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Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 14 2012

Walking into gyms and important vocabulary.

Winter Break was absolutely amazing. And even that, is an understatement. I was able to see literally almost every person that I love and is important to me. I was encouraged, rested, and loved. I can’t lie by saying it was hard to go back.


There were two things upon my return to my job after Winter Break that made me really happy.

1.) Walking into the gym on the first day back:

I will never forget what 3 of my students told me at the beginning of the year. “The last time we had a teacher all year was in 2nd grade.” Walking into that gym was the first time I have ever been truly proud of myself in a long time. Working through all the struggles of last semester and the moments I thought I was going to quit, I am so happy that I could come back and be there for them. I feel like it’s a moment where maybe they realized, “She’s not leaving.”

2.) Important Vocabulary:

I am realizing how important it is that they use appropriate vocabulary for each objective. This past week we talked about decomposing/composing numbers. This is a much tougher concept for my students than you would think. Especially when it comes to place value. 10,359 does NOT equal 10,000+ 3,000 + 500 + 90. Upon a CFU (check for understanding) I asked my students why that is not correct. I called on a student who really struggles with it, and he responded “That answer is not correct because in the original number the 3 is in the hundreds place but in expanded form it was placed in the thousands. The place values don’t match.”

Now, don’t be fooled, these types of conversations aren’t ALWAYS going on. But that moment…was pretty awesome.

50% done with the first year!

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