Tuesday, September 25, 2012

C7 W1 Strictly 531

After talking with my wife about life, teaching, and working out I realized that I was overtraining . . . leading myself to be less than average in all aspects of my life.  I am gearing things down and focusing my workouts strictly on the 531 lifts and on mobility before/after workouts and at night.

Here goes nothin'!  Truth!

Tuesday - OHP 9.25

warm-up:  2xbarx10, 2x50x5, 2x65x5, 80x3

5/5/5:  85x5, 95x5, 110x6 (goal was to get 5+)

Focused on shoulder mobility and stretching my back.  I did a few sets of chins in the 5/5/5 part of the workout.

Wednesday - DL

warm-up:  2x135x5, 2x175x5, 210x3

5/5/5:  225x5, 260x5, 295x6 (goal 5+)

Felt really strong with DL today.  Solid lifts all around.

Thursday - BP

warm-up:  barx20, 2x75x5, 2x105x5, 115x3

5/5/5:  135x5, 155x5, 180x2 (goal 5+)

Poundages set using 100% of my TM - was too much!!  So, I am revamping my weights for BP using 90% of my TM.  Live & learn.  The presses are easily my weakest areas at the moment.

Going to begin working out just 3x per week flipping DL/Squat - not sure if I'll do that weekly or monthly.  We will see.

Saturday - small workout - 100 curls with 20# on bar + 4 trips with 35# dbs farmer's walk.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

C7 BBB Challenge - Month 3 Schedule

BBB ChallengeBP 5x10 @ 145#SQ 5x10 @ 170#OHP 5x10 @ 100#DL 5x10 @ 245#

1RMBP 210#SQ 240#OHP 145#350#

Warm up

Bench Press Squats Overhead Press Deadlift
85 lbs x 5 95 lbs x 5 50 lbs x 5 140 lbs x 5
105 lbs x 5 120 lbs x 5 65 lbs x 5 175 lbs x 5
125 lbs x 3 145 lbs x 3 80 lbs x 3 210 lbs x 3

5/3/1 Weights

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Bench Press Set 1 135 lbs x 5 145 lbs x 3 155 lbs x 5 85 lbs x 5
Set 2 155 lbs x 5 170 lbs x 3 180 lbs x 3 105 lbs x 5
Set 3 180 lbs x 5+ 190 lbs x 3+ 200 lbs x 1+ 125 lbs x 5  
Squats Set 1 155 lbs x 5 170 lbs x 3 180 lbs x 5 95 lbs x 5
Set 2 180 lbs x 5 190 lbs x 3 205 lbs x 3 120 lbs x 5
Set 3 205 lbs x 5+ 215 lbs x 3+ 230 lbs x 1+ 145 lbs x 5
Deadlifts Set 1 225 lbs x 5 245 lbs x 3 260 lbs x 5 140 lbs x 5
Set 2 260 lbs x 5 280 lbs x 3 295 lbs x 3 175 lbs x 5
Set 3 295 lbs x 5+ 315 lbs x 3+ 330 lbs x 1+ 210 lbs x 5
Overhead Press Set 1 85 lbs x 5 90 lbs x 3 95 lbs x 5 50 lbs x 5
Set 2 95 lbs x 5 105 lbs x 3 115 lbs x 3 65 lbs x 5
Set 3 110 lbs x 5+ 115 lbs x 3+ 125 lbs x 1+ 80 lbs x 5

Monday, September 17, 2012

C6 W4 - Deload Week - 1RM

Monday - MP

shoulder mobility (including lacrosse balls)

warm-up:  2x55x5, 2x65x5, 75x3

5/5/5:  55x5, 65x5, 75x5

1RM:  2x95x2, 135xfail, 125x1, 130xfail

125# 1RM - back in spring 1RM was 110# so 15# in 6 months isn't too bad.  I really want to get 135# up.  Nothing like having the 45# plates on the bar!

