Episode #115: What Routines Make Your Day? – An Episode From the Math Moment Community!

Feb 8, 2021 | Podcast | 0 comments


In this episode we hear from the members of the Math Moment Maker Community. Numerous educators share daily routines that we teachers use to keep us healthy, loving our jobs, or frankly just keep us sane in this crazy time.

You’ll hear about morning routines to kick start their day; routines to use in the classroom to spark discussion and thinking; and routines that end those tiring days! 

You’ll Learn

  • Daily routines that we teachers use to keep us healthy, loving our jobs, or frankly just keep us sane in this crazy time.
Start your school year off right by downloading the guide that you can save and print to share with colleagues during your next staff meeting, professional learning community meeting or just for your own reference!


Jon Orr: Hey there. In this episode, we hear from the members of the Math Moment Maker Community. Numerous educators share daily routines that we teachers use to keep us healthy, loving our jobs, or frankly, just keep us sane in this crazy time.

Kyle Pearce: You'll hear about morning routines to kick start your day, routines to use in the classroom to spark discussion and thinking, and even some routines that end those tiring days and help you close those loose ends from those tiring days. All right, Jon, let's get to it.

Jon Orr: Let's do it.

Kyle Pearce: Welcome to the Making Math Moments That Matter Podcast. I'm Kyle Pearce from tapintoteenminds.com

Jon Orr: And I'm Jon Orr from mrorr-isageek.com. We are two math teachers, who together...

Kyle Pearce: With you, the community of Math Moment Makers worldwide who want to build and deliver math lessons that spark curiosity...

Jon Orr: Fuel sense-making...

Kyle Pearce: And ignite your teacher moves. Jon, I'm really excited to dive into this, I'm going to say fairly unique episode we've got going on here. How about you?

Jon Orr: Yeah, of course, of course. Now, before we get to that unique, special episode, we want to remind you of goodies we share inside the Make Math Moments Academy. The Make Math Moments Academy is your home to providing you ongoing support so you can spark curiosity with our problem-based tasks. You can learn how to fuel sense-making and ignite your teacher moves in our PD courses.

Kyle Pearce: Yes, you're right, Jon. And as you all know, we like trying our best to make resources as accessible as possible. So for you right now, you've got 30 days free license. And as you know, we want to make these resources as accessible as possible to as many Math Moment Makers around the world as we can. So we've got 30 days of access for you available for anyone in the Math Moment Maker Community from around the world to access all of the resources. You can learn with courses on spiraling, assessment for growth, how to select math tech tools, and even our latest course on How to Make Math Moments From A Distance. These self-paced courses are jam packed with videos and action items that can get you reflecting and growing on your math content knowledge and pedagogical practice journey.

Jon Orr: Also, you can gain access to our monthly Q&A web calls that we hold live through Zoom. We chat with teachers on what's their biggest pebble in their shoe or their struggle, and we collaborate once a month together on that. You can also get all virtual summit sessions from the past two years on demand, and you can access our problem-based tasks and full units of study. And teacher guides are available for all of those to walk you through how to Make Math Moments in your classroom. So get over for your first 30 days for free at makemathmoments.com/academy.

Kyle Pearce: Yes, Jon, you're right. And friends, make sure that decision makers in your district know about the academy. We've got some amazing opportunities for schools and district licenses, because we know that that is a struggle for educators, is getting high quality PD, finding the time to do it. So finding that actual school day, time, PLC time in order to dive in. So if you need any help with that, reach out to us and we'll help get in touch with your school or district so that you can access with your colleagues the academy beyond the 30 days. Get on over at makemathmoments.com/academy. All right, Jon.

