Tuesday, November 19, 2013

#MTBoS - A Day in the Life of This Teacher

Also known as, If You Give a Moose a Muffin. 

Instead of the hamster wheel, I think of this book because one thing just leads to another.  I knew I was going to blog about today, so I wrote everything down because I don't remember anything.  It is long and detailed.  You will get a gluten free brownie at the end if you read all the way through.  Thanks!

5:30 am wake up and shower - I put my clothes out the night before and I knew I have a full day, so I pulled out the hedgehog sweater: 

5:45 am get Boy #4 up to shower, I make my breakfast and lunch.  I knock over the cat's water bowl and clean it up (it is the only way the floor gets washed).  Someone ate my tuna, so I have to make some more to have with my salad.  While I eat my breakfast at the computer, I check my home email, school email, Facebook, Twitter, and news.  I find a lesson on Minimum wage from Free Tech for teachers.  I add it to my Futures lesson plan for later.  I read an email about a bake sale I need to bake for for Sunday.  I answer a few emails.  I need to remember to sign my emails correctly - Mrs. F, Coach, or Jennifer.  I tweet about my upcoming blog post tonight.  I read Wendy's blog post on her day and wonder if my day will be that crazy, too.  I think it ended up being as crazy.  I find Andrew Busch's lesson on systems with Light Bulbs - systems.  I put this in my google doc for later, too.  It's a good morning, two new ideas for lessons!  I quickly read the Alg2Chat twitter chat on storify to catch up.

6 am: Boy 4 wakes up Boy #3 to get in the shower.  Boy 3 is a freshmen at my high school and Boy 4 goes to 7th grade in the school right next door, so we all drive together.  They shower, make their own breakfast and their own lunch.
6:45 - head to school
6:50 - get to school (yep, school is 1 mile away)
Get my day ready - I teach all 5 class periods in a row today.  I put desks in order, open the shades, write date on the board, empty the pencil sharpener.  I have one student for extra help, so I answer her question.  My 9th grader comes into my class with me to hang out for a bit before school.  Today is a B day and all my graded assignments are due.  So, I need to have all the old graded ones ready to hand back and all the new ones ready to hand out for each class.  I get my Candy Lab ready for my 2nd period class because it isn't in my room and I need to make sure I take everything with me. 
7:20 first bell rings and I am ready to go

7:25 - Period 6 (1st block) - Accelerated Algebra 2 - 20 kids, preparing for a quiz for next class.  Day started with a compliment on my "hedgehog" sweater.  Made me smile :)  Collect the assignment sheets, go over the homework, and then we play a review game called "Risk Your Knowledge of Polys": Risk Polys Some of the math symbols don't come through.  Anyways, the kids loved it.  They all start with a recording sheet and 100 points.  They can always wager at least 100 points even if 0 or negative points.  If they have more, they can wager up to what they have.  If they get it right, they get the points, if not, they lose the points.  They get to view the question first and then place the wager, then do the problem.  As a teacher, it is great to walk around the room and see how confident they are.  On long division, I said I noticed class was about 50:50 on low/high bids.  One student said she bid low because she knows she makes stupid mistakes.  Another said she bid low because she is just cautious but was getting everything right.  I said, "Maybe I should make up a quiz that is bid your own points and you have to bid something on everyone."  They seemed to like the idea, so I will give it some thought.  One student asked if he could bid negative and get it wrong :)  Struggled with long division, given zeros, write the polynomial, and factoring two cubes.

8:30 - Period 7 (2nd block) - Futures - this is a class of 5 seniors and 3 juniors who can't learn in the regular classroom anymore.  They are at the other end of the school, so it is a long walk down, but I enjoy getting away from my little corner of the world.  It is my first time teaching them and I am enjoying it.  I definitely have to be more flexible because they are coming from all different backgrounds and I never know who I will have.  We have been working on systems - doing lots of different activities but I haven't really called them systems or been too formal with it.  I was planning on doing the Candy Lab today and had everything ready.  It is 3 different types of candies in a bag and they need to figure out how many of each.  I bring a scale, give them the total number of candies in the bag and 1 hint.  I showed up and there were only 3 kids.  Nope, not doing the Candy Lab.  It will wait until block period tomorrow.  Good thing I am flexible and prepared.  I had copied YummyMath's concession stand systems of equations.  I told them there were lots of ways to solve them.  One girl said, "Let's do it the easy way."  I asked, "And, do you know the easy way?"  She said, "No, but you do."  She is pretty quick.  So, we went through this and they did well.  The last problem gave them the 2 equations and used B and D for variables and asked them to make up a story.  They call used beer and doughnuts. 

