Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Math and Poetry

Math is Poetry

Math is a poetry all of its own.  

Language can too be beautiful and as some of you know I like to dabble in poetry.

I have seen this video before, but thought I'd share it as it combines (first 4 minutes) of both math and poetry but rest is good too.    The math people will laugh at all the same place I do.


Sunday, 17 December 2017

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

No matter what holiday you do celebrate, this time of year is about being kind and generous, and, grateful for what we have in our lives.

I am grateful for my family and friends who support me and make me laugh. This also includes my school family who are a great group of people to be around every day. 

I am grateful for my students who become a family for me every year.  They all have something special.

I am grateful for my PLN who help me to learn new things and show me that collaboration and learning is a global endeavor to help our students succeed. 
I am grateful for where I live.  A great community with space to ride and freedom to say what I think.

Wherever you happen to be in the next two weeks, take some time to enjoy the lights,  and those around you and maybe a little quiet time to recharge your batteries. 

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada (Veterans Day in the US I believe).  A day to remember those who have and are fighting for our freedom.  

I was particularly sad on this one.   

It has been a rough start to the school year as my mother got very ill and passed away in September.   She was born during the Blitzkrieg. 

So I thought a lot about her during the last post, as well as my Grandfather who fought in WWII.  The freedom we have to learn, to love, to be who we want to be are a gift. 

Lest We Forget

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

New Year Almost Here

New Year

It is almost a new year, at least as far as teachers go.  August 1st means many teachers start to turn their eyes towards September and planning and supplies and setup and .....

I am excited to meet and learn with my students this year.  

Math and Science are about many things, but exploration and finding patterns are key.  We try, maybe things don't work out, and we try again.

Prepare yourself for some adventure!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

End of the year

End of the Year 

Well, the end of the school year arrived. Reports were done.  End of year trips were done.  Graduation came and went.  The classroom is packed up for the summer.  I, and the students, learned a lot this year.  I had a very good group this past school year.  They were enthusiastic learners, and were willing to try all of my new ideas including a variety of new technology ones.  I will miss them a great deal.  See my previous post as to how they were my muses.

The day 5 math challenge was born out of a triple math period.  Both grade 8's had them.  I read a lot from Jo Boaler the last two summers, and, wanted to implement her principles.  I think that most important for my students was that mistakes are okay, and even important, and struggle is good.  It is okay to be a little slower as sometimes deep thinking takes time. I wanted them to also feel successful in math.  I wanted them to be active.  At graduation, the day 5 challenge came up many times as the best memory of grade 8.  I will be doing it again next year.  

We did many challenges and then I discovered Digital Breakouts (see another previous post).  The kids loved them.  They asked for them.  I delivered.  They take time to make but I got to be faster.  We learned together.  It was great!

The other thing I did this year was spend more time getting to know my students as people.  I spent breaks with them just listening and hanging out without any of the academic pressures.  I started this as an endeavor to be an external conscience but discovered that I liked listening to their stories.  It did help them think about what they did and said when I was in the room, but also when not in the room as they never knew when I would appear.  They claimed I had "psick ninja skills".  I just call it good timing, listening and awareness.  I also think that students respond better to you when they know you care about them as people.  It is true.   I also teach better as I get a better understanding of their interests, their needs and their strengths.   

As summer really kicks off, the problem is now disconnecting.  I actually do miss them.  I would often spend more time with them than my own family at home. So it is a bit hard trying to adjust.   Life will go on.  There are summer projects, reading and vacation time as well as planning for next year to do.  Indy, is already pretty happy as he gets to spend more time with me.  
Happy to be sprawled on the Deck
I wish them a fun summer.  I wish them good luck next year.  And I hope they remember some of the key lessons we learned no matter who teaches them in the future.   My students this year have been my inspiration, my raison d'etre and because of them I am a better teacher.   Future students will benefit.  

Enjoy your summer.  Recharge your batteries.  And, make math fun.  It really is worth it.