Bond with James: November 2017

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Day in the Life of a Teacher | Vlog 26 | TpT 2017 Cyber Sale

I always seem to get sick whenever there is a long break from work, and I have plans to be (super) productive! 
I don't have much to write about this week.  I had planned to read and grade my student writing samples from the Ionic Bonding Student Learning Stations.  Unfortunately, I had to spend my final day of the fall break doing that. However, I was presently surprised by many of the selections. There were four task cards, and each card was a certain number of points.   

Students had to earn 25 points, so that meant they had to select at least two of the four task cards to finish.  Students could receive up to 50 points, but they had to complete all four writing prompts by the due date. Originally, I was going to mark on them, but the samples were so good that I decided to leave comments on Post-It notes.  Next time I will skim through and make photocopies so that I can have unmarked work to use as exemplars in the future. 

To end out my fall break, I shot another Facebook LIVE.  I sometimes feel like I'm dying to get through a LIVE session and then I watch it back and think, " wasn't that bad at all."  Or, at least that is my own perception. You can check out the FB LIVE below to gain an idea of what I will be doing for the upcoming week!

Last but not least, Teachers Pay Teachers is having another site-wide sale - the FINAL sale of 2017!  Depending on the teacher-author, you may be able to save up to 25% off of your purchases. ::cough, my store, cough::
Start stocking up on your wishlist items now! Oh, by-the-way. If you don't know - you can earn credit towards your purchases by leaving (constructive) feedback on a teacher-author's TpT page. You can do this for previous or newly purchased items.  When you log into your account, go to your My Purchases and scroll through your items.  You should see a link that reads "Provide Feedback".  It's that simple.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Week in the Life of a Teacher (Week 13): Reclaiming MY Time!

This week involved one day devoted to campus-wide testing.  I originally was going to start a new topic but decided against it because of testing and our 1-week break for the Thanksgiving holiday.  If you're curious about the title of my latest vlog, "Reclaiming MY Time," you can skip to the 3:03-minute mark.

On Monday, my A-Day classes received additional support regarding naming and writing formulas for ionic compounds that contained transition metals and polyatomic ions.  At the end of class, they took a quiz. However, the quiz involved dice that had ion symbols on each side. Students had to roll the dice to provide 10 ionic compound combinations. In the past, I usually would do this as a class activity. However, I wanted to try something different this year. 

On Tuesday, students either took the TSI (Texas Success Initiative exam) or an English benchmark exam. I had to proctor the TSI exam, and that turned out to be a nightmare. You can skip to the 6:30-minute mark in the vlog to hear the details on that.  After the campus-wide testing ended, students had lunch and then reported to all of their B-Day classes.  Since we tested until 1p.m., this meant that classes were 35 minutes long.  I wasn't able to do everything that I had my A-Day students complete on Monday. With that said, students were able to submit their answers from the Ionic Bonding Learning Stations from last week.

Wednesday was an opportunity for students to catch up with missing work or labs; or get extra practice with ionic compounds because that was the last day for that particular topic.  On Thursday, my B-Day classes were able to complete what my A-Day students did on Monday; and Friday was also a repeat of Wednesday. 

Nothing too exciting this week except for the countdown until our 1-week Thanksgiving holiday break.  We officially have 3 weeks after our return until the end of the fall semester.  I have my calendar planned out and will work on putting the Covalent Bonding Learning Stations together over the break.  I also started mapping out my plans for our return in the spring semester.  

I can't believe that we are halfway through the school year already; and that I actually pulled off vlogging every single week!  To be honest, the vlogging did cause me to fall behind in regard to planning my semester. However, I made adjustments these last few weeks that have helped me maintain my sanity. I also have a plan for the vlogs upon our return from the winter break. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Week in the Life of a Teacher (Week 12): Ionic Stations and Labs

My students are currently learning about ionic compounds and bonding. During this week, the students took notes, practiced with whiteboards, and participated in a stations reinforcement activity and wrapped up the week with a lab!

On Monday, my A-Day classes repeated what my B-Day students did Friday; which is why I LOVE the A/B block schedule. I introduced students to ionic compounds and the process of ionic bonding through the use of interactive notebook notes, as well as practice with whiteboards. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, my students participated in my Ionic Compound and Bonding Student Learning Stations.  This set contained six stations (Literacy: Reading, Literacy: Writing, Exploration, Evaluation, Observation, and Organization).
The stations were a great way to help me reinforce what I had taught last Friday (B-Day) and at the start of this week (A-Day). In my vlog, I speak at length about changes I made based upon frustrations I had with the implementation of the stations with my first class (you can catch it at the 9:00-minute mark in the video at the top). 

On Thursday and Friday, my students participated in a lab involving several reactions between various solutions of ionic compounds. 
We actually started off the class with notes over polyatomic ions and depending on the class, we took notes over transition metals (as I had covered that with a few of the classes during the previous meeting). My students then had the opportunity to participate in the lab. 

The lab served as a real-world application of precipitation reactions (which we will revisit in the year) and an opportunity for them to practice writing names and formulas for ionic compounds.
You can check out additional clips of my students in action, as well as clips of myself teaching, in the High School Teacher Vlog 24 | A Week in the Life of a Teacher (Week 12)

If you're interested in any of the activities, you can click on the links below. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Week in the Life of a Teacher (Week 11): Exams and Halloween!

It's Halloween week! Join me as I share a "week in the life of a teacher" video highlighting my 11th week of school with students (for the 2017-2018 school year).