Sunday, October 20, 2013

Exploring MTBos Post #3

For the third Explore MTBos mission, I chose to use the "One Good Thing" resource.  Some of the resources I already knew of.  The other resources weren't anything that I could really find a use for right now.  I'll check back as they develop further.

One Good Thing is based on one of my favorite quotes:
 I truly believe this quote.  I am a trained optimist, but I noticed that I am usually the most positive person in my life.  I'm constantly surrounded by negativity, and it's a struggle to (a) stay positive and (b) have others be positive too.

Lately, however, I have not been feeling like this:
I'm hoping that One Good Thing can help me go back to being happy with teaching because I truly haven't been looking for the good things that happen each day.

Many of my students have been having a difficult time with Interactive Notebooks.  They are telling me that they are not learning using the notebooks, even though we are taking the same notes we would have taken without it.  I've been showing them how to use their Interactive Notebooks to study for tests and quizzes, and yet they tell me that they still don't know how to study.  They complain about numbering pages, dating pages, writing headings, and updating their Table of Contents.  I feel as though all of the hard work I've done is for nothing.

Last weekend I spent some time reflecting on this, and I was ready for another week of upsetting students with more notebook activities.  Then I had my ray of sunshine.  As students were grumbling about having to add to their notebooks, one student called out, "I like the notebook!"

It gave me some hope.  If at least one student likes the notebook, I can build upon that.  Hopefully more students will come around, and I have some ideas that I will be implementing soon to help with that.  I plan to blog about those in the upcoming weeks.


  1. Hang in there, Miss Beebe. Capitalize on the stated enthusiasm of your student. Draw him/her into a conversation about what are the pros of the notebook work. Shine a light on those advantages. Push on through!!!

  2. I've also been trying to focus on the positive lately because I've been feeling exhausted. Sometimes that one student's comment is what I need to feel like what I'm doing is worthwhile. Hopefully with more time your students will see how useful their INBs can be. Hang in there!

  3. Great post! And a good reminder of why YOU are the teacher and THEY are the students.

    I have had many students whine like this about INBs this year. But a few weeks later, when I challenged them about how disorganized they are, they have responded as strong defenders of the INB experience.

    Students at this stage don't yet KNOW what they don't know. A big part of what they don't have yet is flexibility in note-taking and in note-keeping.

    They're still not all excited or grateful, but they ARE a lot more organized.

    Stay strong! They will thank you for it later!

    - Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)

    1. Thank you so much. This is EXACTLY the advice that I needed to hear.

  4. Here's hoping that that one ray of sunshine carries you through until your whole class is shining brightly!

  5. I'm also trying out math interactive notebooks this year. Not all students are using them optimally, but I believe many are benefiting whether they articulate it or not. The notebooks have helped students organize their thoughts, solidify understanding and prepare for unit assessments. Some don't appreciate them, although they would prefer it over taking traditional notes. Thanks for the post, candor and for joining the #MTBoS community.


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