I met with my Assistant Principal today to discuss my plans for the Geometry class this fall, and to clear the air over the Algebra 2 Regents passing rates – it was a wonderful meeting. First of all, I found out that this lovely classroom will be mine for at least 60% of the day:
What you can’t see is the SmartBoard in the front of the room, and the whiteboards which wrap around the other walls with bulletin boards at either end. Now this might not seem so earth-shattering to many of you, but I teach in a building that is 75 years old, and the only improvement to the classrooms (besides layers and layers of paint) is a SmartBoard smack in the middle of the original blackboards (which are not magnetized because they are so old). One wall in each classroom is also dedicated to unused student lockers (well, they are used for trash now and then), and all of the math rooms have desks. My AP knew that I was probably the only teacher in the department who would be HAPPY with tables.
I’ve been jealously reading blog posts about classroom decor from Sarah at mathequalslove, Miss Calcul8 and JemmaPDuck and even printed out the Jedi Mindset Posters from TeacherPaulP, knowing that I had not had any opportunity to decorate a room since I came to my current school three years ago. But now the sky is the limit – I even have a place to hang my icosahedra!
The other good news is that I will be teaching three sections of my hands-on Geometry course (updated curriculum map below) and two sections of Algebra 2/Trigonometry. There are big focuses (foci?) this year at school on quality feedback and formative assessment, so the weekly math maintenance worksheets I created (borrowed) were a big hit as well. I decided to create two different sheets for each of the classes: in Geometry, we will doing the Estimation180/Visual Patterns/Would You Rather dance, whereas in Algebra 2, I will be focusing more on skills and current content. Once again, I owe a lot to the generosity of Jessica (@algebrainiac1), Lisa Bejarano, and Kathryn Belmonte.
The final positive note in this meeting was the reception of my offer of running a professional development session, based on the workshops I attended at Exeter in June. It turns out that our district is planning shared professional development on Election Day with four other schools; each school will be dedicated to a particular content area, with representatives from each school offering classes. I’m excited that we will be doing something so relevant and productive this year, and that I’ve already planned out several activities to choose from.
So even though I am clinging desperately to these last few days of vacation, I’m pumped. Now if only I can get myself out of slo-mo.