Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Week, The Wiki-stix, & The Web

I went to another workshop this Thursday, and the algebra 1 information was very useful. What was NOT useful was the handful of people sitting at my table blatantly grading huge stacks of tests and totally disregarding the presenter and going so far as to discuss with each other about how to allocate points. Oh my.

What was ALSO not useful was my understanding of just how broken our "mentoring system" for new teachers is. One of our new teachers is TOTALLY struggling and crying and breaking down in class and being overwhelmed. I've heard from her mentor that she went in and gave her tips on what to do (do warmups, here are some activities, ...), and said the girl did not take her advice, and then the mentor thinks that's the end of it. Well, I sat in on the girl's class. Warm Ups are the least of her problem. There are some easy fixes that just need to be addressed and monitored and modeled and reinforced.

Anyway! After many deep breaths, I decompressed with some of my favorite "feel good" websites. Here are 2 examples:
DarynKagan.com (here are some old good ones)
http://darynkagan.com/heroism/stories/he_080324_computerfairygodmother.html
http://darynkagan.com/kids/stories/ki_080414_oneboyandaredwagon.html

smittenkitchen.com (yummy looking recipes) ... for example:
http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/08/chocolate-peanut-butter-cake/

Also, I found yet another use for the wiki stix. We started radians in precal today, and my first question was how many radii did they think fit around a circle. They drew circles and the radius, and then with a small piece of a wiki stix (stick?) they marked out the radius along the circle. It was easy to manipulate and curve.

And the funny joke I read in a book this week:
knock knock
who's there
I didn't know you could yodel.

1. Oooh, nice use of wiki sticks. I usually do the same deal with string or register tape. Kids are shocked and amazed when they see that the distance around the circle is a little more than 3 diameters, and then I write C = pi*d on the board. Oooohs and aaaahs all around. It makes me wonder if their previous teachers committed malpractice, or the kids just forgot.

2. Classic pi day exercise. :) I sure hope the kids I show this to in elementary and middle school have it well-ingrained by precalc!

3. Anonymous11:30 PM

I've notice that you do a lot of posting and that you are a teacher. I have a website that's used by schools here in Austin,TX and thought you might be interested. Try going to www.qtopolis.com and if you like what you read please email me at support@qtopolis.com and I can get you an account to take a look inside.

Quinton

4. Thanks for this post. By sharing this, you're helping other teachers who might be having the same problem. Did you send the girl a link to your post?

By the way, I recently started a site with the NIFB Young Entrepreneur Foundation.

Thanks!

Julie
http://youngentrepreneurfoundation.wordpress.com/

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