Student Feedback After 5 Remote Learning Classes #MTBoSBlaugust #MTBoS2020


Jennifer @jenfairbanks8 has set up a monthly blogging challenge described here You should join! And if you’re just here to read, then I hope you get something out of it!

Double-dipping here for the blog challenges and late to both but a late blog post is better than no blog post!

Well, we’ve officially finished our first 10 days of school in remote learning, which means I’ve seen each of my classes 5 times because I see periods 1-4 and 5-8 on alternating days. We are required to give an “Attendance Question” in Google Classroom each day because live lessons cannot be mandated, but as long as the learners answer the Attendance Question (or interact with your class in any other way) for that day they are counted present.

My latest Attendance Question was “What is something another teacher is doing in remote learning that Mrs. Grayson should also do?” I almost said something like “How can Mrs. Grayson do better?” but honestly I’ve only probably interacted with 2/3 of my students in these last 10 school days so some don’t even know what I do…that feels really weird to say, but it’s the reality. I also gave the same question to my Advisory, who don’t have me as a teacher.

Most students said something like “nothing”, “idk”, or “no one is doing anything different/better”. But here were the other responses:

  • give students roughly 5 minutes to join
  • Make the attendance question easier to answer.
  • Doing assignments on classroom.
  • no group work, kills too much time
  • Office Hours, i think you might do them already but im not sure. (x2)
  • they post memes to cheer students up
  • give more examples
  • Presentations.
  • more videos than lives
  • start doing notes on how to do the problem instead of just doing practice problems
  • Maybe just have a little bit of leniency with grades since some students might have a difficult time learning certain material online.
  • maybe post loom videos sometimes
  • making students turn on the camera to know that they are actually paying attention
  • My old math teacher gave us prewritten notes to look at.
  • going over math problems that most people get wrong
  • record meet in case we missed it
  • Not going to quick with the class
  • some days are short, like 15 minutes
  • uhm having notes already made and putting them in google classroom idk
  • Some teachers post in the stream about when we have a live meeting which is really helpful.
  • Tell us the day of if we have a live or the night before send out a remind text.
  • Give announcements with when what’s due and what to remember
  • Alternative practice assignments
  • Less difficult things lol

Some of those things are under my control, some aren’t. Some I asked for clarification.

Also, 27 shared that they think I’m doing good so that’s a nice pat on the back for me. It’s hard work, people! I’m glad some are feeling that it’s going well for our class.

More reflection to come in another blog post because this #MTBoSBlaugust is not gonna fill itself!

Je suis si fatigué. Il est temps de faire un somme.

Goals for 2020-2021 #MTBoSBlaugust


I really am struggling to find the motivation to even set one goal for this year. I keep thinking, What’s the point? Even though this year will be different, I guess goals are still necessary.

This summer I spent some time organizing a list of blog posts that I’d saved that I wanted to do. This list has been building for years and I have used it to track big and little things that I’ve done to improve my teaching. So I guess I have a lot of goals and always have and some of them can still happen this year. Here is my list:


So now I’m going to go through my goals from last year and see if/how they could possibly be translated to a year of remote or blended learning and if I still consider them goals.

  • Stand and Talks – lol how???
  • Collection of Work – This seems to be the year to do this. I’d love to make this a community effort. Still trying to figure out the details, but I envision it involving Google Slides.
  • Birthdays – I won’t be able to give out the cards from last year, but I’ve added my birthday question to my beginning of year survey.
  • Instagram – Gonna be a little harder to get the action shots, but I’m still going to try. Right now about 1/4 of my learners haven’t signed the school’s media release consent form so I’ll have to be careful, too. Usually that number goes down in the first few weeks but with us not having school it might not. I bet I’ll be taking more screenshots of the work they submit.
    • I don’t think I’m going to continue asking for the responses to a Tweet Question in my Weekly Summaries anymore. They were fun, but I don’t know if they’re worth my time or our class time with everything else we do.
  • Vocabulary – I don’t know about this one.
  • Family Connections – Already starting strong with this one as I’ve sent two emails out and a Remind message before the year even has started. I found out I can download my class phone as an app on my iPhone once I find out a code from my phone so hopefully I’ll be able to get in my classroom soon.
  • Language – Might be easier because I’ll probably script out a lot of my stuff.
  • #VNPS – lol sorry. Maybe Jamboard can kind of take this place but I’ll have to see how many learners actually show up to live meetings.
  • Delta Math – This will be the easiest one. I can use it in my Honors Algebra 2 class, but I have to use MyMathLab for my two college pre-req classes.
  • Puzzles – Not sure on this one
  • Not working Harder Than Students – probably not gonna accomplish this
  • Not Blaming Previous Schooling – well now that I’ve switched classes, I have had 45% of my students before. So I better not be blaming their previous teachers anymore!
  • Office Hours – Mandated by school now
  • Google Level 2 – I can do it! Some day I will find 3 hours to set aside.
  • More Percussion – My puppy is not a big fan of the drumset right now. Maybe that will change.
  • More #MTBoS – I think I’ve accomplished this and can take it off my list.
  • Cooking – I’m learning some things from having had Home Chef meals for a birthday present. I just don’t have the energy right now to cook. Maybe once I get into a rhythm with school it will be better.
  • #FitBoS – Once again, time to get back at it.

Ok so some doable, some are maybe not gonna be my focus this semester/year.

Eh bien, c’était un peu déprimant.

Guardian Feedback Survey 2019-2020

For the second year now I have sent out a survey to guardians in my last couple emails that go out to everyone. I really value family communication and it’s something I take pride in even though I know I can do better. I was hoping guardians would take the survey and share with me if I am doing what they expect.

Here’s a link to make a copy of the survey I gave:

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I have been pleased with the results, but I really only am seeing a handful of responses. Last year I got 3 responses, this year I got 13. To distribute the survey, I put it in the middle of an email I sent to all my families about 2 weeks before school ended and then I put it at the end of a second email 2 days before school ended. Also, as I mentioned in my last survey reflection post, this really only gets to my second semester families because of schedule changes. I actually had made a survey for the Fall but totally forgot to send it out. 😢 If anyone has advice for how to get more families to take the survey, please let me know!

Based on the results, next year I will plan on continuing to use my Weekly Summaries, class social media (Twitter and Instagram), class website, Google Classroom w/Guardian Summaries, and my monthly-ish newsletter-type emails home. I also, as always, want to get better at making phone calls home and finding a positive thing to email or call home about each day. I just need to find a good system for that. I gave myself a lot of excuses this year with phone calls because my only plan periods were 2nd and 3rd so they were early and I didn’t want to disturb people (but then again aren’t I always disturbing their day with a phone call?). Next year I have 2nd and 8th period off so I want to make my end-of-day routine include the positive communication. Gonna ponder on how I can hold myself to that over this summer break. Again, advice is welcome!

Disclaimer: These results that follow are being published because I like to go back and review them and see how things have changed/improved throughout the years. The rest of this post probably won’t be too useful for readers who aren’t me, but feel free to read if you wish! Since I never posted about this last year, I’m including this year and last year’s results in this post. 2019-2020 is in regular font, 2018-2019 is in italics. I didn’t ask the three “Did you…” questions last year.

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Last year: Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 8.11.00 PM

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What do you think Mrs. Grayson did to help your student be successful this year/semester?

  • Gave C*** several example problems so she could see visually how everything works.
  • Kept learning fresh and different
  • My student missed a lot of days 1st semester, and it was very helpful that she was available to offer her assistance before school.
  • Great communication with parents
  • She tried but I believe it is harder because of the quarantined
  • Offered extra help after class
  • Always available to help him out with things he didn’t understand
  • She made sure he had individual help when needed
  • She was always proactive and was great at communicating. I like the e-learning tools!
  • Fun class activities that helped him love math again.
  • Gave ample opportunity to make work up
  • Nothing
  • communication to students and parents, easy accessibility to pertinent information (calendar, assignments, extra online help) and offing extra help (before and after school)

What do you think Mrs. Grayson could have done differently to help your student be more successful this year/semester?

  • Nothing. She did a great job.
  • Nothing
  • I can’t think of anything.
  • Nothing! great job! L***s is my 4th child and this has by FAR been the best 9th grade advanced math experience.
  • Nothing. She was very helpful when ever asked
  • Nothing. She already went above and beyond!
  • Nothing I am aware of.
  • Be more positive with students
  • I think Mrs Grayson did a great job, and I know my son was more successful because of her extra efforts!

What do you think Mrs. Grayson did to help you be involved in your learner’s math education?

  • I loved getting the emails and I loved I could see pictures on social media of all the students working.
  • Creative activities to keep Kids engaged
  • The weekly updates were very helpful. She also posted grades very quickly so that I always knew the status of assignments and tests/quizzes.
  • Weekly emailsvwere MUCH appreciated!
  • Email updates
  • Contacted me if there was a concern
  • She sent weekly update emails and always responded to my questions immediately.
  • I like the google classroom updates
  • Weekly emails, prompt communication.
  • Weekly notes
  • frequent communication

What do you think Mrs. Grayson could have done differently to help you be more involved in your learner’s math education?

  • Nothing.
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing!
  • Nothing. She was always very helpful
  • Nothing. She already went above and beyond!
  • Nothing, she provided the bridge and it is then up to the parent/guardian to use the information extended to them to springboard off of into engagement with the student.

Anything else you want to tell Mrs. Grayson?

  • Thank you for being so patient with C***. Your hard work that you put into your math class and your students doesn’t go unnoticed.
  • Loved the communication and feedback
  • Thank you so much for helping J*** out 1st semester, and encouraging him to work hard!
  • Thanks for sending updates to me
  • thank you for your good communication and hard work
  • X**** (9th grade) says Mrs. Grayson is the only teacher that cares about him.
  • Thank you for going above and beyond to help keep him on task.
  • You are a wonderful teacher! Have a great summer!
  • Thanks for being a great teacher.
  • Thanks so much for being a wonderful teacher.
  • Thank you for ALL your extra efforts! I wish more high school teachers would involve parents like you have this year. Also, had you not provided the finals schedule, I probably would not have seen it!