Jon Orr: All right, Kyle. I'm pretty excited to get into this episode only because I feel like lately, and I don't know about you folks listening at your place or wherever you are right now, but I feel like we usually go to work and you'd share ideas back and forth with educators, either before your class, at lunch, after your class, during your prep time. You mingle and chat about what's happening in your day, what's happening in your class. You get lots of ideas that way, not just on school too. It's ideas about your life. And right now, I'm working at home. I don't know about you if you're working exactly at home, but I don't get that interaction.
And it seems weird, because we're supposed to be super connected because we're through the internet. But we are connected to our students on a daily basis, but we're missing the connection with our colleagues. And so, hearing about their routines, hearing about what's happening in their day, we're missing. So this episode is about hearing different routines from educators across actually the world. We've asked our listeners to leave us voicemail messages about, how does their day start? What are they doing that's working in the classroom?
They're really short clips, but they're really insights on what's happening with other educators. You're getting to hear that today. We've strung a few together, one after the other today about what's happening. How do these teachers staying sane in this time? What are the things that are working in their class? And it's not just school-related. So we're going to share that with you. But before we do that, we want to share what we're doing in our days. What does my routine look like in the morning? But Kyle, why don't you start us off? What does your routine look like in your morning? What are the routines that just get you going, and it's like you're off kilter if this doesn't happen?

Kyle Pearce: Yeah. And I wanted to also just add in too, Jon, there's so many interactions in a regular school day when we're face-to-face that we don't even realize are helpful. We're constantly getting ideas from the people we are connected with, and that might be just the teacher next door, when between classes, you're standing at the door welcoming students into your class. You're just shooting the breeze, but you don't realize at that time you're actually picking up some ideas even though it might not necessarily be your intention to do so.
Or just sharing a scenario with someone, and getting four or five different perspectives. We're definitely missing out on those. So while routines can't replace that aspect, what it can do though is maybe set us up for a little bit more success, because there's some people right now... If you're looking on social media or if you're just chatting with people in your own social circle through online, forums or through even FaceTime or Zoom calls or however you're staying connected to the people that you're closest to in a regular day-to-day setting, there are some people out there that are really struggling right now.
They're struggling because of this isolation. They're struggling because they feel like they're trapped in their homes. And then there's other people who are flourishing. I wouldn't say that I'm flourishing by any means. I'm just trying to find this balance. And I'm hoping through listening to some of these routines, some of us out there in the Math Moment Maker Community. I know Jon, you and I just from listening to these clips have picked up some ideas that might be helpful for us to try moving forward in order to put our best foot forward each and every day, especially during this troubling time. So, we're super excited to do that. I know some people are also curious about how we do things.
I know we talked a little bit here and there through our episodes and webinars and even our Q&A sessions with our academy members. I guess I'll start us off like you said, Jon, and maybe we can go back and forth at different points of the week and different points of the day to compare and contrast, because you and I, we have a lot of similarities. A lot of people would say that you and I do things and run our lives in a similar manner, but actually, there's a lot of nuances that make it very different. So I know for me, if we talk about during the week, because to me, during the week and weekends are very different in how we run them.

Jon Orr: I think that's true for everyone.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, exactly. But one thing that you and I have that is common is that we do try to maximize our morning in some way, shape or form. I know for me, five days a week, ever since I listened to the book and I'm sure we'll mention it a few times here today, but the book, Atomic Habits, ever since reading that book, I was able to... For almost a year now, I'm thinking, I'd never marked it down when it began. But when I read this book, it allowed me to stretch my three-day a week runs, which by the way, I don't run out of joy. I want to make sure everybody knows that.
And I don't do it because I want to be cool or be like, yeah, I exercise and I'm healthy. I do it specifically because I do need to clear my brain, but I also want to make sure that I am doing something active five days a week. So I was able from that book to go from three days a week to five days a week. So Monday to Friday, I get up, I put on those shoes, and I get out the door. Jon, how about you? I know you maximize your morning, but you do it in a slightly different way. So what's your morning routine look and sound like?

Jon Orr: Well, both of us are runners. I used to run in the morning in the same way.

Kyle Pearce: And let's make sure, Jon, we have to be clear again, we say we're runners, but we don't run fast.

Jon Orr: No, we run for X. I want to get my heart rate up, and that is pretty much the goal there. And when 30-minute timer goes, it's like I will immediately stop.

