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Showing posts from June, 2016

Summer School Reflections

Summer School wrapped up 3 hours ago, and I've debated whether to wait a day or two before blogging, but I decided I wanted to clear my head of anything school-related for a few days, so here goes....



I've taught summer school for 5 years. It's something I feel called to. It's always challenging.

This year was TOUGH. Maybe one of the toughest months of my professional life. I can identify several reasons for the difficulties, but I decided that was not the point of this post.

I approached summer school differently this year (more problem-solving and less skill-based) and had a few things I experimented with, and those are the things I want to talk about.

Number Talks - I read the book Number Talks Matter in the week between the end of the school year and the beginning of summer school and started each day for the first two and a half weeks with a number talk. We did dot cards, then addition, and one day of subtraction. The kids seemed to enjoy the number talks. They pic…

Innovation in My Classroom

Andrew (@thomasson_engl) will fuss at me for saying this, but I'm not very creative. I can follow someone else's lead with the occasional A-Ha of my own, but I have very few ideas original to me.

I've said it before, but I stand on the shoulders of giants. And I am oh-so-thankful for those giants.

So...how does innovation show up in the classroom of this not-so-creative teacher?



A few years ago I began Interactive Notebooks with my Pre-Algebra kids. That was decently innovative (although not original).

Two years ago I flipped my Algebra 1 classes. That was hugely innovative (still not original).

Last year I played around with an in-class flip for my Pre-Algebra students.

The structure of my classes continues to change. More student choice. More student-centered. Moving towards more open-ended, collaborative lessons that give students context.

All of this is innovative for ME. Way outside my comfort zone and definitely outside my box. It's pretty innovative for my stude…