Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Day in the Life

I'm linking up with #MTBoS to tell you about one day in my life.


The date was Tuesday, January 12.
We had a scheduled faculty meeting/delayed start for students.  90 minutes of meeting to receive our great new Surface Pro's, learn about them, go over other necessities for the month ahead, and get to our classes.  As the bell rang, we were released...

 And the day was off to a hectic start.  What had been completely manageable snowfall at 7 in the morning had turned into icy slush by 9:30, when students were arriving.  There were several minor accidents, one kind-of-serious accident (the student was just fine and at school!), and hundreds of students who felt that they did not belong at school on this winter day.

I listened patiently for five minutes, then launched into A Block's lesson.  At my school, we have year-long blocks, so I see my classes for 85 minutes every other day.  Yes, I love it.  Ask more in the comments.

A Block, Algebra 1 Freshmen, were learning their 3rd method of solving systems of equations.  I enticed them to pay attention by teasing the activity for next class (a scavenger hunt - blog post coming soon!).  They focused, they seemed good with the concept,  and all went well.  Except we ran out of time to make their adorable foldables.  Next class...and a later blog post.  I'm real proud of myself on this one.  I used math to create it in Word and everything.

Systems of Equations Foldable

C Block entered the classroom as I was attempting to sneak a snack (I am 6 months pregnant, and baby can make me 'hangry'.)   Of course, when school is delayed, the schedule gets all mixed up.  B Block students keep trying to come to class, and I send them away.

C Block is also Algebra 1 freshman, which is strange to me.  I never teach 2 sections of the same material back to back, so I keep feeling like I'm repeating something I just said.  I mean, I am repeating, but to different students, and it messes with my brain.  C Block is smaller and way more talkative, but we still make it through the notes with the same promise of an activity next class.

It's lunch time!  I talk with other teachers about our new computers and the right our students seems to feel exists around snow days.  As my husband lovingly reminded me, he has 'never had a snow day at work.  Or a delay.'  Good dose of reality.  28 minutes later, I'm back in my room as the bell rings.

B Block Calculus enters my room.  We have been working on optimization problems using derivatives.  The great news is that they understand the concept of writing an equation for the parameter to be optimized, and once they have equations they can differentiate and solve for critical points.  (Unless the algebra gets hairy for them).  However, they really struggle with writing the equations.  So today, we practiced just writing equations, over and over for different problems.  I think it helped.

Finally, it is my plan block.  Another teacher has a class in my room, so I head to the Intervention Specialists' room, which is open.  I get worksheets printed for the next day, finalize my notes for the next two days, and then start working on sub plans for Friday.  The Math Department is headed to another local high school to learn about their use of technology.

At the end of the day, I am able to go to Mass, which is offered every day at our lovely Catholic school.  Then I head home, a 40 minute drive.  I typically have some work to finish up in the evenings, but thanks to a productive Christmas break and last weekend, I am able to rest this evening.  Which is nice, because my back and ribs are being stretched by baby at the moment, and I just want to sit against soft pillows.  Early to bed, early to rise, and another day will be upon me!

Whew!  Thanks for hanging in there! I hope you found something informative in all of that!
What is your day like?  Any suprises in my day?


  1. Thanks for a glimpse into your day! My day is different than yours as we do not have block scheduling. We go from 8:20-3:40 each day with 8 class periods. I went to school at a high school that had block scheduling, and really liked it. It was also nice reading that I am not the only one that gets thrown off by late starts!

    1. Thanks for reading! I checked out your blog post - I love the dilutions project!

  2. Yes, I attended a high school with a block schedule as well. Our school didn't have late days, and this is California, so of course we didn't have snow days either.

    When I was a student teacher, I taught Algebra I, and I used foldables similar to the one you posted. Using foldables definitely encourages freshmen who might otherwise tune out to take notes.

    You say that this lesson went well. Assuming that by "the 3rd method of solving systems" you mean elimination (the 3rd method on the foldable), then yes, students do seem to perform better with this method than the other two.

    And yes, even Calculus students have trouble setting up the equations for word problems. After that, it's all downhill -- just take the derivative and set it to zero!

    Thanks for participating with the MTBoS!


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