2017-2018 Teacher Report Card Results

Only 75 of my 105 students took my Teacher Report Card Survey. I’ll post a reflection later.

I think that Ms. Walczak:

  • Respects each student: 4.73
  • Tries to see the student’s point of view: 4.48
  • Does a good job of treating all students how they deserve to be treated: 4.6
  • Explains topics clearly: 3.87
  • Seems to enjoy teaching: 4.63
  • Shows interest in students’ lives: 4.31
  • Makes me feel important: 4.11
  • Keeps the class under control without being too tough: 3.91
  • Grades fairly: 4.48
  • Encourages me to be responsible: 4.39
  • Cares about her students: 4.6
  • Loves math: 4.88

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What do you like BEST about class with Ms. Walczak: (some put multiple things in their answers so that’s why it won’t add up to 75)

  • She makes math easier/fun/how she teaches (13)
  • Reviews for tests/games (8)
  • Friendly/chill/caring environment (7)
  • Notes packets (6)
  • Getting to be in a group (6)
  • Fun activities (6)
  • Her energy/enthusiasm (5)
  • Warn Ups/ Mindset Moment videos on Mondays (5)
  • Not much homework (4)
  • Moving tables/changing groups each week (4)
  • Nothing/NA/She’s cringey (4)
  • Freedom but still kept under control (3)
  • Retakes (2)
  • Plickers (2)
  • Using chromebooks (2)
  • It’s organized
  • New math things
  • That it was first period
  • Prizes
  • High fives
  • Good pace
  • Whiteboards on desks
  • All the things

How can Ms. Walczak improve her teaching for next year?

  • Nothing/idk (21)
  • Explain/help more clearly (12)
  • Be more in control/strict (11)
  • More examples/notes (11)
  • More time for review and questions/slow down (5)
  • More things in the grade (2)
  • Don’t treat students like they’re 6
  • Keep giving out worksheets
  • Be louder
  • More activities
  • Don’t change her name
  • Less notes
  • More videos
  • Don’t allow phones
  • Stop being cringey
  • Speak slower
  • Better absent notes
  • More extra credit
  • Encourage more practice at home

You find out that your friend has Ms. Walczak next year. What do you tell him/her? (Note: dropping the class is not an option)

  • Pay attention/actually write down the notes/study/work hard (29)
  • It will be fun/good (12)
  • Be nice to/respect her (10)
  • She’s easy going/chill/nice (9)
  • Her class is enjoyable and easy once you get the hang of it (4)
  • Your sooo lucky/You’ll love her (4)
  • She’s the best/fav math teacher i ever had (4)
  • Sometimes things will be confusing u just gotta ask for help and she will help u/she will do anything to help you stay on top (4)
  • Good luck (3)
  • Nothing/idk (3)
  • She’s easy until you get on her bad side
  • You will take notes
  • Do not be afraid of her
  • She does daily warm-ups
  • She’s cringey
  • Make sure you ask questions
  • Do not ask for her social security number
  • Retake as much as you can
  • She will challenge you to your fullest ability
  • She kind of cheats at mathketball
  • Don’t get stuck on an escalator

What is something Ms. Walczak should keep doing next year?

  • Notes packets (11)
  • Warm Ups/Mindset Moment Videos (11)
  • Teaching (10)
  • Everything (9)
  • Plickers (8)
  • Review games/study guides (7)
  • Nothing/idk (3)
  • Math (2)
  • Weekly Summary (2)
  • Switching seats every week (2)
  • Sitting/working in groups (2)
  • Having fun (2)
  • Pushing students to do their best
  • Quizizz
  • Google Classroom reflections
  • Chromebooks
  • High fives
  • Being great
  • Desmos
  • Not giving a lot of homework
  • Not Just Dead White Dude Mathematicians
  • Letting us listen to music
  • Retakes

What is something Ms. Walczak should change for next year?

  • Nothing/idk (31)
  • Warm ups/warm up sheet (10)
  • Stop being so nice sometimes/be tougher (4)
  • More explaining/explain better (3)
  • Plickers/when we do Plickers (3)
  • Weekly summaries (3)
  • Groups/seating (3)
  • Less notes/assignments (3)
  • Offer extra credit (3)
  • More individual practice/homework (2)
  • Changing groups every week
  • Calling people’s names
  • Review
  • Letting us use our phones
  • Slow down
  • Reflections
  • More things (warm up sheets) for grades
  • Give notes on tests
  • The classroom
  • Not have the room be so cold

What is something Ms. Walczak should stop doing next year?

