A few thoughts as this first semester draws to a close:
1. I need to get more project-y. I've done some neato stuff with Precalc (like our geogebra photos project and the Wolfram Demonstration Project) and would like to keep trying to find new stuff. I've neglected my Algebra 2 classes, though, and need get my butt in gear. First up: a quadratic equation project (like what my co-worker Ashley Fago did with her Algebra 2 classes). I'm hoping to get to conics this year in Algebra 2 (we should be able to) and want to have them make up some facebook pages for each conic.
2. I had some icky decisions to make today about a couple of boys' grades. I told my classes at the beginning of the year that they needed to pass 2/3 of the grades that contribute to their semester average (2 quarters, 1 exam). And then I didn't think about it until today when one of my girls was stressing as she finished up her exam because she had to pass (she'd failed the quarter). Oh yeah! Lightbulb. So I went and looked over the other students' grades just to check that no one had slid through, and I found one.
This boy had gotten a B during our first quarter then bombed 2nd quarter (59%) and failed the exam. I was facing a bit of a gut check: do I stick to my guns or go the easy way out and let him pass (based on the computer averaging of our grades). I stuck, called the dad to let him know, and the boy will fail. Hate that.
Boy #2 is a charmer when he wants to be. He's cute and smiles and acts all sweet but I know copies assignments and basically has no morals. He's bright, though, and usually skates through pretty easily. He had an A for the first quarter, a B+ for the second, and just barely got a B+ on the exam. Because of some crazy grade-stuff that's been going on lately at school, we were told that we weren't allowed to give any minuses (A-, B-, C-, etc) as semester averages. So this kid's grade would've averaged as an A- which I would've had to bump to an A. Really? I mean, I caught this kid during the final today trying to get his neighbor to help him on a problem. To let him get an A would be demoralizing (for me... and I'd hope the other students if they found out!). So I went back to his exam review packet (which I counted as part of his exam grade) and checked it a little more carefully. I legitimately found evidence to take a point away, which dropped his exam grade to a B. His semester grade is now a B+.
3. Lots of stuff coming up! I feel like I'm not going to be at school at all this semester (which is tough, but that means it's going to fly by!)
a. 1/2 day out at the end of January to work with other Algebra 2 teachers to start working on a common exam (yuck)
b. 1 1/2 days out at the beginning of February to go to Sacramento (I decided that I'm excervous.... excited and nervous. Get it?)
c. 2 days out in April to go to the NCTM Conference in Indianapolis (anyone going?) Just excited about that... not nervous at all :)
I just saw this link on twitter and thought it was cute:
see more Hacked IRL - Truth in Sarcasm