a new textbook. We’re trying out the publisher’s ideas, insights, and activities. Tweaking around with new TEKS, it’s continuously an adventure. So much algebra we’ve taught to our kids with in the first few weeks…. proportionality at it’s best. Today, though was a very positive day. A catch-up for some, but a day to cement what the kids had learned. Students felt confident practicing slope on their Ipads using the Manga High Math website. The games unfortunately don’t work (flash problems), but the practice activities are great. The variety involved, the individual pace, the notification of successes- it was a good day. Maybe also because it was Friday?!!! Next week we jump into Non-Proportional topics. What better way will it be than trying out Mathalicious’ Domino Effect Lesson on Slope and y-intercepts with a non-proportional seasoning?!!

In Science we just finished up our unit on Environmental Changes. The best part of the unit for us, was the Great Debate. Students participated in debates dealing with environmental issues and the oceans. We invited a teacher to sit in as mediator and rule in favor of the Big Law Firm, or the US Government. The students, after three days of research and writing an essay then stood and debated the pros and cons of topics such as fishing boats, use of coral for medicinal reasons, oil spills, and the economy. We, now on Monday, will jump into the to start of it all… ATOMS! And let me throw out how great Kahoot it is for reviewing science topics. The kids eat it up!

Have I mentioned my team of science teachers? They’ve really helped me settle into this year of science (my first in many years). I’ve had such a great time with activities such as the debate, the Unsafe Sally Safety Lab, and the use of our new textbook with the Ipads.

I’m hoping this blog will be a place to share some of the good things and do-overs that I hope to experience this year. (not just a pep-talk like today). Hang on… more will be coming!

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