• appetite

    GrTL

    Copies of parent letter? Check. Copies of syllabus? Check. Back-to-school outfit? Check. Fresh boxes of markers? Check. Neatly arranged groups of desks? Check. Enough coffee to set a baby elephant aloft into the clouds? Check. Want to see the true zombie apocalypse? Switch teachers’ coffee to decaf and watch havoc ensue in their classrooms. Every morning at my school, there’s a parade of Dunkin Donuts iced with cream and sugar, Starbucks peppermint mochas, homemade black coffee in travel mugs, and even the rare 7-11 coffee cup filled at the espresso machine. Sometimes a teacher who has been lovingly nicknamed the “Coffee Fairy” brings a huge carafe of coffee into the…

  • instruction

    Om and Quitting the Gym

    Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t…snap at their students. Little Miss Runshine’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge is going to be on like donkey kong. I checked out these six dvds from the Boston Public Library today to get ready for the September 1st start. I hope that doing yoga DVDs and classes regularly for a month will: a) keep me calm in and out of the classroom b) undo some of my running-related inflexibility c) serve as a good alternative to the gym, because calm and saving $ > calm Jess (Little Miss Runshine) and I joined Boston Sports Clubs about a year ago.…

  • instruction

    Lost that Summer Feeling?

    You lost…that summer feeling…whoa-oh that summer feeling You lost…that summer feeling…now it’s gone, gone, gone Whooooaaaa-oh… Even though summer is now officially on its last legs, I am going to try to keep the relaxed feeling of it as long as I can! Though I won’t be able to take hour-long lunches with friends or wander freely through Boston during daylight hours, I’m preparing a list of small things that keep life fun (inspired by Math Teacher Mambo). 1) Cook dinner at least twice a week. I’ve tried to do the “cook it all on Sunday” routine, but cooking relaxes me, so I prefer to spread it out throughout the…

  • instruction

    Work Relationship Tips

    Found this on I Hope This Old Train Breaks Down and love it! “If an issue is contentious, always talk it over in person rather than discussing it over emails. Emails escalate situations unnecessarily quickly. Within 60 seconds of talking to someone, find something that you can (genuinely) praise them for; this will help them to open up to what you have to say. If you do some casual “pre-talking” to people about their opinions before group meetings, you can help them to trim their thoughts down to key points, and therefore save time during the actual meeting / prevent drawn-out discussions. Most of the time people just want their…

  • instruction

    Syllabus, Tweeting, and Conjunctive SBG

    Getting Ready for School I’ve been puttering on my syllabus and classroom routines for a while, and yesterday I finished the first draft. I posted my syllabus and posted it on Twitter to all the folks who influenced it (@bowmanimal, @kellyoshea, @misscalcul8, and @samjshah). I woke up this morning to a good Twitter-conversation (with @MagisterWarren added) about implementing standards-based grading (SBG) among different constraints (department heads, final exams, etc). It led to lots of #foodforthought, that’s for sure! I hope that by refining my SBG implementation and creating a stronger classroom culture, my class will get to the point where students assess like monsters too. First thought to chomp on: grading policy…

  • appetite,  instruction

    Challenges…Old and New

    I’m back! Though I didn’t post about them after mid-January, I did make many more recipes and hosted a few more gatherings in 2012. “Appetite” fell by the wayside because I had gotten caught up in perfectionist mode (didn’t want to post recipes without lots of commentary and pictures) and because I put so much into “Instruction.” In spite of the lack of documentation, I found myself getting better at cooking on the fly rather than following recipes. Similarly, my lesson planning began to mirror my cooking. I got much more comfortable with adjusting the lessons to the students rather than trying to follow a plan to the T. My goal…