La communication avec mes familles, c’est en quelque sort mon truc.

Math Mindset Progression 2019-2020 #MTBoS2020

Jennifer @jenfairbanks8 has set up a monthly blogging challenge described here You should join!

This year I had a thought that I would give my same math mindset questions that I normally gave at the beginning of the year to my learners again at the end of the year. Usually, I just give the questions to see where my learners are at before I teach them and see which specific learners are at my ends so I can kind of keep them on my radar. My additional goal this year was to see if there was any change in mindset over the course of a year in my class. I’m hoping all of them grow except the “People who are good at math can solve problems quickly,” I hope to get closer to the middle of 3.

These were the three surveys I gave: Beginning of the year, Begining of second semester, End of year

Here were the results: The first number is from my first week of school in August, the second number is from my first week of second semester in January, and the third number is from their end-of-year survey at the end of May (after a full quarter of E-Learning because of COVID-19). Questions looked like this from a Google Form.

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 2.15.06 PM

I am good at math.

Average: 3.528 –> 3.451 –> 3.579

Median: 4 –> 4 –> 4

I enjoy math.

Average: 3.396 –> 3.278 –> 3.337

Median: 3 –> 3 –> 3

People who are good at math can solve problems quickly.

Average: 3.306 –> 3.383 –> 3.158

Median: 3 –> 3 –> 3

Anyone can become good at math.

Average: 4.676 –> 4.135 –> 4.284

Median: 5 –> 4 –> 5

It is just as important to know how to work in a group as it is to know how to work alone.

Average: 4.25 –>3.376 –> 4.337

Median: 4 –> 3 –> 5

Thoughts about these results:

Because my school actually has our classes as semesters in their scheduling system, I do get usually a quarter to a third of my learners changing math teachers at the semester. This means that it was not all the same students from the beginning of the year as it was at the end. Actually, the most valuable results are probably from the second to the third numbers because those are all the same learners. However, I had 133 learners second semester (first semester was 144), and only 95 ended up taking my end-of-year survey. So I still didn’t catch everyone. That means these results aren’t truly a depiction of my class’s changes in mindset.

There wasn’t a lot of major change. I don’t think I can really expect there to be after a year (for some only a semester). It’s a bit disappointing to see “I enjoy math,” and “Anyone can become good at math,” declined throughout the year, but both improved from the start of second semester to the end. Also, I think based on my positive change in the median for “It is just as important to know how to work in a group as it is to know how to work alone,” I actually did make some headway in the group work realm.

Overall, I’d call the mindsets going in the direction I’d like them to go. Next year I hope to remember to give these questions periodically to my classes, multiple times in a semester, and actually at the end of first semester. This will help me see more of the shift for the same learners.

Toujours je trouve quelquechose d’analyser et améliorer pour l’année prochaine.

2019-2020 Teacher Report Card Results #MTBoS2020

Jennifer @jenfairbanks8 has set up a monthly blogging challenge described here You should join!

This was a strange year. Ending with a quarter of E-Learning definitely put a damper on things and I even considered not giving out my End of Year Survey. I thought they wouldn’t even remember what regular class was like and I was in the mindset of not wanting to even acknowledge that E-Learning happened. But luckily Kristen reassured me that the survey would still be helpful. I was fortunate to get 95 responses out of my 138 learners. It’s probably a little more biased towards liking me because the ones who didn’t fill it out were ones who weren’t doing work for E-Learning. Usually, it was the ones who didn’t want to do a lot of work took the survey right away because it got them out of other class responsibilities. But maybe also it’s good results because these learners cared more? I don’t know…Also, it’s a bit weird because I had about a quarter of my learners that switched to my classes at the semester so they really only had me in regular class for 9 weeks. Not that much to go off of, but that’s ok, I guess. I really did think these results were great feedback this year, though! All questions were required except the final question asking for extra comments.

I’ve been using the same base of a survey for years. Here are my previous results: 2016 2017 2018 2019. I’ve slowly been adding and taking away certain questions. I’m striving to get feedback that I can actually use and that I care about.

Here’s a link to copy mine from this year:

Disclaimer: These results are being published because I like to go back and review them and see how things have changed/improved throughout the years. The rest of this post probably won’t be too useful for readers who aren’t me, but feel free to read if you wish!

I think that Mrs. Grayson:

  • Respects each student: 4.82 (previously 4.71, 4.73, 4.78, 4.77)
  • Tries to understand her students: 4.62 (previously 4.35, 4.48, 4.36, 4.26)
  • Does a good job of treating all students how they deserve to be treated: 4.81 (previously 4.57, 4.6, 4.69, 4.66)
  • Explains topics clearly: 3.94 (previously 3.64, 3.87, 4.12, 4.06)
  • Seems to enjoy teaching: 4.79 (previously 4.41, 4.63, 4.71, 4.48)
  • Shows interest in students’ lives: 4.47 (previously 3.83, 4.31, 4.25, 4.15)
  • Makes me feel important: 4.38 (previously 3.80, 4.11, 4.27, 4.32)
  • Keeps the class under control without being too tough: 4.54 (previously 3.95, 3.91, 4.52, 4.49)
  • Would always answer my questions if I had any: 4.72 (previously 4.36, 4.34, 4)
  • Adequately challenged me: 4.47 (previously 4.18)
  • Did her best to make class interesting: 4.75 (previously 4.23)
  • Grades fairly: 4.77 (previously 4.375, 4.48)
  • Expects me to do my best: 4.91 (previously 4.66, 4.47, 4.57)
  • Cares about her students: 4.84 (previously 4.47, 4.6, 4.62)
  • Loves math: 4.96 (previously 4.76, 4.88, 4.87)

Only one that wasn’t my all-time best was “Explains topics clearly”! 😀

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You find out that your best friend has Mrs. Grayson next year. What do you tell them? (***dropping the class is not an option)

  • You’ll have fun in her class she’s a great teacher and always tries to help out any way she can you’ll do great
  • Pay attention
  • shes a really good and understanding teacher
  • Just do your best and be like the beagle
  • Be open minded , she answers all your questions.
  • Shes really fun to have around and ur gonna love her!!
  • I would probably tell them to respect her and that she is a very good teacher.
  • Always take notes when she rights something down, also keep all your work for the unit till you take the test.
  • I would tell them that geometry is extremely difficult in my opinion, but mrs. Grayson will always be by your side, always will help if needed, and cares for her students so much. Also, don’t expect to come into the class thinking that mrs. grayson will do it all for me, you need to study a lot on your own time to really understand it. That’s what I wish I did. You are going to love mrs. Graysons happy, and helping personality.
  • I would tell them to be prepared to learn, because geometry is really hard.
  • to do your best and although Mrs.Grayson can be extra sometimes she has a good heart and just wants you to succeed.
  • She had her so not much to tell her
  • That it is a great class and she is always willing to help.
  • Don’t stress
  • try to stay on top of your work because its hard to catch up
  • You will have fun in her class
  • to do their best
  • to try their best, and that Mrs. Grayson doesn’t assign a lot of work or homework for to do at home and a lot of the work is mainly practice that isn’t necessarily for a grade its just something for if you want a little bit more .
  • To always try no matter what
  • Put God First, and you will succeed, without even have to hear a rule in the classroom. Have an excellent Life!
  • Mrs. Grayson really is a good teacher even though she may be cringey at times she’s always willing to help students with work and to grow as a math student.
  • she is always there for help
  • You will have a great time.
  • Mrs.Grayson greets each students with a smile everyday and she will never make you feel bad about yourself for not understanding a topic.
  • Just ask questions
  • her class is very hard but she is nice
  • Be prepared to have fun and to see a smiling teacher EVERY SINGLE DAY
  • If you have any questions just ask
  • work your hardest, ask questions if you have any, and never discourage yourself.
  • Make sure to pay attention all the time, but especially when she starts to talk about triginometry.
  • listen to her
  • Have a positive vibe in class.
  • To work hard and pay attention to understand what your learning.
  • Keep your head in the class fully and don’t fall behind.
  • Be like the beagle
  • That she teaches well and I never got super stuck on a subject. Just pay some attention and look over notes before a test.
  • that its an amazing class with a great teacher
  • She is a good teacher. I loved being in her class and I like the energy in her room.
  • Don’t talk when others are talking, it wastes your learning time.
  • she is really fun and will answer any questions you have.
  • It may be tough at first but don’t give up!
  • I’ll tell them that they’ll do just fine as long as they don’t get stuck on the elevator.
  • she very happy all the time.
  • As long as you pay attention and study for tests the class is easy and fun
  • She has patience for people, but she will not tolerate foolishness. If you don’t understand something she will try her best to break it down for you without giving you the answer. Mrs. Grayson enjoy challenges and activities !
  • You will have fun.
  • I would tell them that they are going to have a great time with a great teacher.
  • The class is fairly easy if you ask for help from Mrs.Grayson, she explain problems really well.
  • She’s a fantastic teacher.
  • Get a differnt teacher
  • try your hardest in that class
  • Be prepared to be told to be a beagle and work on questions even if you don’t fully get until you persevere through it.
  • Enjoy it.
  • She’s fun
  • shes fun
  • Try to do your best because it’s going to workout at the end
  • she’s very nice
  • She is good teacher and will help you if you need help and she is very flexible with things you just have to talk to her when you need help and ask questions.
  • Good luck!
  • Take more notes and pay attention.
  • Just pay attention it’s as simple as that
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • I’ll tell them that you love & enjoy teaching math so you make it fun.
  • I would tell them that Mrs. Grayson’s class is very fun but can be challenging at times.
  • I’ll tell them that Mrs. Grayson loves math and will enjoy teaching it to the students.
  • I would tell them that as long as you do your best and come in with a good attitude you will have a good time in the class.
  • I would tell them that she is good at teaching
  • I would tell them to look forward to having a fun class and an awesome teacher.
  • try hard and do your best
  • take the class step by step.
  • I would say just make sure to try your best throughout the class and just never give up and always ask questions if you need to and don’t be afraid to ask either.
  • do your work on time
  • She is a fun teacher.
  • id tell them to work hard
  • Don’t let yourself fall behind and use the study guides before the test/quiz
  • She is nice
  • Youll have a really fun time and learn a lot
  • to participate in class and it will be easy
  • I will tell them that will smile and laugh everyday like me while learning because it is a fun class!
  • I say and I quote, “Cool.”
  • be like the bagel
  • youll do great
  • Get ready to work hard and have a very energetic teacher.
  • If you hav any questions ask or if your struggling go to after school so she has the ability to give you all the help you need
  • She is a great teacher, her class can be confusing at times.
  • she’s a great teacher
  • it is very hard and try your bes
  • She is a great teacher.
  • Make sure to study and be ready to be involved in the class, you also don’t get that much homework either
  • Really keep all your notes for the final because those notes help so much.
  • She is a really good teacher, she always answers are questions, makes the class fun, and always try to make learning fun for us.
  • She is good at her job and she knows what she’s doing so listen to her.

