Thursday, April 22, 2010

Perceptions and Circles

I started to "do the math" and it basically seems that barring tests and tests and finals and reviews and other-time-vacuums, I have basically 5 or so block days left of teaching each class. Panic!

In other news I had an interesting conversation with another math teacher in the copy room today. Unlike the other 2 schools I've taught in, at my current school, everyone is expected to go above and beyond, and it's just an ordinary thing and possibly commented on in some way if you don't ... or maybe that's just our new teacher perspective of things. Anyway, we were discussing the results of the math 8th grade TAKS scores .... that were phenomenal .... for any other school, but since they were not 100% passing, there's an undercurrent of "why not?". Yeesh, the pressure.

So our conversation took the turn of her saying, "I can't wait until summer; I'm so exhausted." .... and, "I always walk around, and it seems everyone else has their act together, and I'm scrambling to keep up". I could contribute that I don't think everyone DOES have their act together, they're just putting on a great facade and doing the best they can (based on other conversations I've had). That got me to thinking. We make these judgment calls based on our insecurity of how we're performing by looking at others, and if they look calm or "with it", maybe we think, "ackh ... I need to work harder ... why don't I have things done and planned and thought out yesterday?". Anyway .... maybe a reason to get out and talk to more teachers in depth instead of just surface, "hello, how's it going" conversations.

Finally, we started circles today in geometry. We barely scratched the surface, and again I didn't want them to copy definitions, so I did the matching game again. My twist this time was that I did a search on the internet, and found a cool website that showed me how to make envelopes that don't use glue. So I had the kids make them out of pretty paper, and they could store their cut out matching cards there (also on pretty paper) ... AND they could write the key on the back of the envelope. Nice.


  1. The first part of your post totally reminded me of when I first had my baby and you see other moms walking around acting like they knew exactly what they were doing and had their act together. Meanwhile I was barely able to get a shower in every other day and rarely made it out of the house! Joining a new mom's group was so helpful to me b/c we sat around talking about things we were excited about that week and things we were having trouble with so we could give each other support. Maybe that is what teachers need too! We meet every week with our teams for 1.5 hours and that has seemed to help support each other this year. That is, when we aren't driving each other crazy! haha! :)

  2. Anonymous1:24 PM

    I like that idea about this type of teacher meeting. It would save us the angst of feeling alone and like the only one with issues. Thanks!

    Ms. Cookie

  3. Hi - I just came across your circle matching activity, and I would love to use it as a reinforcement for circle vocabulary; I have so many ELLs and kids with literacy issues - I think it will really help them out. How have you used this in the classroom? Do you have the kids cut both pages apart and then glue the matched sets down onto other paper? I was thinking maybe having them work in pairs; giving one student the terms and the other the sketches - have them cut the pieces apart and then match them. I just want to find a way to not have it take an entire class....your thoughts/suggestions would be most welcome.


  4. Oy! I didn't use this the same way this year for lack of time. If I remember correctly, I copied the sheets off on pretty colored paper. Then I had each kid cut out their own, and meanwhile I cut out mine. I made it a race, "don't let the old lady beat you" ... or "were you absent on that day in kindergarten when you learned fast cutting?"

    Then they just matched and had the cards to take home. I honestly don't remember how long it took ... 20 minutes?

    Maybe you could cut one day, have them take them home to practice, then they shuffle them the next day and see how they do?

    Also, I gave them the "key" at the end.

    Good luck!