#MTBoS30 I Did It!

Guys I actually did it. This is my 30th post in the month of May. Yes, I know I did it a little bit wrong – 24 posts in the last week. Did I go a little overboard at the end? Maybe. Did it make me feel great to write all those posts? For sure!

My year was crazy busy and I barely posted. In the #MTBoS Blogging Initiative I did all but one of the prompts (the last one). I also did the #MTBoS12days posts. I did a pseudo-180 blog when I taught summer school last summer. I enjoyed every bit of blogging I did. I also enjoy reading every blog post that comes into my Feedly. I hope to continue to blog and maybe I’ll be able to do it without a challenge holding me to it.

I still haven’t really blogged about any of the activities I did in class on specific concepts. I taught four preps and we did a lot of different things in class – mainly (90%) stolen from the #MTBoS. That’s kind of why I haven’t posted about them – the posts are already all out there. But I do have some pictures I took so maybe those will surface one day.

My principal suggested I have a student take a picture each day to document what we’re doing and send it out to parents (kind of like classroom blogs/Twitters that I’ve seen here and there). That might happen next year. We’ll see.

Je suis content d’avoir les défis du #MTBoS.

Teacher Report Card Results (Part 3) #MTBoS30

This is the part that I made optional for my students. It’s very specific to certain things I do in my classroom. Parts 1 and 2 are here and here.

Which Daily Warm Up was your favorite? (34 responses)

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What do you think the benefits to the Daily Warm Ups were? (34 responses)
  • They got your brain going before you had to try and comprehend the lesson which helps in first hour classes.
  • give you time in the morning before going straight to serious math, got everybody talking as a class
  • to get your brain flowing
  • It got our brains going in the morning and helped us get rolling.
  • They got us thinking early in the morning.
  • Set our brains up to get ready to learn and understand math, especially in the morning.
  • Gets our brain thinking early and ready to focus.
  • gives us sometime to wake up and start thinking
  • It was a fun and positive way to start the class off and it got everyone involved
  • Wake your brain up and prepare you for math
  • woke you up
  • Helps us to prepare our brains for math and thinking in the morning before we start the lesson
  • To start thinking about math
  • Review on the math skills
  • Since this is 1st hour i think it wakes your brain up. like a little eyeopener.
  • They were just fun.
  • They were to help get our brains functioning in a mathematical way
  • There weren’t many in my opinion. Especially in the calculus level, this really didn’t have
  • It got us focused on class and we were able to get a little of that crazy energy out.
  • so we know what we are doing and if we learned how to do it
  • having some fun in class
  • getting your brain started
  • To get our minds ready for math class, especially with it being first hour.
  • It gets the class started on math and getting involved in class
  • Exercise the brain before learning something new
  • It forces you to think
  • We begin to think about things mathematically
  • Gives you a chance to warm up a little.
  • Helps get your mind focused on math
  • Get us thinking
  • they got us distracted from distractions and got us thinking about math
  • It starts the class of fun and happy it also wakes people up
  • i think they were fun and smart but they weren’t long enough
  • It’s fun

What do you think the drawbacks to the Daily Warm Ups were? (34 responses)

  • Sometimes they took up a lot of time, or people obviously weren’t paying attention every now and then.
  • takes up time especially when people refuse to answer
  • they can be boring and not all students want to participate
  • Takes up class work time at the end of the period.
  • People didn’t want to participate.
  • Not everyone wanted to answer
  • Sometimes we get off topic
  • sometimes they were boring but the estimation was always fun.
  • People didn’t always take it seriously
  • I don’t think there were any
  • using time
  • Took time away from actually learning stuff that we need to go over
  • IDK
  • Took times away from class and could get the class off topic
  • I really don’t think there were any.
  • Took up instruction time and time to practice and work.
  • Some of them were very simple and elementary.
  • They wasted a little bit of time.
  • Sometimes they took a turn then we would start talking about other things but we eventually bring it back to math.
  • I don’t know
  • it takes up some time
  • nothing
  • It took up some time.
  • None!
  • Time Consuming
  • Sometimes getting sidetracked.
  • We were spending less time on learning and our assignments.
  • Might take up a little bit of time.
  • Might take up too much class time
  • They’re tedious
  • we would get off topic soooo bad
  • Some were hard or a little boring. (Yes still have homework presentations but not make everyone have to)
  • idk
  • Sometimes it took up time bc our class talked

Do you believe Ms. Walczak should continue to require Homework Presentations for her classes? (34 responses)

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How many Homework Presentations do you think should be required in a semester in Ms. Walczak’s class? (34 responses)

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Do you think homework should be included in a grade? (This means going around and checking for completion or collecting homework) (34 responses)

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Why? (34 responses)