Kyle Pearce: Exactly, me too, me too.

Jon Orr: I don't want to run any longer than that.

Kyle Pearce: I don't want anyone challenging us to a marathon or anything like that.

Jon Orr: Yeah, that's not us. Yeah. So actually, Kyle, I'm sure this is true for a lot of folks, that COVID-19 and working from home changed my routine in the morning. Now most of my routine in the morning is the same, but I used to run in the morning right before I get in the shower then go to work, when I drove to work every day. However, even though it feels like I have more time to get ready, I haven't run in the morning since we've been working from home. I've been running later in the day, even though it's still a daily routine for me to get exercise and that run in. And I agree with you, Kyle, the run is for exercise, but I feel like I need that run, like you said, to clear your head. But actually, this is where I get my best ideas. Your head is cleared from whatever's going on in your head that day.

Kyle Pearce: It's like a decluttering process, right?

Jon Orr: Yeah.

Kyle Pearce: Like an organizational process.

Jon Orr: Yeah, things become clear. And after run, I often find myself coming in the door and grabbing a pen or paper or my notes app and jotting things down that I'm like, I want to do or I have done or, Oh, this is how I'm going to get that done. This is a great activity that I'm going to use in my classroom. That kind of stuff always comes to me on my run. So sometimes it's like, I need to run just to clear, or all of a sudden get an idea. So I agree, I build that into my routine. It used to be part of my morning, and lately it hasn't been. But when I go back to work, like physically back in the classroom, I'm sure that I will bring it back in the morning.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah. So what are you doing now that's... What's taking up that time? Are you sleeping in more? Because a lot of people might be thinking, okay, Jon's taken a break here, but it's like you've shifted your day a little bit. And I think people would be curious to know what you're up to.

Jon Orr: I've been doing the same routine other than the run for, it's got to be two to three years now, and I've shifted my time to get up. So I used to probably... Before three years ago, I probably got up right before I need to get in the shower and then off to work. We have to start work at 8:00, so I was probably setting my alarm for 6:30. But the last three years, I set my alarm for 5:00 AM. And I get up at 5:00 AM for a couple of reasons. It sounds early. My wife, Scarlet is like, "Why are you getting up so early?" And I feel like it also clears my head. It's like I set the stage for the day. I do work in the morning.
So it's my organizational period. I'll do two hours of work. And that work is like getting my classroom ideas ready, getting the activities ready that I'm going to do that day, but it also is the time that we work on this, Kyle. People often wonder, how do you guys... This is a question we get, right Kyle? How do you guys do the podcast and teach all day? Because we are classroom teachers. Kyle is a consultant for his district. We have full day jobs, but we also run the podcast in our academy, in our courses outside of that time.
And so, when I get up at 5:00 AM, I can use some of that time to work on things for the podcast. What are the guests going to do? What are the questions we're going to ask? What are the backend things? We've been working towards putting more videos on YouTube. We're doing some of that in the morning. I'm answering emails in the morning. We get lots of emails from youth Math Moment Maker Community members. I answer those in the morning and interact on the academy in the morning. So it's a time for me to get my thoughts in order, but it's also a time for me to work on the things that are helping you, listeners.
I never will go back to sleeping past. I feel like because now it's translated into the weekends. I will get up at maybe 6:00 on the weekends even though I don't set my alarm and I have that time. And my family does not get up until, even in COVID time, 8:00 now. And so I've got a good chunk of time to work and think and get things done, have coffee. That's always a lot of coffee probably.

Kyle Pearce: Too much coffee.

Jon Orr: For sure. It's definitely part of my routine. So I was doing this for the last three years every single day. I came across a book called The Miracle Morning last year, and I listened to this book on my run. It reconfirmed that getting up an hour earlier than you normally would in the morning will change your life. I feel like even though I was doing that and then the book said, "Hey, this is how this works, and it's the background of why that works and what you can do."
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod is a great book to read. He's got all these testimonials that say so many people have changed their lives because of this book. I think that the idea of setting yourself some time in the morning to go through a routine, like a miracle morning routine is huge. We're going to put the link to that book in the show notes, but that was huge for me to set that routine and get up early in the mornings.

