Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Day 132: 24601

My students are starting to see a teacher that they haven't seen in a while.  With them being more attentive and more on task, I'm enjoying myself more.  This means I'm becoming more fun, telling more stories, joking around and letting my excitement shine through.

There is an odd and fragile dynamic that forms when teachers (who still want to teach) become fun.  Many of the students have tremendous difficulty understanding where the line is, mostly because the teachers cross it.

In my experience, the trick is to be VERY clear about where that line is and start reeling students back in before they are even close to it.  A strategy that I use in the regard is by immediately following up a joke or funny story by asking a student to give me answer.

"...And that is why I NEVER dance in public anymore.  Tommie! What notation do we use to translate this shape 3 spaces to the right and 5 down?"

This is a much more effective tactic in high school because the kids understand why they are in school and what they are there to do.  In elementary school, (at least with my own kids) it's INSANELY hard to get back on task once it has been derailed.

As usual, middle school students are an interesting mix of high school and elementary school.  They want to be adults and independent, but also need to know that someone will be there to catch them.  This is one of the reasons why middle school behavior is almost always worse than elementary or high school.

The students are still trying to figure out who they are.

Quests of self-discovery?

In geometry, we had something fairly close to a traditional lesson.  The new chapter starts off with geometric mean, so I used algebra to derive the arithmetic mean (average) and used that to vault into geometric mean.  Then used THAT to talk about altitudes of right triangles.

This group is really struggling with shedding "cross multiplication" for solving proportions and they want to answer so quickly that they often don't think about the answers.  It's alright though.  All of that just takes practice.

A few months ago, I started a weight-lifting program when I got bored with my last workout routine.  I'm starting to become more aware of my muscles, especially when they are sore, so it's been interesting walking around the room.

"Please find the altitude of the triangle...over...THERE!"

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