Day 59: Observation

An administrator came into Algebra today and I have my first of two formal evaluations for the school year.

I used Fawn’s Staircase and Steepness for the second year in a row. As always there were some hiccups along the way (like rulers turning into helicopter rotors and reaching maximum velocity). I want to write about the lesson tomorrow and use today to reflect on the positives and negatives of the lesson.


  • Students were challenged in multiple ways (use appropriate tools, make sense of calculations, put thinking into words).
  • The activity made math social.
  • I had student buy-in across all ability levels.
  • The students who had learned slope last year, had a tough time recalling the information (this says to me that there is value in the activity across all ability levels).


  • I did not spend enough time pre-loading students with expectations for the day. Behaviors became an issues because students were uncomfortable with their thinking being challenged + loss of interest.
  • All around time management could have been better.

STRUGGLE FOR THE YEAR (pretty much on a daily basis): I try and present math in a way which removes the mindset of memorizing equations/learning through repetition. When trying to do so, I have a hard time balancing that mindset and finding a form of classroom management that pairs well with it. I want my classroom to be social, which in turn is noisy. But students tend to push to the point where it becomes unproductive on a daily basis.



5 thoughts on “Day 59: Observation

  1. First off I want to say great blog! I had
    a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t
    mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head
    before writing. I have had a difficult time
    clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I do enjoy writing but
    it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thank you!


    1. Most days I have an idea of what I want to post about (planned lesson) and I write to reflect/unwind. Some days I definitely have the same feelings for the first 10 to 15 minutes that you talked about and at times I feel that I have a string of posts that are sloppy.

      The first few weeks were tough in putting my lessons and instructional decisions into words. What I have found works best for me is to just write. I have deleted whole posts because in taking the time to write it out, I found there was something I was much more interested in sharing that happened during the day.

      So in short what I am trying to say is just go for it. Unwinding and clearing your mind should be part of or an entire post at times, it keeps the flow of things natural.

      I really enjoy these types of questions, feel free to reply if this doesn’t help. I think it is a topic that requires more than just a two comment discussion!


  2. I appreciate this post because it is exactly how I was feeling today also. I sometimes wonder if anyone is getting anything out of class! The daily struggle that I have with one of my classes is so frustrating. One of my main rules is that I REFUSE TO SPEAK when my students are talking…the problem is that they talk so much it effects my ability to teach because I am constantly pausing until they are quiet. Oh the joys of teaching!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read your comment a few days ago… the refusing to speak piece always jumps into my mind when students are talking over me. It is hard for me to commit to waiting when they talk for several minutes without realizing I am waiting on them but it seems to be improving!

      Thanks for comment, all the folks out there have the same struggles as us. It is good we stick together!


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