Archive for July, 2010


Happy Table is Happy

July 31, 2010

Well, not really–but I am! My awesome principal agreed to provide chairs if I would build tables. Here’s what they look like:
Group TableGroup Table


Definition of Insanity

July 31, 2010

[When] a colleague in the book says of the teachers, all teachers, “We’re the dumb class,” you really start to get what he means, because the teachers fail over and over in the same way, and never learn the thing they’re there to learn, which is how to teach.

From James Herndon’s How to Survive in Your Native Land by way of Daniel Finkel



July 31, 2010

After watching the Townsleys’ presentation, I want to try having my Algebra 3 students self-assess (especially, since I have no clue how advanced my students are or are not). On my lecture days, I’m thinking their warm-up will be to assess their current level of knowledge about x. This should work well since most of what we will be talking about, at least at the beginning, should be A2 review. Then, at the end of the lecture/practice, they would self-assess again. Since these are for my own purposes, I don’t really care whether they put their names on them or not, and they can put them in my test/homework box to keep things anonymous.


A3 Problem Solving Problem Idea

July 29, 2010

I think I am so going to use this for either the group work after the Binomial Theorem or Problem Set #2. Really cool idea!


Organization Makes Me Happy!

July 26, 2010

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Copying an idea from samjshah, I made my own “Virtual Filing Cabinet” page, and put all of my favorite posts there organized into categories. Happy, happy!


Building Relationships

July 21, 2010

Ever since my first year of teaching, I have written each of my students a note for Thanksgiving telling them why I am thankful to have him or her as my student (some notes are harder to write than others). When I hand them out, students usually have trouble believing someone would take the time to write so many notes by hand.

What I don’t tell them is that many of the notes are written for me — it changes my attitude toward a kid if I’m having to think of things to be thankful about as opposed to complaining about. It helps me build relationships with the students because I took the time to focus on that student individually.

I’ve occasionally felt I should be doing more of this type of thing–especially since I am always getting new students. I really like what Grace has done, and I’m thinking S and I can do this sort of thing on a regular basis.


Draft Grading Breakdown

July 21, 2010

For my three classes:

Algebra 3

Type Percentage
Class Participation 10%
Quizzes and Presentation Problems 50%
Problem Sets 15%
6 Weeks Test 25%

Homework: Not graded, except for “Presentation Problems” which random students are responsible for presenting to the class.

Geometry and Algebra I

Type Percentage
Quizzes 60%
Tests 30%
Notebook/Spiral 10%

Homework: Not graded, however, students who do their homework on time earn points that will be added to their six-weeks average.

After talking with S, I’m pretty well settled on my homework scheme (and, if nothing else, reconciles me to making 10% of their grade be their spiral organization).

The Algebra I percentages may change after I talk with S, since this is really more her class than mine.