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Teaching

The 20% problem

I want to respond to a comment left on one of my other posts: I want the kids to learn and retain it for more than the test. I am a first year teacher, and my biggest struggle is getting the kids to do homework or even study for a test. Without a major makeup […]

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Crux

So I signed up for that better lesson thing. And I’m not using it. Take this recent lesson from my pre algebra class, for example. The obvious WCYDWT is fractions. The trick, what made my lesson work, is that I had kids figuring out how many people you could split it between, smallest number you […]

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Books

Our new textbooks come with consumable workbooks. They’ve already been delivered to our rooms, so that we’ll have them ready for the students on the first day of class (what with the William’s decree and everything) I’m teaching two periods of Algebra Readiness, with between 25-30 kids per class. I got 30 textbooks for the […]

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On your mark…

It’s amazing how much even some resolution can change my attitude. I know I have a room1. I know what grade level I’m going to be teaching. I’ve had my first department meeting, and all of my fellow teachers are interested both in math, and in teaching. I know that I’m going to have a […]

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Expectations

My district seems to start way later than everyone else. I’m seeing a lot of first days/weeks of class type posts, and I still have no idea what I’m going to be doing. I don’t even know if there is going to be a new teacher orientation day, or more than one staff day before […]

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Compartments (3)

I’d mentioned way back when that my school was taken over by the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools – Mayor Villaraigosa’s political effort to do something about education. After the first year, he’s quite happy to be able to take credit for some big progress. I could go on the usual rant here about politicians […]

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Compartments (2)

Sometimes you’re just fed the right straight lines. From a comment on my previous post: “Learn to keep your door closed and locked and your phone off the hook.” The thing is, I’d already come to this conclusion on my own. All1 of the teachers that I respected at that school followed this strategy. They […]

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Compartments (1)

This post has been a long time coming. I’ve obviously dropped off on posting for a while. I’ve been blocked. As you can tell, from reading back a bit, a big part of that has been due to my frustrations and feelings of failure. I’ve been thinking of how to express those, how to evaluate […]

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Huh

The penultimate grades were due this morning, even though the entry window on our system goes through tomorrow (blame paranoid administrators who set early deadlines because they can’t trust teachers to keep a real one). Today I tested my kids on graphing point slope form (very old, and something they’d struggled with) and multiplying binomials […]

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Giving in

I suppose giving in is better than giving up. And I think I did this in the wrong order. State testing is done, and I have a bunch of kids who still want to graduate. So I decided to just teach them the procedures, and relax on actual comprehension. If they can at least go […]

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