Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Day 1: A New Sandwich

After the first year of this blog, I had momentum going and continued to the second year.

After the second year, I was moved from middle school math to high school science and felt that it was important to continue writing about that change.

This year, I have changed districts and moved back to teaching middle school math and again feel that it's important to continue.  So here we are!  Daily reflection...Year 4... Day 1...

Day one as a proud faculty member at a new district found me happy, excited and terrified.  I clearly took for granted all of the comforts of NOT being a first year teacher in my previous district.  There are new systems to learn, new procedures, new faculty and staff, new students, new curriculum, new commute and new cultural norms.

I am incredibly excited about these challenges!  More importantly, I am hopeful.

My schedule this year is mostly Math 7 and Pre-Algebra with 1 section of seniors for Integrated Math.  I also have 7 students on my roster who are coming up from the 6th grade for my class.

My room isn't even close to set up but it's good enough to function and do what I want.

I began my classes today by introducing myself and talking a little bit about my background and goals.  I had them recite the Pledge to Improved Mathematics and began a Warm-Up from Estimation 180.

I reiterated to them the value and importance of the ability to "explain my reasoning and understand others" and then set off on our Day 1 Task.

"I'm going to write a question on the board.  It's an incredibly important question.  I'd like you to think about the answer silently for a minute and then we'll get together in groups and discuss it.  Are you ready?  It's an incredibly important question!"
One of the 6th graders wanted to call him "Frank."  Frank is confused.

The conversations that ensued were excellent.  The group of seniors came to a screaming match.  I was told later "I hated him before I came in" and while that may be true, they were making sound arguments and articulating their points well, if loudly.

The discussions were incredible!  One group argued that orientation mattered.  Their claim was that a folded piece of bread with peanut butter and jelly was a sandwich, but as soon as you hold it open side up, it becomes a taco, which is not a sandwich.

A small portion of the younger students thought it was a trick question and went WAY deeper than I wanted them to go.
I call this one "Sandwich as Allegory!"

Several of the 7th and 8th graders complained laughingly of mind-blowage!

The kids got a bit more rambunctious and squirrelly as the day went on, but nothing I couldn't handle with grace and aplomb.

While I very much miss my students from the last few years, I'm really looking forward to getting to know the new ones.  The faculty, staff and administration have been incredibly welcoming and supportive.  I think this will be an excellent year.


  1. YES! LOVE this!!!!! So excited to follow along on your adventure this year!

  2. I'm so happy to see you back teaching math! Love reading your blog everyday.


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