Like with any communication with parents, it's always a good idea to start with the positives. So, the first artifact from this year I'd like to share was the one letter I got from a student during teacher appreciation week:

#ThankATeacher @IllustrateMath handed this Monday by S who has shown growth and a better mindset #MTBoS pic.twitter.com/ukPliu3PAG— Martin Joyce (@martinsean) May 2, 2017

At the end of the year, it has been a tradition for our 8th grade teachers to give students class time to write a letter of appreciation to a teacher on campus. Unfortunately, one teacher who had 3 sections of 8th graders did not give the assignment, so this year's amount of letters was at an all time low. These letters I believe are important to me because it gives me insights into what was memorable, what I should continue doing, and what I should try to improve upon.

This student liked my sense of humor, and says he learned motivation from me. I wonder how I did that?

I saw a massive improvement in this student after requesting to join my math support class.

I saw a steady improvement from this student after also joining my math support. The most valuable part is I was her favorite teacher because I never gave up on teaching her. Aw!

This student felt engaged in my class. They clearly like Desmos activities because that's the main way I use the Chromebooks.

This student had a great work ethic already. In his letter though, he mentions how I care whether or not students understand the material.

This student liked sharing their ideas and learning in groups and feels he hasn't forgotten the material. And I was entertaining and amusing. That's cool.

So, instead of having a full period written final, I took the written final, anticipated common mistakes, and created a Google form with 36 multiple choice questions. Some had 3 choices, most had 4 choices. Once turning on the quiz option, you can create the answer key and basically students can view their results right after they submit their form.

— Martin Joyce (@martinsean) June 11, 2017

— Martin Joyce (@martinsean) June 11, 2017

My last question was this open response. Now the Classroom Chefs might call this a teacher report card, but this is a bare bones version since it's just this prompt, and unfortunately I gave it at the end of the year instead of the middle where I could have taken some more action.

me gusto mucho estar en esta clase aqui aprendi muchas cosas nuevas. aprendi un poco rapido pero todavia me ase falta un mas practica. todas las clases me parecieron divertidas (3)

In my opinion, this year went by quick and was a good learning experience. Some parts of this class that I liked was when we were able to choose seats, use chromebooks, and doing some fun activities such as the Algebra Walk. But, most of the activities were very boring and would be better if you added some wazzah to it :D (2)

This year in math i feel like it was harder than last year. And it was harder on me because i always struggled with math. Math is my least favorite subject so i didn't really have any favorite moments. (2)

Mr Joyce's teaching

My favorite part of the class is when we had to do basic equations with our group because equations are something that doesn't puzzle me. On the other hand my least favorite parts were either sitting next to some dude that goofs off or doing graphs because when a large scatterplot has to be made, I often times get my eyes hurt trying to plot the tiny dots from a huge scatterplot.

I liked this year in math class, since I felt like I did well. My favorite parts of the class were the mini-projects or group projects. My least favorite part was the homework (lol).

Easy, because I did most of them in Japan. I liked Wheel Project because I never did that before and it was fun. I didn't like powers like 5^3, because I don't really like calculating on paper. I like geometry better.

It was the best year of math i've had. Favorite parts were working in tables and least favorite parts were tests.

This year in math, it wasn't too hard for me it wasn't too easy for me. My favorite parts of this class was working with different people, my least favorite parts were doing assessments.

This year was the best year of math from all of middle school. My last two math teachers would shout a lot sometimes when you got an answer wrong but in this class I was never afraid of raising my hand and getting an answer wrong. My favorite part was when we did the water bottle flip project. My least favorite part was that we changed seats so often because if you really liked your seat and your table, it would change in like a week.

My favorite parts of class this year were whenever I really understood what I was learning. My least favorite parts were when I was confused on what we were learning.

This year of math further strengthened my math skills. I like the fact that we get to do the estimation warm ups, those are pretty fun, sometimes, I also like working in teams, which I usually hate to do. My least favorite part is testing since I lost most of my scores on it.

My favorite parts of the class were learning new skills in algebra and extending my knowledge in math. My least favorite parts were taking the assessments.

I liked solving whether or not equations had one solution, no solution, or infinite solutions. I also enjoyed finding the measurements of missing angles and finding the hypotenuse using the pythagorean theorem.

My favorite part of class was being able to work with people in the class I don't talk to outside of class. My least favorite part was taking quizzes because they are stressful even if they're easy.

This math year went well. My favorite parts of class was when we did mystery students and the fun activities we did. My least favorite part was the homework and the tests.

In math, some of my favorite parts were the illustrations, demonstrations, and test retakes. On the other hand, my least favorite part was the fast pace of learning a lot of new skills and new concepts in such a short amount of time.

My favorite parts of class was when we did activities on the chromebooks with friends.

my least favorite part was working in groups

My favorite parts of math class was the morning warm-up. The least favorite part about this years math class was that I had to work with people that I didn't know.

