Saturday, 5 October 2013

2 Stars & A Wish: Week 5

     September is behind us and here is my first 2 Stars & A Wish post of October. Teachers always say that the year goes by so quickly and I definitely understand that now! It honestly seems like yesterday was the first day of school and it is almost already Thanksgiving. Two things that went well this week are:
1 ) Reinforcing our Risk Free Environment Policy
- I do not have a formal list of rules in my classroom, but I do
  have a Risk Free Environment Policy that reads as follows:
  "Our classroom does not discriminate on the basis of disability,
  gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other means.
  It is of the utmost important that every action we undertake]
  demonstrates respect for those around us. If at any time a
  situation occurs that does not illustrate this practice please bring
  it to my attention. I strongly believe that we are all part of a team
  within this classroom and if I witness a situation that does not illustrate
  this practice we will address it as a class."
- I have one class that is still working towards understanding what this
  actually looks like in the classroom so this week, instead of having
  science class, we worked on this policy. We had some really good
  group discussions about my expectations and what this policy might
  look like in a classroom, school, life setting. We then made posters
  that we displayed in the front hallway right by our main office!
- I am so proud of the growth I witnessed in my students in such a
  short time and had the absolute best class ever with them on Friday!

risk free environment

2 ) Having My Students Get Excited About Math
- I came across a video this week via my YouTube subscriptions that
  really bent my brain and got me thinking about math in a different way.
  Of course, I immediately began thinking of ways that I could share this
  with my students. I was worried because the video was a little outside of
  what we are studying and is a geared towards an older audience with
  more background information but I wanted to try it; and I am glad I did!!
- Here is the video I shared with them:
  I hope you actually took the time to watch it because it is awesome,
  but if you didn't, it shows you that 1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1... = 1/2
  I know, crazy, right?!
- I presented my students with the series 1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1+1-1... on
  Thursday and got them to guess what they thought the answer could
  be and why. On Friday I began explaining the series as it is explained
  through the video and I immediately had some students dozing off &
  giving me blank expressions. As soon as we began manipulating the
  variable, however, (and students began seeing where the answer was
  leading them) I had every students engaged!
- My students were yelling, "My mind is blown!", "How can that work?"
  "We need to show this to people". It was definitely an awesome
  experience :)
- If you want to discuss this video, or Grandi's Series, please visit the
  blog post my students wrote about this; they love getting comments!

     One thing that I will be working on this week, however, is completing the Respect in School online course. All teachers, support staff, and students (once they reach a certain age) are required to complete the online Respect in School course. As a new staff member, I was asked to have this done by September 27th and, embarrassingly, I completely forget about it! After a friendly reminder from my principal, it is now my priority for this week and hope to have it done ASAP!

Week 4 Update

     Last week I shared that I wanted to work on keeping my students up-to-date in regards to their grades and missing assignments. I am happy to report that I was able to get all my grading up to date and printed off current achievement reports for my students in my high school classes. There was definitely a few students who had forgotten about missed assignments so those marks might have been eye-opening, but I am happy that my students are up-to-date and well informed. I made sure to remind students about making up work, completing corrections, and the lunch-hour math development sessions I hold.


  1. Did you make a template for reporting the grades to the students? I started on mine a couple days ago, but I'm not completely happy with it and was looking for different ideas. Mind you, this is for my Grade 2's and their parents to show if they're understanding the material or not, etc.

    1. We use the online program Maplewood for our grading and report cards so I print achievement reports right from there. There is very little customizing options so I don't have much say in how the template looks.

      I just make sure it includes the appropriate report card categories, whatever assignments fit under those categories, the date it was due, and their mark. Then the program prints off a spreadsheet-looking report that includes that information.


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