What is something Mrs. Grayson should keep doing next year?

  • Review games [Quizizz, mathketball, Quizlet, Gimkit] (21)
  • Smiling/Positive attitude (10)
  • Hands-on activities [Barbie Bungee] (9)
  • Note packets (9)
  • Delta Math (8)
  • Encouraging and working with all her students (5)
  • Friday warm ups (4)
  • Assigned seats every week (4)
  • Nothing/idk (4)
  • Everything (4)
  • One week due dates/amount of homework (3)
  • Challenges (3)
  • Being you (3)
  • Warm Ups (3)
  • Plickers (2)
  • Being amazing/cool (2)
  • High giving students (2)
  • Assessment study guides
  • Calling on kids to speak, even on the ones who does not want to speak like the quiet kids
  • Keep the beagle saying going because it really did inspire me throughout the year even though I probably didn’t show it much it really was a good motivator
  • Making visuals so students can understand
  • Having fun with the classes
  • End of unit note cards
  • Doing her best
  • The videos
  • Desks in clusters, not rows
  • Respect you showed for the students and for me despite me not paying attention all the time I was still shown an immense amount of respect
  • Teaching
  • Posting answers on
  • Caring about her job
  • Taking notes as a group
  • To do those
  • Advocating forms helped with avid and getting questions answered
  • Breaking down problems
  • Pi day

What is something Mrs. Grayson should change for next year?

  • Nothing/idk (22)
  • The way you do seating (12)
  • Delta Math [less] (7)
  • Explaining method (6)
  • Warm ups (5)
  • Slow down a bit when teaching (4)
  • Friday Warm Ups (3)
  • Less Chromebooks/technology (2)
  • Stop being so nice and put your foot down sometimes/more strict (2)
  • Whiteboards more often
  • More time focusing on notes
  • Online lessons
  • Have fun activities that everyone would enjoy
  • A different learning style maybe it hard to understand some things and some teachers explain things easier
  • Packets
  • Group work [less]
  • Group work [more]
  • Some of the videos were corny
  • Instead of high fives do fist pumps
  • Room decorations
  • Everything
  • Try helping kids understand the subject more if they’re really confused
  • Add negative feedback to the positive feedback, some students as in myself respond better to negative feedback it’s like yin and yang there needs to be a balance
  • More time for Delta Math
  • More visible problems
  • Amount of videos she shows us
  • More people in a group
  • stuff because not everyone has the wifi at home to do it
  • More different review games
  • Make a way possible for students to get ahold of you quicker for questions like remind
  • Pulling the sticks
  • Unnecessary smiling. lmao just kidding issa vibe

What is something Mrs. Grayson should stop doing next year?

  • Nothing/idk (28)
  • Delta Math (7)
  • Friday warm ups (5)
  • Assigning seats/changing every week (4)
  • Being so soft on the students/you’re sometimes too nice kids might take that for granted. (3)
  • Desmos (3)
  • Warm ups (2)
  • Everything (2)
  • Packets (2)
  • Instagram shape project
  • I know you might not be able to control this, but having math first period and it being the hardest class that I take, its just sometimes hard to focus and stressful on test days.
  • Morning exercises where everyone has to say something, it’s very stressful.
  • Being so extra
  • uh have more activities in class then just writing notes down. Have more please activities then the other, or make it enjoyable.
  • Assigned calculators
  • Group work
  • Superhero quadrilateral project
  • telling kids to work on a problem when they have no clue how to do the problem.
  • Requiring the students to take Cornell notes and instead just have them take their own notes
  • Cringy videos or assignments
  • Textbooks but only because we didn’t use them at all this year
  • Don’t use the sticks because some kids may get scared especially when they don’t really understand what there doing and they feel like they get put on the spot and it just kind of freaks people out and it makes us feel less smart and embarrasing when we get it wrong in front of the whole class
  • More delta math in class
  • Only one retake
  • Having tests back to back

What is something Mrs. Grayson should change about her classroom?

  • Nothing/idk (25)
  • She should change the setup of the desks because one of the desks is facing away from the board, and you have to turn awkwardly to see the board, and then everyone is staring at your face when they are trying to see the board (7)
  • Seats/desks (6)
  • Add more fun math/motivational posters/decorations (6)
  • maybe make it a bit more colorful (4)
  • needs clocks on every wall (3)
  • maybe make it a more comfortable environment (2)
  • Have the formulas of the math subjects you teach throughout the year and have them all around the room so if your students need to refer back to any of the subjects they learned and don’t remember what formula to use; they can look around and find them (2)
  • Seats we should sit at tables with yoga balls
  • it could use a tiny space heater
  • You should put your cool stuff in your desk, seeing is stolen was really sad
  • maybe a little more exciting, theres not a lot to look at
  • um…More positives quotes from famous people
  • (even though they were stolen/lost) You should have some of those puzzles or brain teasers for when we’re done with our work or need to take a break from math
  • Add math memes
  • Give plain white paper
  • she should be more lenient
  • you should put a sticky note with the word iree somewhere
  • better dry erase markers
  • The random letters and numbers around the room i never understood why they were there and I just felt like hey were taking up space for something else we could have used the space for !
  • The amount of times we work with others
  • Setup
  • Maybe hang some past work on the wall so new students will see what they have to look forward to this year
  • New paint?

What is something that’s memorable from this class?

  • Barbie bungee/when we dropped the barbies and the heads popped off (14)
  • So much. I made so many friends and im gonna miss u/meeting all of the people i did due to assignments i was paired with them for/making friends/meeting new kids/Getting the chance to sit next to everyone in the class (8)
  • Game days/fun games (8)
  • Working together/with friends (8)
  • Mrs. Grayson’s bubbly and always happy personality/how mrs grayson was always smiling and had a happy attitude/your energy (5)
  • coming to class and all my friends was there (4)
  • The beagle/escalator videos (4)
  • Mathketball (4)
  • Quizizz (3)
  • Nothing/idk (3)
  • Warm ups (2)
  • Some of the fun activities we did in class (2)
  • Tic Tac Booyah (2)
  • Pi day (2)
  • The memories (2)
  • Watching my grades improve (2)
  • Quizlet
  • Challenges
  • when I got an A in the class or when i did super good on a test
  • I remember stressing every night because I couldn’t figure out how to do proofs.
  • when Mrs. Grayson stopped in the middle of the lesson to look up the cat from hocust pocust to name her Halloween cat the name of the cat
  • 2nd +712 chant
  • When you brought banana bread for 8th period
  • Being able to understand everything as it was being taught to me
  • I had a lot of fun in this class and I’m really sad it ended so fast. We didn’t even get to say goodbye in person
  • Jaron and I talking a lot.(sorry)
  • Becoming very good friends with carli
  • The way she turns the desks towards the clock during testing
  • Receiving a high five from Mrs. Grayson
  • this pandemic
  • Oof, nothing school related. Maybe me getting flustered and trying to impress my crush whenever you put us next to each other .-. But the most memorable thing that shall always give me “trauma” was the one time I ran back to your class during second period to answer answers because I figured out how to do it during French because I was overthinking too much.
  • I wasn’t in this class very long so I don’t really know
  • The teacher
  • Delta Math
  • Learning that Mrs. Grayson was in marching band and still helps with marching band because I am in it and I love it!
  • How you never let any of your students give up and you keep pushing them to complete the work.
  • How competitive we got at the games
  • The class has been an interesting journey
  • The free days
  • Working hard
  • My naps (sorry)
  • Learning math
  • Something memorable is really all the times I left the class with my jaws hurting from laughing and smiling and all the times I was on the verge of being stuck on an escalator but I was like the beagle and can help my other friends and classmates
  • not being at school for 4th quarter
  • When I got a B on my final
  • Thinking that 8th graders were smarter then me 😂😂
  • The way Mrs. Grayson taught

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

wordcloud (1)

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What comments do you have about how Mrs. Grayson did homework?

