Wow! The first few weeks of school really fly by – I can’t believe it is already about to be October!
My September has been a whirlwind, as I am sure is the case for all teachers. I have been loving spending time getting to know my new students, my new co-workers, my new school building — so much to learn!
I also am teaching ninth grade for the first time (!). How I managed to get through nearly a decade of teaching HS math without ever having even one section of ninth grade I have no idea. I love ninth graders so far. They are so eager, so energetic, and so adorable. They also, however, really need a lot of additional support in building up strong study habits and classroom behaviors.
Perhaps other teachers have a different experience, but I have found that I need to spend much more time than I am used to spending setting expectations for my ninth grade students and modeling exemplary behavior and work. Things I take for granted with older students, I cannot assume my ninth graders will do. For example, my students do not automatically start to work silently on the Do Now; in fact, some still do not do this even when reminded. It is not an engrained habit yet. I suppose this means it is my job to build this habit up in my kids – I hope the tenth grade teacher appreciates it!
As a part of my work in this area, I have found myself creating lots of resources. They include:
- Group roles (for regular assigned 4-person groups, one role for each student)
- Class jobs (for 7 students per class)
- Weekly checklist (for all students to monitor their engagement & behavior)
The group roles and class jobs sheets will be up for sale on my TPT page individually and as a part of a package that includes ALL the materials I made for myself this year related to classroom set up. The weekly checklist is also up on my TPT page, but you can download it for free here!
Let me know if you use the checklist, or any other resource! Here’s to working hard to build math knowledge AND strong academic habits.
Yours in math-ed,