We hosted our virtual parent-teacher conferences two weeks ago. Luckily, our conferences in the spring were also virtual, so I knew what to expect. But I have some general tips and some new ones for you this time around! 1. Have an agenda. This doesn't have to be a formally written agenda, like you might [...]
NOVEMBER 2020: SEASON OF GRATITUDE
This November, I'm striving to take a step back and remind myself of all the things I'm grateful for. 'Tis the season of thanksgiving, and in lieu of not seeing my family for the holidays, I'll focus on gratitude (and Black Friday shopping, of course!). We've just come off the very long month of October, so this is the time for all teachers to focus on self-care and prevent burnout. Making a gratitude list and updating it regularly throughout this month is a simple, yet effective way to infuse some positivity into your day. I felt silly the first time I created a gratitude list, but I quickly realized I had a ton to be thankful for and even writing down just the little things put me in a better mood! I encourage you to try it for yourself!
WHY OCTOBER IS THE LONGEST MONTH OF THE YEAR
During my first year teaching, I thought that October was rough because I was still going through the growing pains of being a brand new teacher. But then my mom told me that October is always the roughest month for my dad, a newly-retired teacher of 30 years. That first year, I didn't fully understand [...]
PLAN WITH ME: PYTHON PROGRAMMING
This summer I talked a big talk about creating a scope and sequence, developing your curriculum, and making creative warm-up's. Now it's time to show you how I walk the walk. I want to share this with you to illustrate one main thing: I used to have to spend a LOT of time prepping outside of school hours, but now, in my 7th year of teaching, it doesn't take me as long AND I get to re-use materials I've previously created. PHEW!
Google Forms Must-Do’s
Google Forms have worked well for my distance learning classes. I used them almost daily in my Algebra 1 and Physics classes in the spring and now I use them daily for every class, for my warm-up at least.
A NEW TEACHER NIGHTMARE
In the spooky spirit of October, I want to share a scary story with you. Remember those school nightmares you used to have growing up? You forgot your locker combo. You had a final but didn't study. Well, teachers also have school nightmares. One of my nightmares was often a reality: we had one printer/copier for the entire school and it broke. But now I have a new nightmare: I'm teaching remotely and my internet crashes.
OCTOBER 2020: LONGEST MONTH OF THE YEAR
Ah, October. It's fitting that my dad, a social studies teach for 30 years, is retiring this month. He once told me that October is the longest month of the year for teachers and it is SO true. October is the time to lock down routines and procedures, revisit curriculum plans, and devote some solid weekend time to yourself!
Example Warm-Ups: Programming Fall 2020
You may know, I love a good 5-minute warm-up to start each class. I've ALWAYS used these in my Algebra 1 classes, but when I heard we'd be entirely remote again this fall, I thought it'd be good to do warm-ups in all of my classes and it's totally paid off.
“COLBAORATORY” – CODING WITH GOOGLE
In my Programming exposé post, I described how coding went from being one of the scariest things to teach to one of the funnest. I also mentioned that this year I'm using Google's interactive Python notebook, Colaboratory, as the coding environment for my students. If you're familiar with Python programming, it's Google's version of Jupyter notebooks. If you're not familiar, keep reading! I'll explain! Colab would've been WAY too fancy for me to use last year, but I reached out of my comfort zone this year and am SO happy that I did!
SEPTEMBER 2020: THE VERY BEGINNING
It's here! You're either already back at school, like me, or just about to start. The summer prepping and dreaming is over. It's time to talk the talk and walk the walk. I've already been surprised by all the things I forgot about remote teaching, but I remain optimistic that I'll do a better job of it this fall compared to the spring. Now I'm prioritizing sustainable teaching habits and activities that get the students thinking MORE and me directly instructing less. Keep reading for my fresh ideas! Back at it, Julia