Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Ah... spring break - not that it seems that way as I look out into the back yard full of snow - still 20 inches on the ground, and no sign of melting in sight - alas, spring break it 'tis!

As I caught up on some email readings today, and saw the lamentings of others who are slacking on their blogs, I thought to myself.... "Self, you MUST blog today, TODAY I SAY!! TODAY!" so blog I shall...

Reflection... it is so important to success, in whatever area of life, but especially true it seems in teaching - reflection on things done well, things done not so well, and things left undone.

The integer unit is over - for better or worse - sometimes it is best to take the message from above with a break in time of a week to move onto something new. I must confess, overall, I was impressed with my crew and what they ultimately got out of all this. When asked a question like "when dividing a postive # by a negative #, what sign will the quotient have" - many falter.. but when given higher level, "word problems" if you will, they really amaze me.

Friday we watched the video "The Making of the Big Mac" about the construction of the Mackinac Bridge - I show it because it is so close to home, and the amazing magnitude of this project just simply astounds me. The engineering and the math that were required, the fortitude of those people who were dedicated to the project - WOW! Usually students watch, because they must, with little enthusiasm. This year however, I had 3 students who had grandparents or great-grandparents, who worked building the bridge so enthusiasm was high. There was even conversation, and involvement from the crowd as we watched. Overall a wonderful experience :-)

Tomorrow, we meet for social studies curriculum - yuck.... I love the first part of American history - the ancient peoples, the explorers, the colonial period, but I feel we are just glazing through this year. My social studies class is so secondary to my three math classes in its importance and the fact we all three are teaching the same thing the same way, the same day.... I feel uninspired and unenthused and I fear this has worn off on my class. THey are going through the motions but are they really learning about these peoples and this time period? I fear not... I want them to feel the strong desire to strangle Columbus, DeSoto and others, to feel the fear and excitement of the settlers, understand the dismay of the natives as they were mistreated... I want them to absorb history, not read about it and outline it, and memorize it for the test. And that is what it has been lately...tomorrow I must be creative and suggest innovative lessons for the upcoming chapters!!

ah.... reflection... tis what makes us strong...

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