  • People need homework grades to balance out test grades. People should know in advance if the homework will be graded though.
  • You put effort into learning the material and keeping up with the class so its nice to get some part of your grade that reflects that and it can keep your grade steady
    because the students are not going to do it if you don’t check it
  • i mean yes and no some people don’t take the time to do it but they might already understand the topic so why would they waste their time on homework.
  • I want my work to be counted, and homework grades help to balance out test scores.
  • It should be checked to make sure they understand what they’re doing, because they will not succeed on tests if they don’t know what’s going on.
  • If you do it I think that you should get points to help your grade in the long run.
  • It has to be.
  • I like the idea of having homework as an optional practice
  • If students need a better grade it gives them a chance to get there grade up.
  • because sometimes homework are in subject that we are not comfortable with
  • It is their own fault if they don’t want to do the extra work and don’t understand what we are doing.
  • It would make me want to do my Hw always because it will be some sort of grade
  • Completion grade would be nice to balance out test grades and to get students to do their homework which would be extra review, also not too much homework so not like homework everyday of the week like maybe no homework fridays would be really nice or mondays
  • because that is what is really gonna help people for the assessments.
  • Because grades should also reflect the efforts put in by the students.
  • This is a college level course and students should be prepared for the ways college classes function.
  • Not always, though. You should give homework like once a week, and make sure they know it’s graded. It’s not necessary, because I still learned a lot in Calculus and not once did I even attempt to do the homework. However, I feel like we spent a lot of time reviewing what we learned because by the time I came back to class I forgot everything. I don’t like homework, but if you gave just a few problems for them to do for a participation grade, it might help keep their grades up and also help solidify the information. They might feel more confident with the work if they did some homework every now and then.
  • I think the homework presentations are a good replacement for actual graded homework.
  • because people won’t do it and you can surprise them
  • Because there is so much homework on classes that it’s hard to remember witch ones I have left to do and try to remember everything
  • becasue it puts to much stress on some kids who have lots of other hw
  • It is only for our benefit and they’re easy points.
  • It is just practice for you in the long run so you shouldn’t grade them on how they practice
  • If you know the material you shouldn’t have to learn it again
  • Because it forces you to learn the problems
  • Homework is a big part of learning and helps our grade quite a bit.
  • You should have to do your homework that is assigned.
  • A lot of time, I don’t understand the material when we get to the homework portion of it.
  • Every other teacher does it and it’s a good influence for kids to get their work done.
  • it’s an incentive!
  • I did absolutely no homework in this class I am pretty sure
  • well i think the dice rolling idea is smart because i liked that
  • It can better your grade

[I wish I would have split this into a Why and then a different Why Not but oh well]

What is the purpose of homework? (34 responses)

  • To get better at the subject at hand, and to make sure you’re able to do it without a teacher.
  • to make sure you know how to do the work that you learned in class
  • to review for the test
  • To help improve a skill that needs practice.
  • To practice before a test.
  • To better your understanding and try to do it by yourself without needing teacher’s help.
  • To help you better understand the material.
  • From my perspective i didnt have to do homework everyday to understand it. Most people do it to learn it, but it clicked with me.
  • extra practice to prepare for quizzes and tests
  • Extra practice to help you learn the subject better
  • practice
  • To help better understand the subject we are learning
  • To practice the skill that we are learning in class
  • To review and go over questions in class
  • to practice and study the material
  • To give students extra practice of the material.
  • Practice of the problems
  • I kind of just explained that in the previous question. It would just help solidify the information and help remember how to do the problems with some extra practice.
  • To prepare us for the tests.
  • to know what we are doing right or wrong
  • to make sure you know and understand what you learned in class that day
  • to learn by yourself and understand
  • To help prepare us and practice for our quizzes.
  • To practice for a quiz/test and your final
  • Learn the new material
  • To help learn the topic
  • To practice and further understand the topics.
  • To prepare you for the test.
  • Reviewing material
  • Extra practice for students
  • to keep our minds refreshed on what we learned
  • Extra practice for the tests
  • to get some work done at home so you dont forget it everyday when u come back the
    next day
  • to practice for the test

What comments do you have about the way Ms. Walczak graded assessments in class? (30 responses)