  • Nothing/idk (20)
  • It was good/great/fine/I liked it (16)
  • It was the right/fair amount (10)
  • Gave the right amount of time to do it (4)
  • Liked Delta math (2)
  • I like the way she did homework especially during E-Learning
  • I personally did much better in my 7th grade class when we took notes then did textbook homework and went over it in class the next day. This held me accountable and allowed me to work with others unlike delta math. (2)
  • I personally loved it so much, not having homework every night was such a stress reliever, and the homework like delta math when it provided examples that we could go off of, super helpful. I think other students, especially athletes or other extracurricular students appreciate it tremendously as well. (2)
  • I liked when we used DeltaMath, because if i didn’t understand one of the questions I could look at the example questions. (6)
  • Needs more practice problems
  • Make it sound exciting! yeah
  • I liked that you didn’t give us much and you also gave us time in class to work on delta math (2)
  • Too much (2)
  • Don’t do hw
  • delta math is like okay but it shouldnt be used for some lessons like functions
  • I dislike everyday homework because i get stressed easily, that’s why i like DeltaMath.
  • I would do the daily work, but I personally wouldn’t find it necessary because the DeltaMath is enough for me.
  • if the homework you’re talking about is delta math, I hated it with a burning passion.
  • i enjoyed it because you had to know the material to finish delta math
  • It was easy to understand and complete. (3)
  • Sometimes it can be confusing
  • I thought that the homework improved my understanding of the math.
  • Do assignments that the other teachers know how to solve because if your not available and the other math teachers have no clue how to solve the equations we have; we’re going to be stuck.
  • I think it was good that she gave us lots of time to do it in and outside of class. It made me not feel rushed or stressed about work.
  • Online is good (2)
  • I think it was good how she just gave us a lot of worksheets to do on our own time but the only thing I didn’t like was delta math because it was cinfusing
  • Leniently considering the fact I never did 80 percent of it
  • you honestly handled homework better than any teacher I’ve had in a long time
  • i really liked that it was up to the student if they wanted to do it. sometimes especially in high school students are too busy to do a complete assignment every single day.
  • I think if you already understand things then there should not be any homework.
  • I liked how it was set up and how it was different Then the other math classes.
  • I liked how you just gave us delta math to do, because I think I learned more from that then I would have if we got daily homework because we already get enough work and I would probably just end up searching the work up.
  • It was good when we learned in class and did the rest at home.

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What comments do you have about how Mrs. Grayson changed seats?

  • Liked it (25)
  • Nothing/idk (14)
  • Too often/didn’t let you get comfortable with your group (11)
  • Helped/forced everyone get to know everyone (8)
  • Should be able to choose our own seats (6)
  • Annoying/didn’t like it (4)
  • Liked being able to sit by new people (4)
  • Fun (3)
  • Good idea (3)
  • Liked not having to sit in the same spot/with same people for a quarter or semester (3)
  • Didn’t like sitting by people I don’t like (3)
  • Stressful (2)
  • Didn’t like moving (2)
  • Interesting (2)
  • Childish
  • Liked the random
  • Hassle
  • I think it’s nice to see a perspective from each angle of the class
  • Didn’t like being moved from people I did know
  • It was such a good idea especially in the beginning because it allowed us to work on our cooperating skills while getting to know each other. Actually it was such a good idea that before we went on spring break Ms. Neurud asked how we will like to do seats this quarter and everyone said how Mrs. Grayson does it!
  • I like the seat change because if i sat by someone whom i couldn’t concentrate with i’d only have to sit by them for a week.
  • It was kind of dumb. You would put us in a group for a week and expect us to be comfortable with each other. It takes more than 5 days to get know someone and be comfortable with working with them.
  • It was really hard for me, others students also dreaded seat change Monday. It feels like as soon as you get accustomed to the people at your table you get yanked away.
  • Some times at the same table for weeks
  • I didn’t really mind except when I was sat by friends
  • if someone makes a big deal the seat their in you should probaly change it
  • I think students would work as a group if they got to choose their seats instead of being with people they don’t know or don’t like.
  • It’s fine, it gives me slight anxiety because I don’t wanna sit by rude people, but it was better than a set in stone seating arrangement.
  • There are of course people I would enjoy sitting by all the time.
  • She should of asked us to pick one person to sit next to us instead of putting people that we don’t know.
  • It helped me improve in working with a group.
  • Not going to lie, most of the times it was awkward, I dont have trouble talking with new people, but when we moved to tables with people that we don’t talk to and you tell us to do a problem with our table, everyone would just do it by themlselves. I always hated that, because most of the time had no idea what I was doing.

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What comments do you have about our class social media?

  • Nothing/idk (24)
  • It was fine/great/good/liked it (22)
  • Didn’t know y’all had that/never looked (6)
  • Waste/don’t get the point/useless (3)
  • A lot of off guard/unflattering pictures (3)
  • Good way to get students involved/informed (2)
  • Epic
  • Helpful
  • post math memes or let submissions be entered
  • Life is what u make it
  • about how miss grayson is funny and niceor how hard the class is
  • Don’t know what the purpose is
  • My parents really like it because they get to see what we did in class, plus they’re always excited whenever I make it.
  • Especially during this pandemic its been a good source to see the class and things we did together! It makes me sad though looking at them because I miss doing stuff with the class.
  • I like the memories
  • It makes me miss when school was at school.
  • i know my mom liked seeing what was happening in class and she felt more involved in my math class seeing what my class and the other classes are doing.
  • Its fun but student photos should be consented to.
  • Good, can see the greatness of working together, trying their best to get to their goal.

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How could Mrs. Grayson improve

  • Nothing/idk (34)
  • It’s already very good/fine (23)
  • Never looked at it (3)
  • She could attach helpful videos on there of other people teaching the assignment, if we didn’t understand it the way she was teaching it. (2)
  • maybe an easier way to find things/navigate (2)
  • include student ideas
  • I honestly loves, it gave us tools and websites to help with our work, notes, and schedules.
  • Maybe having a positive quote each of every week to encourage the kids.
  • Do homework differently
  • I heard people were cheating idk how but fix that. it was unfair to others who actually had to try and still didn’t do so well.
  • it was like a little crowed there was a lot of stuff that just wasnt really needed
  • Make a social media timeline
  • Stop posting on it
  • Make it a app
  • Have the formulas of subjects you teach in class on
  • Maybe add in a message board of some kind so kids could ask about specific assignments, how to do a certain problem, etc.
  • Post ads for a little side hustle
  • she should put problems for us to solve so we can practice before a quiz
  • a little less work
  • Pretty good teacher I jus can’t keep up with delta math
  • Have more tabs

How could Mrs. Grayson improve how she shows she cares about you?

  • Nothing/idk (35)
  • She did good/great/fine (33)
  • Give candy/food (3)
  • you could pull us to the side and talk to us about an issue/ if we’re having a bad day (2)
  • Show self as having more empathy.
  • honestly, she couldn’t really improve on that. She always showed so much care into everything and all her students. Always asking how they were doing, questions, and always reminding you if you had a missing assignment, to always make sure and get thar done as soon as possible.
  • She did a good job of showing that she cared, it was hard to ask for help though with other kids around who understood the topic.
  • coming friendly spending time to talk to them because in every face there is a story behind them a good or the bad,, so always be friendly even with the mean kids causing trouble.Have a talk, or like an interview with each student sounds cool! In the beginning of the school year.
  • You could probably talk to students one on one more? I honestly haven’t felt that I wasn’t cared about, considering how much time you have helped me.
  • We all know that you care about us so no need to improve anything 🙂
  • Talk to students about not math stuff more
  • get to know me more
  • Mrs. Grayson could improve how she cares about her students by doing the name tents for two weeks instead of one so she can know more about us.
  • Ask more about their past and then learn how to approach certain subjects from there.
  • Help me when I need it in the future.
  • You do a good job plenty of people including me feel that vibe from you.
  • Dedicate something to us?
  • Maybe ask how your feeling on the Friday free wirtes?

How could Mrs. Grayson improve how she teaches a topic?

  • Nothing/idk (18)
  • She could go more into detail about how to solve certain equations/explain more/better (15)
  • Use more examples/practice in the packets (9)
  • It’s fine/good/great (7)
  • maybe not every week she would change the topic stay on the topic for 2 weeks maybe/more time/don’t go so fast/Explain topics more in depth and space out lessons in units to give more time to allow recognition of equations and lengthen time to gain familiarity to a subject. Studies show that many people forget about 80% of what they learn after 24 hours of learning said topic, which isn’t very good for your class considering that we learned a chapter of a unit in one day and another in the next. If you space out your lessons and allow extra time for learning, I’m sure you’ll see higher grades. (5)
  • personally it helps me learn doing more hands on things so maybe more hands on learning (3)
  • Maybe by putting a video on google classroom going more in depth with explaining it, especially when you don’t feel like you fully went over it in class, and don’t have time the next day to go through it again.
  • More Delta Math (2)
  • maybe, make interesting ways to learn it and remember it (2)
  • Maybe my saying a funny statement or like “Is every one ready?” class:( no) Teacher: “I didn’t hear everybody” class: YES! . Be creative./thumbs up thumbs down (2)
  • She could have more students up on the board
  • go over harder topics again later in the year for a day to help remember them
  • More vocab
  • Explain more one on one
  • It would be helpful if she had a anonymous bin, so that you could write down something you don’t understand, and if enough people wrote down the same thing, you could maybe go over that topic again.
  • Make sure we fully understand the topic.
  • You could always help students when their grades are going down by asking them to come in after school.
  • I honestly like your notes they are very clear but there was some times when i had to spend some time on some notes to really comrehend them.
  • Each day give a examples that the class works on together to understand to topic we are on.
  • focus souly on that and then have us take a quiz not different subjects all in one quiz,its confusing.
  • for pride time only add people you can see are visbily struggling,people with retakes and stop letting so many people in
  • Give out homework from a text book.
  • Maybe to be more strict on people who are talking a lot so that everyone is listening
  • Turn your notes into something more.
  • Don’t be so technical with your explanations (don’t be like a college professor)
  • Maybe during pride time she could have a day where she goes over the specific topic a little more in depth for those who maybe didn’t understand the first time.
  • Maybe on days we do notes we didn’t have to do a warm up and just spent the whole day making sure we understood
  • Should have study sessions after each lessons
  • I think having the option to get in a group and be taught more thoroughly would help like if a small group of students needed extra help they could get that.
  • Put things to go along with the lesson so its easier to remember
  • Make a fun assignment for the topics that kids typically struggle on

How could Mrs. Grayson improve the way she grades?

