Stasia’s Blog Takeover! Wednesday Edition

Welcome to my observation extravaganza blog!

Wednesday is the last day of the the academic week where I go out into the Woo (South High Specifically) for my observations in Ms. Rossi’s Classroom. I want to bring you along for the ride so you can live vicariously through me.

I arrive to her classroom as the AP Calculus class is coming to an end. Today I got an extra taste for nostalgia, as I remember the exact lesson she was delivering. Remember, Ms. Rossi is a former teacher of mine! I had her for two years. This specific lesson was on deriving with the CHAIN RULE. She uses a tootsie pop to explain the process: for a function with multiple layers, you have to take the derivative’s in order from the outside in. Like you eat a tootsie pop, you must first remove the wrapping, eat the sugar candy part, and THEN you eat the inside chocolate.

Ms. Rossi and her once a year indulgence on lollipops! (for the sake of math, of course)

The bell rings and her first of two Algebra II classes roll in. Ms. Rossi has a very tight system for her “warm-up” activities (again, something I experienced as an Algebra II student myself). She supplies a warm-up sheet that has five boxes (for the five days of a school week). That way her grading of them can be much more organized; every student’s weekly warmup sheet should be in the exact same format. Something particularly endearing about Ms. Rossi is her specific nickname for the TI-84 Graphing Calculators, “Graphers.” (It would have been a disservice if I had not shared this with you all.) Ms. Rossi has a set of “graphers” that can be utilized by students when learning about plotting functions and scatterplots. The calculators has a function that can create the most accurate line of best fit for a collection of linear data; Ms. Rossi walks the students through how the calculators are a key resource in evaluating data. All of her examples come from real-life data, therefore showing students that what they are doing has real-life applications. Her Classroom is set up in student groups of four, and most of the classwork is done in these groups. 

Ms. Rossi is truly remarkable! Her classroom is a well oiled machine with ground rules, classroom expectations and behaviors that every student participates in without having to be reminded every day. Students stay on task and if anything goes sour, Ms. Rossi is a master in redirecting the students to stay on task. With a clear mastery of the content she is teaching, students can rely on her if they feel as though they need help with the content. 

In the bottom left, you can see me featured in her photo wall! It’s a prom photo with Ms. Rossi!

When one Algebra II class ends, the second section of the class starts! These lessons are of course the same, but observing the varying behaviors of the two classes aids in my future instruction of students (in that different responses to behavior in different classes that are individualized for their specific academic success). 

Back to Holy Cross!

It may seem like my day has been fulfilling enough, but it’s only 11:30AM and my student life at Holy Cross is just beginning. From 12:00PM-3:00PM I serve the office of Residence Life and Housing (Hogan 122) as a student worker! If you have ever called into the office for a housing inquiry, there is a chance you have spoken with me:)

At 3:00PM, I have my bi-weekly 1-1 with the Head Resident Assistant. It is just another part of my position as a Resident Assistant for Figge that I get to enjoy!
Subsequently, I have a meeting at 4:30PM with the Silkroad Ensemble regarding my involvement in their Burncoat High School reach out workshops. I am running a workshop utilizing my experience as a director and theatre major!
My final commitment of the day is participating in an RA info session at 8:00PM. I was able to speak on my experience as an RA to students who want to apply! I was so excited to talk about the position, as I love it so much:)

The rest of my evening will be devoted to completing a problem set for my Modern Algebra class! Goodnight friends:)

My Observation Extravaganza has come to an end!

Tune in for Stasia’s Blog Takeover: Thursday Edition tomorrow!

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