It’s been a long time…  The whole idea with this Blog was to create a space to reflect on my work in the classroom, and hopefully grow as a teacher because of it.  Unfortunately, I’ve been slacking on this blog, which is kind of like slacking on myself, really.  The growth can’t happen without the writing, just as the harvest can’t happen without the planting.  I’m going to try to get back on here at least twice a week going forward, feel free to give me crap if I don’t follow through.

The lack of posts are not because I have nothing to say.  If anything it’s quite the opposite.  I have so many things going on that I haven’t had time to sit down and write them all out.  Instead of getting to worried about how to write everything, now I’m going to take time to write at least something, and hopefully that will be enough to stay on point.

What I’m Teaching This Week

This week I’m thinking about how to get students to understand the way that compound interest is related to simple interest in a fun and interactive way.  There are a number of derivations for the compound interest formula that involve lots of parenthesis and exhaustive calculations, but I’m hoping I can help them make the leap from simple to compound with something a little more…  wait for it  …interest-ing.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, but I asked the kids today would they rather A) get paid $100 a day every day for a month OR B) receive a penny on the first day of the month, and have the money doubled every day for a month.  I’m not sure exactly how I intend to do to explore this context, but I might make a video, or perhaps an illustration of some sort.

What I’m Blogging This Week

Since I have been away from blogging regularly, a whole bunch of stuff has been going on that could make for good posts.  These things are kind of like my “reserves” and I can pull them off the bench if need be.  One thing I might talk about is my idea for an #MTBOS  booth at the NCTM national conference, (hint: it involves internet access).

Another thing is talking about all of the data work I’ve been doing at my school.  I have been more or less buried in spreadsheets and/or teaching myself database programming since the year began, and maybe this is a place to reflect on that.

Lastly, I have been working on a picking speakers for a conference, and it means I have read about 260 different talks.  I ended up learning a lot of information from doing that and I have a whole lot of ideas for posts that I gleaned from trying to understand other people’s proposals.  Perhaps I’ll dig into this this week, or perhaps I’ll write about the actual teaching and learning in my classroom for the first time in a while.  I hope I can do the latter.

What I’m Thinking This Week

At my old school there was a weird feeling that only came after Thanksgiving.  This school was going through a rough patch, and every year it seemed at least one staff member would leave in the early months of the year.  Once we got to Thanksgiving, however, all of the nervousness about people leaving would stop and we could all settle in for the rest of they year knowing we’re all staying until June.  It was a good feeling to know the people around you were around you for the long haul, like after the closing of the door on airplane.  This year has been a little rocky, with our school getting 10 new staff members in August, and one more last month, as well as starting a lot of new programs.  As we start school after this past Thanksgiving, I’m feeling like we’re finally settling in for the long haul.