Kyle Pearce: And something too I think it's always important to note is that, you might be listening to this right now and there's definitely people out there that are not quote-unquote morning people. And by all means, don't necessarily think about Jon's routine or my routine and think that's the way to do it, because there's some people that do things very differently. Really, I think the big message is trying to figure out, what's going to work for you in order to help you accomplish your goals?
Jon, it's funny because I was talking to someone recently just socially, and they were saying they know about you and they know about me and the work that we do with Make Math Moments. And a lot of them say, "Why do you want to work all the time?" It's just interesting because we look at this as like, the reason you get up and the reason I get up, I can get up during the week to run. But on the weekends, I get up early as well, just like you, in order to actually do some of that work like you said. I enjoy doing that work in the morning, and it's work that's satisfying and fulfilling to us.

Jon Orr: Yeah, it's not work for us, I think. So when people think, Oh, you're doing work, but I feel like it's not work. It's like a hobby. It's what we like to do. People are like, "You're building math problems on your own time, not in class?" And I'm like, "Well, we love to do that. That's our hobby." So I don't know. Kyle, you were coaching hockey before we had to go in lock down. That's also like somebody's hobby, it's like, I'm going to be a coach, and I'm going to do that as much as I can.
Or I'm going to build a model, or I'm going to do this other thing. Everyone's got hobbies. Or I'm going to watch all the football there is. There's hobbies out there, and people choose how to spend your time. We're just choosing to spend our time building math moments for teachers and also ourselves, because we just love to do it. It's like our hobby.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah, for sure. It's funny because actually, it is Sunday morning right now. I could relate when you said, "My family sleeps in." My family as well. My son is a early riser. So it's interesting, because I try to beat him up, not like physically beat him up. That came out completely wrong.

Jon Orr: That didn't come out crosstalk.

Kyle Pearce: But try to beat him out of bed. That sounds bad too. I tried to get downstairs before he awakes so that I can get this time in on the weekend. And right now, it's a Sunday morning. I'm starting to hear our family starting to bustle. It's almost 8:30 in the morning. And again, I think the big message is, before we hop into all of these different routines and these ideas is first of all, you can't do everything. So it's like, you have to decide what's important to you. And I would almost argue, much like our discussions with our Math Moment Makers, when they come on the show, we ask them what's the pebble in their shoe?
I want you to think about that as you listen through this episode. I want you to think about, what's the pebble in your shoe? And I want you to also open it up to maybe being more broad than math specifically. Maybe it is math, and maybe it's a routine that's going to help you in the math classroom. But maybe it's not. Maybe it's like, I'm just not feeling as energetic as usual, or I'm not feeling as happy as I used to based on the way COVID restrictions are going. Or maybe it's something completely different. I want you to listen through, and I want you maybe even to pause and to get your head in the right space so that you can figure out, what is it that you're hoping to gain by listening to some of these ideas?
Maybe it's more spiritual time. Maybe it's more mindfulness time, time to just pause and think. Maybe it's exercise. Maybe it's something else. But the big idea here is, we certainly don't want you to listen to this episode thinking and almost judging yourself because you're not doing this routine or not doing that routine. My wife, Chantel, she is a phenomenal teacher. She's a phenomenal person. Right now, she's spending so much time and effort on her own mindfulness practices. And she explicitly says, one of the things she values in her life is sleep. And right now on the weekend, because we don't have a whole lot going on, she's actually using that time to sleep consciously.
So she's not feeling guilty about it, and you shouldn't either. You just have to decide, what is it that you want? And then let's see if there's some of these routines out there. Maybe Jon's idea of getting up early in the morning is something that you want for yourself. But if you don't want that thing, then don't try to seek that out. So I think getting your head in a good open space and thinking about what resonates with you to help you put your best foot forward I think is really key. So we're going to shift here and start moving into the Math Moment Maker Community here. So Jon, how did we get all of these routines from the Math Moment Maker Community? And set the stage for what people are going to hear or how they're going to hear it in the next little bit here.

