Friday, 14 March 2014

2 Stars & A Wish: Week 25

     This week actually represented my shortest teaching week on record due to extracurricular activities, meetings, and illnesses.
- Tuesday was our Grade 7-12 Ski Trip to a downhill ski hill
  approximately 2 hours away (a gorgeous day where I got to
  snowboard with my students!)
- Wednesday I attended a meeting at our Division Office
- Thursday I had my first sick day all year after battling
  bronchitis-like symptoms for almost two weeks
As such, I feel like I wasn't able to accomplish much this week. I am hoping to hit the ground running on Monday, however, as spring break is only a few short weeks away! Two things that I think went well this week were:

1 ) Holding my First Ever Science Fair!
- For the past three weeks my Grade 8 Science students have
  been working on independent science fair projects for our
  unit on Fluids (pressure, density, buoyancy, viscosity). While
  I've never participated in a Science Fair or held one, I did
  serve as a Science Fair judge for a local school while completing
  my B.Ed.
- I was very nervous about how everything would turn out in regards to
  planning, organization, student participation, turn-out, etc. Plus,
  I was sick the day BEFORE the event and showed up today
  completely nervous.
- After it is all done, however, I couldn't be MORE PROUD of
  my Grade 8 students! They put an incredible amount of effort
  and planning into their projects and I was beaming as they
  showed off their displays to over 70 students & staff! (Pretty
  impressive since our school has only approximately 120 students).
- If you'd like to see the science fair planning process from
  my students point-of-view, check through their blog posts!

A panoramic shot during our Science Fair!

2 ) Keeping Up-To-Date With My Marking
- This week I wrapped up my first Grade 9 Science unit on
  Reproduction and, as such, today was the last day to hand in
  any assignments from this unit (including final summative
  projects). My Grade 7 Science class finished and presented their
  volcano research projects for our unit on Geology (which
  included exploding volcano models). My Grade 8 Science class
  held their Science Fair.
- Yes, I know, I did not think this through very well!
- This schedule resulted in my room looking like a paper
  explosion went off and I had ZERO storage after factoring in
  almost 60+ display-style projects.
- Thankfully, I was able to keep on top of my marking and
  EVERYTHING can be taken home on Monday and my room
  can return to normal!

     One thing that I want to work on, however, is getting an early start on Report Cards. We are almost ready for our next round of report cards and parent-teacher interviews. This is now my third round at this (I reported on all Grades in November & just high school in January) so I hope to show improvement and be more organized now that I am more aware of expectations. I've already finished all of my Learning Behaviour reporting tonight (that's a good sign, right?!) Here is hoping that the rest goes smoothly!

Week 24 Update:

     Last week I shared that I wanted to work on  maintaining focus and direction in my Grade 9 Math class. Now, due to this week's activities, we didn't have all of our normal classes but I was able to have our principal pop-in to observe during the one day we did hold regular class. Furthermore, I was able to conference with her in-detail afterwards in regards to expectations. I think, as a first-year teacher who does not have a specialty in math, I was very focused on what I could be doing wrong as a teacher. After observing and reviewing my lessons, however, my principal assured me that I am simply dealing with a class that is pushing limits and learning to work within the different expectations of high school. Unfortunately for both me and them, this year is going to be a big learning curve but I will continue to work closely with my principal to ensure I am doing everything I can on my end to ensure success!

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