Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am Thankful too

It is a tradition in our school to have Thanksgiving Pep Rally for the Football Game they play the weekend of Thanksgiving. Students who are involved in extra curricular activities like cheerleading, dance, jrotc, band, etc are encouraged to join and participate.

I was not aware that jrotc leader advised the members to attend only one of the two pep rallies because there were so many rotc members in the gym already. If they really want to attend and be a part of the second rally, they need teacher's note to show to their leader that they were given permission to come.

The second pep rally was held on the last period of the day. Three of my students today asked if they can have a note from me. When they realized that I was giving a test, they changed their minds. I think they did because I let them think and decide for themselves. They were told that I can offer them a note to go but they have to set time after school the next Monday to take the test they missed otherwise, they will get a zero.

I was just so impressed that the three of them almost instantly said they'll stay to take the test! There's not even a little argument or grumbling or pouting! I can't believe it.

It must have been the "thanksgiving spirit". Whatever it is, I am proud that I have students who makes better choices. tfr

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the problem with ..... legs!?

For my mathematically - able readers, here's something to exercise you prefrontal cortex on. The rest of you can use a calculator but I'd like to remind you to press the right button or you'll try to use that excuse for getting it wrong. ;-)

We thought that this problem would be a good brain teaser for students in our 9th grade classes.

Here it is:

There were seven girls on a bus and each girl had seven backpacks. Each backpack contained seven large cats and each large cats had seven smaller cats with them. How many legs are on the bus?

This is the original problem. The answer to this problem was used as a password for an EXCEL answer sheet file HERE.

Our problem has a little twist to it... we wanted to add the driver's legs as well! Also, to distinguish the math nerds from the math-nerds-wanna-be's we added an extension to it. After showing proficiency that students can answer the first part, as shown above, they now have to write an algebraic phrase or a general rule for n number of legs on the bus when n girls are present on the bus, provided the pattern follows, plus the bus driver's leg!

Goodluck, tfr!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

State Visit

I am so thankful that today went well with our visitors. My students made sure that they're on their best behavior. It goes to show that they also want to impress me! Seriously, I thought that some of my "bad apples" will turn into rotten ones but I was wrong. As long as I am clear with what I expect from them, they are willing to meet the challenge ~ or is this only for today? Nevertheless, I am happy! tfr

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Back to School Again

The school week was "disrupted" by the election day. We did not have school yesterday so it made me feel like Monday once again! Well, I just have to deal with it, I guess. I am very happy that it's half the semester already!!! Before we know it, my 9th graders will be marching down the aisle to receive their diplomas! But for now, I'll just have to be contend with going to school and to proctor the 2nd day of midterm exam. tfr

Monday, November 3, 2008

Meeting with a Mom

I was sitting there with 3 other teachers, a guidance counselor, the student, and his mom. I just feel so bad for a parent (single parent to that matter) to go through this agony... His student failing through and through and looks like enjoying it! He does not have a clue he's going to repeat the same courses over again with younger students next year and he will not get promoted.

We've decided to check whether the student is misplaced. And see if we could move him to the "lower level class". It's just a little difficult to see if he's misplaced or if the material is too hard for him since he didn't even have any work to look at!

Looking back, I still see the mom face with tears in her eyes feeling the failure of his son and the frustration of not knowing what to do. I feel badly about that.


Mid Term Exams

I am so happy that all my grades are done! All I need now is to type each one in the school's system for the print out of the students' report card.

By Wednesday, I am sure I am going to be okay with regards to the grade report. To all my students who did their best, asked questions when confused, put forth effort and stayed after school for extra help - I am so proud of you. For my students who slacked and still slacking - my calling for you is to do something for yourself, you are the one losing in this game. You are failing your self... not me (your teacher), not your parents, not your friends, but yourself.

I wish you luck for the remainder of the school semester.

So far, I've been so happy that I stick to my goal - to do work at work and leave all the pressures of work at work! By doing this, I am a happier person at home, although I arrive home a little late at time since I check the papers at school and if I am not done, I still leave it there for the next day. I am happy with what I do, I wish I've done this system years back.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pay for Grades

I found this article from an education website. It talks about the students' motivator in the 21st century. Students are getting paid for their grades. It is indeed a controversial motivator, even my most unmotivated student, was urge to write down what he thinks. Oh, by the way, after I had the students read the article, I asked them to write down which side they take. Whether they agree on the program of paying students to earn passing grades, or disagree which means not having the program at all. I took pictures of some of the interesting writing they handed in. I will post them later. Pay for grades is controversial but is really happening in one of the districts in Chicago. I would like to know if it really works.

Stay tuned for my students' works. tfr