Jon Orr: Yeah. Good message there, Kyle, a good pointer for everyone listening right here. But yeah. Now we're going to hear from the Math Moment Maker Community. A while back, we sent out an email to our community asking them to leave us a voicemail message describing a routine in their day.

Kyle Pearce: Which might have been a bad idea, right Jon? We have a lot of Math Moment Makers out there, so we had a lot of listening to do, and we actually felt bad that we could only pick so many. So if you did leave one and your message isn't here, please know it's not because we didn't love the message. We did try to find a little bit of variety. And at some point, we just had to go just grab one of this bucket and one of that bucket and put them together. So I want to make sure if you're listening, you're like, "Yeah, I left one. I left one. My message is coming." We tried to pick as many as we could, but a variety as well.

Jon Orr: You got it. So what you're about to hear as a series of messages left by brave educators who are highlighting moments of their day that matter to them, and they're sharing them with you. Hopefully, by listening to these brave Math Moment Makers, you'll be able to snag a few routines that can help maximize your day. All right, let it roll.

Sean Green: Hi world, my name is Sean Green, and I live and teach in San Francisco, California, USA. I am currently teaching sixth grade math in the classroom. Routines are an important part of my day both in and out of the classroom. I'd like to have a pre-class activity, something like Estimation 180 to help center the class and for the students to hit the ground running. There are other components to each lesson that are basically present in every lesson, such as social emotional check-ins and math puzzle breaks. A very nice consequence of these routines or this routine is that when I choose to break the routine, it has a significant impact on the class. However, over time, even breaking the routine becomes part of the routine.

Katrien Vance: Hi, this is Katrien Vance. I teach in Central Virginia, and I teach seventh and eighth graders. My school is very small, so I'm also their headquarters beginning of the day, end of the day. I also teach English and history and music to them as well as math. So my routine is not a math routine. It's just something we do at the end of the day on Fridays. I haven't gotten the chance to do it this year. But for the past few years, it's a little song that I learned from a morning radio DJ. And it goes (singing). At the end, you throw your arms up in the air. So you clap all the way through, and you throw your hands up in the air. It's just a chance for us to be a little silly and celebrate together on a Friday afternoon so that they know that teachers like Fridays as much as students like Fridays. That's one of my routines that I like with my students. Thanks guys.

Kelly Fischer: Hi, my name is Kelly Fischer. I'm in Sharpsburg, Georgia, South of Atlanta, and I am a middle school math teacher that does intervention for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students at my charter school. Something that I wouldn't have necessarily thought of saying would be something that helps me be a better you. But I found that this ritual really does make my day better. I have students coming in. They're having to work really hard doing extra math after they've already had a class earlier in the day. I try to make it fun for them, but I always make sure I end the day with a message, "I hope you have a wonderful afternoon."
And I've realized that by saying that as a ritual every single day at the end of class, my students are saying it back to me. They smile. It seems to make them happy and shows I guess in their way that someone actually cares about them. Because we all know that kids come from different backgrounds. We have no idea what they're dealing with at home. And some teachers are so stressed out just worrying about covering material that they're not necessarily making the time to show the kids they care about them as a person, not labeling them by a grade. So again, I think for me, it's just the routine of giving them a special caring message at the end of class every day.

Speaker 6: So I start every morning in my virtual classroom in greeting each child by name. As they enter the classroom, we begin the morning. They're writing in their gratitude journal. I usually give them several prompts to choose from, or they can write what they want to write about. This gives me, one, time to do the attendance as kids come in slowly, and two, allows them to have give me a sample of their daily writing skills. They write in both French and English depending on the week and the prompts that I've given them.
It also gives them time to think about what they're grateful for and to calm down depending on how their morning went already. We usually have calm music playing. In my classroom before that, when I was in school, I always had calm music, a diffuser with something to give us atmosphere. I would have my twinkle lights on instead of the harsh lights on top, and I would have a kaleidoscope projected onto the whiteboard. There would be mindfulness coloring pages to choose from. There would be art papers, books for kids to read, journals and stuff like that to start their day and calm down and transition.
I think it's really important to speak to each child daily and call them by name and greet them. Remember if they had a hockey practice the night before and ask them about it. Before we begin, I also ask if anyone has anything to share with the class before we begin our day? If not, then I share a little story or something as well just to put them in the mood. That is our routine. So trying to have that transition time to bring peace and calm to us before we begin our day.

