First weekend as a teacher (updated)

I have now completed my first week of DC Teaching Fellows Summer Institute and my first days in a classroom for Practice Teaching (PT).  I teach Algebra I at Stuart-Hobson Middle School to 9th and 10th graders.  The class is relatively well-behaved, and I think I’ll be able to keep them under control.  I am in the class with my Cooperating Teacher (CT) as well as another Fellow.

My first day at practice teaching both of the Metro lines I take were unexpectedly delayed, so I ended up being about 15 minutes late.  It turns out it didn’t matter.  Our CT quit the day before, so they were scrambling that morning trying to find a teacher for us to work with at the very last moment.  The women that they found is being really great, though.  She is exemplifying the flexibility necessary for great teachers.

A quick update on the job front.  I finally had a full interview after attending three different hiring fairs.  It was at Brightwood Education Campus.  I really feel like I connected to the three interviewers (the principal, the special education resources manager, and the dean of students).  I also have another interview at Hart Middles School.  I am really excited about that school.  Actually, I could happily work at either school.

I’m spending this weekend creating lesson plans and working on my first work product for Institute.  We have to turn in our lesson plans for the next week to our Resource Specialist (RS) by 8:00pm Sunday night.  Well, this week it is Monday night because we get the 4th as an extra day.  I am presenting four lessons next week, so I have four lesson plans to turn in.

My first lesson is going to cover solving one-step and two-step linear equations.  That will be first thing Tuesday morning.  Wednesday I’ll talk more about linear equations and some linear formulas.  That day I am also going to work with equations that involve fractions because the students seem uncomfortable with fractions.  Thursday I’ll continue talking about linear formulas and they relate to ratios and rates.  Friday will be a quiz and then I’ll talk about finding slope.

Summer school classes are three hours long.  That’s pretty intense; most college courses aren’t even three hours long every day.  My fellow Fellow will be presenting lessons interspersed with mine.  So, we’ll be covering a lot of material.  The main teacher will be presenting lessons in there too.

Tuesday our CT is out on a vacation day, so there’ll be a substitute.  Which means we’ll have the run of the classroom.  That’s a lot of responsibility, but no better way to go than to just dive in.

I also have a work product to turn in Tuesday at 2:30pm.  This first work product is a Classroom Management Blueprint.  That basically means it is the rules and consequences of my classroom spelled out.  There is also a section where I discuss procedures I plan to establish.  Finally, I explain how I will communicate these management tools to my students and make sure that they are invested in them.

While I was creating a lesson plan tonight, I came up with an activity sheet that I can give the students if they finish working early.  I call it Big Brains make for Big Gains.  It has two nonograms and two sudoku puzzles.  The idea is that they always have one of these sheets to work on if they finish their other tasks.  I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with them yet.  They have assigned seats right now, so I was thinking that when they finish a Big Brains sheet they would get to move to a seat of their choice for the rest of the day and the next day.

Now that I am producing useful documents, I planned to share them here.  That way my blog can act as a resource for myself and others.  I am just going to link to a pdf version stored on my Google Docs.  See below for links to the documents I’m including with this post.

TEACHING RESOURCES

Sponge Activity: Big Brains make for Big Gains 001

Lesson Plan: Algebra I – intro to solving equations

Lesson Plan: Algebra I – linear equations (focus on fractions)

Lesson Plan: Algebra I – linear equations reteach

Work Product: Classroom Management Blueprint

I will update this post and activate the links as I post the documents.  I am also going to create a page just for my lesson plans and the other things I create as I go through Institute and once I have a classroom of my own.

Update: Added links to other lesson plans and to the Classroom Management Blueprint work product.

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