  • Nothing/idk (41)
  • Warm Up Sheet/Warm Ups (7)
  • Being too nice (5)
  • Changing seats every week (3)
  • Reflections (3)
  • Pulling names with the sticks (2)
  • Notes (2)
  • Plickers (2)
  • Assigned seats
  • Slope Dude
  • Set
  • Rick Rolling kids
  • Letting kids be on their phones
  • Giving answer keys
  • Going too quickly
  • Activities
  • All the quizzes
  • Not giving extra credit

What is something that’s memorable from this class?

  • Nothing/idk (13)
  • Review/review games (8)
  • My friends/the people in the class (6)
  • Set/Warm Ups/Mindset Moment videos (6)
  • Plickers (3)
  • Quizizz (3)
  • Changing seats every week (3)
  • Tin Man project (3)
  • Learning new ways to do math/math (3)
  • Mathketball (2)
  • Her room (2)
  • Quadratic formula/song (2)
  • Not having that much homework (2)
  • Activities (2)
  • Water bottle incident (2)
  • Donovan’s/Carter’s pencil (2)
  • Notes/practice (2)
  • Tests/quizzes (2)
  • Having freedom
  • Slope-intercept
  • Ms. Walczak being an amazing teacher
  • Weekly Summaries
  • Group work
  • Chromebooks
  • How happy she would be when we were working together and helping each other
  • Having fun
  • That she’s cringey
  • Getting Rick Rolled
  • Somebody making fart noises while taking a quiz
  • All of first semester
  • Everything
  • Slope Dude
  • Struggling
  • Getting a donut

What is one word you would use to describe this class?

download

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What do you think the benefits to teh Daily Warm Ups were?

  • Got our brains working before jumping right into math (32)
  • Fun (7)
  • I don’t know (7)
  • Thinking about stuff you wouldn’t normally/outside the box (5)
  • Good challenge/brain squeeze (4)
  • Getting to know each other better/work together (3)
  • It doesn’t benefit us (3)
  • Brain skills (2)
  • Easy (2)
  • Break from the heavy math
  • Engaging at the beginning of class

What do you think the drawbacks to the Daily Warm Ups were?

  • Nothing/idk (29)
  • Took up class time (19)
  • Went too fast (3)
  • Too much of the same/boring (3)
  • Not everyone did them (3)
  • Weren’t graded (2)
  • All of it (2)
  • Extra writing and learning
  • Too much talking
  • Losing the paper

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Je suis heureuse avec mes resultats!

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Review of 2017-2018 School Year – What I’ve Done

I ended my fifth year of school last Friday, but have been working this week with the other freshman teachers and math department chair to design an Algebra I curriculum (moving away from Integrated). So it feels like summer but then doesn’t. We’ve been doing some good work and it’s nice to just be able to chill and plan.

This year was difficult but rewarding. I felt like there was never a chance to relax and breathe. First, I taught all new classes – Integrated Math I and Honors Integrated Math II. There were technically topics from both those classes that I had taught before, so it wasn’t all completely new. I taught the same classes as two great teachers that collaborated with me and we did some really cool things with our classes. I was also part of our Freshman Academy, which meant our students mostly all had the same core teachers and we had extra weekly team and monthly Academy meetings to attend. I presented at the NCTM Regional Conference in Chicago and also at the Western ICTM Math Conference, and also participated in training with the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC). I tried to start a math club/team but it didn’t really last past February. I joined the Environmental Action Committee (EAC), which is our environmental club at school so that I can take it over for next year. I’m also going to be moving classrooms for next year so I’ve started that process. I’ll talk more about all that later.

Personally, I was also pretty busy. I finished my master’s degree in Teacher Leadership from American College of Education in May. I’ve also been planning my wedding all year (done with that in July). That meant lots of weekends making the 3-hour drive to where the wedding is on pretty much any weekend that wasn’t filled with band. I’ve been continuing to be a Percussion Technician for my fiance’s band program and have been very involved in his band this year. I also started to tutor one of his students in Calculus and helped a few more of his students at random moments throughout the year. I did well for a little bit with working out and #FitBoS, and then fell off again – but I’m getting back at it now! I took my first bereavement days and coped with other health problems in my family, but am thankful that everyone is doing great now! I took a vacation to visit my brother in Washington D.C. I also learned to cook some more things after getting an Instant Pot for the holidays! Who has some good IP recipes to share? I also started a fruit/vegetable garden for the second time and have learned to take care of some plants. This school year has definitely led to a lot of adult-y growth.

It’s weird to think about all the things I did. Over the school year, my mind always seems to be about what the students have done.

C’est vraiment beaucoup! (Et tu me manques, grand-père.)

Favorite Reflection Question Ever

I do not give regular daily homework in my classes, but instead, give what I call a Reflection after every assessment. I give them a week to do it, and it’s always a 5-6 question assignment where they write their responses in a Google Doc and submit it through Google Classroom. The first 2-3 questions are related to the content that was just assessed. Usually, ones that take more thinking and are higher order, or sometimes I make a 3-Act in it, but it’s always something that makes them do more than the rote problems I have to give in the assessments. The last 2-3 questions are more of the typical reflection-type questions that are about the student.

