Friday, August 27, 2010

One Week Into It...

Phwoosh! Bu-bye well-rested person with time to spare. Hello, person who wakes up at 3am or 4am or goes to sleep at 11pm and is already starting to see circles under the eyes.

I've moved rooms this year, I still have to set up my "second" room which is for the engineering (PLTW) class, I still have a ton-o-boxes to unpack, and dates to write down in my calendar for the bazillion "change of schedule" and "meetings" and "special" days, oh, and planning ... you, know, business as usual.

This year, I'm teaching 3 classes of 10th grade geometry, 2 classes of 8th/9th grade geometry, and 1 class of engineering for 9th graders. Part of my homework 2 nights ago for my geometry students was to find 3 interesting facts about geometry and write them down in their 1st page of their comp notebook which I dubbed "Ode to Geometry". I had already discussed how geometry was so cool and why (one of the oldest math disciplines, one of the only places in HS where you learn reasoning and logic and proofs and why that's important, one of the math topics that's most clearly everywhere: buildings, banked roads, pyramids, ...). They came back with some good stuff (mixed with other, of course): on spheres, the sum of the angles of a triangle are not 180 degrees, in England, they call trapezoids trapeziums, a 15-sided figure is called a pentadecagon,...

Here's something I want to work on this year. The week went great (for a 1st week). Last period of the day, on Friday, sheesh. You can imagine the weariness of the kids, and me, the chattiness of them, the "oh my god can you be quiet so I can actually get through a sentence" scenario. I read somewhere (and I "know" it, but I don't adjust for it much) that you can't teach the last period of the day like you teach the 1st period of the day. The kids are physically and mentally in a different zone. I literally got at MOST 2/3 or 3/4 done in class of what I got done the other periods. This cannot continue. I have to reflect on a way to teach the same amount of material in a way that's effective for last-period-itis kids.