Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day 171: Making The Best Of The End

My posts are getting shorter as we approach the end of the year.  My desire to do meaningful reflection has been usurped by my desire to kick up my feet and watch the time pass.  In Geometry, I can come close to doing that.  The student groups are fairly self-sufficient at this point and require minimal guidance to get back on track.  The games are coming along nicely and I'm really excited to play them later this week.

In pre-algebra, I've decided to do some Algebra 1 prep work.  As it has been pointed out by several teachers in my district, as well as elsewhere, we teach the same topics every year.  This means that the first few weeks of Algebra 1 will be content that was covered in the first few weeks of pre-algebra.  With this in mind, I've shifted from continuing work in the pre-algebra curriculum to focus on the skills that will give my students the greatest success at the beginning of next year. 

I have no illusions about how much they will remember by September, but I'd rather the gap in that content be 3 months instead of 11.

I am a firm believer that the first few weeks of school will set the tone for the year.  If you start students out with success, they will be MUCH more likely to try harder, knowing that they can do what you ask.  With that said, that success can't be forced or given.  The students need to be able to see that they CAN do what you ask them to do.


  1. Regarding the beginning of the year - we made a conscious effort this year in our precalculus classes to start off with the trig unit rather than the same old recycle of algebra II we wish you had learned/remembered. I felt that this set an important tone that this is a new class with some new skills and ideas to deal with. Did not necessarily lead to early successes but it set an important and different feel to the class

    1. I couldn't agree more! We had a teacher-led inservice that discussed the idea that we re-teach the same things at the beginning of every year, instead of starting with new stuff and simply integrating the old. I think that next year, I'm simply going to skip chapter 1 of whatever I'm teaching and begin with new content.


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