Saturday, September 01, 2007

One Week Down

Even if I do no other exercise, that extra standing around from about 7:30am - 4:30pm HAS to burn at least 100 cal/hr. ... Okay, so that's really not my only major impression of the 1st week of school.

Ninety minutes goes by fast. I was concerned that I'd keep clock watching during our block schedule, but the only clock watching I was doing was to make sure I had enough time to do everything. In the middle of class for one set of the days I had the kids stand up, and we discussed social skills and going to parties in the future with your spouse where you didn't know anyone, and you had to meet strangers. So they had to walk around and find out the first name and the "earliest memory" that person has. I started that 1st class by calling it "cocktail hour", without thinking and then had to backtrack and say "without cocktails" after we giggled and then add "please don't tell your parents we had cocktail hour in class" (cough cough). I then had my brain kick in gear and continued calling it "meet and greet time".

For all the grumbling I was doing about block scheduling, I like the fact that on Wednesdays and Fridays, I'll mostly have taught everything the day before (save for BC calculus eventually), so that it's a less harried preparation day.

I think I've solved my homework problem. I didn't want to give double homework, since I think they'd leave it all until the last minute and not do a good job. I didn't want to give the same amount of homework as with a regular schedule, since I didn't think it'd be enough practice. So. On Mondays, our "C" day where all classes meet, I will hand out (10? 20?) cumulative-from-the-first-day math problems that will be due the following Monday. This will be in addition to their regular homework. That way, they'll get the extra practice and the extra "dipping" and review of old topics.

I also took a cue from the "Mathematics Teacher" magazine, and this past Friday assigned to my calculus classes: research who discovered calculus and find out 1 - 2 weird/interesting facts about him/her/them. (on hindsight, I should have had them cite their sources).

I think future weekend assignments for precal and cal may include finding out about various math-related jobs. I may give 1-3 types and divvy them up per class each time (civil engineer, architecht, physicist, etc.) and have them find out specifically what they do, schooling needed, average salary, who hires them, and anything else I can think of when I solidify it a bit more. This way throughout the course of the year, they'll be exposed to more possibilities than they may have thought of before. Maybe we'll make small posters and hang them in the halls.


  1. The math-related jobs activity is a great idea. When I was in HS, all we knew about engineering was that it was something that smart people who were good at math and science did. I ended up in computer science -- at least I knew what that was. :) (No regrets here, it is the right fit for me. But it still would have been useful to know more about things like engineering, etc. that you don't get direct exposure to in HS classes.)

  2. Anonymous9:59 PM

    Thanks! I'm hoping to get some small posters made by the kids, and then we can put them in the halls for a greater audience.

    Ms. Cookie