Lauren Tallarine: Hi, everyone. I'm Lauren Tallarine, a district math coordinator on Long Island in New York. I'm officially out of the classroom. I'm still a teacher at heart. On any particularly challenging day, I make an effort to make at least one positive phone call to a parent whose child's performance, effort or kindness is noteworthy, and I encourage my staff to do the same. These conversations go such a long way for teacher support and student buy-in and remind me of why I'm doing this profession. Kyle and Jon, thank you for all that you do to spark teacher reflection in the name of student engagement. It is much appreciated. Be well.

Speaker 8: Hi, guys. My daily routine, the difference this year is I'm teaching online. I usually get up with my wife. She has to drive in to work. I usually feed the pets and make coffee and then get ready for my day. So once I'm in front of the computer, I usually check emails from students and/or the school just to make sure everything's up to date, go over that day's lessons, add anything I need to do. If there's a morning class, then by then, it's usually time to get ready and get going. Otherwise, I have my morning preps.
I start planning for the next period or two. I'm teaching the same courses I did last quadmester. So inaudible a little bit easier as I'm just trying to get things organized. And then I'm trying to do some reading. I'm currently reading inaudible [Harris's 00:26:27] books, and I'm also reading a book called Decolonizing Education. Then it's usually lunch time. And after that, it's getting ready for class and going to class.

Speaker 9: There's two things I do for students. The first thing is I always remind myself that this could be the best part of some others day is being at school. So I kind of mentally set myself to make sure that I make it a great day for them. Secondly, I want them also to know that it's going to be a productive day. So I always have something waiting for them to do whenever they arrive.

Merryl Polak: Hi there, my name is Merryl Polak. I'm a teacher from Ridgefield, Connecticut. I'm a math specialist, and I have a bunch of different classes. But one of the classes I have is an algebra class. And not just my favorite routine, but my students as well is to start our day with a math chat. And by far, their favorite is Steve Wyborney's Esti-Mysteries. If you have not tried them, I completely recommend them. They are fun. They bring great conversation and they build community.

Micheal: Here we come, Michael and Luna, taking a hike on our favorite trail. Hey, school's out. It's the best time of the day. You get to go out in nature and enjoy the sunny day. Kyle, Jon, hope you're all doing well. This is what I like to do every day after a day sitting in a chair teaching my butt off. Peace out, guys.

Speaker 12: Before I get out of the bed, by the time I wake up, I either start doing some sit-ups or some leg lifts or some crunches. I'll do about three or four exercises within about 15 minutes before I get up and shower and get ready for school. So push-ups, back extensions, abdominal curls, squats on the chair. The tricep depth is better inaudible and some toe lifts. And I works sometimes with barbells. Thank you so much.

