Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Day 162: Students Have Dirty Minds

I was confused about the number of masturbation jokes that the students made in response to my drawing of the day.

"What brings math comfort?"
"His hand."
"Being alone with his hand."

I was hesitant to erase the last one because it was clever, but off the board it went.

Another day of game creation!  The geometry students have all presented their ideas and have started working on the physical structures.

We began class by talking about what should be due on Tuesday, our next deadline.  We talked about what all games should have and then what of that should be due.

Then they got to work.  I showed a few groups how to make a board that will fold to fit into a smaller box.  The conversations ranged from distracted to highly productive.  While working with one group, I overheard "Instead of making a board game, let's build an army to take over the world!"

When I went to investigate, I found a group that could not agree on their board design.

As if by magic, everyone was on time to pre-algebra today.  They were dragging, which translates to increased class participation.  We were able to go over several problems from the homework and had a good discussion about congruent shapes.

At the break, I let the class go to the bathroom with the statement "Do not be late returning!"

The 4 boys who are always late, were late.

They were escorted back by the principal (whom I adore).  She asked me to come outside where she told me that she found them coming out of the bathroom WAY after the bell.

"You were still in the bathroom when the late bell rang, messing around in there as a group, but it's MR. AION who is picking on you.  HE'S the one who is always getting smart."

Have I mentioned how much I love and respect my principal?  She's, by far, the best administrator that I have ever worked for.

Once they came back in, the excuse they tried to give me was that one of their friends (who is currently doing a stint of 3-4 in our 2 year school) was holding the bathroom stall door shut.  They were TRYING to get to class on time, but he wouldn't let them.

So we had a nice chat about decision making and how the phrase "known associates" is used in crime shows.  The gentlemen conceded the point and were all VERY productive during the remainder of the class.

In period 8/9, several students had to be removed several times, not understanding the concept of "please don't sing while I'm answering questions."  As usual, once they were gone, the rest of class was insanely productive, as though they were horribly thirsty, but had spent the year watching other students wade into the drinking water with dirty feet.

Side note: My friend and fellow educator, Tommy Gears, has written a post about giving up on students.  It's poignant and solid.  You should read it and share it with everyone you know.


  1. Honestly, did you really expect more from the boys in our class? I mean, really?

    1. I'm actually surprised it took them this long.

  2. Thanks for the blog today. I followed your link and was blown away. I will be sharing both your blog and Tommy Gears' blog tomorrow with many people I admire.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! He's a great guy!

  3. Justin, I just came upon your blog. Amazing work. I admire your honesty, creativity, persistence, and (as the parent of a 13-year old) your willingness to try to make it all work with middle schoolers! Believe me, they need you more than you know.
    I tried a game project earlier this year with fifth graders (an experience I blogged about here:
    You did much better job than I did, and I will be incorporating some of your ideas when I try it again next year.
    I look forward to following you forward as well as digging back into your archives.

    1. Joe,
      Thank you for coming by! I appreciate your comments and I'm thankful that you linked your post. There is some amazing stuff in there and it gave me many things to think about when designing this assignment next time.


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