I asked a question on my last Reflection that I think might be my favorite ever. “What is the most important thing you have learned in math class so far this year (could be a math skill or a study/organizational skill; could have been taught by me or learned in some other way)?” Here’s a highlight of some of the responses:

I did get plenty that listed math skills, but these examples just made my heart swell. Special thanks to Sara VanDerWerf @saravdwerf and her suggestion about the Scale of Persistence (https://saravanderwerf.com/2015/12/13/22-minutes-mindset-grit-and-trauma/). The beagle and people stuck on the escalator obviously made an impact.

Ma classe a affecté mes étudiants avec plus des maths simplement.

WIU Thinking Mathematically From Minute One Presentation 4/13/18

I miss blogging a lot. I am looking forward to being done with my Masters in 4.5 weeks and done with wedding planning in 2.5 months so that I have some free time back. I have a lot of drafts and pictures to share – hope I can remember what they’re all about when I am ready to blog!

I am giving a presentation at Western Illinois University for the Western Illinois University Mathematics Teachers Conference about Warm Ups. I thought I might get bored of presenting about warm ups, but every time I do it I am just so excited to share!

The Google Slides presentation is below. There have been a few updates that I’ve made to my warm ups. I plan to share them on my blog soon!

Downloads:

Resources:

Un jour, je vais publier les brouillons qui m’attendent et ma temps libre.

Family Communication – Let The Students Contribute To The Process! (NCTM Regional Presentation 11/30/17)

On 11/30/17, I presented a Burst session about Family Communication. The goal of this session is to set up procedures to have students contribute to the process.

Here is the Google Slides presentation I used:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1x3Ym6nOEJyZ2JK0kSxDEP_VuePZSW9R0Qf_EiNWsQ3k/copy?usp=sharing

Here is the handout that I gave with the links: NCTM Family Comm Handout (pdf)
Weekly Summary Explanationhttp://bit.ly/WeekSum
Class Twitter Feed Explanationhttp://bit.ly/ClassTwitter
Parent Survey Explanationhttp://bit.ly/PSurv
Parent Contact Log Explanationhttp://bit.ly/ContLog

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Je peux parler de la communication avec les familles pendent des heures.

 

Parent Survey

At the beginning of the year, I attached the link to a Parent Survey at the end of my syllabus. That got me a handful of responses. I also sent it out in my first few mass email newsletters. I’ve gotten 14 responses, so a very small portion of my students’ parents. But hey, something is better than nothing, right?

Here is a copy of what I sent: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16C-N9Y9rcCkCYd4O4xlhO_52QFt3HbW8VYxGTtX5eJw/copy?usp=sharing

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I decided to ask for information about when their learner was successful and not successful, and I’ve gotten some really great insight from that. It helped me see into some of the past experiences that my learners had faced. I was happy to see that all of them could share a time when the learner had academic success. There was also a lot of wincing on my part when I read what some of them went through to give academic difficulty. All of the responses were helpful.

I also made sure to put a note about when to contact home in my class roster spreadsheet that I keep. Most of the time it was if the learner was failing, but there have been a few times this semester where I’ve had to contact about a different thing that the parents asked for.

Also, the best thing I changed about this survey from last year is that I set it so that I get an email notification every time the survey is completed. That’s helped me keep up with the responses way better.

Is there anything I should change about my survey?

Je veux communiquer avec tous des parents de mes étudiants. Un jour.

Class Twitter Page (Updated 11/27/17)

 

One way that I communicate with parents is by my Class Twitter (an idea I stole from Annie Forest). At the end of every week, I have students do a Weekly Summary. One of the prompts they have for that is to answer the “Tweet Question”. Guardians do not see these answers when they get the emails. That’s because I curate the tweets to put on our class Twitter. I usually use one tweet per period. I have the Twitter feed on my class website and currently have 5 followers…but some students have said that they just look on my website. I also post pictures from class on the class Twitter. I haven’t gotten any parent comments about it yet. Honestly I don’t know if any look at it. I just keep putting reminders that it’s there when I send my unit emails and, if nothing else, it’s nice for me to chronicle the year.

The Tweet Questions I ask can be something about the current topic, or can be more general. Some examples:

  • What is the most difficult part about ____?
  • What is one piece of advice you’d give about ___?
  • How can you use ____ in a real-life situation?
  • What do you wish your teacher knew about you?
  • What is one good thing that happened this week?
  • What is your goal for next week?
  • What is your favorite ____ and why?

I try to get one per class to post but sometimes I do more.

J’espère que les parents apprécient les mises à jour.