Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Day 5: I Bore Me

I'm making notes for next year, should I teach these courses again.

The first note is "DO SOMETHING ELSE THIS WEEK!"  Not being overly familiar with the classes, I've been sticking to the sequences, resources and activities that previous teachers had used.  I'm adding my own style to them, but not as much as I would like.

And I was bored today.

Teaching five sections of the same class back to back is bound to have an element of tedium to it, but today was bad.  The course sequence for Astronomy has this first section be fairly intensive in terms of scientific notation.  Looking through the rest of the year and seeing minimal calculation, I can only assume this chapter is here to talk about scale.

Over the last few days, I was able to incorporate scientific notation into the background information about the planets, but by the end of yesterday, I realized that some of the students had no idea where the numbers came from.

As a result, I decided I needed to spend some time today talking about how and when to use the notation.  This started causing a problem when I looked at schedules and realized that I have a few students who are taking Algebra 1 for the 2nd or 3rd time and a few who are in AP Calculus.

I can differentiate, but that gap is a bit out of my wheelhouse.  My hope is that the lack of calculation later in the course will even the playing field a bit.  In addition to this, my room has 27 seats and half of my classes have more than 27 students.

This is not a complaint, merely an obstacle which I need to tackle.

Tomorrow, the Astronomy kids are having a quiz on scientific notation and so we spent today answering questions and going over examples.  I think it was very beneficial for many of them.  Probably less so for the young man who yelled out that he could do it in his head and then talked through the review, but if he doesn't need the practice, more power to him.

5 sections in a row of scientific notation review can be a bit grating on the nerves and by the time the last class rolled around, I may have been a bit loopy.

With a few minutes left at the end of one class, I decided to try out the 3Doodlers.  My attempt was not a complete failure and, I think, not bad for my first try.  I'm looking forward to playing around with them a bit more.

In Physics, one of our literacy coaches came in to help the students with RAFT reading, a process of close reading that helps students to identify main points and supporting details.  This is the introduction to an activity that we'll be doing all year and I wanted an expert to get them started.

It's hot.  I am ready to be home with my daughters.

 Oh Benedryl, how I love thee