Sunday, October 12, 2014

Reflecting on the Last 9 Weeks

It's been a good while since I've posted last. It seems this year started with a running leap and has yet to slow down. Volleyball season is winding down (thank heavens), and soon I'll have a little more time to breathe - but not yet!

I reflect a lot in my head, but obviously there's no evidence that I do. For my professional growth, I've decided to be more intentional about lesson reflection, so I plan to write a lot more posts in the coming months. It's a similar idea to telling kids to show their work - you don't know that they are actually doing the work if you don't have evidence.

I'm very behind in geometry this year. As a whole, my students are very low, and test scores reflect it. There is so much ground to cover with this group. We just closed out the 1st nine weeks and some are still struggling to solve an equation. I've never needed to remediate this much since I started teaching. And the usual remediation activities I do at the start of the year haven't been adequate. My problem is that I'm already way behind in geometry content (about 1-2 weeks) but my kids are building their geometry knowledge on an incredibly shaky algebra foundation. I don't have even more time to dedicate to remediating their lack of algebra skills, and I'm truly perplexed. We've covered segment addition, angle addition, angle/segment bisectors, and are in the midst of angle pairs. So, all of this is working with solving equations, which I thought would help remediate that equation-solving gap with this group (it usually works for all my groups), but it hasn't been enough for many of the students. I sound like I'm rambling. I think I'm rambling. I'm just stuck.

I can't decide where I am pacing-wise in AP Stats. I flipped my whole curriculum around this year (starting with experimental design instead of categorical/quantitative data), and that has left me unsure of where I am relative to where I usually am. Some days I feel ahead, and some days I feel behind. The truth is, in AP, at least I think, you're always behind. The push is just to cover and get students to master as much material as possible. I'm enjoying my AP class this year. It's small, and I plan to do some fun things with them. However, this tiny size is also problematic when doing activities designed for 20-30 students! We're making it!

ACT Prep (aka College Readiness) is probably my favorite class this year. My kids are learning and mastering things easily. This is a tremendous group of juniors, and they are so much fun to have in class.

That's it for tonight. I have some fun things planned for this week, especially if the weather clears up. Posts to come about them later!