Sadia Manzil: Hello, this is Sadia Manzil, and I am a teacher of grade two to grade five. I teach maths, and my location is, I am from Pakistan, Parachi. My routine is just something that I want to share over there is, when you get into your school or when you're about to start your day, better make a time table. A time table means during the day, it means time should be mentioned in it and what you're going to do at that time. Before starting a day, it should be very clear to you that, what are the tasks that you're going to complete? It has helped me a lot in my life, in my professional life, even sometimes I do it for my professional life as well. But for teaching, it's good.
If you'd known what were your tasks for today, you would start on them. Obviously, as a teachers, we have multiple tasks. We have to do body checking. We have to do inaudible planners. We have to do other stuff, then activities for students. So for each and everything, we should be very clear that, what is the task today that I have to complete, and what duration it's going to be. It's going to take an hour maybe inaudible I can complete in 15 minutes. It depends on the task obviously. So you decide, and you make up the time to inaudible that. Even you can add up the time you're going to take for taking your lunch and maybe a little rest time.
You can add up that as well. I believe that it really helps you out, because you don't need to think again and again what you actually have to do. inaudible this is done now, what is the next task? You don't need to inaudible for that, because your routine or your daily tasks are in front of you. You're just going to follow it. And if you can follow it properly, then it really helps you out. Your task means you get organized. Your work gets completed on time. And obviously, it's really helpful in our professional life or even to organize the work or the duties that we have. This is something I wanted to share. So I've shared, and hope that it will help other teachers as well. I just did it for that purpose. Yes, thanks a lot. Thank you.

Bart Marchant: My name is Bart Marchant, and I'm a math teacher in Chicago. One thing I wanted to mention is that a routine you use with your students. I think important thing for me right now is to have that relationship with them. And so, I know what sport they play. I know what things might be going on in their lives that we've talked about. Do they have a tournament coming up? Are they playing basketball? I'm conscious of what's going on in sports. For example, sports are really important for a lot of our students.
So, that's my routine with them. I try to check in with them either on Zoom, Private Chat just to say hello and, "Hey, I'm glad you're here. I'm glad to see you this morning," especially if it's a student whose attendance is inconsistent. I'll remind them of any missing assignments or any work they still have to make up just to make sure they're staying on top of that. And then again, at the end of class, I ask for prayer requests and give them some time to talk to voice their opinions and voice their words.
Another thing we've done this year is ask them to do video quizzes. So we've had them make videos about a couple of different topics, one being probability and the other being function rules for algebra one. And that's been really effective. Make a two to three minute video about your topic with three or four different things included in it. It's been good to have the kids talking and participating, even evaluating each other's work. We shared it with the whole school, so that people have a sense of how good their work is once they make it.
So that's been good and it's been effective as well. Yeah. And then you asked about bedtime routine. Bedtime for me is similar to waking up. I really try to shut things down around 9:00 in terms of the activities and my phone and devices and stuff like that. I'll try to read a book or get back into the word toward bedtime and be in bed by 10:00 or so. So that's basically what my bedtime routine looks like. The last couple of things, in terms of health, for me, lemon water is one of the most important things I start my day with.
I start my day with a full glass of lemon water. I try to limit caffeine intake to before 12:00 PM just to enhance energy. That actually has as much energy characteristics as a full cup of coffee. So I drink lemon water in the morning. Again, I think getting moving is super important, whether it's just a walk or like me, it's getting in the gym. And then for me, keeping my diet pretty consistent, balanced meals with protein at each meal. So, that's the last thing I'll share. One story from this year I think is fun, I put a garbage can above my door that's shaped like a basketball hoop.
So in social distance classes in person, the kids can crumble their paper towels and take shots on the hoop, which we found to be really fun at the end of class, especially since our passing periods are longer. And so, the kids really enjoy that. I have one young lady who stops in my classroom during off periods just to say, "Hey, Mr. M, can I shoot one?" And so having that relationship and having that buy-in from the students makes a huge difference in the classroom. Thank you for the opportunity. Thank you for all of your ministry and what you guys continue to do, and I will leave you with that. Take care.

Shannon: Hi, my name is Shannon. I work in Montgomery County, which is a suburb of Washington, D.C., in Maryland. I am a focus teacher, so I work with students in kindergarten through fifth grade, and I'm currently teaching a talented and gifted math class virtually. When we are in school, I love to start my morning commute with a teacher-related podcast. Sometimes I listen to this podcast. I have a series of teacher and education related podcasts that I listen to, and it just excites me and gets me ready for the day. And I always get a little bit of inspiration or an idea that I can apply right away. And then on the way home, I sit in silence. I just enjoy that commute in silence. That's one of the ways I decompress from my day.