I really liked this math class because it taught me a lot of new things that I could learn and improve and carry on to high school. My favorite parts of the class is learning the pythagorean theorem. My least favorite part of the class was when we had to learn the line of best fit, because I had trouble finding out where the y intercept was.

Math this year in the beginning was easy. Then it got harder and harder and now its back to easy. My favorite parts of class was when we do the warmups and projects. My least favorite were the quizzes we had to take every Friday.

My least favorite parts were taking a test every Friday and working in groups, and having homework every night.

My favorite parts of the class is when the tables work together, and also the mystery student. My least favorite was the test and when we went to the back of the class and wrote see if we got the same answer as the table groups.

doing problems that had the algebra equations and graphs ARE THE WORST!!!!!

The beginning of the year was easier than what we learned just now. For example the negative and positive tiles are now easier for me and i don't really understand how to find what the cube root is in between. Like i wasn't sure how to solve the second to last problem.

My favorite parts of class where when we worked as a class. My least favorite parts where the math tests.

some tests were hard but working in groups was fun and the estimations were fun

My favorite part was when we could go outside, my least favorite was when we had to work alone on a problem.

Math this year for me was cool beacuse we did fish bowl which was fun and when the kids wen to sojurn we did water bottle flipping.But least favorite part was math is i struggle, as u can probs tell alrady so I do my best and work hard bu totherwise it was a cool year.

I don't really know.

Surprisingly my favorite parts of class were when we took tests and my least favorite parts of class were the estimations before the lessons.

I think this math year for me started slow but i caught on later throughout the year. My favorite part of this year was how we got to interact with different people in table groups even though it really isn't my thing, but i got used to it. I didn't really have a least favorite part this year. So overall this year was pretty good.

My favorite part of the class was finding volume of cones and using PythagoreanTheorem. My least favorite part of the class was graphing.

problems like the fishtank were fun and estimation. Least favorite had to be always changing seats.

Favorite parts were doing work independent work; Least favorite - working in groups.

I enjoyed doing hands-on activities to help visualize and understand the concepts more clearly. The table groups were also helpful, however, in some groups, it would be difficult to work together.

The Functions

My favorite part of class is learning new types of math.

Class was better in the beginning of the year than the end

This year in math was okay, some of the group projects were fun although i liked the chapters based on finding area and volumes and my least favorite parts were learning about the slopes and graphing.

My Favorite part was the group activities and my least favorite was silent work.

my favorite part was doing the estimation sheets, but not the graphing estimation, that was pretty bad also i liked when we did mystery student, that was fun. My least favorite part was taking weekly test even though they really were not that bad, i just needed something to say that was my least favorite because for the most part did not have any problems with this class

My favorite parts in class were doing group projects. I don't have a least favorite part in class

My favorite part of this class is when we learned the Pythagorean Theorem. My least favorite is when we were learning about graphing.

Favorite parts were hands on activities, least favorite part were the tests every Friday

favourite parts were pythagorean theorem. least favourite were how tests reflect so heavily on my grade

My favorite parts of class was learning things through projects and the group work. My least favorite parts were learning about y=mx+b for a long period of time as it got repetitive and i wanted to learn something else, but I see why we did it so much since some students didn't fully understand it.

Most of this class was boring, the only time it wasnt my least favorite part was when we didn't do work.

i had my ups and downs with it but that was my fault i thougth i had it under control but i dropped my grades. when we got new seats. when we changed seats and i liked my table.

doing class projects, i do not have a least favorite part

My favorite parts of class were the group projects my least favorite part of class was taking notes.

This year of math was very enjoyable, though there were constant distractions, and though my last of math class showed that I knew nothing, i was able to prove the contrary. My favorite parts of class were always the creative and new ways most lessons were. To be honest, There wasn't really a least favorite part of class because this is my favorite class. I enjoyed learning here more than ever. it is all thanks to the amazing math teacher I was able to have.

my favorite part was when we started the cones and cylinder

Although i was arrived in the middle of the school , my math went nicely, at first i used to have some difficulties in solving the problems with friends but now i learn many things here with the help of my friends and teacher .I always try to do my best in the class.My favourite part of the class is working with friends in the class, misri students, discussing about the problems about math.

My favorite part was doing triangles because i really understand it and knew alot about it from last year. My least favorite part was square rots because i didn't like to have to show all my work.

My favorite parts of class this year was when we switched seats every week because then I could work with more people and get to know new friends. My least favorite part of class this year was when we got yelled at.

