**Today was the first day of working as an EnCOMPASS fellow in Philadelphia.** The Math Forum and Drexel University are our most gracious hosts. Make it a point to meet anyone from

The Math Forum at your next math conference. They are such wonderful, interested, caring and giving people.

**The Math Forum had us hard at work today as we used Google Hangouts** to connect Philly fellows with offsite fellows, looking over PoWs (Problems of the Week) and the EnCompass software. You know when you work with the Math Forum, you're going to get a good helping of them asking us fellows, "What do you notice?" and "What do you wonder?" Since we're working on giving feedback, Annie Fetter gave us another gem: What would you love the software to do?

**Another great part about the hangouts and looking over The Math Forum's site,** is that I was able to listen to many other teachers share how they used The Math Forum's site and resources. In doing so, it gave me a chance to explore their site and peel back more layers of resources, support,

*and* strategies I didn't know existed. For example, check out these beautiful links:

**Our work hours were from about 8am to 4pm with a few breaks and lunch.** Every working minute was productively spent engaging in some type of activity: discussions, gallery walks, reflections, exploring, commenting, etc. By the end of the work day, I was mentally exhausted. I've felt this way before. Sometimes at all-day conferences where you talk math all throughout the day and evening with people I've felt this way. I always need some type of break, some type of release or chance to decompress. I can't talk math all day nor want to. I might think or look for math all day, but talking it can be exhausting. Maybe I'm a wimp. So be it. However, I want to talk about more than math with people at conferences or some gathering like today's institute. I find it interesting to listen to people tell stories about non-math topics. So, thank you to everyone for sharing and

*not* making it all about math.

**This made me think about the daily mental exhaustion of a student.** Let's randomly pick a percentage. How about 60%? I don't know. Let's say students are actively engaged 60% of the time at school? Okay, please disagree with me and pick your own percentage. This is super informal. Whatever you pick, take it and raise it to a percentage you'd like them to be at and don't make it 100%. Be realistic.

**I raise my expectation to 85%. I'd like my students to be actively engaged** in school 85% of the time, with 95% being my ultimate goal. I felt The Math Forum was able to gather some great things from people today because they broke it up and kept us actively engaged at least 90% of the time. I was exhausted, but it was a

*good* exhausted. It wasn't like sitting in a chair all day at a conference listening to presenter after presenter deliver a one-way PowerPoint. Think of students and either subjecting them to a high level of engagement or subjecting them to teacher after teacher of un-engaging classroom time.

**This post is longer than I anticipated. I want to think about this more,** so here are questions I will continue to ponder:

- What is constructive engagement and how should I (or we) define it?
- What does constructive engagement look like in my class?
- How do I get my students to be positively exhausted at the end of the day?
- On average, what percent of the time are students engaged in my class? at school?
- How can I increase this percentage by un-engaging (breaking up the class time) them at times?
- Would homework exist or should my students need a chance to decompress from my class? Did they get their fill for the day?
- Would homework simply be blogging (as reflection), like I'm doing right now?

Exhausted,

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