  • Nothing/idk (36)
  • It’s fine/fair/super good (27)
  • like put the grade on the test because the highlighting gets confusing (3)
  • I appreciate the way you give partial credit. (3)
  • Give us the plus on our grade if we deserved it. (2)
  • show out of how many we got on the test. it got kind of confusing how may point each problem was worth/explain whats wrong more (2)
  • you do a good job explaining our partial credit and stuff to us.
  • more extra credit opportunity
  • Putting a statement on each paper, Positive..
  • I think that you should wait until we turn in all our advocating forms until you put the missing ones in the grade book
  • If a student has all A’s and lets say one B should the class average be a 98
  • You can’t? In math it’s either right or wrong
  • be fair but easy going
  • Mrs. Grayson could improve the way she grades by posting the grades every day if possible and necessary.
  • do more hands on activities
  • Only either highlighting right answers or wrong answers instead of both.
  • Show how many questions you have to get right to earn a certain grade on test or assessment
  • Grade by effort
  • She is very lenient at least in what I’ve seen, more so than other teachers in the school, which while yes is a good thing for students who are as lazy as I am, but hurts people like me in the long run because you so kindly grade and allow late work. Don’t be afraid to harshly grade, allowing students to turn work in late only increases the incentive for students not to do it on time.
  • if you put a lot of yellow maybe explain why
  • I think she did it pretty well she got everything in fast so if I needed to redo something I could get it done before we started something new.

How could Mrs. Grayson improve how she uses Google Classroom?

  • Nothing/idk (30)
  • It’s fine (21)
  • make it less confusing/explain it better (2)
  • Use it for more than just the Friday free write
  • again she uses it pretty fair and gives us time for everything
  • By adding extra notes or help on some of the more complicated subjects
  • you could put the notes on google classroom so if we are home and for some reason we don´t have the notes we can always look back at the notes while doing delta math
  • maybe right before delta math is due have a google meet call to help like thursday afterschool because delta math was usally sue on friday
  • Have a universal calculator in there because if we don’t have a certain function on our phone that we need for the topic your teaching; then we have to google a math equations every time we need to solve a problem.
  • Maybe post some links to videos that explain a certain aspect of a topic.
  • post more activities
  • We should only use google classroom 1 time per week
  • Not so many links

What is something one of your other teachers does (or has done) that Mrs. Grayson should also do?

  • Nothing/idk (35)
  • Have movie days/movies about the subject (3)
  • one of my teacher would give us some food or candy if we were focused or if she wanted us to be focused on our assignments/Gave candy for good test scores/bring us food (3)
  • Quiet/chill worktime (2)
  • My other teachers don’t have assigned seats. It would be nice if we could pick our own seats, because if we don’t know the people we sit next to, we won’t ask them to help or want to talk to them. (2)
  • I think other teachers should look at Mrs. Grayson’s teaching as an example. (2)
  • Have one on ones with students that aren’t understanding (2)
  • free days/Fun Friday’s (2)
  • I like having projects because I get more time to work and I can ask questions whenever I feel the need. (2)
  • Try having kids teach the class
  • I was going to say ask us how we are doing but thats in the weekly summary.
  • Like having all the kids talk together like a friendly debate on a math question.
  • relay race with math problems
  • Flexible seating
  • take our phones away in the begining of class
  • Relate what she is teaching to more real world situations, because some people may not feel like it is necessary to learn it if they won’t use it out of school.
  • Use online more
  • not give hw
  • whatz it
  • have a competitions period vs periods like highest growth or most work turned in/create class averages and do a challenge with them between classes (2)
  • Collect everything at the end of the week which is Friday.
  • give longer notes, be more clear with the subjects
  • I dont know what mrs.d**** did, but it was easier to learn in there.
  • Have large, multiple chapter tests, like chapters 1-4 or 5-8.
  • In world studies we had a test where there was two different questions for each part so you could choose which one you wanted to do because sometimes in math I understand the work but there is just one question that i really struggle with.
  • My computer concepts teacher Mr.F**** goes as slow as the slowest learner in the class which means that when everyone is done with something then he moves on to the next thing. And provide more catch up days for people who may end up behind the class.
  • Let students pick groups more
  • she should let us line up at the door
  • Call me out more for not paying attention
  • Mrs. M**** brings backs the safe seat idea and I think that is perfect for our math class because you can get distracted easily and just need time to focus by yourself. But you should be able to tell a student to go their as well as them go by themselves if needed.
  • Remind

What is something one of your other teachers does (or has done) that Mrs. Grayson should NEVER consider doing?

  • Nothing/idk (21)
  • Homework/required homework/textbook homework/giving daily homework out. most kids wont do it or will do it but get the answers from someone else. (18)
  • Yelling or making kids feel dumb (8)
  • taking phones for being on desk top, even when phone is turned off and student is not on it/Taking up phones (besides tests obviously) (5)
  • permanent assigned seating for the year/Never keep us in the same seats because in some classes I stayed in the same seat for so long I never worked with any one other than the people in my row or arm reach distance and the class felt really long and boring. (4)
  • Force people to answer in front of class when they are clearly struggling./single out students (3)
  • being too nice then you get walked all over/Let the class always be wild and do whatever (2)
  • being a meaning butt/don’t be mean if nobody’s done anything wrong in the first place , i had a few teachers like that . (2)
  • Not teach lessons and only use videos on ipads and worksheets on ipads/recording videos of yourself and use them to teach (2)
  • Projects
  • online tests,
  • Assigning a test of quiz close to the time that we started learning the topic.
  • um just take notes the whole time.
  • letting us have our phones
  • talk about students negatively to other teachers
  • Just giving us a worksheet and not anything else and not saying anything about it.
  • Stop talking or pause for the class to get quiet because, it waste more time from the lessons .
  • Compare your students.
  • Forcing a lot of group assignments//The group review is fine though.
  • Thinking that your way is right because you are the teacher because even teachers can be wrong and thankfully you never did that.
  • Not give a delta math
  • NEVER say figure it out.
  • No cringy things such as videos for example
  • In 8th grade we had to do research projects about a mathematician once a month. Not to be disrespectful but they weren’t very fun so I wouldn’t consider doing it. However I do think it is important to learn about mathematicians so maybe just watch a video about them instead.
  • use textbooks
  • Expect us to do fantastic just because we’re in honors
  • Chain work
  • Teach like a certain health teacher who’s name I won’t say (may or may not be throwing shade) a.k.a dont be close minded and hateful
  • Very clearly being a feminist that just wants men to go extinct.

What could Mrs. Grayson do to help learners be more respectful (both to each other and to adults)?

  • Nothing/idk (36)
  • Treat them like adults (2)
  • Less “strikes”
  • maybe just explain things a little more
  • Talk to the peole that make rude comments about others or who make fun of others in class. (5)
  • always be positive, make sure students are alwats doing well.
  • Mrs. Grayson should put all the “popular” kids at the same table, so they they don’t make the “unpopular” kids uncomfortable. That would be respectful.
  • well to me the students are respectful
  • respect them and they’ll respect you
  • make them understand where that negative energy comes when learning
  • Having to know one another, until they see they are like a sisters and brothers, untied.
  • Um,,,, maybe try teaching us more about it at the beginning of the year? idk (2)
  • I think the group disscussions were great with teaching us to be respectful to one another
  • don’t let being disrespectful fly in your class/ensure punishments (4)
  • If their interrupting other students ask them if they have anything to share with the class !
  • I don’t know teenagers are impossible to understand
  • more time
  • your very respectful and some kids arent respectful. im not sure because most kids werent raised to know how to treat ither wsith resprct
  • You can’t help a learner be more respectful if they don’t want to, they will just start being disrespectful to you. (2)
  • set the students with people who are kind or who think like them an with teachers i experienced this with mr.s****, he would send out all the P.O.C. who would ask other students questions about the work and let the other kids talk whenever they want.
  • give them a reason to be maybe something relatable
  • Make sure they’re friends.
  • You have to understand what their characteristics are (how they act, how they talk, who they talk to, etc…) and then go from there.
  • she should make them pay attention because some people be on their phones the whole class. She should take away their phones
  • Again to the safe seat idea because usually the disrespect comes from talking or fidgeting because they are distracted so removing them from that area hopefully will get them from talking.
  • Once in awhile be laid back don’t put to much on them
  • She should raise her voice more, shes super nice and I like that but the students abuse her kindness because of it.

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3.55 GPA from students – B+ is not bad!

How could Mrs. Grayson have made E-Learning better?

  • Nothing/idk (29)
  • It was good/fine/easy/I liked it (23)
  • maybe explain a bit easier, it is hard to though online/Having the instructions a bit more specific (6)
  • Don’t do it/Were going to relearn all of it anyways. (4)
  • less work or less links its confusing (4)
  • You couldn’t but delta math was fun./Only assign DeltaMath assignments. (3)
  • I liked how you gave us options! (3)
  • maybe a video of you explaining it (3)
  • i liked how you did the e-learning and how we had work and it was due at the end of the week. (3)
  • zoom calls where she explains it/GOOGLE MEET CALLS (2)
  • The video attachments were helpful (2)
  • The slides(?) on desmos classroom helped me during the quarantine/I wished all of the notes were through desmos (2)
  • Not have us do desmos (2)
  • I dont know I just have problems learning online then in school./I personally felt defeated in E-earning because we got work we never would have got in class and 40 pages of notes was not motivational. (2)
  • post the note packets for people to print off if they wanted to use them
  • i think she made it easy i wish it was a little more hands on
  • Documents that we could type on would be nice if possible.
  • She could’ve assigned work every other day instead of once a week, because I see that and then I don’t want to start, because I feel like it will take me forever.
  • less confusing
  • Having it making easy like in google classroom.
  • not making us seat by people who we don’t like
  • make it more multiple choice
  • I don’t think any teacher is doing anything wrong because just as this hard on our parents and us I know it is hard for you guys and your’e still letting us know were doing a good job and responding to our questions. So thank you and all of my teachers.
  • found a way to turn in work without uploading it

What else should Mrs. Grayson have asked about in this survey?

