08 August 2017

First Day Plans - Financial Algebra

The first day of school is just over a week away! Being on a 4x4 schedule that means we have to hit the ground running - especially in the fall semester. I have just 84 school days in the fall to get through tons of information (if you are unfamiliar, think college class schedule - you finish the course in a semester then start new course the next semester). This fall I will be teaching Financial Algebra (I absolutely LOVE this course and what we have done with it), and then planning out our Integrated Math 1 and 2 course for the teams (in the spring I will be teaching Math 2).

Note: I say it often, but I really am going to try to Blog more! So, I decided to get started with the #MTBoS #SundayFunday Weekly Blogging Challenge. I feel like I have been working on butt off this summer trying to get courses organized and set for the first quarter. For the first time in like 5 years, we will be starting the year with the teachers that ended last - there is not a new math teacher in my department! As a teacher who had to move schools every year my first 7 years of teaching, I had always taken my new teachers in my department under my wings to mentor and make sure they felt comfortable and supported to do what they needed to be an awesome teacher. Obviously I will still support the teachers in my department, but I don't feel like I need to be there as much - they are amazing and they got this!! So, maybe that will free up the time I need to Blog? ... right???
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The post for this week is "First Day Plans." The plan is to:

1) start by greeting students at the door. I also use this as an opportunity to help some of the "lost" students find the correct classroom. Last spring, my student teacher asked students to write about "what does it mean to be financially secure" for the warm-up, so I think I will ask the same thing. 

2) I think I may also want to have a brief discussion about what the students think this course will be about, then what would they like to learn about. This will lead into a little more about what it may actually be like. Some students really struggle with this being a Project based course, while others don't realize this course should be taken at the end of their high school math pathway - so I like to take just a few minutes to make sure I inform them about this.

3) Students are then going to grab Chromebooks and get into Classroom. We aren't 1-1, so we have 3 carts for our department. Sadly, we usually have 1 booked for most days for our Financial Alg. courses.

4) Once in, I'll make sure students know what resources will be available to them in the "About" section, then they will get started on the first 2 assignments!!
  a) the first is a Google Form that just asks for some information so that I can get to know them better. I browse through answers as they work on the second assignment so that I can make a more personal connection with them. 
  b) students work on a HyperDoc about Google Apps. Since we use Chromebooks and Google Applications OFTEN in our Financial Algebra class, it is very important for students to have a strong grasp of the apps. We also found that students didn't know some of the little things that we thought they should, so we wrapped almost everything into this document. They have this day and part of the next two day's to complete it. I like that this can challenge any student! Last Spring, we used a slightly different version and every student learned at least one thing new.

5) finally, students will be given a Twitter Student Profile sheet so I can get to know just a little more about them.

The second day, I'm hoping to introduce my Class Economy plan (I'm still working on some aspects in my head but I am sooooo excited about this and can't wait to write a post about it soon!), have students get a little introduction to Sheets, and then continue to work on the Google Apps document.

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