Looking Back on the Things We’ve Done…

Yes, that title is from a Backstreet Boys song. I actually think the song works pretty well for the idea of reflecting on our year.

At the end of each school year, I like to have my students write end of year evaluations/reflections on their learning. I feel like it gives them a designated time to really sit and think about the massive amount that they have learned, and to be kind of impressed with themselves!

You can read my post from this experience last year here.

The questions:

  1. What did you learn in this classroom this year? What math concepts did you learn, what study strategies did you learn, what other random things did you learn through the course of our discussions and time together?
  2. What did you like and dislike about the COURSE (Sports Statistics, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 or Intermediate Math).  This should be specifically about the mathematics in the course, your textbook or assigned worksheets, etc.
  3. What did you like and dislike about Mid City in general, Miss Mastalio as a teacher, and the environment of the classroom? (You can be honest here, I will not be offended)
  4. Is there anything else you would like to tell me that doesn’t fit into one of the above questions?

I really enjoy sharing snippets from their responses because it’s a rare moment when they feel proud of themselves, and also because I always cry reading them. My students are the most genuine, most caring people I have ever met and it’s great to see behind the curtain a bit. It’s also nice to look back and have memories of each group of students I’ve taught (I’ve kept all the reflections from every year of teaching so far)

Our building has been through a lot this year, so I think it’s extra important to dwell on the good things that have happened within our community this year and to see the positive impact we’re having.

All answers are unedited from how students wrote them.

Question 1:

(written in highlighter to emphasize) “2 is a PRIME #. Always use parentheses!”

“I feel like the most important thing I learned is that math CAN be fun you just have to have the right approach and group of people to keep you engaged.”

“I learned that if you practice something enough you don’t need ‘studying'”

“You can have friends in unexpected classes. You can make jokes and games out of everything. You can have fun with everything as well.”

“I learned how to do math that I never knew existed. I also learned how to be a good student and listen to the teacher when they explain things”

“I think I might even like math better now”

Question 2:

“I got a lot more comfortable asking questions which helped me do a LOT better”

“I liked the question stack activity where we just solved the problems in the pile”

“Algebra 1 is great I really like the hands on learning and the fun activities in this classroom it really helped me learn” (wait, but did you read that? ALGEBRA 1 IS GREAT?!?!?!? my heart!)

“I sucked at graphing, I always have but with the help I got I figured it out and it was easy. I’m definitely gonna use these concepts next year.

Question 3:

“I like Miss Mastalio as a teacher and now the people in this class and just everything in this class. The aura, the vibes, the feelings.”

“Miss Mastalio offers a really comfortable, judgment free zone, and when paired with small class sizes it has been perfect for me to start truly understanding and even liking math.”

“I liked that Mid City has good teachers”

“I like that there are soo many people who actually care + are there to help”

“I like that no one bullies me here”

“I thought Ms. Mastalio was very funny and nice because she accepted my artwork even when it was bad” (it wasn’t bad, I have pictures of Baymax all over my room because of this student)

Question 4:

“I freaked out a few times in my head but this has been the most comfortablest I have ever been at math.”

“I like the way the room is set up, it’s easy to get around”


I think next year I would like to add parts to this reflection that are more specific to each class – ask what their favorite standard was and list all the ones we covered, for example.


Author: missmastalio

Math teacher at an alternative high school. Living the best life.

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