  • none
  • none
  • I like how if you made a calculating error, that didn’t mean you didn’t know how to do something. definitely props to you on that one.
  • I think i liked the dice rolling it was clever and gave us leeway on the days that it was not for colpletion.
  • It got really confusing, because I didn’t understand what all the different marks meant.
  • I like the way she does.
  • It works pretty good. It takes some pressure of us knowing that we can always reassess anything which makes us do better.
  • I loved the way the assesments were graded because it wasn’t really on how many you missed, it was more how much you actually understood about the unit and the parts of the unit.
  • None
  • I liked it. It made students do their homework just in case you rolled a 6.
  • I like the way that you grade Test and Quizzes
  • I dont know never did one
  • they should be worth more points like each question
  • ‘Twas good.
  • I was just confused with how you marked the answers with the different letters, but that isn’t a huge deal/
  • I really liked the way you graded our tests. It was nice to see how close we were and how to fix the problems. It was really nice and helped me learn a lot actually.
  • I think you graded them fairly
  • no
  • its good
  • I really like the way she grades.
  • I like her grading
  • It’s walczastic
  • You were fair and I appreciated that
  • It took quite a bit of getting used to, but when I didn’t do well on a quiz or test
  • Nothing.
  • I liked it
  • I enjoy that we were rewarded every once in a while
  • it was fair & i like that you are open to revision and guilt us into sometimes it helps though
  • None you should continue the dice to grade
  • I like it

[I should have been more clear that I was referring to my quizzes and tests]

Did you ever reassess any goals/assessments? (34 responses)

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What comments do you have about the reassessment process in Ms. Walczak’s class? (31 responses)

  • none
  • none
  • I don’t like doing book work, so possibly if you want to change it up, use a worksheet instead.
  • I liked it, because it allowed me to raise my grade.
  • Although I haven’t done it, I like that she gives you a chance to reassess so you can get a better grade.
  • It is awesome! It allows me to learn material more in depth.
  • It worked well. I usally waited until i would understand better when we used later on.
  • I wish the reassessment process was a bit easier, just because there is a lot of steps to it
  • None
  • I think that it is a good process
  • I dont know never did it
  • i like it
  • None.
  • I think it is well orchestrated and the process should be continued.
  • I loved it. It helped keep grades up and really helped me understand where I went wrong. I understood the process more after I had to correct my tests and do it over.
  • I think the reassessment process was great. There was always a chance to do better.
  • nope
  • It’s a bit too much
  • its great
  • I love love love the reassessment method. I wish all teachers did this.
  • None!
  • They worked pretty well
  • I think that if you recieved a 3 instead of a 4, you should have to correct your mistake and maybe explain what they did wrong.
  • It’s good.
  • Too complicated (but I understand why it’s like that)
  • It’s a wonderful and helpful thing
  • it was kind of confusing still and i felt like i bothered you staying after and asking dumb questions hahhahaa
  • It was helpful
  • i dont like how we have to do problems to see if we can get the next reassesment right becuase i just need to learn how to do them
  • complicated

Do you feel that if you were absent for Ms. Walczak’s class you would be able to get caught up fairly easily? (34 responses)

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What comments do you have about Ms. Walczak’s absent work procedure? (30 responses)

  • none
  • none
  • none
  • I don’t know if having someone fill out a form is necessary
  • I think that because she moves soooo fast that she needs to have a required after school 20 min meeting to explain everything that happened
  • Its good that they have one of the classmates fill out the little paper so we arent lost
  • It was well organized, but I still didn’t understand what I missed.
  • It works fine.
  • Fine. I was never behind.
  • Its nice to get the notes but I need an explanation on how to do it so I can learn
  • I liked liked having the papers and what we did filled out for me, it helped me jump right back into the class the next day.
  • None
  • Maybe have the student to come in for srt
  • i think it is good
  • They were okay.
  • The procedure is fine, when I am not there for a lecture, it is hard for me to learn what I missed and what is being taught.
  • It was nice, we didn’t have to do much. And the fact that we always review a lot in class helped.
  • I think that procedure is pretty fair. I came in on my own time and I learned the material then.
  • its was good
  • I missed the day where we went over the quadratic formula and I still feel confused about that to this day.
  • None!
  • Pretty simple and works
  • The procedure was almost as good as Limp Bizkit
  • I always just ask for my homework, and you give it to me so I think that works pretty great.
  • I haven’t missed.
  • Don’t have students do the absent sheet because they don’t fill everything out
  • i feel like it wasn’t enforced in our class as much as it should have been
  • None it was also helpful she always kept the students up to date
  • its good for me becuase i never miss any days but idk about others
  • i can’t recall participating

What concept was the most memorable for you this year? Why? (30 responses)

