Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Block Scheduling and Chocolate - A great combo!

Tomorrow is my last day of Geometry End of Instruction exams. This week has gone so quickly with block scheduling! On the positive side, my Geometry students said they felt prepared for the exam. Since we did not have official "review" time, that made me feel a bit better about the week. Of course, from many years as a teacher, I also know that "feeling good" does not translate to high scores! LOL

I had planned to test in my AP Stat class, but with only 6 more class sessions until the AP exam, I decided that I would rather do an activity. Bonus - no grading!!! wooohoooo!! hehe. Looking around my room, I had some left over M&Ms and remembered seeing an AP review activity on Mrs. Smart's website. I started with her idea and tweaked it to fill up a 2 hour review session for various inference methods. Since I typed this up tonight (after a 2 hour nap), it's still pretty rough, so please excuse any typos. :)

Everything I learned about Inference...

The end is in sight! One month left at the HS - only the final left at the Uni... where, oh where did the semester go???

Update: This activity went extemely well!!! The kiddos were actively discussing the problems and stayed engaged for 2 hours - excellent :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ready or Not...

It's finally here. The End of Instruction exams for Geometry start tomorrow. I did not have time to do any review with them, but every homework, quiz, and test had "previous knowledge" sections, so I have to hope that the constant review throughout the year was enough.

As for AP, I see them 7 more days before the exam due to the block scheduling for the EOI tests. I had a test planned for them this week, but I'm rethinking it so I can use the time for review instead. Do any of you have good review strategies?

Today is a semi-lazy day since I won't really "teach" this week. I have a test to write for the Uni and a few things like that, but other than grading, nothing is really pressing on my schedule.

I hope all of you have a great Sunday!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Countdown...

Since my last post, I have:

1) realized (again) that I have an amazing hubby,
2) taught my last lesson for the semester at Uni
3) lost my cool with my AP kids
4) been exhausted from the stress of life :)

When I last wrote, I was pretty darn ticked at my printer. As I lay in bed at midnight with tears of frustration, hubby tried to console me. The next day during my plan, I printed the originals and made copies for my AP class. About 20 minutes later, hubby shows up at school during lunch with 25 stapled and collated packets for my AP class. Nevermind that I had already made the copies, I was touched by such a generous show of love. :)

The Uni semester is almost over - I am giving a test on Monday and then the final is May 5th. I can't believe how fast it went!

Today, I lost my cool with my AP kiddos - they are a great group and it's very much a family like atmosphere with lots of good-natured joking and ribbing, but today they wanted to play way more than they wanted to work. With the AP exam 2.5 weeks away and only 8 class sessions until then, I don't have time to play! I ended up having to be very stern and I hate that! *sigh* I hope they take some responsibility on their own to study...

Lately it has been all I can do to keep my eyes open. Hubby told me at dinner tonight that I was a walking zombie.... For some reason I have been totally exhausted lately. I know its a combination of things, like dad being in the hospital for 2 weeks (got out today YAY!), totally rewriting a Geometry course (end is in sight there too), EOI exams next week for Geometry (I hope they do well!), and AP exams right around the corner. April is a tough month for me... there is still 5 weeks left of school yet you know you can't salvage much from this group of kiddos, so you start thinking about next year and how to improve, but then I'm impatient because I have to wait so long until then...

Speaking of improvement, every year about this time I start making lists of things I would like to accomplish to be a better teacher. I hope I never outgrow that trait, as I fully believe that lack of growth as a teacher is very dangerous, both professionally and personally for me. I am looking forward to this summer. While it will be very busy, I think it will also be professionally gratifying, with the AP reading, collaboration with other stat teachers, and an AVID insitute.

Well, I suppose it is time to head to bed... I hope you all have a great night!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Extreme Frustration

Ever feel like the world is plotting against you? This morning I sat down on the couch, ready to grade, and realized that my answer keys were at the high school, which is 30 minutes away. Since it would take more than an hour to recreate the keys, I decided that I would head to the HS and run by the hospital to see my dad on the way back. So far so good, right? I get home, start grading and make fairly decent progress over the course of the afternoon. About 5pm, I decide I had better start working on this week's lessons. It is now 9pm and I am still trying to print the paper that I started trying to print at 5. I am *so* pissed off at my printer right now. I have a huge HP LaserJet 5 with duplexer that is totally possessed by demons. Every time I try to print, it has different issues. What works well one day won't work at all the next day. The total inconsistency is about to drive me INSANE!!! (Note to self: I do love my hubby for finding this printer because when it works, it works well - the duplexer is awesome - but I swear it's possessed by demons!!!)

Both at the HS and the Uni tomorrow, I am teaching Chi-Square tests. At a workshop I attended last summer, we had done the VARK learning styles test and analyzed our data. So that's my plan tomorrow - if I can get the stinking thing to print. I plan to do a Goodness of Fit test to see if all learning styles are equally represented and then a test of homogeneity to see if there is a difference between males and females.

This week is going to be interesting. At the HS level, we start our End of Course tests and the Geometry test is 1 week away. I will not get through the Geometry curriculum before the tests and have to hope and pray that my students do okay on the material we have learned. The AP exam for Stat is only 3 weeks away, I have 2 chapters left to go and lots of praying there too.

*sigh* Now if only I could get the printer to print.....