9/11/13

It's going....


This week was our first full week back at school.  Teaching grade 7 is a lot of fun!  I have a great class.  The only complaint I have is that my feet hurt!  I am not sure if the floor is different or my shoes are bad – but they hurt!

We have started teaching the curriculum now, which means ice breakers and All About Me are winding down.  It is a lot of fun to get to know the students in the first few weeks of school.  This year I am extra lucky – my middle daughter is in my classroom and I know most of the kids quite well since they are all friends.  I also got luck and teach older sibling of few of my Grade 1s last year so a few of the families are familiar.  To top that off they were my classes reading buddies last year!

I am ACTUALLY enjoying math.  Anyone who knows me knows that this is what scared me the most.  Not that I could not do the math, but that I would not be able to teach to a room of eager young minds.  When I grew up we just memorized the algorithm and were done with it.  If you did not get the algorithm you were in TROUBLE.  I am glad that is not the case anymore.  It also helps that I know that our principal used to teach Grade 7 Math and is only around the corner from me most of the time if I need a witty idea or strategy.  Thank God for Professional Development and Mrs.
Bayne. 

Struggling with math in school means that I can relate to the kids in my class who don’t get it and I think this makes me a better teacher. I have to find several ways to teach in order to do a good job of covering the material and in the process am able to teach to a room of diverse learners.  We both win. I also find that putting the outcomes up at the front of that class an explaining WHY we are doing something makes them a little more willing to input themselves into what we are doing.

I adore teaching science.  This was the part of my teaching that my Grade 1s loved most last year.  Grade 7 is not very different. They are all excited about the experiments.  I am trying to make learning very accessible and interactive so that even the “mundane” book work becomes exciting and looked forward to.  Right now we are studying Ecosystems.  We have only begun to scratch the surface of learning – we have just started looking at what we already know about ecosystems; what defines an ecosystem, what biotic and abiotic are and how things in an ecosystem interact with eachother.  

This is the song we used as part of our lesson today.  Mr. Parr has tons of great science songs that I cannot wait to use!

We are supplementing our learning with the Ecosystems unit by Classroom Complete Press.  You can preview it here { http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ecosystems-Gr-5-8-447083 } if you are interested.  It covers all the major topics we cover in the curriculum. I am supplementing it with activities and worksheets I am making myself.  We will working on a small group project soon so they are excited about that.   I will post some pictures of what we are doing.  If all goes well we will be trying to make a short stop motion film about our project.  Pray we are blessed!

In Bible we are learning about becoming effective teens who do not accept the low expectations that society places on them.  We are learning to do hard things and know that with God we can do anything.  We talked about habits today and how simple habits can set us up for failure or success.  This lead to some pretty heavy discussions and I was surprised that we were already talking about some of those hard topics that we know they will face out in the world.  I am very pumped about this unit – we are going to be doing some very challenging things an I am glad that they are also excited about pushing themselves. 

Anyways, I should go and prep for Friday.  I have a sub since I am going to a volleyball coaching clinic.  I am coaching Grade 8 girls this year.  It is going to be AWESOME!

Just a quick note that I have uploaded part of the review unit I am doing with my Grade 7s.  You can view it here { http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Place-Value-Arrays-and-Long-Multiplication-865049 } It is called Place Value, Arrays and Long Multiplication.