  • Trigonometry, it’s easier for me than most of the other stuff we did.
  • When we divided polynomials. it was so much fun!!!
  • Trig. It was really fun.
  • Quadratic functions, because it took a long time, but I finally understood it.
  • Polynomials, because they were awful and I hated them.
  • The project about guessing the weight of a cow and making a graph about it.
  • Trig. I felt like I could solve anything.
  • probably graphing and such because we worked on it a lot and found some great tools
  • Matrices because they were fairly simple
  • the game that looks like “kahoot” on the chromebook (I don’t remember the name of this game )
  • I liked doing the trig. It was easy to learn and I enjoyed using formulas.
  • Trig
  • The cosine and other functions because we went over them a lot
  • The Quadratic fomula
  • Derivatives. Mrs. Walczak did a good job explaining what a derivative is.
  • Derivatives and integrals
  • Petals around the rose. Polar bears around the ice hole. Planets around the sun.
  • Integrals on the calculator
  • exponents
  • The trig. I loved trig.
  • I liked the midpoint and distance. I don’t know why it is just fun
  • Graphing system of equations to form a picture.
  • I’m not exactly sure to be honest.
  • I really enjoyed and remember trigonometry. It was really fun being able to solve so many triangles.
  • Pretty fair
  • Quadratic formula. It was a challenge when first introduced and once mastered it was really helpful for the rest of the year.
  • derivatives! i know derivatives because i had to learn them every day!
  • Quadratic formula it was fun and we did nice activities
  • probably aleks
  • quadratic

What concept was the most difficult for you this year? Why? (31 responses)

  • Writing equations for graphs, I could just never remember how to do it.
  • matrix everything
  • Porabolas
  • I think that probibility was because not the fact that it was too hard or anything its just one of the most boring things i ever learn in math classes.
  • Probability, I do not understand it at all.
  • Law of Sines/Cosines because our prior sub Geometry teacher before Mr. Mac (for us kids who double blocked) did not teach us as well about SOHCAHTOA and that stuff correctly.
  • Trig haha. But I learned it now!
  • nothing really. Maybe absolute value graphing.
  • Some of the concepts during mid first semester were a little bit tough and the hard
  • polynomials were difficult as well.
  • Probability because I didn’t quite understand it
  • It was quadriadic form because It was sometimes confusing
  • The slope intercept. There were too many things to remember in such little time and
  • I forgot a lot of them.
  • Propobity
  • probability because I missed the review day
  • vertex form things
  • Volume using integration. I didn’t really pay attention, it’s probably my own fault.
  • I’m not sure.
  • Why you wouldn’t laugh at our jokes. Or why you’re not engaged. Or the volume using integration, that too.
  • Derivatives
  • graphing
  • The quadratic formula. It was so complicated.
  • I am not sure
  • None, Because I myself am walczastic.
  • Same thing I can’t quite pick it out.
  • I had a hard time with matrices and the first trig quiz. I wasn’t there for part of matrices so I was a little behind the whole time, and I was just having a bad testing day when I made up the first trig quiz. I could not remember what I was doing.
  • The Guassian thing
  • Probability because I’ve never learned about percentages before or fractions or anything of the sort so this was a bit of a challenge but I like challenges so I was able to over come it.
  • integrals – OMG HELP
  • Polynomials monomials It was hard for me to concentrate
  • none

What else should Ms. Walczak have asked about in this survey? (24 responses)

  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • i thought this was an extremely thorough survey!
  • ???
  • Your grade in class
  • Nothing. It was good!
  • Nothing, you covered alot
  • nothing
  • Nothing you asked everything i think
  • You pretty much overed it so I do not know
  • I think you covered it. Maybe what kinds of candy to pass out for next year (blue jolly ranchers).
  • Candy. Basically you should fill the bag with blue jolly ranchers only.
  • nothing else
  • nothing it covered mostly everything 🙂
  • Nothing!
  • What makes Ms. Walczak walczastic
  • You covered everything well
  • I think you’ve covered pretty much everything. I was really thorough.
  • You’re good!
  • “Did you enjoy Ms. Walczak’s first year here?” because I did
  • what can i do to make the class more fun hahahaha
  • Think she covered it all…maybe how did you feel in this class survey like safe or bullied and stuff like that
  • idk but i think theres acouple more
  • IDK

I am so happy that these students decided to continue the survey and answer these questions. They really did help me. I am glad they find benefits to my procedures and they have valid points about the drawbacks. These comments show me what I need to work on and what I should continue.

Mes étudiants me manqueront mais je verrai beaucoup d’eux l’année prochaine.

Teacher Report Card Results (Part 2) #MTBoS30

I posted about the first part of my end of the year survey results here. Now I’m onto the ones that students actually wrote things about.

I’m just going to give the responses that stand out for one reason or another. I bolded the most common responses for that question.

Sometimes Ms. Walczak ______, but not always.

  • speaks French
  • plays music
  • checks homework
  • gives candy
  • explains things too quickly to try to meet the things we were supposed to get done that day
  • answers our questions with questions
  • is chill
  • can be tough
  • successfully keeps in her laughter
  • goes through material more slowly than I would prefer
  • uses technology

Sometimes Ms. Walczak lets the class ________, but not always.