9:35 - Stop for a bathroom break.  Forget to eat my snack.  Period 1 (3rd block) - Accelerated Algebra I - freshmen.  We are doing a flipped classroom for systems of equations and inequalities.  The first day they went to www.edmodo.com and it linked them to www.blendspace.com where my colleague posted a video of her teaching solving by graphing and solving using substitution.  They were to watch each video, answer quiz questions on paper, and then enter the answers onto the blendspace.  The quiz would be collected the next day for a homework completion grade.  Last night, they watched the video on elimination.  Yesterday, we did a couple of activities in class.  Today, I collected the homework and had them work on 4 challenging substitution problems.  They understand the process but the numbers get in the way.  These problems had fractions and negatives, gasp.  I said A negative can do so much damage.  We have negative collateral.  They would just drop a negative sign.  They would not distribute the negative through as neg times neg is positive.  Ugh!  Then, we did the same YummyMath Concession Stand activity.  They picked up on it more quickly than the Future's kids.  When they got to the last question with the B and D, they did Burgers and Drinks.  So innocent.

10:40 - grab my cereal bar finally.  I was starving.  Period 2 (4th block) - Another Accelerated Algebra I class of freshmen.  I see this class for an hour, then they go to lunch for 30 minutes and come back for 20 minutes.  It is considered block period.  It runs similar to the last class but a bit quicker because I am more smooth with my transitions and passing out of papers, etc.  As they are working, I check off both classes of collected homework in my grade book.  I also take a peek at the attendance for next period because I am hoping all 28 will be here for my quiz, but nope, 2 kids are absent, bummer.  After lunch, we switch gears.  We are working on a MAP example of correlation coefficients.  Last block they worked on it individually.  This time they worked in groups to share their methods and determine the best method to find a correlation coefficient (not just r on the calc).  They had some good conversations and good sharing with the class.

11:50 - we break for lunch.  My colleague brought me my favorite - Doritoes and Hershey Bars for a late birthday snack.  A friend commented on my "porcupine" sweater.  I corrected her :)  

12:40 - Last period Period 3 (5th block) - Accelerated Algebra II - thank goodness they are quizzing, so I arrange my desks into rows.  As the kids come in, I hear the drama kids talking about their upcoming musical and they are doing an Ugly Sweater Day as their psych up.  I hope they don't think I am taking part.  While they are quizzing, I start to get my math teams ready for tomorrow's math league competition.  I can only try to put them together but I really have to wait and see who actually shows up for the bus before I finalize the teams.  Tomorrow is a crazy day because we have the math meet from 2-6 pm and then I have my Cross country team's banquet at school at 5:30 (yes, I will be running in late).  So, I have to go to school tomorrow ready for the math meet and the banquet and will be there until at least 9 pm tomorrow night.  I also take a stab at starting the Algebra I's upcoming quiz.  In alg 2, the kids are taking a non-calculator part and a calculator part, so I have to keep track of who has which part and then staple them together when they come in. 

1:50 - school day is done, let the fun begin.  9 kids come in for my extra help day.  I have some here for their quiz the next day and some for the rollercoaster project I assigned.  It is the first time I assigned it and it is giving us quite some trouble.  I will have to spend more time with it.  They persevered until about 3:10 when I had to leave.  As I was walking out, I saw Son #3 and 2 friends waiting for a ride home.

3:15 home and dog is waiting to go for a run.  It is 45 degrees, but out we go for a 3 mile run. 
4 pm home and defrost chicken chili for dinner and start to warm it up
Smell my school bag and it smells horrible.  I search and find a super rotten banana, disgusting.
4:05, upstairs to watch the start of Ellen, do some stretches, abs, and weights, then get changed and figure out clothes for tomorrow's school day and for the banquet tomorrow night
4:30 - empty out smelly school bag and find $13 I thought I already repaid to a teacher, I guess not.  This reminds me that I left a banana in my XC backpack.  Good, I caught it before it was too late.  Throw the bag in washer. 
4:45 - sit on couch to watch news with my husband as I grade the 26 quizzes.  Kids get an average of 87, pretty good. 
6 pm - eat dinner - chicken chili
6:10 - sign 60 cross country certificates, answer phone call from newspaper guy asking me questions about my runner that ran at All States this past Saturday, put certificates in order of my speech (10 page speech).
6:30 - put all runners' times into page protectors for tomorrow night, add to my bag of stuff for tomorrow
6:45 - check email - realize I forgot to upload blendspace link to edmodo as 3 students sent me emails.  Upload it.
6:48 - send 4 pictures to school email so I can finally sit down and blog.  And, 1/2 hour later, I am done.

7:20 - my day is done, that is until Boy #3 finally asks me for help on his math homework.

PS - I am too tired to proofread this.  So, here's to hoping I got it right and here is your brownie.....


  1. This is awesome! You live a crazy life and I love it!

  2. I find it funny that we all talk about our school schedules like it's nothing, but they are all so different and seriously messed up. We seem to manage through the school day and the craziness of the school schedule, don't we?!

  3. It's taken me almost a year to get used to signing emails as Miss Davis instead of just Heather!
    I told my students that there were two main ways to solve a problem we were working on - one was longer but a bit easier to follow, the other was short but required more complex thinking. I love that my kids responded with "lets do both!" - its taken a year but I think they're starting to enjoy learning for the sake of learning!

  4. Ditto on Lucy... I'm reading lots of these DITL, and thinking, "yup, that's about right." Crazy organization FTW!