Sunday, April 13, 2008

At school on Sunday, getting ready for the week is always a time of reflection and panic, especially as the end of the year nears. It always seems there is so much I want to do with these 7th graders, so many things to teach them, so many activities to share, but time, time, time is always pressing in on me.

We have 7 more weeks of school left, with one of those spent at camp. So I have 6 weeks left to cover everything the state says I must, and make sure I have covered it well enough they actually retain it until next fall on their MEAP test. I have so many concerns about that when they seem unable to retain info from day to day!

We've been working on balancing 2 step equations in math class this past week. They, for the most part, seem to understand the process but what bogs them down is the lack of knowledge of basic math facts and their inability to remember how to deal with negative integers. It seemed last fall when we covered that, they were doing well and we've used it on multiple occasions since then, but now, too many of them, when asked what -11 - 19 is, cannot come up with the correct answer. It is frustrating to be unable to move on because they have not made those skills their own yet.

It has been fun using the graphing calculators though. By forcing students, especially my pre-algebra kids, to think and work on their own, I have seen so much growth in them. They are always so reluctant to try for fear of being wrong, and these activities have tremendously pushed them outside their comfort zones. I love seeing them THINK!

Tomorrow, we finally get to play the board games they have been making in social studies on Life in the Sahara. It seemed like the day would never come with extension after extension of time to work because they were so engrossed and engaged in their creations. I can't wait for them to share with each other tomorrow.

I cancelled my math curriculum meeting tomorrow, as well as Michigan Mathematics Program Improvement Project meeting on Wednesday. I just do not feel like I can be gone anymore this year. I know all that work is important but my classroom and my kids are my #1 priority.

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