  • talk
  • have their phones out
  • have fun
  • work on homework in class
  • do fun projects
  • sit in their own seats
  • get off topic
  • work with partners
  • listen to music
  • make jokes
  • misbehave
  • have a free day to work

What do you like BEST about the class? (ok this was really hard to just pick some)

  • It was a really good environment. The ability to reassess and roll the dice relieved some of the stress that comes with math classes. There weren’t strict rules and we worked with friends as long as we were quiet.
  • It is very laid back in a good way but we definately still learn. Its great. Also, we are able to make up tests or quizes that we fail so then that means we are able to learn the material more and helps us in the long run on the finals which is great. Also it gives us the chance to improve our grade so thats great too.
  • the people in it
  • How easy it is to talk to you and you are very good at explaining things in different ways.
  • I liked the projects and how she always is in a good mood in first period in the morning.
  • I like how we do a lot of group things
  • I like the group work, and the warm up activity
  • Some of the people in the class
  • I finally feel like I somewhat understand Algebra whihc is a sharp contrast from my freshman year.
  • The daily warm ups and class activities.
  • the candy. Also talk about unrelated things (this is good)
  • the best thing about this class was how much Ms. Walczak was willing to help the students. It didn’t matter if it was before school, after or during SRT Ms. Walczak would always help explain something.
  • We have a good balance between having fun and getting work done. I like that we can joke around and you try not to laugh, but we can tell you want to anyway.
  • the rewards and that I know the topics now
  • I like that you actually show interest even when the things I talk about in class can be very dumb.
  • She does a good job at her teaching and is respectful to students and handles situations very well. And she loves her job
  • I enjoy being pushed and learning new things. I feel a lot smarter after this year (which I love) and is largely in part to you.
  • The music taste of the class
  • I felt like I had all the resources I needed. There was tough material, but I actually learned it instead of just trying to get by.
  • making jokes

How can class be improved for next year?

  • a little slower 
  • If majority of the class isn’t understanding something, don’t move on.
  • Group work is good, but working with each student individually would be good too. Also, homework presentations are stressful.
  • No more unit reflections.
  • Make it easier
  • Giving less homework problems but make them a little more difficult
  • I wish the units got a little more in depth, and even though I enjoy group work, I would want more teaching in front of the class so I can thoroughly understand.
  • Many more projects inside of class like the barbie bungee.
  • More giving out candy, more Hank Hill memes, and more practice time in class.
  • I think next year the class should be pretty much the same thing except for minor things. Like more student teaching type things so we do some examples of a problem then students go to the board and complete a problem like the one we just practiced together. Then we can move on to the next steps of the problem.
  • different seating arrangement and working on homework in class
  • Do homework packet’s for each chapter.
  • Maybe control the class better idk

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)

  • You’re going to like her. Just pay attention and don’t be disrespectful, then she will like you.
  • To make sure to pay attention and not slack off because if you zone out you miss a lot of information. She covers a lot in a short amount of time and don’t be afraid to ask her questions.
  • Make sure your practice the problems she gives you in packets and do the study guides because they highly reflect what is on the test.
  • Its a good class to take and just do your homework don’t always bank on the dice to be no check
  • Practice the units and lessons a lot, Ms. Walczak gives a lot of practice work and it comes to good use.
  • Enjoy it, and ask help if you need it. Also do your homework presentations
  • That they need to do the note in class and pay attention, also do the homework because the packets really help with review. Also the ms. Walczak is very understanding, if you cant do something, she will help, or if you weren’t here shell show you what to do. But they will have a great time in here!
  • Run
  • Shes a good teacher, you might not get along at first but you will learn to love her.
  • Take advantage of reassessing things because they’re there to help you.
  • Make her speak in french
  • You’re lucky, you will learn a lot and listen to some good music.
  • She’s the best teacher I’ve had
  • Its cool most of the time. But she gets mad easily will move you
  • That they need to work harder to graduate one day
  • tell them to make jokes
  • Ask questions because she is patient and will give you extra help. And revise things for a good grade and more understanding

What is something Ms. Walczak should keep next year?

  • Rolling the dice
  • john Travolta
  • Being able to reassess tests and quizzes
  • the projects
  • Quizzez
  • The daily warm ups
  • Dice and herself
  • Her boyfriend
  • Partner quizzes and tests, allows for people to work together and collaborate.
  • her job
  • The barbie project and the sets warm up.
  • the candy and homework presentations

What is something Ms. Walczak should change next year?