  • Nothing/idk/she asked everything (41)
  • She could’ve asked maybe if people liked doing work on DeltaMath or Desmos or not (2)
  • If you liked the Chromebooks over textbooks
  • not make it so long
  • “Write a letter to Mrs.Grayson”
  • How could I prepare you better for a test/quiz
  • How the tests were
  • If i missed her, which i most certainly do!
  • is times were you struggled to catch up
  • How we been during corona

Anything else you want to say to Mrs. Grayson? (not required – 74 responses)

  • Nothing/idk (9)
  • You’re an amazing teacher keep ik the good work
  • I’m going to miss being in your class 😦
  • i miss you Mrs.Grayson, i hope you are happy and well
  • Even though I ask a lot of questions you don’t get frustrated with me. Yo also don’t show favoritism to smarter students which makes you feel more approachable.
  • 100% the most positive and most happt=y teacher I’ve ever had! Thank you so muc for everything, and im excited for the students that will have you nest year
  • Thank you for a mostly good year and your willingness to always help. You brought a good energy to my mornings and always greeted everyone with a smile. I will miss you. ❤
  • i will miss you you are one of my favorite teachers love you Mrs.Grayson have a great summer can’t wait to see you again !-A***
  • hopefully i have you next year
  • You should look up this video called “Proving The Earth Is Flat ” its by a youtuber called nigahiga, its very funny
  • My name is J***.Have a good day. or break.!
  • I’ll miss you, I hope I see you next year, if we even have a next year 😦
  • you were fine as a teacher nun to change
  • i will miss you as a teacher next year
  • I miss you! I hope the upcoming freshman treats you just as well as we did.
  • Thank You for making math fun and i will always be like the beagle, I’ll miss you and our class random discussions in the middle of class ill always remember to shake my hands 12 times and use ony 1 paper towel, BYE!
  • Good luck next year!!!!
  • i hope you get to enjoy summer, and that next year school goes good!
  • I had fun in your class, even though trig was difficult.
  • thanks you’re the best teacher
  • Have a good day/summer/year
  • Thank you for helping me all the times I asked for it
  • I’ll miss having you as my math teacher and I wish we could have finished the year.
  • I miss you, and your really awesome and cool. Enjoyed your class a lot.
  • have a great summer!
  • thank you for pushing me
  • Have fun next year!
  • have a good 2020-2021 school year the new freshman are ruthless
  • Have a great summer!
  • Thank you !
  • I’m glad I had your class!
  • I miss Mrs.Grayson!
  • Imma write a long email to favorite teachers soooo, I won’t be saying anything now.
  • don’t get me wrong, i like you as a person I just don’t like your teaching method
  • Thank you sincerely, thank you
  • Thank you for being a great teacher to me and the other students
  • thank you for being a very good teacher and teaching me math very well and clearly. im very grateful and i appreciate you a lot.
  • Thank you for believe in us.
  • I miss you very much!
  • Thank you for all of your hard work not only when we were in school but also learning to adjust to doing everything online. Some teachers are trying but they are making online learning more difficult that it should be but I think you are doing a great job so thank you very much!
  • Thank you for a great freshman year.
  • Thank you for being an awesome teacher this year!
  • its been fun
  • thank you for being one of my favorite teachers and always challenging me to do my best, you tought me a lot throughout the whole year and I appreciate it 🙂
  • She is a wonderful teacher
  • have a good rest of the year
  • Thank you!
  • See you in august
  • For starters thank you for putting up with me, I’m sorry you had me for 2 years and didn’t see me improve even a little bit. I slept in your class, practiced drawing to pursue a career far out of my reach instead of taking notes, and played games instead of doing work. (Sorry) it would be an understatement to say you do your job well, I enjoyed your class not just because I slept in there, and was happy to be able to attend and see your smile even though I didn’t deserve to be smiled at for the work I did (or didn’t do, I suppose) thank you for being so kind to me, thank you for being so understanding and compassionate, thank you for making me smile when I couldn’t smile on my own. I’m so sorry I couldn’t prove to you I could be better. You are my favorite math teacher, please never change. Wishing the best for you in the foreseeable future! Your laziest honors student, -O*** S**** 🙂
  • Im just going to miss your class a lot you twisted my thoughts about math in a good way and I appreciate that hope you and your family stays safe.- N***
  • 1) Thank you for being such an incredible teacher 2) yeah I just CTRL+V’d most of the last few questions
  • Thanks for teaching me
  • Have a great summer!!
  • have a great summer
  • I hope you have an awesome summer and you stay safe I will miss your class very much.
  • It was nice having you as a teacher.
  • I hope you have a great summer! Thank you for making me smarter at math and having to put up with me and N*** fighting with each other.

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Prepping for Fourth Quarter #MTBoS2020

Jennifer @jenfairbanks8 has set up a monthly blogging challenge described here You should join! And if you’re just here to read, then I hope you get something out of it! It turned into a pretty long post in the end and is kind of all over the place.

At the time I’m writing this, the US is experiencing a pandemic with COVID-19. Schools, restaurants, gatherings across the country are shutting down. I am in my Spring Break right now but then one more week has been canceled after that (for all of Illinois). The nearby Iowa schools are closed until April 10, so I have a feeling we’ll be extending our cancellations, too. There has been no report from my school yet on if we will be doing e-learning like a lot of other schools, but I don’t really know how we would since we are not 1-1 with anything and a good chunk of our learners don’t have reliable internet at home. I’m sure I’ll be hearing in the next couple of days on a further plan for the closed week(s). My night class at the community college has us trying out video conferencing to replace our classes. We’ll see how that goes on Thursday.

I did a really poor job of preparing for 4th quarter before I left for Spring Break. I thought I’d be at school every day of my second week of Spring Break because I signed up to help with our Catch Up Academy (credit recovery) and I just figured I’d come in early or stay late a couple of days to get work done. I also had to leave right after school on our last Friday for a band event I was already late to, so my room is not all nice and pretty and ready like I usually try to have it be when I return after a break. My school is closed to everyone so I can’t even go in to grab all the school stuff I left there. I’m a tiny bit worried about my plants that I thought only had to be without checking-on for a week, but they’re aloe and a terrarium that I never touch normally, so they should be ok.

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[Totally off-topic: I got an orchid at home last year and it did its normal thing and lost its petals after a few months, but my mom said that it would grow back if I just kept treating it like I did when it had petals and this week we got our first bloom! I honestly can’t believe it worked. We have a bunch more buds coming, too. It’s like magic that I’ve been waiting many months for the reveal. You can even see some of the petals I still haven’t cleaned up from when they fell last fall…And also the plant behind the orchid is a bromeliad we got last month and it might be my new favorite. Our succulents finally all died so we got a much brighter replacement that is so far very easy to manage and is doing great! I’m a big fan of live plants but I (used to) have a hard time keeping them alive.]

But I brought home my laptop and my Always-Go-Home folder! (Side note: do you have one of those? I have a purple folder I’ve had since my first year of teaching that has come home with me every day – it holds my calendar, a pencil, and anything else that is important/needs to stay at home/random one paper that needs to be graded/etc.) I also wrote up every topic that still needs to be taught before I left for break (woo for thinking a little ahead!).

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So this is our first year with traditional Geometry instead of integrated courses and then our Algebra 1 last year was all kind of spliced together as best we could from the old integrated courses and now we have a textbook that I don’t use but it’s there if the learners want it. So I have some topics I’ve taught before and just have to re-label them with the new chapter. Or I’ll have to move around some assessment items. I have a slash through Geo Ch 8 because I already actually did all the planning for that before I left since we left in the middle of the unit. I honestly think right triangles and trig is my favorite unit of all in Geometry. Or maybe the 3D stuff. It’s hard to decide.

I have never taught my new Algebra 1 Ch 10 (except I’ve taught exponential graphs and operations on functions). I’ve also never taught my new Geometry Ch 12 (but I have a strong feeling that is going to be cut with us having less time and we coded it “if possible” in our pacing guide). What have you done with those topics that I should try?

It’s a weird feeling to have so many things be repeated from years’ past. I’ve never had that before. I’ve maybe had a topic or two within a unit, but this is the first year I’ve taught a class for the second time (Algebra I) and even that has had quite a few differences from last year when it was our first year of the transition. I feel myself looking at my saved Evernote notes and in the MTBOS Search Engine for activities or strategies and then finding the ones I was already using! That’s not to say there are no new and improved lessons being done. I’ve done a lot more Desmos and VNPS and Stand and Talk activities along with replacing some practice with Delta Math. But it’s a good feeling to know that I can be working on refining instead of coming up with something new.

I also feel that because of this not having to come up with new stuff semester, I’ve just felt like more of a teacher that has her stuff together. I’m not as worried about what I’m teaching tomorrow and I can worry more about the pedagogy and/or relationships. That leads me to how I’m doing in my goals for the year. I’ve already checked in on my goals here and here. This will be my last check-in.

  • Stand and Talks – Amazing. I have been doing a few each unit. Want to do more. I want to get more organized with how I save them, too. That’s a long-term project.
  • Collection of Work/Knowledge – so this goal shifted a little, but I’ve loved the outcome. So far this semester I’ve given my learners five minutes in the day before an assessment to write on a notecard everything they know for that assessment. Some learners take it less seriously than others, but most are really into it and making pretty great notecards. I always phrase it as something like “Write what you want your future self to know before they go into final exams.” We’ve been keeping these in our class folders and I can’t wait to see how much it helps by the end of the semester. Maybe I’ll even write a blog post about it!
  • Birthdays – Might be one of my favorite additions to this year. I now will have some catching up to do when we get back to school, but it’ll be ok.
  • Instagram – I still haven’t gotten learners to take the pictures. Maybe that will have to be next year’s goal. But I realized that a whole lot of the pictures I was taking were learners on a Chromebook (sometimes just one Chromebook in a group, sometimes 1-1) and the other pictures were just the “pretty” moments where something ultra-cool was going on. So I started to post more of just regular old class (like working on a worksheet or taking notes or at the VNPS) and captioning it with what they’re working on and I’ve gotten the same amount of interactions. So I’m gonna keep doing that.
  • Vocabulary – nope. Move this goal to next year.
  • Family Connections – still strong. I’ve been a lot more proactive this semester about contacting home and have picked up my phone more. I feel like I have more time to do this because I’ve been more organized and have less new stuff to plan.
  • Language – another goal for next year.
  • #VNPS – it’s been much better this semester. I did a fun one in geometry right before break where I showed them four right triangles with a variable for a side or angle. As a group they could only use each solving method once and answers had to be as exact as possible: Pythagorean Theorem, Special Right Triangles, Right Triangle Trig, and Inverse Right Triangle Trig. At first, it was rough to make those decisions but as they were able to look around the room at how other groups solved maybe the same one with another method they were doing great at it. Then I gave them word problems with the same rules and I was so smiley because they were groaning so much but then did fine. I need to do better at having one marker per group.