This math year went great because this was the best math class and teacher I have had in the three years I was in Taylor Middle School. My favorite part of class was the estimation sheet we did in the start of class. There were no least favorite parts in my opinion

this math year went ok not the best not the worst the favorite part of class was everyone having a good time (even though we talked to much)my least favorite parts were when you yelled at us but whatever. hope you have a good summer and a great next year-

I loved this class even though we got yelled at alot i had a lot of fun with my friends and doing math because math is my favorite subject

i liked doing the mystery students. i did not like how we did an assessment every week but it helped.

My favorite part in class was being able to work in table groups and get help from other students when I was having a hard time on a question. I also really liked the way Mr. Joyce teaches because i got to learn a lot from him this year in math. My least favorite part was changing seats every week because sometimes my table would be very helpful and i would like to stay with them for a longer period of time. In other cases I would get put in a table that never does their work.

Class was interesting, i didn't have a favorite or least favorite part about it though.

it was okay i got to excell in the math skill. what was my least favorite parts was waking up

Favorite: Discussing the classwork/homework problems in class
Least Favorite: Test every week

This year in math was better than 6th and seventh grade. I feel that I learned a lot more here than I ever did back in those two years. My favorite parts of class was when we calculated the surface area of cylinders and cones, integers, and transforming the triangles on the coordinate plane. Your teaching style is already great, but remember to pay attention to the quieter kids in class; they might need some more help than other students.

my least favorite was when mr.joyce yells. i liked getting to choose our seats for one chapter.

my favorite parts of class is when we do anything a kinda artistic and my least favorite parts is when u touch the tv screen and that we have a test every friday

Mr Jioce tuaght me alot and i think he is a good teacher.

My favorite part of this class is when I understood what we were doing and my least favorite part was not understanding the work

I think towards the end of the year i gotten better with math than the beginning of the year. My favorite part was when we did the spiral (a^2 +b^2=c^2). My least favorite was learning the volume of a cone or cylinder.

i came into this class recently but i have learned a lot here. i like how we all do the work with thw whole table

This year math was good. I understood it more. I liked working with table groups.

My favorite parts of class is when we use interactive tools to help us understand with what we're learning. My least favorite part is when people don't cooperate with you, causing you to do all the work.

my favorite part in class was when we did group projects and my least favorite part was that we rarely got to choose who we wanted to work with on a project.

tbh, I really didn't like this class. Like, at all.

My favorite parts of class were working on the group projects and my least favorite parts were the weekly assessments.

i liked changing groups often, and i learned a lot this year.
i didnt like to take a test every week

The mystery student was fun because I got to learn new things that I didn't know about other people. I guess not getting my work done was not that efficient but it can always get better.

My favorite part of class was changing the dates when Mr. Joyce would forget too. Also taking off that piece of tape on his shirt that extremely bothered me. My least favorite parts were probably when Mr. Joyce would write down our group discussions and review to the class because I have the problem of blurting out things I shouldn't be saying and no one needs to hear that. Other than that math was pretty lit and shoutout to Mr. Joyce for actually making it through the school year without going insane with his fifth period class (thanks to me, duh).

Favorite parts was working with the tiles, it's because it was the easiest.

The year was good other than the part where our class would not stop talking when we were supposed to. I do not feel that we gave the respect to the teacher that he deserved. Mr. Joyce did a great job at teaching all the concepts and gave us all the tools and the right environment to work in. My Favorite part of this years math class was the mystery student when we got to learn what we had in common with the rest of the class.

i think the math class went good but i wish i understood math a little more

my favorite imporart had to be actually understanding the math, my least favorite as you know imas the yelling yeah it was a great year mr.joyce

My favorite parts was the classroom activities. My least favorite was homework.

I discussed some of the students responses with my colleagues, and the last section I discussed with my 5th period. Many students mentioned they didn't like it when I yelled. I observed that there period was the only one that complained about that. It was the lowest performing, most off topic class, and had the biggest spread between really high and really low. I also had a smaller variety of participation in the class because of this, and I really worked on my wait time a lot all year with this class.

At one point in the year, a student reminded me I threw a pencil at the wall, which scared her. I admitted that I took it too far that time, and was trying to get through to them by being dramatic. She said this scared her. I admitted I was wrong and apologized I went too far that time.

Even on the last week of school I was reviewing student results to Marbleslides: Lines while it was paused and students were talking when I was talking. I calmly said, this is a scenario where I yelled earlier in the year. And I'm not yelling right now, just pointing it out so you know.

Overall, students didn't like changing their seats weekly, even though many would ask are we changing seats today on Mondays.

It hurt seeing a student say they didn't like anything about the class at all, when struggling all year. I even would make a point to come talk to her on an individual basis in group work to build up her contributions and ideas.

Students really liked the Wheel of Theodorus project with pythagorean theorem, it was mentioned multiple times. Students who did the homework, liked the short discussion about it each day after the warmup. Many students grew to enjoy group work, and some still are against it. It's a work in progress.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to a great summer of reading, playing with my daughter, and with some math toys with my mom, daughter, and cousins.