  • Nothing
  • packets
  • How fast we went through some units.
  • The homework policy.
  • I think that you shpuld put the grades of the tests and quizes on them so then they can see it jright when you return it but still have that other goals paper so then they know what to redo when they need to make things up.
  • More lively tone of voice, it’s kind of monotonous, which makes some of us want to sleep.
  • Maybe some more candy opportunities
  • I think more projects and maybe more numbers for the homework. Also i did like using the little white boards, i think you should use them more, and have people bring in their own markers.
  • Her marital status.
  • add in a project maybe
  • Maybe drop the warm ups. Instead of doing those warm ups online, you could do board work and practice. That way, you’d have more time for notes in class and spend less time explaining things during actual class time. If that makes sense.
  • She should make a huge page with all the formulas we will be using throughout the semester.
  • give us an incentive to homework or threaten us more
  • the seating

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

  • Nothing
  • French
  • the dice thing with homework
  • No offense, but high fives.
  • I wouldn’t necessarily stop this, but you should do monthly summaries instead of weekly
  • Giving answers on the back of homework assignments
  • It literally felt like there was a test/quiz like every week. Mayb cut the kids some slack? lol idk
  • I would say not having a daily puzzle every day. Maybe we could spend more time on reviewing. Also, I think it would be beneficial to present only problems students didn’t understand.
  • not letting us go on our chromebook
  • not laughing at funny jokes!

Anything else you want to tell me? (I’m including all of them here)

  • I probably seemed like I didn’t enjoy the class, but if that’s the case, it’s because it’s first hour. I liked the class though.
  • sometimes you play scary music
  • I really enjoyed this class and I always knew I would walk into the classroom and actually learn something unlike some other classes. It was fun in the process too.
  • I overall enjoyed being your student and I think you’re a great fit for Newark High School!
  • You did great, especially for your first year at Newark.
  • No. Thanks for helping me learn more things though!
  • Good Job!
  • overall, the class was very educational, I just didn’t put in as much effort and time as i should have.
  • Gucci
  • Keep up the good work
  • You have done a great job this year. Thank you for doing what you can to make this understanable and fun.
  • I really loved having you as a teacher this year and really upset that its the end of the year. I wish we would have gotten closer, like as a teacher student friendship. You seem like a wonderful person and have a great personality. Hope you stick around here! You have really inspired my do actually try in math. I love math, and im good at it, but i never have really understood some of the basic things until i got into this class. Thank you so much!
  • You should let your laughter out and give students more candy.
  • I think that the utilization of the white boards more would help students a lot.
  • Give them more candy.
  • Overall, I think you were a great teacher. I really did learn a lot of new things, I don’t know how many of these things I’ll remember but I know them now. Also, having you as a math teacher made math class a little less miserable because you made it fun and understandable, most of the time. Sometimes I didn’t know what you were talking about but then you would explain it in a different way and then I would understand.
  • your one of my favorite teachers
  • Thank you for being such a great teacher.
  • I enjoyed having you as my teacher my last year of high school.
  • Nope! You were a very great teacher and I am so happy I had you as my Algebra teacher!
  • Stay walczastic
  • That it was a dope class
  • I really enjoyed Algebra II this year and wanted to let you know that you are a great math teacher.
  • Homework time should be added. It would make everyone happy and they might get there homework done by the next class.
  • This was a blast. I finally feel like I learned something in Math class
  • Thanks for a great year, I’ll miss you!
  • Hi
  • trig is cool
  • more extra credit
  • you are so fun and I think that you handled us really well and I am sorry for Dan & you should never stop teaching because I feel like kids respect you and you are very thorough with what you teach keep it up champ!
  • : )
  • You’re great and I’ll miss you. I’ll probably have to take College Algebra in college next year and I’m so prepared

It’s funny how certain ones stand out more than others. Like even though only one person said anything about the high fives, that one stung a bit. And actually, I can’t believe more didn’t say anything about them. But also there are some really good comments here. I am happy to know students overall seemed to think the class was effective. My homework policy and daily warm ups made an impression on the students. Students recognized that I tried to create more than just a math classroom but a place where they can all feel comfortable. They also confirmed what I knew, which is that my pacing was off in all of my classes. I know that it will be better next year.

Part 3 is coming up with the optional questions from my Teacher Report Card.

Les commentaires des étudiants m’aident à être une meilleure prof.

Teacher Report Card Results (Part 1) #MTBoS30

I can now look at my results from my end of the year survey that I gave to all of my students.