  • Delta Math – still great
  • Puzzles – I kinda left those 3D printed polyhedra pieces out the whole quarter on accident. There are a handful of broken pieces, but that has led to new possibilities of what to build! I intended to change out these for tiling turtles earlier, but they just never got boring so I never thought to change it. Turtles are coming 4th quarter, though.
  • Not Working Harder Than Students – better than it ever has been before, I think
  • Not Blaming – still check
  • Office Hours – still check
  • Google Level 2 – still not yet – pushed to summer
  • More Percussion –  need to do more
  • More #MTBoS –  yes! I feel like I’ve been more involved just because of #MTBoS20 but also I’ve been catching up on reading blogs I’ve saved in my Feedly more and have been posting about some of the things I’m reading on Twitter.
  • Cooking –  these next couple of weeks will really test this. Grocery stores around me have been out of lots of things like chicken and pasta for a while. It’s weird. But I just made orange juice out of a box of fundraiser “clementines” that were pretty terrible in texture but fine in flavor. The juice is so so so good! Took me back to when I’d make orange juice from my Bubbie’s oranges she grew when we were with them in Florida but on a much smaller scale. Also tried some DIY citrus cleaner from the peels and we’ll see how that turns out in a couple of weeks.

Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 11.09.39 PM

  • #FitBoS – determined to make it happen this month since I’ll have some extra free time. March WILL be the month I meet my goal (and continue to meet it).

Wow that was a lot but I honestly feel good after writing it all. This is shaping up to be a great teaching year for me and I’m just hoping I get to finish it.

Cette pandémie vraiment force nous à refaire nos modes de vie.

Goal Check-In #MTBoS2020

I’m so excited that Jennifer @jenfairbanks8 has set up a monthly blogging challenge described here: I’ve been a little more active on my blog this year than some past years, but I am still someone that needs that little push of motivation to make things really happen. This blogging challenge is just 12 posts in a year, so I think I can manage. You should join! And if you’re just here to read, then I hope you get something out of it!

It’s been (a little over) half a school year and I only really revisited my 2019-2020 goals once back in the first midquarter. Should have been checking in more for sure. But better late than never, right? Here it is:

  • Stand and Talks – still going well. I definitely fell off the wagon a bit at the end of last semester but I’m back on it and have done two in these first two weeks of the new semester. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should! Check out more info here from Sara:
  • Collection of Work – It may be kind of an abandoned goal at this point, but I think I’m going to adjust it a bit and have my learners make basically a study sheet that they keep in their class folders (where all of their assessments and Grade Trackers live in my classroom). I saw it in an old post from Pam here I think I can make it work really well. All my classes have their first quiz on Wednesday so I think I’m going to have them make the start of it tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes.
  • Birthdays – still going strong. I realized, though, that since I only have about 2/3 of the same learners in 2nd semester because of schedule changes, I have a bunch that I never got to. But it’s actually been nice because I still usually see them in the hallway and it’s fun to just check in with them and see how their new classes are treating them.
  • Instagram – still great. This quarter I WILL have learners start taking the pics. I had a bit of a trust issue last semester where a lot of my puzzles and some other things were going missing and never got returned. I hope that in this semester that doesn’t happen and I can let the learners have a little bit of the control.
  • Vocabulary – Hmm I really need to do more with this. Need to project vocab more while groups are working.
  • Family Connections – I’m happy with what I’ve done. I had all my classes take a Pre-Class survey at the beginning of the semester and had FormMule send an email home when they submitted that was structured a lot like what I found here in Kristen’s post: So every guardian with an email address got contacted in the first week. Calling is still hard, but after we have this first assessment I’ll have more to call about.
  • Language – Need to focus on this more.
  • #VNPS – still can do more, but it’s been better than in previous years.
  • Delta Math – going strong and I even wrote a blog post about it a couple months ago!
  • Puzzles – I kind of redesigned a little bit of my room because I had to get rid of my mini-fridge (which was also being used as a shelf for lots of other stuff) and that allowed me to have a better “play table” aka extra desk in a somewhat awkward spot. But I was able to have one of my friends 3D print some puzzle pieces for polyhedra and it’s been so fun watching them create.


  • Not working Harder Than Students – The beginning of the semester always feels like a whirlwind of never having enough time to get everything done, but it’s started to settle down and I think it’s going to still be good.
  • Not Blaming – still check
  • Office Hours – still check
  • Google Level 2 – still not yet, but I did retake the Level 1 test and passed just in time for me to give a presentation at a district PD so I could still say I was Level 1 Certified (like I mean it happened the night before 🙂 ) I think Level 2 will be more of a summer project.
  • More Percussion –  I haven’t played that much in the last few months. I should do more.
  • More #MTBoS –  I’m doing it with #MTBoS2020!!!
  • Cooking –  I acquired a bunch of bananas from a band event and froze them and asked my classes and the #MTBoS and other people for recipes to use them and I ended up with a bunch of different banana bread recipes that are all good, banana bread brownies that are amazing and I brought to my family’s holiday dinner, banana pudding (don’t do it with frozen bananas if you want it to look appetizing), and banana smoothies. All so good and I feel so accomplished. Also have a new favorite where I cook up chicken, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and some sort of broth with a bunch of herbs and whatever else needs to be used and put it over rice. It’s not from a recipe, but it makes me feel so adult and reminds me of how my mom cooks. I haven’t tried too many new recipes for the Instant Pot or any of my other cooking tools since the summer, though. That should change!
  • #FitBoS – Didn’t make it for 2019. I’m kind of sad about it, but I worked out 108 hours over the year. In 2018 I only did 72 hours, in 2017 I did 92 hours, and in 2016 (the only year I met my goal) I did 100 hours. So I still had the best year yet for working out, and I want to keep doing better. So I set my new 2020 goal for 120 hours and I am gonna meet this one! Who’s with me? Read about it from Meg and sign up here:

A new thing for this semester is I’m teaching a night class at the local community college! It’s Intermediate Algebra, and we meet twice a week for an hour and forty minutes. We’ve only met twice so far and I had a few kinks to work out in the online grading system (Canvas syncing with MyMathLab was not going super well at first), but everything seems to be good now and I have 10 great learners. The class is a pre-requisite course for the first for-credit math class, so that’s why I’m allowed to teach it without a Masters in Math. I’m so excited for this opportunity and just have to say it’s so refreshing to be in a class with these adult learners. I think it’s a mix of growing up and being more mature with also having a clear goal in mind (and also paying for the class) that just makes more learning seem to actually happen. It does mean I have less free time to get to some of my goals, but I am adjusting.

Alright so I am setting another reminder in Google Keep to check in with goals at the end of the quarter and this time I’m actually going to do it. I hope. But at the very least, I’ll have a few more #MTBoS2020 posts before then.

Quelquefois, on doit recevoir les rappels. C’est normal, n’est-ce pas?

2019-2020 Midquarter 1 Check-In

I had set a reminder for myself to check in on my goals that I posted about before school starts. So here I am checking in.

  • Stand and Talks: LOVE IT! I have done at least one a week in my two different classes. Not only does it get them up and moving and talking about math, but it also helps them remember a lot better. I am still referencing stand and talks I did in week 2.


  • Collection of Work: Haven’t done it yet
  • Birthdays: It’s working! See this post.
  • Instagram: LOVE IT! Check out @MrsGraysonMath. I get way more engagement on it than my class Twitter and the learners want to get on the ‘gram. I haven’t had the learners take pics yet. Maybe will soon.
  • Vocabulary: Falling short on this one. This is a good reminder to think more about it.
  • Family Connections: Yeah the calling every phone number didn’t happen. But maybe it will soon. Also haven’t taken advantage enough of the schedule send in gmail. However, I have gotten a great response through email from families and I have fewer families that do not have an email address. I have made a fair amount of calls, but all were more on the “I’m noticing ___ falling behind” side and not enough on the welcoming to my class side.
  • Language: Need to focus on this more.
  • #VNPS: I’m doing ok. It’s been a lot of individual work at the boards, but that’s ok. I learned from a PD at the MMC Conference of Workshops last year about having learners draw the stem of a flower and add a petal for each problem they get right and I call it garden growing time. It is one of the times I have evidence of 100% engagement. The other time is Stand and Talks. I want to do more tasks where the groups are working together at the boards.
  • Delta Math: Going great. On assignment 2 so far.
  • Puzzles: I had a heartbreaking moment when my first hanayama puzzle that I put out (that I had had since I was in high school) went missing in the first week of school. I made a Wanted Poster for it. It still hasn’t turned up. So I kind of gave up on the posters, but I’m probably gonna go the route of Sarah Carter and make some laminated puzzles.

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  • Working Harder Than Students: I feel like I am accomplishing this. Although I’ve felt more behind than ahead and I am changing that this weekend.
  • Not Blaming: Check
  • Office Hours: Check
  • Google Level 2: Not yet – set a reminder for October Break. Also found out my Level 1 Certification expired. Didn’t realize it was only good for 3 years.
  • More Percussion: I bought a pair of Audio-Technica headphones when they were on sale on Amazon and now I’m playing drumset way more! I feel so much better playing it. I wish I could play percussion in a community band, but I’ll take what I’ve got.
  • More #MTBos: Yeah it’s been better. Could do more.
  • Cooking: I’ve been focusing on cooking what’s in my garden/what’s from my coworkers gardens that I’ve traded for. Made three batches of tomato sauce (no recipes, just blanch and peel a ton of tomatoes, add all the other things like carrots, peppers, herbs, and don’t forget tomato paste!) and discovered how amazing an immersion blender is. Also really sped up the process of making this zucchini blueberry cake with lemon buttercream frosting by using a hand mixer. SOOOOOO YUMMMMMMY!
  • #FitBos: So I didn’t meet my goal for August, but I did get 84% of my goal accomplished. Considering how hectic the beginning of the year is, I’m not disappointed. I know I can do better in September now that things have gotten more into a routine. I’ve been working out in our school’s fitness center a couple days a week with one of my coworkers and it’s been awesome. She’s retiring this year and I will miss her a lot, but she’s a beast. I’ve also lost some weight and feel good!

