This post is dedicated to my Mom and Dad. They moved all the way from Kentucky to live close to us. But now with my work schedule and the kids crazy soccer schedule, I rarely see them. I am doing the best I can, but it never seems like enough.
I was excited to blog about a day in my life. The trouble has been actually finding the time to blog. I didn’t realize how much I do in a day until I typed this up. It took forever to type as it is at least double the length of my usual blog post.
4 am – I’m not sure what miscellaneous sound awakened me, but now visions of mult-step equations are running through my head. At 4:45 I finally get a pencil out and scribble what I’m sure will be incoherent notes in the morning. But, at least it is out of my brain so I can hopefully fall back to sleep. Math haunts me.
5:45 am – I get up 15 minutes earlier today than normal because I have offered to host hot chocolate sales in my room. Set up begins at 7:30. Several of my 6th grade students are selling hot chocolate to raise money for Charity Water. They are amazing. I need to be there by 7:30 instead of 7:45. I pre-heat the oven to make muffins for breakfast.
6:15 am – I wake up the boys then make the muffins and put them in the oven. I put an over night load of laundry into the dryer, and a new load in the washer. I’m going out of town for a soccer tournament this weekend and we are in desperate need of clothes. The laundry never ends around here. I finish getting ready.
6:30 am – I order groceries online. I usually do this on the weekend but I need to get food to take to the soccer tournament with us.
6:45 am – I call the boys again to make sure they are on their way down. One of them fell back to sleep and is way behind getting ready. They make lunches, unload the dishwasher, and grab breakfast. I make tonight’s dinner, Salsa Chicken, in the crock-pot.
7:15 am – We are supposed to leave by now but are running behind, as usual. I still need to help fix hair and someone has lost their shoes – AGAIN. One came down in shorts and it’s 35 degrees outside. We may never get out of the house. I make my lunch and load up the car.
7:20 am – After frenzied and loud encouragement we are finally leaving. We can make it to school in about 5 minutes with no traffic. However, it’s a school day so it will take us about 15 minutes.
7:40 am – I finally arrive at school. Traffic was terrible. The charter school on my way to school completely clogged up the roads today. It’s really frustrating. I’m supposed to be at school by 7:45 at the latest as I am the “early” teacher who opens our building for the students. I made that in time but am late for hot chocolate set up. I’ll need to get everyone up even 15 minutes earlier next week if we are ever going to make it by 7:30 am.
Hot chocolate doesn’t start until next week! My conscience has a reprieve! I’m so glad I didn’t miss it and let everyone down. Whew. I now have time to print out and hang up the signs for the different math groups just for today. I make copies of centimeter grid paper for class.
8:00 am – Two students come for help. I am the early arriving teacher this year and thought I would use that extra 30 minutes to lesson plan or grade papers. However, after school help is hard to do with meetings, car duty, and student’s sports schedules. Last year I offered help at work time but our schedule has changed so we only have one work time period every six days. Thus, I have started offering help before school.
8:15 am – 1st period. 6th grade, dividing decimals – group 1. I have split my two math groups into “exposure groups” just for the day. The students in first period have never done division with decimals before and/or are still working on their long division skills. I’m so glad that our science / math blocks allows me to do this, but it also means that I had to make two lessons for 6th grade instead of one today. These students take some notes and do a couple of examples in their graph books before moving to dry-erase templates (centimeter grid paper inside page protectors). This helps students line the numbers and the decimals up. I have the students show me each step on their dry erase mat before they go on. They LOVE anything dry erase so they are happy today, even if it is long division – with decimals!
9:15 am – 2nd period. 6th grade, dividing decimals – group 2. These students have been dividing decimals since 4th grade. After taking short notes and doing one example in their graph books (just in case), we play Decimal Review Trasketball in groups. I give them killer hard problems. They love it and don’t want to leave when the period is over. I love 6th graders.
10:15 am – 3rd period. 7th grade, word problems with multi-step equations. I get out the king sized boards, and I let them work together. However, no matter how I slice it they do not love this. I only give them word problems. They have to write the equation individually and then confer with their group to come up with a group equation they all agree on. When I approve their groups equation, they each solve it. We then look at everyone’s methods and discuss which group’s solution was the most efficient. As in YES, it is better to combine like terms as soon as possible so you don’t have to keep adding and subtracting to get the variable term alone. Some students are not convinced. Also, some of the problems are too easy for this group. The classes change from year to year. I’ll fix it for the next 7th grade class during my planning.
11:10 am – It’s my planning period but I have a student issue I need to deal with. This takes most of the period. The rest is spent revising my 7th grade lesson from last period at bullet speed. My desk is a wreck and emails continue to pile up. I have several students absent that have emailed me with questions about today’s lesson. I quickly look over the emails so I don’t miss anything urgent, but I don’t have time to reply. This is a deadly combination and what makes up my “Email Graveyard”. Yes, I read it, I just didn’t have time to reply so I could get through all of the emails. I even thought of my reply in my head later that day. But that is dangerous because the email is not longer “new” so is off of my radar. And, I often forget that I only replied “in my head”. This always makes me feel bad.
12:05 pm – 6th grade advisory meeting over lunch. We discuss advisory plans and students. It goes fast. Every day I have either a meeting, math help, or math team during lunch.
12:55 pm – Project Work Time with the students.
1:50 pm – 3rd period. 7th grade, word problems with multi-step equations, take 2. This is the fixed version with more difficult problems. But now I think I’ve made them too difficult. I don’t think this class got as much out of the lesson as the previous class, even though I worked extra on this lesson. It’s such a delicate balance!
2:45 pm – Advisory. Today, after our homework roundup, I am conferencing with individual students. My other advisees are doing homework and locker clean up.
3:15 pm – School is out. I head to cheerleading practice until 4pm.
4:00 pm – We leave school and pick up the groceries.
4:25 pm – We arrive home. I put away the groceries and dish out dinner for the boys while they get dressed for soccer. Did I say how much the crock-pot is a working parents dream? I fold the load in the dryer and put a new load in. I eat a few bites.
5:00 pm – 9:00 – Two soccer practices. My children soccer four nights a week from 5pm – 7:30 pm. But, my husband has a meeting tonight so I’m doing double duty. Two have practice from 5:45 – 7pm and one from 7 – 9. I usually try to run during soccer practice. I can’t tonight because I have the children that aren’t practicing in my car. It’s freezing outside so we just camp out in the car and I help them with homework. I brought quizzes to grade but this is so not going to happen here. I try to check and answer emails on my iPhone. I get way too many emails.
9:30 pm – We get home from soccer and the boys are hungry again. I make cheese quesadilla’s for everyone. I do one more load of laundry.
10:15 pm – Everyone is finally fed and tucked in. It’s a late night for the boys and I hate that. My husband gets home in time to kiss them goodnight. He looks more tired than I feel but starts making their lunches. I feel bad because we didn’t have time to even get them started tonight. I fold the last load of laundry for the night.
I then crawl into pj’s and then work on my lesson plans for tomorrow. After that I try to grade the quizzes that they took yesterday. I have four sets and usually try to get them back the next day. But, this has been a rough week. My husband has had more evening meetings than usual lately. At midnight I realize I can no longer read the numbers on the quizzes. Quiz grading isn’t going to get finished. I finally go to sleep. I’m so tired that I don’t dream. The alarm seems to go off immediately after I set it. I don’t mind because at least I got to sleep through the night. I promise myself I will go to bed earlier tomorrow night. I lie.