Averages for the Likert Scale-type questions:

I think that Ms. Walczak…

  1. Respects each student: 4.77
  2. Uses language that we can all understand: 4.31
  3. Tries to see the student’s point of view: 4.26
  4. Does a good job of treating all students the same: 4.66
  5. Explains topics clearly: 4.06
  6. Seems to enjoy teaching: 4.48
  7. Shows interest in students’ lives: 4.15
  8. Makes me feel important: 4.32
  9. Keeps the class under control without being too tough: 4.49
  10. Has a good pace (not too fast or too slow): 3.98
  11. Answers questions completely: 4
  12. Praises good work: 4.58
  13. Grades fairly: 4.77
  14. Encourages me to be responsible: 4.57
  15. Gives test that reflect the material in the unit: 4.74

So I’m pretty happy with these results! Here’s what I get out of it:

  • Students see me as on their side and overall I’m assessing them well
  • I can still do better at everything here
  • The lowest (has good pace) I agree with so much. Now that I know the courses much better, I think this will improve, but getting my unit pacing better is one of my summer projects
  • The next lowest (answers questions completely and explains topics clearly) will also improve as I teach the content more, but I think it will especially improve when I have everything planned out more than a few days in advance. I laughed at the answering questions one because one of my complaints from students was that I answer questions with questions a lot, but better questioning and more clarity is a goal of mine (and probably will be forever).
  • My highest (respects each student and grades fairly) make me so happy. I really tried with these this year. I had some very disrespectful students this year and tried to always keep my calm and be fair and respectful and I am glad that my students saw this. I also was grading differently for some of my classes, and I am glad that the students saw that it was good.

Part 2 and 3 will come later. Yes, I’m cheating a bit on this #MTBoS30 thing for this post but Meg said it was ok. 🙂

Les remarques des étudiants confirment mes sentiments de cette année.

Pens I Love #MTBoS30

I’m not one of those people that goes crazy in an office supply store, but I do have some pens that I love having.

I used to love the multi-pen, but when all my ink ran out on all of them I saw someone tweet about these erasable pens and I couldn’t handle my excitement! Like my students actually were commenting about how I talked too much about my pens. I make so many mistakes writing but I know color is nice and pencil doesn’t show up well under a document camera, so this was perfect. They also write almost as nice as the Pilot Gel pens (which I got from @numerzgal in the #MTBoS School Supply Swap and also absolutely loved!). I do miss having all my colors in one pen, but the erasing makes up for that loss. I just have to invent the multi-pen with an eraser and I’m all set.

I also started using the Sharpie Highlighters that I got from Reddit Teacher Gifts after my other highlighters ran out and I also love those! However, I do wish they were a little wider.

Yeah, I know I’m the crazy one who posts about pens now.

Je ne suis pas si folle, je le jure!

Summer List #MTBoS30

This is the first summer since I graduated college that I am not teaching summer school! That means I’ll actually have a summer to do things! I can actually sing School’s Out for Summer! I won’t have to set my alarm every day and be the one falling asleep still at 9pm anymore! I’m so so so so excited.


Here’s what I know I’m doing this summer:

  • AP Summer Institute
  • Twitter Math Camp omg!
  • Going to a wedding of one of my drumline friends yay!
  • Seeing the Chicago Symphony Orchestra play Holst’s The Planets
  • Celebrating my birthday – a quarter century!
  • Running the B10 10K (hopefully I make it – my #FitBoS numbers do not look so good right now)

Here’s what I want to do this summer:

  • Plan plan plan for all my classes (aka bookmark/tag in Evernote all the blog posts)
  • Figure out a plan for homework in my classes
  • Make this happen for my classes for SBG
  • Write my SLOs for my classes (or at least one)
  • Read Embedding Formative Assessment by Dylan Wiliam (attempting to read during our 25 minute Drop Everything and Read days this semester got me through a total of 65 pages)
  • Read The Best of the #MTBoS by the #MTBoS
  • Actually work out (once again – #FitBoS challenge)
  • Learn to cook some things (I’ve been able to try some of those crock pot meals from #MTBoS12days and want to try the rest because every single one was awesome, but also need some summery dishes) I bought eggs so now I have to learn to make eggs first
  • Play some video games with my brother
  • Almost finish one class in Build Your Own Curriculum so I don’t have to do as much during the school year (we need to have one class planned by the end of the school year)
  • Go to Starved Rock at least once because I’m only 15 minutes away and have only been there once and that was before I moved here
  • See all my friends
  • Get a plan for doing my masters
  • Inventory/Catalog all of my boyfriend’s band stuff
  • Catch up on all the blog posts in my Feedly
  • Make group white boards 
  • Relax and sleep and relax and sleep

C’est beaucoup mais j’ai hâte!

Student Submitted Daily Warm Ups #MTBoS30

For the month of May, I offered students the chance to submit their own Daily Warm Up. There were 14 school days in May before final exams and I received 15 from students! I only allowed 4 Questions warm ups because I knew those would go quick. I required students to submit a picture or video, give a reason for why this is a good warm up, and give at least two possible responses for the warm up. They could submit Questions (only 4), Estimation, Would You Rather, Which One Doesn’t Belong, or something else. Estimation was the most common. I only got one Which One Doesn’t Belong.

