The #July2014Challenge comes to an end…

…but it is only the beginning.

I am heading into my second year teaching math. During my first year, I spent it keeping my head above water while completing 10 online classes to gain my permanent teaching certificate and preaching every Sunday as an Interim Preacher at a church about an hour away. The only thing I used the web for math was to find a lesson or an idea for upcoming classes.  I figured there would be a wealth of information out there to help me, I just didn’t have time to go and find it.

This summer, I determined that I needed to find more resources to help me with the craft of teaching, and I found it through the #MTBoS.  There is a wealth of information out there, and I have gained quite of bit of information on what to do for next year, but now it is putting it into place. Here are a couple things I will implement this year:

  1. Standards Based Grading:  I love this idea, and long to implement it well in the classes.
  2. Wall of Remediation: With the new textbook series (Go Math from HMH), there is an included book with skill sheets that I can print off and have students complete.
  3. I want to reduce the stack of papers I bring home, and think that gradeable will be able to help me with this.
  4. Whiteboarding: Kelly O’Shea has a bunch of games and ideas that I think will do well for me.  I am planning on getting larger $2 white boards, but my mentor gave me 30 12″x18″ whiteboards for each student to use.
  5. An Online Math PLC:  See for more info as we go on, but I wanted to collaborate with some folks who are doing similar things, so we shall see what happens!
  6. Using more engaging tasks in class:  Dan Meyer’s 3 Act Math Tasks, Problem Based Tasks, etc.

A couple of thoughts on the blogging challenge:

On looking back at the blogging challenge, I knew I wouldn’t do all 31 days.  I am a procrastinator, and I knew there would be times that I just would not blog.

One of the feelings that came up, as weird as it may sound, was that I began to be fixated on how many people followed me, and how many people read my blog.  I don’t like that feeling. It feels like I am trying to impress someone, and feel vindicated when someone likes a post and follows me or my blog.  This can begin to drive my ego and sense of identity. Again this is weird because I have under 2 dozen followers and less than 100 pageview, but yet I think about it.

So as I go forward with blogging, I want to keep this in check. I have considered a 180 blog this year, just so I can have a record for myself of what I have done, but we will see what happens.  For my 2 dozen followers and 6 readers, thanks for following! And I promise I won’t let it go to my head.


  1. Congrats on the July Challenge! I look forward to reading about your second year! Oh and for the whiteboards, go to Home Depot or Lowes and you can buy a large shower board for like $13 and have them cut it into smaller sizes. Works great!


    1. Congrats to you too! I hope 5th/6th grade fits you well! I will be heading out to Lowe’s and will get the board. Did you rub it down with carnuba (car) wax or anything? I heard some people do that as the dry erase markers sometimes leave a ghost image behind.


  2. Thanks for joining the July Challenge. I’m not sure that I would do it again quite like this, but I do know that I needed the push to write more. For me, the challenge was hard because I felt like I stopped writing for ME and started writing more for the audience and I didn’t really like that. Instead of dumping things out of my head that were driving me crazy, I started fixating on what others would think about what I was writing. Thoughts to ponder I guess… 🙂 Anyway, thank you so much for joining in!


    1. There is that element of pride and, “are they going to like me when I say this?” that rises up in all of us. Thank you for your challenge and willingness to put yourself out there.

      I think once school starts we will settle into a better rhythm of posting, but we probably need to set a goal of at least 1 or 2 posts a week!

      It has been great getting to know you and I look forward to seeing more from you and others in the #MTBoS this year!


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