Kyle Pearce: Wow, Jon, we can't thank enough of the brave members of the Math Moment Maker Community for sharing some of the routines so that all of you can get a glimpse of what other amazing educators are doing every day to help themselves stay focused while they help our students with mathematics. I know for me, Jon, I listened to these. And again, it's like, even though my message before we hopped into this was, don't judge yourself. Don't beat yourself up for the things you're not doing. Try to think of the one thing that you can pull away from this episode, and think about putting into your routine but only if it makes sense for you.
I caught myself falling into that trap of thinking I should be doing that too. I should be doing that too, but I want to make sure that all of us walk away and you look at this as a positive opportunity to do one thing. Maybe it's that thing that you've been trying for so long like me. I'm trying to get from three runs to five runs a week, and that book, Atomic Habits really helped me get there. Now my goal is to just keep up with that and now starting to be a little bit more responsible about what I'm eating in the first half of the day. So that's my current goal, but what's your current goal, Jon, after you listened to all these routines? What's that one little bit that you're hoping to add to your routine or modify about your routine so that you can maximize your day?

Jon Orr: One thing that I've been trying to consciously build into my plan, we've got a full day of teaching. As I expressed in the beginning of the episode here that I'm waking up in the morning when my family is sleeping and working on the tasks that I love to do. And also, why getting up in the morning works so well is because I can get those tasks out of the way. Even though I love to do the tasks, I can get them out of the way so that when 3:00 hits and when everyone's done schooling, I can spend time interacting with my kids and my family.
And I think that's something that I'm definitely prioritizing. There was some time there that I did not probably prioritize that as well as I should. It was like, I've always had things to do, tasks I needed to get done on my brain. And because I get up in the morning now and make sure I can organize when those things I want to do get done, that frees my head up to be in a clear space to work and be present with my family at the time that I need to be present with. So that's something that I'm building in and also working on. It's not perfect, but definitely want us to make sure that my family gets the time that they need.
That's one thing I'm building out. So, like Kyle said, we hope that you're walking away from this episode taking away what you need to take away from it. We're hoping to give you glimpses of what other educators are doing, because we know we're in this disconnected time. And hopefully, we will be back in our classrooms, talking with our colleagues. Hopefully, I am. It's possible you're back to classroom already. It's also possible that when this episode airs, you're back in the classroom. So we'll see that. But Kyle, let's wrap things up on this episode.

Kyle Pearce: Yeah. Well said there, Jon. Now folks, in order to ensure that you don't miss out on any new episodes as they come out each week, be sure to smash that subscribe button on iTunes or now Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast platform. And keep in mind now too, we're also really encouraging people on Facebook to also follow our Make Math Moments page and hit the notification bell, and on YouTube, make sure you hit the Subscribe button.
Because guess what, we are going live on both Facebook and YouTube at least once a week nowadays just to try to do a quick little win based on some of the questions that we're hearing from the academy, from our Math Moment Maker Facebook group, and just things that were floating around and that people are struggling with and asking questions about. So make sure you hit those subscribe buttons so that you know when we're going live.

Jon Orr: Also, if you're liking what you're hearing, please share the podcast with a colleague and help us reach a wider audience by leaving us that review on Apple Podcast. Or tweet us at Make Math Moments on Twitter or Instagram, or like Kyle just said, connect with us over on Facebook.

Kyle Pearce: Awesome. If you haven't, head over to the academy page at makemathmoments.com/academy. We've got a bunch of amazing stuff, and you can access it 30 days on us. So get on in there. You can definitely get yourself through one of the many courses. So maybe that's something you want to add to your routine as a little bit of professional development. Head on over to makemathmoments.com/academy.

Jon Orr: Show notes and links to resources from this episode can be found at makemathmoments.com/episode115, that's makemathmoments.com/episode115.

Kyle Pearce: Well, my Math Moment Maker friends, until next time, I'm Kyle Pearce.

Jon Orr: And I'm Jon Orr.

Kyle Pearce: High fives for us and a big...

Jon Orr: High five for you.

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