Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 2!

This year has been very interesting so far, and today was only Day 2. Teaching 5 grades at once is a wild experience; in the first 1.5 days I've simultaneously:

* Taught matrix multiplication through application to weighted class averages (Grade 12)

* Reviewed fraction models, comparison of fractions/decimals, and what types of things can be modeled with fractions through stations work (Grade 7)

* Run a paired "blind drawing" activity to teach basic geometry vocabulary -- points, lines, planes, parallel, intersect, collinear, coplanar, etc -- and to practice visualization from words. (Grade 9)

* Started a "Savings Race" algebra task involving comparing/relating multiple representations (Grade 9)

* Used a border-of-square-pool rich task to introduce patterns, generalization through algebra, and re-arrangement of equations (Grade 8)

* Umm, and I haven't even seen my 11th-graders yet!! Tomorrow'll be the first day. On the agenda is looking at a rich patterns task and moving them through it to generate linear functions and to start to look at how to generate quadratic functions from a table of values.

(What's been the most challenging about this is that most of this was material I had to create from scratch without previous lesson plans to fall back onto, and I think that's going to be the norm for this year.)

As it turns out, I have two kids who don't speak ANY English, and that's going to be a real challenge/interesting experience this year, I think. I'm going to need to do drastic modification for them, like asking them to bring bilingual dictionaries to class, keeping a vocabulary journal, and I will be pumping all the assignments through a Google translator for them to have two copies, one in English and one in (crappy translation of) their native language. It helps that I will have a push-in language assistant, so I'm going to do everything I can to make sure we work together to help these kids.

Craziness. I'm a bit stressed, you know, as might be expected with the big change. But it's good. Today I had a really productive day with every group, and it felt great. Let's hope tomorrow's a good day! :)

...Did I mention that our school does not have bells? We expect kids to get to class on time based on a culture of respect for the schedule and the class. They've been doing this for about 7 or so years now. It's still early in the year for me, but I think it actually works! Amazing.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear your two days went so well! I'm tired just reading what all you accomplished! Good luck with all of those grades (and languages)!