Sunday, 22 September 2013

2 Stars & A Wish: Week 3

     I am now in a solid routine with all six of my classes and am feeling a lot more comfortable than I was in the first week of school. I even took advantage of my first pay cheque and bought a brand new pair of black Dr. Scholl's flats that are SO comfortable and perfect for any teacher!

     Two things that I am proud of this week are:

1 ) Having My Grade 8 Class Launch Their 1st Blog!
- This week my Grade 8 Science class launched their first blog! As an
  avid blogger for almost 2 years, I have seen all of the amazing learning
  opportunities that can arise from sharing your experiences. I am so
  excited for my students to begin their own blogging journey and can't
  wait to see what opportunities open up for them.
- Our first blog post was published at 11:30am on Tuesday and we will
  officially be posting 3-4 times a week (during our Science classes).
- If you would like to visit their posts and send them your thoughts and
  ideas, the link is:

2 ) Preparing For My 1st Substitute
- This Friday I was in Winnipeg for my first ManACE board
  meeting. As such, it was also my first time out of the classroom and
  my first time getting a substitute.
- On Thursday I felt very confident about being away on Friday because
  I was well-planned and each of my classes were right in the middle of
  their activities (so my substitute wouldn't have to start anything new).
- When I sat down after school on Thursday to print off my sub-plan,
  however, my computer decided to crash and take all of my student's
  work with it. Since I had to leave for Winnipeg by 4:30 I immediately
  had a panic attack, cried, set out to create back-up plans for my sub.
- It took me a little extra time and  I didn't end up leaving school until
  5pm, but I feel like I was still able to plan effectively for my students
  and substitute.
- Here is what my desk looked like when I left my classroom. Do you think
  I used enough Post-It Notes?? If you'd like to check out my Substitute
  Teacher Binder, see my past post:

planning for a substitute teacher,  planning for a sub, substitute teacher binder

     One thing that I want to spend time on, however, is to work towards establishing a lunch-hour math development activity for my students. I am currently teaching three different math classes (Grade 8, 9 & 10) and my students represent a wide-range of comfort levels when it comes to working with mathematics. As such, I would like to have some type of math development activity at lunch-hour where any of my math students may come to receive extra support or explore enrichment opportunities.

     Right now, I envision opening up my classroom on Friday's at lunch time simply because I have a prep-period prior to this where I can eat my lunch. This would allow me to focus my full lunch hour to my students who come for math development. I am going to survey my students tomorrow, however, in order to get their thoughts and see if it is something they would take advantage of. Does your school offer lunch-time development for certain classes? If so, how do they operate?

Week 2 Wish Update

     Last week I shared that I wanted to work on engaging my Grade 10 Essential Math class. So far, we have been working with personal finances and different types of wages. I created a project that asked students to research their dream career choice(s) using the website Inside Jobs and then answer various math questions using the information that they found. As such, each student had an individualized project that reflected something that was more meaningful to them compared to just answering random questions that had no bearing on their lives.

     On Thursday, we moved on to our discussion about payroll deductions and I asked students to bring in paystubs from their actual jobs (if they had one) in order to explore the main deductions of income tax, CPP, and EI. For the students that weren't employed yet, I brought it paystubs from when I worked as a waitress and gas-bar attendant. This allowed students to see real-life examples and practice calculating these deductions themselves. Overall, I was very pleased with how the week played out and I will continue to work on creating engaging lesson options for my students.


  1. Hi Kirsten! Sounds like your grade 10s enjoyed this week - awesome job making lessons that connect to their real-life! I'm currently trying to do the same type of thing with my grade 9s and 10s.

    Here's another idea for you: what about budgeting and financing buying a car? That might be relevant to their lives and they could learn about leasing, financing, bank loans, interest rates, etc. Credit cards could be another interesting thing to study - interest rates, etc. It sounds like this class is teaching them valuable life skills in addition to math ;)

    1. Thanks Emma! I love the idea about budgeting and saving up for a car, I actually built that idea into one of our assignments this week, thank you! It is mandatory in our division for all Grade 10s to take Essential math (in addition to any other math they may want) so they get a lot of practical life skills.

  2. This article interested me


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