Monthly Archives: November 2012

A Day in the Life

5:30 am – Alarm…Snooze

5:53 – Peel myself out of the bed. Find something to wear. Go wake my boys. Dress Sam while he’s still sleeping and Ben’s talking to me from his crib. Dress Ben. Make lunch, pour cups of milk, make breakfast, make coffee, rush children out door…

6:30 – Take two trips to the car, one with bags, one with children.

7:15 – Drop both kids at daycare

7:30 – Get to work. Climb three flights to classroom.

7:40 – Finally get to classroom. Hmmm…maybe I should make some more copies, I never have enough copies. Go wait in line at the copier. Uh-oh, copier jammed, doesn’t look good. Oh well, hope I have enough for the morning.

7:55 – Change the date and day on the whiteboard, collect donations for Thanksgiving baskets.

8:10 – Listen to morning announcements, try to take attendance in Powerschool.  Won’t load, ugh, call the office with attendance. First class comes in…

Co-taught class – put on FM transmitter, make sure it’s on, and I begin. Collect homework, discuss multiplication of fractions, how do model one-half of one-third with the area model. Now with a length model…

Edcanvas of my lesson

8:55 – Bell rings, next class, “Uh, I’ve been absent for nine days, did I miss anything?” Multiplication of fractions.

9:46 – Bell rings, Prep. Tech guy comes in. Thank goodness, my LCD projector was knocked onto the floor Friday when I was out. It is working, but is it really okay. Seems to be.

Oh yeah, and my computer stopped printing fractions. I have to send all my files home in order to print them. That’s fun!

He finds the fix, no pictures on my problems…well that’s boring. When are we getting new computers, Christmas, maybe… Can he fix my clock? It was 40 minutes slow, but since daylight savings it’s 20 minutes fast. Nope.

10:37 – Next class…Multiply fractions

11:28 – Lunch, then directed study.

12:43 – Next class, multiply fractions

1:34 – Next class, multiply fractions

2:25 – End of the day. Students want to know if they are missing any work. Um, it’s the last day of the term.

Try to make more copies, do a little grading, start entering report card comments.

3:00 – Out the door to daycare. Pick kids up, both napped in good moods. Begin the drive home.

4:15 – Get home. Take two trips in, one with the kids, one with the stuff. Turn on the oven. Wash a chicken. Put chicken in the oven. Go play downstairs with the kids.

4:45 – What’s that noise? Oh yeah, the smoke alarm…

5:45 – Dinner’s ready, hubby walks in the door. Perfect timing.

7:00 – Ben to bed. Begin reading Twitter. Need to get caught up, need to get caught up.

8:00 – Sam to bed. Start writing….

9:00 – Go to bed.

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We had a full day PD on Tuesday. They close down the schools to make it easier for everyone to vote. Some teachers dread these days… “What are they going to make us sit through now?” Not me…I secretly like them. I would never tell anyone this. I like listening to my colleagues teach me something they know and I don’t and I like listening to my other colleagues tell me about something they learned.

I have a renewed sense of excitement after PD. I’m excited to put into action whatever it is that I learned. I want to run back to my classroom and start teaching. This one was different. Ben Schersten taught us how to use Twitter for PD. I didn’t have to go back to my classroom… I could start right there. Twitter is an amazing tool for PD if only you know how to harness it. When Twitter was first introduced I couldn’t figure it out. What is this for? In the past three months I have become addicted I can’t stop reading. Thank you Ben for filling in the blanks. There is a lot to learn and there is a ton of information out there. Ben gave us people to follow, hashtags to search for and apps to use.

I have discovered another kind of PD as well. The kind I can sit on my couch in my PJs and enjoy. Thank you Global Math Dept I can learn something new every Tuesday night.

Blogging and twitter has changed the way I learn and teach. Thank you.

Ordering Fractions

I know. How dull! If I find it boring students must find it even more boring. As I mentioned before I’m kind of a number theory nut. After learning about the Farey sequence during my summer in PROMYS I knew it would be a great addition to my fraction bag of tricks. I tried it and students did it, but they weren’t getting where I wanted them. I don’t think I was asking the right questions.

I recently found this activity and tried the Farey sequence again. Students loved it. They wanted to try to get the next sequence. I shared it with a colleague and she couldn’t believe one of her students asked if it would be all right to do F9.

Here is F4:

Fourth Farey Sequence


I love lessons like this one. There is so much mathematics packed into it. We have mixed ability classes so students that are struggling with multiplication are sitting next to students that can solve equations in there heads. This problem allows students to move through at their own pace. I want students to practice comparing fractions. The fact that they are discovering patterns and symmetry along the way is a bonus.

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