Saturday, August 2, 2008

More Random Thoughts...

The vote is still tied on the matte dilemna :) I decided not to go laminate them until I have had more time to think about it. I plan to go to my classroom on Tuesday, so as long as they are laminated by then, we're good :)

Do you ever have something that you love and hate? For me, it's back-to-school...

Why I love it:
- New school supplies!!
- A clean slate
- A time to try new things

Why I hate it:
- I never feel ready
- I get very overwhelmed and stressed by what is left to do
- I like sleeping in :)

But, ready or not, Aug 11th will be here soon. I am not at all ready for it, so this next week will be pure hell I'm sure.

When on vacation with my parents, we went to the Half-Price book store (Love that place!!) and I found Fred Jones - Tools for Teaching for $10. I'm about halfway through and I am really enjoying it. But it has brought up a few issues that I've never done at the HS level, so I thought I'd ask you guys! To be perfectly honest, this blog has been way more theraputic than I ever imagined. I did not think I would write as frequently as I do, but I really appreciate the opportunity to get the ideas out of my head and onto paper, and of course I value the input that you guys give me!

Anyway, one of the ideas from Dr. Jones's book was to post your rules. Since I now know that Office Depot can print posters for me, I am thinking of doing this. Here are my rules that I put into my syllabus (with more explanation of course!)... should I print them to hang on the wall?

Classroom Expectations:
- You are expected to attend class and to be on time
- You are expected to actively participate in classroom discussion and activities
- You are expected to bring your materials to class everyday
- You are expected to assume responsibility for your own learning
- You are expected to respect everyone’s right to learn without distractions

The other thing he mentions is icebreakers. I have never done an icebreaker, opting instead to do a review activity. However, I do use a study buddy/partner system, so I am wondering about somehow merging these two. I have thought about doing some kind of compare/contrast Venn diagram, followed up with a partner problem worksheet - which is where partner A does the first column, partner B does the second column. The problems are different, but the answers are the same. (This would be for Geometry btw)

One of the other teachers at my school does "groups" in her AP Calc class. She has everyone stand up and separate by which half of town they live in. They find someone in their group to buddy up with. This ensures they have someone they can call/meet with that lives somewhat close. The pair then finds a pair from the other half of town and this group of 4 then becomes a team. This team then meets as a study group, review sessions, etc - each test, the teacher calculates the highest team average and they get a silly prize. I've thought about using this in the AP stat class, thinking the peer tutoring aspect might be a good one.

I would love to hear from you guys - let me know if I'm on the right track here or not.

1 comment:

Shireen Dadmehr said...

Well, of course it's different for every teacher and every school, but I've never found the need to post rules. On one of my first handouts, I sum it up in basically 2 sentences. "You are expected to behave in an appropriate manner. If you have trouble we will meet to discuss ways in which you can be successful." ... or something to that effect. So far so good, and problems are dealt with individually.

I like your study group ideas. I haven't formally done that, but whenever students study together (or have a "math party"), they brag about it and say it was helpful. An idea someone else mentioned was that every time they got together to study, they were to call and leave a message on the teacher's school phone at the start and end of the session with everyone saying hello, and she'd give them some sort of extra points on something.

Ms. Cookie