Thursday, April 25, 2013

Remembering why I teach...

Today was a day that didn't feel right all day long.  I was a bit grumpy and things that normally didn't bother me, sure did today.  Today, being Thursday, meant that it was "Hot Topic Thursdays" for my seventh grade students.  I was dragging by the end of the day and just wanted to go home, when one of my seventh grade girls came through my door and with an excited voice said, "Hot Topic Thursday".  Had to smile at the fact that someone was excited to do math.

"Hot Topic Thursdays" is my attempt to get more students to come for help.  Instead of just saying come anytime and ask a question, I gave them the topic of conversation.  If they need help with that area of math, they can come and we'll work on it.  It has been pretty successful in the first few weeks.  I have had between four to six students come and for a class of twenty-five, that's a decent turn out.

We started in on our topic of distributive property and combining like terms.  Using algebra tiles and lots of examples we worked through problems.  One of the students in the group all of a sudden looked at me and said, "Wouldn't it be faster to just multiply?" and I almost jumped out of my skin.  They were seeing it.  Another student, was quietly watching more than doing during the explanation.  Towards the end of our time I let them play some games to practice their skills and my student with the watchful eye, was modeling the expressions and explaining them to others!  I watched and listened and the student had it.  Everything I had been saying had been absorbed, processed, and was now being applied.  I was a proud momma bear as I watched the learning happen.

It is in these moments that the crabbiness subsides, even if everything went wrong all day long.  Because, in that moment of watching my students, everything was right and I had a part in making it that way.  Here's hoping for another day like this tomorrow!

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