Sunday, August 7, 2016

School Lunches

One of the hardest parts of going back to school, at least for me, is getting back in the groove of making my lunch.  Last year, my lunches either consisted of leftovers (which meant standing in a long line for the one teacher microwave) or a peanut butter and honey sandwich (which was normally rather smushed and got old pretty quickly).  So, I'm trying something new this year - Mason Jar Salads.  I made a couple of them last week for my first two days of school, and they tasted great.  This afternoon, I made all of my lunches for this coming week.

I'll admit, the prep work took A LOT of time.

Wide mouth, 32 oz Mason jars are a must.  If they aren't wide mouth, you'll have a hard time getting your fork into the bottom of the jar.  The salad dressing goes in the jar first, and then go all the vegetables and beans.  I put celery, zucchini, cucumber, jicama, corn, black beans, carrots, tomatoes, and red peppers.  Next go the greens (I used baby spinach).  The crunchy toppings go on last.  My favorites are dried blueberries, dried cranberries, pecans, and cashews.  When it's time to eat, I just shake up the jar to distribute the dressing.  

I think that the time I'll save in the mornings will be completely worth it.  And, they are kind of pretty to look at.  I just have to remember to take it out of the refrigerator in the morning.  What are your go-to school lunches?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

First Day of School

I'm exhausted, my feet hurt, and my throat is sore, but the first day of school went really well!  I am teaching my own daughter for the first time in my third period Geometry class, which is really strange (but good).  We had to cover the classroom rules and policies (a first day of school must at my school), but then we really got to have fun.

In my two Geometry classes, we played 31derful, found at Sarah's blog.  I love this game for my geometry classes because it gets them thinking outside of the box, and I love hearing all the mathematical discussion that went on in those classes.  The groups that finished got stickers.  I don't know what it is about stickers, but my students love them!

In my three Algebra 2 classes, we did some error analysis.  I found a worksheet at Teachers Pay Teachers a long time ago that had algebraic expressions and equations that were simplified incorrectly.  The goal of this activity was to identify the error (using words) and to correct the expression or equation.  The students worked great on this activity, but I was very surprised that most of them wanted to work on their own.  Which, by the way, is not a problem at all.  They were all engaged in the activity, but I wonder if they could have gotten more out of it with some discussion among themselves.

In my one Statistics class, I used a couple of activities from The Practice of Statistics, 5th edition.  I talked through the article at the beginning of the book, "What Is Statistics?"  We then did the hiring discrimination simulation to lead us more into thinking about the big picture of stats.  Both of these activities took much less time than I had anticipated.  So, we went ahead and started with the first lesson, which I had initially prepared for tomorrow.  Yay for both planning ahead and for making my copies ahead of time!
The students don't normally wear their blazers, but the first day of school is always a dress uniform day.  I thought they all looked really nice, but I know they are ready to get back to their everyday uniforms.

Monday, August 1, 2016

My Classroom

Reading math blogs is one thing; writing one is a different story (pun sort of intended).  But, I'm taking the plunge and going to be tackling the #MTBoSBlaugust challenge.

Official teacher workdays started today (classes start on Thursday), but I've been up at school off and on for the last couple of weeks trying to get my classroom in order.  It took awhile to hang all the posters, but I'm pleased with how everything turned out.

This is the fourth year that I've put my tables into pods.  I love how much more easily the kids can work together.  It's hard to see in this picture, but my favorite item in my room is the wooden bookcase that sits behind my desk.  My dad built it for me about three years ago.

All of my posters are laminated, so they might be a little hard to see.  Free posters from the AMS and Class Norms posters from the wonderful Sarah at Math = Love

More posters - The colorful ones on the top are all quotes from different theologians.  The ones running down the right side of the interactive whiteboard are more goodies from Math = Love, Change Your Words -> Change Your Mindset.

My door, again inspired by Sarah at Math = Love (I really need to meet her!)  The kids told me it was kind of cheesy last year, but I think that they secretly kind of liked it.  At least, that's what I tell myself.

"Meet the Teacher" is Wednesday afternoon, so unless I decide to make more posters, the room is done!