Tuesday -rest day (forgot my towel - realized on the way to the gym, so went home took a shower there and headed to school).

*Head cold and school are beating me down.  Going to take the week off from lifting and focus on getting quality sleep, diet, and mobility/stretching.

Will begin month 3 of BBB Challenge next week!  70% of TM!!  OUCH!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Week 4 Reflection - Let's talk SALSA!

Algebra - man oh man the range of abilities in my Algebra classes!  And that's in terms of effort, motivation, comprehension, so on and so on.

So, here's what I tried and it worked out really well - Tiered Tasks.  Tiered tasks is the idea of working on the same topic but setting up activities which work at varying levels.  I called it . . . SALSA!

Unit Focus - Solving Equations
Problem Set A - mild salsa (one step equations / two step equations)
Problem Set B - spicy salsa (two step equations / distributive property / combining like terms)
Problem Set C - inferno (solving equations of all sorts, sizes, and shapes).

This set up was awesome as I went around as the "waiter" and got the students' order - if the problem set they chose was too easy, then I gave them the next one up . . . and it could work the other way, but students didn't take this option = motivation/increased effort when stuck.  Win win!

Then to top it off, I gave the students "desert" - a quick summary question/worksheet to tie it all together.

The students joked that I didn't give them an "appetizer" so will need to work on an opener next time.

Today I had students asking to do the A,B,C activity again.  That's what I'm talking about.

I need to come up with some more variety in terms of set up, but the premise of having tiered tasks is something that I think will be a consistent in my lessons.

Might use it for this week's assessment coming up.

Next topic ahead - inequalities.


Focus this past week was on midpoint, angle bisectors, segment addition, angle addition.  Lots of algebra here . . . amazing how they freak out about solving for x!

Still don't feel like I have gotten into a groove yet with the classes, but they have some awesome personalities and effort/creativity has been great.  Check out some of the avatars they created.

Avatars - Honors Geometry

Once we get our tablets, google acounts, etc. . . . it's on!  I can't wait.  Neither can the students.

Busy weekend ahead . . . soccer games for the kids Saturday and working at the Bengals on Sunday.  If we can't beat the Browns, then it's gonna be a long year.

Monday, September 10, 2012

C6 W3 - BBB Challenge

Monday - MP

500m row
shoulder mobility (included lacrosse balls today)

warm-up:  2x55x5, 2x65x5, 75x5

5/3/1:  95x5, 105x5, 120x1 (was tough but kept it moving the whole time).

BBB:  5x10 @ 125# BP - solid all the way through.

Tuesday - DL

500m row
hip mobility

warm-up:  2x135x5 , 2x155x5, 185x3

5/3/1:  230x5, 260x3, 290x1 - this last set felt really strong!

BBB:  5x10 @ 140# SQ - felt really good/solid.

Wednesday - rest/mobility.

Thursday - BP
500m row
shoulder mobility (used lacrosse balls)

warm-up:  2x75x5, 2x95x5, 110x3

5/3/1:  140x5, 155x3, 175x1 (felt really good / strong!)

BBB:  5x10 @ 85# MP - tried to push press on each set and seemed to actually wear me down quicker, sooner overall.  Going to keep surviving this BBB.  Only way to get better is to keep attacking it week in, week out.  Might look at more rest between sets (I'm just so stinking impatient!).

Friday - SQ

500m row
hip mobility

warm-up:  2xbarx10, 2x85x5, 2x105x5, 125x3, 175x1

5/3/1:  155x5, 175x3, 195x1

BBB:  5x10 @ 205# DL - felt strong/solid throughout all 5 sets!

Looking ahead with my programming = going to finish up next month with BBB Challenge using 5x10 @ 70% of my TM (which sounds outrageous but motivating big time!).  Then going to look at doing some more focused work after reading an article on t-nation.com written by the man, Jim Wendler.  Here's his thoughts on programming:

So I'm gonna keep the basic 5/3/1 block going throughout but vary my focus in terms of maintaining vs testing, etc.  I need the variety to keep my locked in, and I think I will continue to make strength gains in the end.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Remind101 & PollEverywhere

Here are two online programs I am using with my classes.

