T-2 Here, on my perpetually messy desk in our science “instructional planning center” I finally got my new scanner hooked up. I couldn’t install the software on my school computer without an admin password, and we’ve all been pretty busy this week (especially the exceptionally wonderful and woefully underpaid tech person) so I waited until today, which was officially a vacation day and therefore much slower at school. ¬†Wonderful tech person Beth came and loaded the scanner software onto my supremely torpid school laptop (we may get new ones next year) and I scanned all my homeroom student’s locker numbers and combinations into a word document! It was an awesome moment for me, because I am going to be able to use this to scan student graphs, assessments, problem-solving, and other work directly into GoogleDocs, where I will have a folder for each student. I would use Evernote, but I can’t access it at school, so there is no point. I never bring my school laptop home so syncing at home is not an option.

Anyway, I am so psyched for this year! I just hope I don’t get any more roster changes after today and no additional students added to my homeroom on Tuesday…all my chairs are full and I think the principal’s secretary is tired of seeing my face when I request an additional planner, discipline code, FERPA form, free/reduced lunch application, calendar card, and Chamber of Commerce booklet for each additional homeroom student over the past day.




T-3 This morning at 7:30 AM our principal started discussing PLCs with us, including this slide. The presentation made me think about The Talent Code¬†which I am reading now, so I e-mailed the principal and suggested we all read it. Bullet point #3 also caught my attention. It made me wonder how that gets decided. It also made me wonder what levels/years of physics are my “right place”. We have three levels of physics 1 and two levels of physics 2 at my school.

Also, my principal doesn’t call them bullet points, he calls them burger dots. Does anyone else do that?

A PLC is a Professional Learning Community.


T-4 I forgot to take a photo today. No loss. Today was meetings all day, starting at 8:30 am and lasting until 3:30 PM, with 1.5 hours for lunch. I didn’t go out, but instead stayed in to work on setting up my room. In the afternoon, we talked about the above topics in groups by subject area.

Essential learning targets are things we want to make sure kids to know before leaving our class at the end of the year. I have three off the top of my head.

  1. Students will wear seat belts in cars to protect them in the event of an accident
  2. Students will behave properly around electricity thus avoiding electrocution
  3. Students will recognize the awesome power and beauty of physics


T-5 On the first inservice day for teachers, we eat breakfast provided by the PTO and then sit through nearly two hours of powerpoint slides and talk from the administrators. Then we go to the meetings associated with our various duties, set up our classrooms, make photocopies, and whatever else we need to do. This is one of the powerpoint slides. Guess what our school colors are and what our mascot is! I have a homeroom and one period a week I help in a study hall, so I had to go to those meetings. I have two other duties that don’t get meetings: hall duty and distance-learning duty.


T-6 weekdays until students arrive. We teachers go back tomorrow, so about half of the science department took the opportunity to relax together today.


Knight Workbook

T-7 days.

I just got an extra copy of the Student Workbook that goes with Knight’s textbook. I use some of this with AP students, but I only had one copy, which I keep at school. This will be my home copy. “Used” from someone who sells through Amazon, but less than $7 including shipping and completely unmarked.

Curriculum Map Etc

T-8 days, counting weekdays only.

This is my curriculum map for conceptual physics, some standards ideas I scribbled earlier this summer, part of the information sheet I give to conceptual physics students, and a quick sketch of my schedule for this year.