525am: Alarm clock. My morning routine requires no thought. Towel hangs next to the shower, clothes are laid out in the spare bedroom, lunch is packed in the fridge.
645am: I’ve just arrived at school and my first order of business is to find the Chrome Cart that I’ve reserved for the morning. I have a cart in my classroom with 15 Chromebooks, but this morning I’m giving an online quiz and want my whole class to take it at the same time.
710am: Key Club board meeting. I am the coadvisor for the service club. We have more than 100 members and there are 5 student officers on our board. The board meets every Tuesday morning before school to discuss upcoming events. The students run this meeting and I am mostly present for support. Today they are focused on planning for the student activities fair and our first general body meeting, which takes place next week.
830am: Geometry class takes a 15 question quiz using our class Schoology site. What I like about online quizzes – Students see the correct answers and their scores immediately after submitting the quiz. We know that feedback is more meaningful the faster it comes. Different versions of the quiz are automatically created to reduce cheating. Instead of spending my time grading quizzes, I can spend time looking through results and making meaning from the data. Schoology gives an item analysis that’s easy to read. What I don’t like about online quizzes – I don’t get to see as much of the student thought process since they do their scratch work on a separate paper and only enter their response in the computer. For this reason, I use online quizzing selectively. Today’s questions were mostly true/false. For some students, this format creates a little anxiety but we practice on the computer quite a bit to try to combat this. After the quiz, we talk about angles for about 15 minutes. It feels rushed and I will have to review this tomorrow.
829am: I have back-to-back prep periods today, which I love. I put the computers back in the cart, go to the bathroom, erase the whiteboard, eat a snack, enter attendance, make an appointment for car service and then look at the quiz data for a little while. The overall average is a bit lower than I would have liked. One student has an especially low score but he hadn’t completed any of his homework this week. I will have to talk with him tomorrow about his progress so far and I consider contacting his parents, too. I know there is a fire drill coming. Before the drill, I print and cut a scavenger hunt activity that I want to do with my precalculus class today.
924: Fire drill. The second of the year. It was supposed to be yesterday but it was raining. This works out better for me since it falls on a prep and I don’t lose any instructional time.
1006am: Geometry class again. Same as the first.
1053am: Lunch time! I take a few minutes to clean up the classroom, look over quiz data and hang the problems for the precalculus scavenger hunt before I go down to the faculty room to eat.
1145am: Precalculus class. We talk about the properties of logarithms and then try the scavenger hunt. Each student solves a problem and then looks for the answer on a different page. Everyone can start at a different point, so that is nice. When they find the answer, the next problem is attached to it. At the end, they put the problem letters in order to write the answer to the following question… “Why do lumberjacks make such good music?”
I have been struggling to get this class to give me feedback and ask questions. During the activity about 50% of the students came up to me to ask for help with one problem or another. I think it helped to break the ice and took some pressure off since they weren’t asking in front of the whole class. At the end of class, we took a few minutes to debrief and they agreed that this was a nice change. I promised to incorporate more movement and opportunity for one-on-one questions.
1233pm: Three algebra 1 classes in a row. It’s the same lesson three times but each class does have its own personality. Today we were practicing with proportions and percentages. Half the class worked on an (online) IXL assignment. The other half played a game of “I have… Who has…” with me. About halfway through class, we switched so that everyone got a chance to do each activity.
305pm: After hall duty, I rush out to beat the several dozen school buses out of the parking lot and head to my hair appointment. I am supposed to be at a homecoming float-building meeting but my hairdresser has been on maternity leave so it’s been a while since I had a haircut. My coadvisor agreed to sit in for me at the homecoming meeting. I even have time to stop for my free iced-coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts on the way since the Eagles won last night.
430pm: I pick up Chance from dog daycare and head home for a quick dinner. A friend stops by to put a tree stand in the woods behind our house – the weather is cooling down and hunting season is right around the corner. He helps me socialize Chance a little bit since she barks uncontrollably at strangers. I’m really appreciative of his willingness to let her bark at him until she settles down.
7pm: This is the last night of dog obedience class with Chance. It was supposed to be last Thursday but that was our open house at the high school. She is tired and sleeps on the floor for most of the class. When it is her turn to take the graduation test, she performs perfectly! I’m a proud dog momma.