Saturday, August 22, 2015

I'm Baaaaaaack :)

Last year was a crazy year.  Finishing up my Master's Degree in Curriculum & Instruction took more of my time than I had anticipated, so my blog didn't get updated as I had planned for it to.  But hopefully this year will be a different story!  I enjoy the self-reflection that blogging provides, and I love sharing things with my fellow educators!  It's very cathartic!
I've had a change in my teaching assignment this year.  I'm still teaching AP Calculus, but I'm no longer teaching Pre-AP Pre-Calculus.  I'm now teaching Algebra I.  In Texas, students are required to take five End of Course exams in high school in order to graduate.  The only math EOC they must take is Algebra I.  My principal decided last year that he wanted the most experienced teachers in each department to teach those courses that have an EOC and I fit that bill :)  So here I am, starting my 17th year of teaching and I'll be teaching a course I've only taught one other time.  While I'm sad to no longer be teaching Pre-Calculus, I have to admit I'm excited about getting to mix things up and get out of my comfort zone a little bit!
I wanted to kick off my renewed blogging efforts by sharing a resource that a colleague of mine told me about and that I think will prove to be invaluable this year.  It's  It's an online lesson planning book.  It costs $12 a year and you can try it out for a month before you have to pay.  You can set up what components you want to have in your lesson plans, which is nice because we have to include vocabulary, an open and close, and our state standards in our lesson plans.  It's very easy to make changes by copying and pasting, deleting, or even shifting your lessons forward or backward a day as needed.  You can even share your lesson plans with administrators, parents and students using a link or you can even embed your lesson plans directly into your website!  How your lesson plan book looks and how much information you share are highly customizable.  Probably my favorite feature though is how easy it is to document and keep track of your standards.  National and state standards are embedded into the program.  All you have to do is select the standards you're using and then check the ones associated with your lesson that day.  The program even keeps track of how many times you teach each standard and on what days it was taught.  You can then print this list to a pdf document to share with a supervisor if you need to.  I definitely recommend checking it out!

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