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Showing posts from September, 2009

Encouraged

Calc class today:

Limits review...he was actually on it! Material that I thought was going way over his head last week was processed and we had some really good conversations about different types of problems. Great questions were asked, showing that he's actually thinking about what he's doing and why, too. (There are, of course, still some trouble areas like knowing when to factor/rationalize and what numbers will "help" in the simplification process, but it's a process, right?).

Then, we did some free fall problems, applying limits and previewing derivatives. It was so great to actually apply what we've been talking about to a real situation and make it mean something. Here's the problem we spent time looking at, and some of the humor that came out of it...

A construction worker is working on a building that is 1000 feet tall. (side note, we took a tangent to see how many stories that would be, because 1000 ft is just an strange number to envision). Supp…

Panic Mode

Last week was the official Mid-Quarter marker for my school. This meant that mid-quarter grades were due, as well as updates on all IEP goal progress. It made for a busy week for all at school, learning a new grading program (I <3 PowerTeacher) and keeping up with *all* of the IEPs. (For those of you that don't know, every student I teach has an IEP...though not all have math-specific goals).

At the mention of Mid-Quarter, my heart started fluttering a little. It means that the school year is 1/8 finished. It also means that my semester-long Algebra 2 class is 1/4 finished. When I was looking at the state Standards of Learning for that class (there are 20) and thinking about what my students know and are able to do at this point, I entered what we will call "Panic Mode".

Algebra 2 is a tough course. There is so much to cover that is built upon Algebra 1 skills, more indepth and some entirely new concepts. I'm trying to remediate skills from Algebra 1, and cover ne…

Planning and Time Management

I've been a bit frazzled lately. I feel like I'm constantly running around at school and I don't have time to get my head on straight. When I sit down to work on planning the next day's lessons, or creating materials, I get sidetracked by other things that I *know* must be done while I am at school. I then leave the rest of the planning and creating for time over the weekend or at home. I'm not really liking that strategy.

I know that, as a teacher, it is almost innate within me to bring work home and to think about work when I am not actually working. I seriously think it's in our genes or something. What I don't like, though, is that I feel ineffective in the time I do have at school. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to manage planning time more effectively? How to use resources available online and from textbooks to develop lessons without feeling like you're recreating the wheel every time you make notes for a new topic?

I'm at the begin…

Hello!

Well, I've entered the math 'blog-o-sphere."  Don't set your expectations too high ("the best math teacher blog EVER"?  not quite). My goal is to post at least once/week...but I'm not exactly sure how it's all going to work out. Be patient with me and if I get quiet, feel free to bug me on twitter or in comments. *smile*