Sunday, August 24, 2014

That first week of school groove: Week 1 Summary

So, going into Monday, I knew I had this. This is my 5th year to teach so, although I know I'm not anywhere close to where I want to be as a teacher, I have the hang of teaching and relating to my kids. I know better how to set expectations and stick with them, how to properly manage my classroom, and how to prepare myself for what my kids need.

Day 1: I have 4 Pre-AP (PAP) Algebra 2 classes and 2 Bridging to Algebra 2 classes. My Algebra 2 classes worked on introducing themselves and started on the cell phone project given in the previous post. My Bridge classes did the same except began working on an order of operations sheet.

Day 2: PAP Alg 2 continued the cell phone project. Bridge continued the order of operations sheet. I had forgotten how long it takes for my kids in the Bridge classes to work through things. It's nice to not have to hit concepts like crazy and really allow each individual student time to understand and apply what we are learning.

Day 3: In both classes we went over classroom procedures and I gave them 15 reasons why I'm awesome. We had lots of good laughs and a lot of fun this day. I feel like they really enjoyed hearing how quirky I am and a little about my personal life. Of course, they all wanted to hear the stolen car story from my second year of teaching. I'm glad it's funny now :)

Day 4: We set up our notebooks in both classes. Once we finished that, we began literal equations in PAP. It is completely laid out in this handout but I also made an INB page that I will share below.

Handout (Not INB form):

INB version:

In Bridge, we started an activity at the very end of class that I love for getting my kids to get that problem-solving mindset going. It's called 5 Easy Pieces that I in no way made up but have tweeked it and made it into an INB page. I will also share this below.

Five Easy Pieces

Day 5: PAP Alg. 2- We did lots of solving literal equations on the whiteboards in class. We had lots of fun. Class was chaos, kids were working and talking, eager to show me their answers. I explained beforehand how whiteboards would work. I told them we would be using these frequently in class and the rules are that they can in no way sketch, draw, or make negative remarks on the whiteboards. Once they are finished with the specific equation on the board and I have confirmed that their answer is correct, they can quietly doodle until everyone has completed the problem. Once I communicated these rules and stuck to them, they did well with following them. Many of the kids struggled at first with solving for a variable in an equation without numbers presents and still need practice, especially with the more difficult equations. On Monday, we will solve about 4 or 5 more difficult physics problems on the whiteboards again and then set off on the right side of the literal equations foldable I am sharing. On tuesday, we will have a quiz first things where I will grade their work in the foldable while they complete the quiz and will then move on to learning various ways to represent domain and range using various notation.

Bridge- We really got into the meat of the Five Easy Pieces Activity. I must say, I was so impressed with how well the kids did with it. I was expecting quite the struggle, but overall, after a few clarifications, they did awesome. We have a little bit to complete on Monday and we will go on to start on the Aquarium Problem which I will share below. It is actually an adjusted calculus problem. I hope it will really get the kids thing of the situation and what to look for in a graph at particular situations. I made an INB format for it. On the right side is a large landscape version of the graph, briefly explaining the scenario that will be folded in half to fit in the page. At the bottom of that same page will be the scenarios that I want them to label on the graph. On the left side of the page will be 4 specific questions on a strip that they will answer off to the side on their notebook paper. The problem definitely makes them think deeply about the situation. It could really be used in Algebra 1 through Calc as a problem solving activity.

Aquarium Problem (INB version):

Awesome week! I really think I'm going to love my kids this year. There are a few in my Bridge classes that I'm going to really have to push to work but, for the most part, it shouldn't be an issue. I think it deals more with a lack of confidence than anything. They aren't confident and have resorted to letting themselves be lazy to avoid the embarrassment of failing. I hope to really change this with these kids.

(Another perk to the week: It was my amazing hubby's bday on Thursday. So blessed to have that man)

Y'all have a blessed week!


  1. Brooke, I am so excited that I have found your blog! I graduated from Ouachita in 2012. If I remember correctly, you had graduated the year before I began as a Freshman. I also went through the Math Education program, so I remember them talking about previous students who were out teaching :) I'll begin my 3rd year of teaching next week - I'm teaching Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, and Geometry in a small private school in Massachusetts. I love it! I'm glad you had a good week with your students and I look forward to reading more posts from you!

    1. Hi Rebecca! So so neat that you found me! I am so sorry I am just now replying! I have gotten so caught up with school/family/pregnant with #2/and teaching ACT classes that I haven't had time to get back to blogging. I definitely want to change that this semester!! OBU has such a SPECIAL place and my heart and it's so good to hear from others who share that love! I look so forward to keeping in contact with you! Please keep me updated on how your year is going!


    Is praying to God a form of worship? Yes, without a doubt. Is praying to men or women who are dead or alive worship? Yes, without a doubt.

    Who should men worship? Luke 4:7-8 "Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve."(NKJV)


    Worship Defined: 1. (Ecclesiastical terms) to show profound religious devotion and respect to; adore or venerate (God or any person or thing considered divine) 2. to be devoted to and full of admiration for. 3. to have or express feelings of profound adoration......7. (Ecclesiastical) the formal expression of religious adoration; rites, prayers, etc. [REF. The Free Dictionary.]

    Praying to God is worship and men are to only worship God.

    A Costa Rican woman has told how she recovered from a brain aneurysm after praying to Blessed Pope John Paul ll ---the second miracle attributed to the pontiff, who died in 2005. [REF: catholicherald.]

    Praying to any man dead or alive is worship and to worship anyone but God is sin.

    Through the selfless "yes" of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, our Savior, was brought into the world. It is appropriate, therefore , that we offer prayers of petition and praise to the Mother of God.


    Praying to anyone is worship and to worship anyone but God is sin.



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