It has been great to check in and really see what’s been accomplished and what still needs work. This year’s been going well so far. I am excited for the rest to come. I think I might try to make this a regular thing.

Je suis fière de moi. J’ai fait beaucoup!

Goals for 2019-2020 School Year


So I do this fun thing where I have my Feedly following a ton of #MTBoS blogs and I can never keep up but I’ll read a few a day for a while and I’ll bounce between looking at the newest to the oldest to scrolling to somewhere in the middle. I’m now at all blogs between 3 months ago and 23 months ago. And guess what was coming back 23 months ago – Sunday Funday! I am pretty sure I missed it then, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it now! So the first prompt was Goals. And here are mine.

(P.S. 24 months ago was #TMC17 and it looks like I missed out on some awesome stuff, but it’s still so fun to see all the excitement in everyone’s blog posts and I really wish I could have gone and seen my #TMC16 friends again because I don’t know if I ever will again and I miss them and that was the best time ever)

START in the Classroom:

  • Stand and Talks (Thank you Amy for confirming that this is amazing in this post and reminding me of it). I am so so so excited about these and I think my students will really be successful with them. Could #debatemath be tied into this?
  • Incorporate some sort of collection of work probably in Google Slides where I have at least one thing from each student. I’m thinking something like Jeniffer’s Review ebook. But I want to have students adding to it all year, maybe?
  • Make a bigger deal about birthdays. Every learner will get a day for them.
  • Class Instagram. Still do the class Twitter, but add Instagram and maybe even have learners be the ones that take the pics. When I asked Twitter about this, I got an overwhelming response to do both!
  • Focus on Vocabulary! I’m teaching Geometry for the first time since I taught it in summer school for a couple years back when I first started teaching. Vocab can really be a killer there, but there’s also a ton of vocab in Algebra I that I should have already focused on. I have a high ELL population and this will help them so much along with helping my other learners. I don’t know where in my room I can do a Word Wall, but I’m also thinking of doing something like Tally Talks from Sara and more Desmos Polygraph with Andrew’s Vocab Jar. I also think just having vocab projected on the board during #VNPS and Stand and Talk time and all the time will be super helpful and super doable.

(RE)CONTINUE in the Classroom:

  • Family Connections. Call every working phone number once at the beginning of the year to introduce to the class. If I get behind, I can not call the five that show up to open house. Last year was the first year I didn’t do this and I definitely felt like there were families I never connected with, even with my Weekly Summaries. And now that my district is using Gmail, I want to take advantage of the Schedule Send to make sure I don’t forget about my unit newsletters. I need to keep family communication a priority.
  • Focus on my language. I’ve done pretty well with changing “students” to “learners”, and I started being good about not using “guys” but fell off the wagon there. Gotta get back on that wagon and also maybe add that I’m not gonna say “point” for decimals (totally agree with Sara here because my biggest setback with using Delta Math this year was rounding). This also makes me think of the “13 Rules That Expire” by Karp, Bush, and Dougherty and I saw their presentation at NCTM Chicago Regional 2017 and it wanted me to change all my words. Also Nix the Trix. But I’m gonna try to start small and go with stopping saying “guys” and “point” this year.
  • More #VNPS. I have a room with a pretty good setup of Vertical whiteboards. They don’t erase very well, but I have students that usually enjoy cleaning them in my Advisory. I need to utilize them more than I did last year.
  • Delta Math. I went a couple years with not really giving practice for homework. But last year I added in Delta Math and we did plenty of it in class but I ended up having a due date because it actually helped a bit with motivation. I learned a lot about assigning Delta Math and how much is appropriate. I also know that most of my colleagues will be using MathXL (we piloted it last year) and Delta Math is way more accessible to my students outside of school because they can do it much easier on their phones. My Delta Math assignments will continue to be unit-long assignments that don’t get graded until the end, but I will have recommended due dates for certain topics.
  • Puzzles. This year I kept a few Hanayama metal puzzles and the year before I had Christopher’s Tiling Turtles. I think it’s a guarantee that at least one thing will end up broken/lost, but maybe that’s worth it for the joy it creates. Gotta find somewhere besides my desk to keep them…or maybe I don’t because it’s good to keep an eye on them. Decisions for later.

STOP in the Classroom:

  • Working harder than most of my students.
  • Blaming their Standards Based Grading history (Freshman year is the first year they don’t have SBG) on their attitudes. I need to focus on what we can do now to help.
  • Feeling bad when I’m not available to help after school every day. I need to set office hours and realize that one kid that was asking for help that one day will be ok waiting a day or two or help them help themselves.


  • Become Google Level 2 Certified.
  • Play more percussion.
  • Be more involved in the #MTBoS because the times when I am, I am the happiest.
  • Learn to cook 1 new thing every month. I can no longer say I’m a terrible cook like I used to 🙂 but I still would like more variety and after getting married and getting stuff from the registry I have all the kitchen tools to make more cooking happen!
  • Stay in #FitBos. The Married 15 was no myth. My biggest fear (no joke) is having to shop for new clothes because I hate shopping for clothes.

I already set a reminder in Google Keep to check in with this post to see how I’m doing in a month. There’s a lot of goals here, but if I keep checking in, I am confident I can do a lot of them this year.

Je suis la plus heureuse quand je suis avec vous, le #MTBoS.

Reflection on 2018-2019 School Year

A couple days ago I posted my 2018-2019 Teacher Report Card Results. The feedback I got from students was more positive than I expected, actually. This wasn’t the most awesome year, but I’ve come to realize that there is actually more good that happened than bad. This post gets kind of mopey but that was kind of the year I had and it ends up being a more positive reflection.

I reflected on my first quarter here. I feel like I accomplished what I wanted to in second quarter – my Algebra I students did some great stuff with graphing lines and systems. It definitely was a fun quarter with lots of Desmos and lots of learning. My Honors Math II class also got to do my and their favorite unit – trigonometry.

Second semester was where things started to go a bit downhill. My school has decided to switch from an integrated pathway to a traditional one. So this year was the first year that we had Algebra I instead of Integrated Math I. I had to pilot a unit from two curricula to inform the district before they made a decision. We tried a unit from CPM and a unit from Pearson EnVision. I desperately wanted everything to go great with CPM because I know it’s got a great philosophy and great problems and great PD and just seems like the ideal curriculum. But it totally bombed with my classes. I think it was mostly attributed to us just doing one unit in the middle of the year (actually it was the first unit back from Winter Break and was marred by a bunch of snow/ice days/early releases), but the students kind of revolted against all the words and were very expressive of how they didn’t feel like they were learning. I felt pretty down about myself as a teacher because I felt I should have been able to teach my students well with CPM. And then when we got to trying Pearson, I felt like we got more regular weather and also more “regular” textbooks. I didn’t really use the textbooks all that much but I know my colleagues preferred them. I fully believe that with more (than two hours of) training and a little bit better circumstances, we could have been super successful with CPM, but I guess we’ll never know.

I got my first complaint to the district office from a parent. Apparently my playing of the Quadratic Formula Song three or four times in a row to help my honors class memorize it was “damaging to my student’s mental health”. I learned about this about two weeks after the fact from my principal coming in laughing and saying it shouldn’t affect my teaching and that this was one of the funniest complaints he’s heard, but I honestly wasn’t laughing about it. I never heard anything from the student or parent myself and it made me feel like I should put no more effort into having fun. But then I realized that I can’t please everyone and me moping about it wasn’t helping all my other students, some of whom were still singing the Quadratic Formula song to themselves or making up songs to other things.

I also had a really tough time with relationships this year and especially second semester. I felt like no matter how hard I tried to connect, I wouldn’t get any closer to having good relationships and motivating my students. The other teachers on my team expressed the same things. I remember saying multiple times how this should have been the easiest year so far in terms of workload and not having lots of outside of work stuff going on, but this year I felt like I was working so much more than I ever had. I ended up having the highest percentage of students failing my class than ever and no matter how many different things I tried, nothing was working. Until I started having my students do Advocating Forms! I learned about these from Sara from her post The #1 thing I did in my support math classes. I will try to blog about those myself some time because they really made a difference!

I also learned right at the start of second semester that three of my students had attempted suicide over Winter Break and that really screwed me up for a while. Even though I was assured that they had nothing to do with my class, I was so scared of doing anything that could provoke suicidal feelings. It still bothers me that I don’t really know what happened, but I also am sure now that relationships are even more important. And not just my relationships with the students, but how the students treat each other. I need to do more to make sure my students treat each other with respect 100% of the time and value each others’ thoughts.

I also need to not get too down on myself if my efforts aren’t working. I know that’s easy to say and not so easy to do, but this post will serve as a reminder that I am putting in effort and that’s what matters. When I fail at something, I need to do what I tell my students every day and have a growth mindset and keep trying. Especially because I really wasn’t totally failing – we still accomplished a lot of great things this last semester and I know my students learned a lot.



So yeah, in the end, I guess it was a big learning year. I learned:

  • Sometimes there are circumstances that cause something to not work so well, but that’s ok. Recognize when things are out of your control and move on to doing the cool things you’re doing to help the kids.
  • You can’t please everyone and don’t let one student hurt others
  • It’s imperative that all students treat each other with respect in my room. I can make this happen more by incorporating activities where students are valuing each others’ thoughts. I look forward to doing more #VNPS and more debate and CPM group strategies and Stand and Talks (another one from Sara) and some more that I’ll try to blog about later.
  • Even though some things aren’t working, you can’t forget about the stuff that is working and keep trying at those other things.

L’année prochaine sera meilleure!