End of Year Post

June 8, 2011

It’s once again time for the end-of-the-year review! I’m going to reflect on the courses first, and then do a separate post on SBG.

Algebra 3
This was the first year this course was offered in our district, and I was given a pretty free hand in developing the curriculum I taught.

  • Coming in, there was a huge discrepancy between what I expected the students to know and what they demonstrated that they knew.
  • Once I started getting behind, it was very difficult to catch back up.
  • I originally set up the pacing because I wanted to spend lots of time on each topic, but it never seemed to work out that way.
  • On a related note, I got locked into a rut and never seemed to have time to do anything but lecture or quiz.
  • I totally sold out on homework.
  • Not enough students came in to reassess.


  • The textbook turned out even better than I had thought. I may not use Foerster much at all next year, except for classwork.
  • I’m really happy with the way most of my powerpoints turned out.
  • I think it worked really well uploading the notes to the website. Especially now that I’ve got them mostly done, I should be able to upload them sooner next year.
  • I really liked the problem sets. I think they made a nice change-of-pace.
  • It was fun teaching seniors and then getting to see them graduate.


  • Not enough students came in to reassess.
  • In spite of my best efforts, I still wasn’t able to permit enough time in class for practice. Too much lecture, not enough doing!
  • Too many students left behind.
  • Make-up work was difficult to manage.
  • Giving the quizzes at the beginning of class may have been too abrupt a start to the class.
  • I didn’t do any special projects this year.
  • It’s somewhat amazing to me that students who have cell phones and fancy clothes don’t have the money to buy spirals and pencils. **sigh**
  • S is leaving me!


  • I really liked the “interactive notebook”. For the most part, the students did very well keeping track of everything.
  • The notebook also seemed to keep most of the students engaged during notes. We had very few students off-task.
  • I liked the grading percentages (although I think I will bring the quiz grade down to 50% to add in a classwork percentage).
  • The supply and trash buckets worked really well. I definitely would not have wanted to do foldables without them!
  • Doing the quizzes as warm-ups saved quite a bit of time, as well as giving us time to do notebook checks.


  1. Could you explain your notebooks a bit? And how do you do foldables? Thanks 🙂

  2. Since my Geometry classes are 50% SPED, my co-teacher and I decided we wanted all of our students to keep a notes spiral, and we wanted the note-taking process to be more interactive.

    Depending on the topic, we would either do straight notes or if the topic lent itself to the idea, we would have them make a foldable. The great thing I discovered about foldables is that the students were taking the same amount of notes they would have the old way, but they didn’t seem to notice. The rule we operated from this year was if it was worth doing in class, it was worth forcing them to save it in their notebooks.

    I will explain it better in my next post. I’ve been planning to do a post on the notebooks anyway, and your comment gives me some impetus.

    Thanks for the comments!

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