Friday, April 8, 2011

What a week! And my new bird.

This has to have been one of the strangest weeks of the year (never mind that it's our first week back after spring break!).

1.  I was only here 3.5 days.  I had a sick boy at home on Tuesday and was out for a half day on Thursday because we had to grade the practice OGT that was given to the freshmen.  (Oh the fun.)  The good thing about the grading is that it usually only takes us as a department about an hour, but we're out the whole afternoon.  That gave us another 1.5 hours or so to catch up on work, chat, and keep tabs on the Reds score.

2.  My sub for both days was a retired teacher from school that's a peppy, fun, interesting lady.  The kids normally really enjoy having her here, and she likes being here.  She actually sat with my Algebra 1 kids both days and did the work with them.  She had a ball doing it (she told me) and they're still talking about how much they like her.  (And my Algebra 1 class was crazy amazing this week.  They were so good.... I asked them what was up with that and they told me it was because they like what we're working on now.  Freshmen.)

3.  I was looking over some Algebra 2 assignments (solving radical equations) this morning and noticed that a lot of the kids are making the same mistakes, so I pulled out an old favorite activity of mine that I definitely don't use enough.  I copied down a few problems, worked them out, and made copies so everyone had one. The key was that every problem had a mistake in it.... and of course they were mistakes that I was constantly seeing.  (Note to self:  error analysis is the way to go!!)  They got really frustrated with me as they were trying to find the mistakes because they didn't see what was wrong.... I'm hoping that I made some headway today!

4.  As I was grading those assignments, I noticed two that were identical.  (Ugh... more cheating.)  One of the boys involved was the first in the room, so I asked him about it.  He denied copying and said they'd worked together.  We had a little talk about the difference between the two (copying vs working together) and he continued to deny.  The other boy involved was in the room at this time and wouldn't answer the question to say that there was no copying involved.  Boy #1 sat in his seat and pouted the whole class.  I was surprised, though, that at the end of class (after everyone had left) he stopped at my desk to tell me that I was right;  he'd copied and he was sorry.  Said he just gets so caught up in the moment that he lies and then regrets it later.  I was really amazed at the maturity of that and gave him the opportunity to do the assignment over the weekend.  Hopefully he won't do that again to me.

5.  (This just happened as I was typing)  One of our math teachers is going to the other high school in our district next year to teach because of different cuts that have occurred.  I have her daughter this year in Honors Precalc.  I know the daughter has enjoyed having her mom here and is bummed that mom won't be here for her senior year.  The daughter just came into my room offering me presents - either salt & pepper shakers or a foam bird that she'd made in an art class in exchange for being her "mommy" next year.  Isn't that sweet?  I was going to offer my services anyway (though I said I'd stop short of lending money because I never have any) but thought it was cool that she asked. :)    (I chose the bird, obviously.)

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