Remind101 (https://www.remind101.com/)

Started to use this program with my Geometry/Honors Geometry classes.  How it works:  I type a message and click send.  The message is sent to my students' cell phone via a text message.  Great way to remind the students about assignments, materials to bring to class, etc.  Also, it's a one way messenger . . . meaning the teacher doesn't receive any random replies (which I think is great!).

There is also an option to send the message to email (I like the text option because it's instant - easy for last minuter reminders).  Student sign up was easy and so far has worked great!

PollEverywhere (www.polleverywhere.com/)

I am planning on using this for warm-ups & quick-checks during class periods.  I have not used this program yet and plan to use it in all my classes in some form or another.  So, I will update this post with my thoughts on PollEverywhere.  UPDATE:  My students and I had our first experience with polleverywhere today and it was interesting . . . I really like the multiple choice option.  The open ended question scares me with the students being in control of the responses that get posted.  But I think it's going to be a great class opener and ender for sure.

I will say that the set up of my account, polls, grouping them, etc. has been super easy.  Hopefully the same can be said for my students and the classes. 

Til then . . . happy teachings!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Variety with students grouped @ tables (Algebra)

One of the issues I am dealing with in my classes is the fact that I have grouped my students around tables.  This means that there are 5 students all within ear shot and eye shot of one another and each others' work.

I have a wide range of abilities in my classroom and sometimes it's hard to really see where some of my students truly are . . . especially my lower performing students.  I know it's natural to try and "look" like you know what you are doing, but as a teacher you know that's not what's best in the long run.

So, I came up with an activity that I used in my class the other day.  I create a set of practice problems for each student at the table and I placed the problems on the paper in the "spot" that the student is sitting in respect to the table.

Each student worked through the five problems in their "spot" - each set was different than the others.  The trick - I made each of the answers end up the same . . . but students couldn't copy right from their neighbor.

How'd it work?  Better questions from the students and some started to finally give in and say, "I'm not sure how to do this problem."  That's awesome.  These first three weeks have been so much about developing trust with the students so they will let me and Mrs. Harvey (co-teacher) give intervention and help.

Here's a pic of the problem set I created (I used photobooth which takes pictures mirror image style! #dealwithit):

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Geometry "Badge of Honor"

"Badge of Honor" - google drawing (simplistic rendition) - I hope to include some pictures as the year goes along of actual student created badges.

The "Badge of Honor" is a way for my students to have ownership of their learning, along with getting some positive feedback along the way.  The "Badge of Honor" goes along with my idea of Geometry Ranks.

Students will have Missions to complete.  As the students complete a mission, then I will give them a new rank and badge.  Each badge will be placed on the "Badge of Honor" as a representation of the student's achievement.

This is the first time I have tried this and hope that it goes well.  I love giving students the opportunity to tap into their creative side and so I can see this changing and morphing as the year goes on . . . but the basic premise will still remain the same.

*note:  Student is given Rank:  Private by being enrolled in my class.  There is no insignia in the Marines for the rank of Private.

Mission #1
  • Basic Constructions with compass/ruler (in future this will be using GeoGebra but due to technology issues this year we'll go with old school) = copy segment, angle bisector, copy angle, perpendicular bisector, parallel lines, equilateral triangle, square, & hexagon inscribed in a circle.
  • Avatar - students will create their avatar for the course - this will be affixed to the student's "Badge of Honor".
  • "Badge of Honor" - students will create the "Badge of Honor"
  • Line Design - first project of the year - will be affixed to the "Badge of Honor"
  • Google site (not sure on this one due to technology hiccups - *fingers crossed*) - students will use a template to create their student site for my Geometry class.
Completion of Mission #1will earn the student the Rank:

Private First Class

Insignia the students will receive & place on their "Badge of Honor":