Day 1- 12th and 9th graders

The Quiet. 

The room before everyone came in. There are still plenty of things to fix/ take care of. It takes a while to really call a place your own when you inherit a classroom. My first classroom took me 8 years to really make mine! It was also a really great moment to just collect myself, some thoughts, and say a little prayer. The beginning of the school year is always exciting, and glad I was able to take some time to give thanks.

Making, Hacking, & Tinkering

This year, the seniors tore through the planned activities. I started the class off with a video on teamwork I found from TEDtalk. Here’s a link to the video: Tom Wujec’s TED Talk on “Build a tower, build a team”. I found it interesting because of the level of success did not immediately correlate with the level of education. Rather, success of the marshmallow challenge seemed to more correlate with attitude. I will have to emphasize process and a growth mindset. Last year, it took a bit longer to complete the build challenge. I got the build challenge from my colleague who first taught the course, so not sure where she got it from. I need to find out where she got it from so that students can continue to build once they’re done. One group interpreted the build a bit differently. Most groups took their photo like this:

How most groups sent in their build. 

One group sent in their photo a little differently:

Screen Shot 2018-08-15 at 3.13.29 PM
How one group sent in their photo.

All the groups submitted their group photo and their build to a common Google document. I really like how this group interpreted the build clues. This group worked together and made sure everyone’s voice was heard. None of the clues stated which cube had to be on “top.” Then at the end of the class, students filled out an index card to say what they liked and didn’t like about their time here. All the students wrote community as one of their top favorite things about the school. What they didn’t like ranged from dress code to waking up early, standard high school stuff.


I’m so grateful for the rockstar teacher, Mrs. F. She mentored (and continues to mentor) me in my first year. She came in and helped set up for the stations. With it being my third year, I felt pretty comfortable with what we had to do. However, I really should have practiced the stations again. I forgot how to do some of them…including the pulling the tablecloth one. I did it three times today, and my antiperspirant was really put to the test. I think some of the students caught me on video completing the task, but I do have one of a very eager student!

The goal of the Physics Learning Team is to have the freshmen walk away excited about learning Physics. We didn’t spend very much time doing explanations. Rather, we had them play and explore the Laws of Physics through eager eyes. It gets so intimidating toward the end of the year, maybe I can show them this video as a memory of their first day of high school….remember when you thought Physics was fun?

Here are a couple of photos of students completing the station rounds. Bonus: A photo of Mr. Murphy demonstrating gravitational potential energy. 

Anyway, I’m excited for the year!





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