New beginnings

Posted on August 3, 2014

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There are so many changes this year!

First, the district I work for is imposing Linked Learning. That’s totally fine. Having the kiddos look waaay closer at what they want to do after their school life, coupled with internships and (gasp!) actual jobs? Super cool.
Except that the class period that it requires would eliminate all electives, including AVID. Not super cool.

The solution? Go to a seven-period day.

Several people wanted our union to stop it. The union said no. They said the total student count wouldn’t change; it would be more spread out. Maximum 200 kiddos over six periods instead of five? (Let me do the math…) So the average class size is going from 40 to 33. No problem.

Second, my Statistics classes are growing. I have two classes: AP Statistics and Statistics. I majored in it. I love it. I’ve taught it for four years and only this year had one  person pass it. Obviously, knowing it doesn’t mean you can teach it. Those classes are big: 38 and 31. I’ve finally started figuring out how to explain it better. For reference, this past year I had classes of 30 and 10.

Third, my school has decided to move me from Trigonometry/Precalculus to Geometry. Some people would say that’s a demotion. But when I started teaching, it was Geometry classes; I loved those classes even though I had no idea what I was doing. (I still have all the overly dramatically-planned stuff.) Granted, I haven’t had Freshmen in at least eight years. But I’m much closer to the childish side of life anyway. The kiddos I get to teach are high achievers on tests, but not grades. This is not an Honors class (those kiddos go to the Honors Geometry specialist).

So, in my world, these are My Peeps. I always rocked tests and assignments just enough to get the minimum grade I needed, probably without actually knowing anything. I manipulated the #^&! out of most any system I was in. For anyone who reads the comic Frazz, I theoretically have four classes of Caulfield.

I haven’t been this excited about teaching a bunch of Freshmen ever.

The only instructions I have are to make sure they’re ready to just miss the CCSS Integrated I class that starts this year. Get them exposed to everything Geometric that could be on the SBAC assessment their Junior year and also be able to take an AP math class their senior year. If they fail/do poorly, they get to go to CCSS Integrated I class.

A wee bit of background: the CCSS Integrated I class is the replacement for Algebra I. Except that it hasn’t been written apart from the first quarter, and no books have been purchased for the class. (I’m not a fan of books, generally — I haven’t even picked up the Geometry books I’m supposed to use.) In the past, the kiddos who took Algebra I had a failure rate of more than 50%. So, going back down probably isn’t a good idea.

But even better: my four Geometry classes of these beauties has an average size of…

Wait for it.

24.

(Don’t tell anyone!)

I can’t wait!

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Posted in: Geometry