Here’s an example from a student:

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She said it’s a good warm up “because you have to use problem solving and there’s the cds for comparing”. She provided the real answer of 4.4 lbs and an underestimate of 1 lb and an overestimate of 20 lbs. She was so proud of this warm up and it was great to see students in the class trying to get information out of her so they could guess closest!

I also had one student submit the game Make 24. My students had so much fun playing it! It’s kind of like Set where students want to find the answer first, so it was a little tough to keep people interested once other students started raising their hand – would have to put some procedures in place if I had this as a warm up next year. But I think this could be a great warm up to reinforce the order of operations and mental math!

The best part about this was that students took pride in their work and other students could see that it wasn’t that difficult to do but got a lot of recognition for being great.

Je suis tellement impressionnée par mes étudiants.

Student Unit Reflections #MTBoS30

In my school, there is a “Portfolio” that students need to graduate. I don’t really know much about what it was before, but this year was the first year that students had 5% of their class grade based on a “Portfolio Reflection”. Students were to reflect on their progress in class and pick at least one item each semester that demonstrates their growth in that class.

First semester, pretty much every teacher had students do this at the end of the semester on top of all their studying for finals and it was a bit of a mess. I had already been doing a unit reflection and got comments from students like, “We do a lot of reflections in this class!” and “Which reflection do I have to do?” So I asked my principal and he agreed that my unit reflections satisfied the Portfolio Reflection piece as long as I make some modifications.

So, for second semester I changed up a few questions to make them more aligned with the portfolio requirement and also made them each worth 5% of the points in the unit (next year: grade setup with categories instead of total points). Occasionally, I would ask additional questions specific to the unit. One time I asked Kate Nowak’s “What is 1 radian?” and “What is 1 degree?” and that was real fun watching them squirm 🙂 I asked another time “What would you tell a new student to help them remember the quadratic formula?” I didn’t grade these very hard – students pretty much got full credit if they answered all the questions in complete sentences.

Here’s an example of one of my reflections: Algebra II Trig Unit Reflection

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.51.40 AM.png

I do like having a reflection piece and have especially liked having students write about math in complete sentences. Because it’s hard for them. But it’s good for them. I plan to continue this next year.

C’est important de réfléchir dans chaque classe, à mon avis.

Quizizz Homework #MTBoS30

Yes, another post about Quizizz. I forgot about the homework feature for Quizizz! It’s just another reason why it’s awesome.

So we all know that sub plans are the worst. Like why is it harder to be sick at home as a teacher than it is to be sick at school? But one great sub plan option is Quizizz homework!

This is one of the things I left for my Algebra II class when I was gone at an AP Workshop:

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 6.21.03 PM.png

You can set it to be open for however long you want and see the results in the same way as a regular Quizizz. It’s a great way for the students to be engaged and actually doing something useful when you have a sub.

I’ve also just had one posted in Google Classroom as extra review if we didn’t get time to do it in class! Students still did it because it shows you the answers and they could come into class the next day and ask about any that stumped them. I haven’t assigned it for actual homework yet because I know that I had some students in each class that didn’t have access to the internet at home, but it’s always a possibility.

Peut-être je suis trop obsédée par Quizizz…

Remind #MTBoS30

I’m still curious on the best way to use Remind for class. I was only able to get one class to fully sign up – my Calculus class that had only 8 students. The problem is that anyone that has AT&T (myself included) doesn’t get any service in the school, so I couldn’t get students to all sign up at school. Not that all of them would, anyway. But some did choose to get email notifications or get the app on their phone for notifications.

I used Remind primarily to tell students to not forget to study for tomorrow’s quiz/test or that a big project was due tomorrow. Sometimes I’d send out something about a homework problem. I also used it for National Honor Society to remind them to do something or ask them to check something.

At the beginning of the year I had the chat feature turned off because I thought it was a little creepy and thought the kids would abuse it. Later I turned it on because our school started doing Academic Detentions. So another teacher said she did this and it helped me – If I had a big assignment and Johnny hadn’t turned it in and it was already a few days late, I would sent a chat message to Johnny saying something like “If I don’t get assignment X from you by Friday, you will be receiving an Academic Detention”. I only had to give two Academic Detentions all year! It was also great to be able to communicate with my National Honor Society officers quickly when I needed to know something. Now I think about the chat feature like this – I am totally fine with students sending me emails and I’ll respond to them at all hours of the day, so what’s different about this chat feature on Remind? Students check their phone much more than their email, and no students ever complained.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 6.07.20 PM.png

What do you use Remind for?

Je ne sais pas la meilleure raison pour utiliser Remind.